Petro to step down from library
Mary Petro will step down as director of the Woodstock Public Library at the end of the month to become director at the North Suburban Library District.
Despite the prospect of being closer to her family — that lives in the Rockford area — and near the two branches of the NSLD, Petro said the decision was difficult.
“This was where I had anticipated working the rest of my career,” Petro said. “Life sometimes happens. Things do change.”
When the position opened up, Petro — who took over for longtime library director Maggie Crane in June 2009 — knew it was the right fit.
Petro said she was lucky to have a great staff and dedicated volunteers in place when she took over for Crane, who had spent the previous 38 years in the position.
“Woodstock has a phenomenal Friends [of the Library] group,” Petro said. “They are very active … It’s a very good model. I want to pattern [other library support organizations] off of this group.”
She pointed to the miniature golf event and chrysanthemums sales, and said volunteers also have assisted with shelf cleaning, providing and maintaining the fish tank and many other events and projects.
Petro said the Woodstock community also has helped make the job easier. She said many of the library programs and classes are made possible through the assistance of city residents.
“The people in this community, the businesses in this community, they really support each other,” she said.
Petro said the staff, some who have been a part of the library for more than 30 years, will continue in a positive manner after she leaves, the same way they did when Crane left three years ago.
“I know they are going to [help make the transition seamless]. The staff is one of the reasons I took the job [three years ago],” she said. “It will be the thing I miss the most.”
Petro said libraries are special because they theoretically can serve a customer from birth until death, something rare for any business or organization. She said providing a personal experience is something the WPL does well, and she hopes to instill that commitment in her new staff at the NSLD.
In her time at the library, circulation has risen and new technology has been ever evolving. Petro said that should continue even after her exit as libraries continue to adapt to fit a changing world. She said she will continue to visit periodically to see the progress.
“I want to thank everyone for supporting the library,” she said. “It’s been a joy to be a part of making it happen.”