Peoria Public Library Director terminated

By Audrey Williams

December 5, 2012 Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Trustees of the Peoria Public Library have fired Library Director Ed Szynaka.

Library officials aren't releasing a reason for his dismissal, saying it is a personnel matter.

He was director for six years but was placed on un-paid administrative leave two weeks ago. At that time, Leann Johnson was named the interim director.

Szynaka served as director while a facelift was completed at all of the library's branches, including one new building.

Library Public Relations Supervisor Trisha Noack said the renovations have shown large increases in use and going forward, they will continue to build on their successes.

"We have the board in place. We have an interim director who has actually been interim director twice before and had been the assistant director for many years and she provides calm, steady leadership. We had already set the 2013 goals and the staff is looking at their individual goes, so it should be no problem to go forward," said Noack.

Councilwoman Barbara Van Auken serves as a council liaison to the library board. She attributes the impressive increase in patrons to the library staff as a whole.

"6,000 visits to our 5 branches January through October and over a million pieces out on loan. So that kind of success really doesn't depend on one person, it means you have a very good talented staff and an excellent board of trustees," said Van Auken.

Van Auken said library patrons will not notice any changes is services while searching for a new director.

The library board of trustees will begin a search for a permanent director right away.

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