Lisa Waskin is the new Director of the Superior District Library in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. She started on November 18, 2014, right when we had all that snow. What a greeting for her and her family. Ms. Waskin received her Bachelor’s degrees in History and Archeology from the University of North Dakota and her MLIS degree from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She was awarded a graduate internship at the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, all while working as the Director of the Chillicothe Public Library District and as the Project Manager for their new library construction project.
Ms. Waskin has also served as the Executive Director of the Roselle Public Library District in Roselle, Illinois, and as the Library Director at the Hodgkins Public Library District in Hodgkins, Illinois. She has also held various positions working as an academic librarian at Illinois State University, Quincy College and Illinois Central College, and as a school librarian at St. Thomas Elementary School in Peoria Heights, Illinois.
She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Northern Michigan Library Network and the Superiorland Library Cooperative. Previously she has served as Chairman of the Illinois Library Association’s Best Practices Committee, as a voting member of the Live and Learn Construction Grant Advisory Board for the Illinois State Library and Secretary of State, the Museum Adventure Pass Committee, the ILA Intellectual Freedom Committee, the Synergy Leadership Among Librarians Group, the DuPage Library System Advocacy Committee, the Resource Sharing Alliance Board, and, on the Illinois Library Association’s Conference Planning Committee. In addition to her library roles, Ms. Waskin has also served on various city, village and mayoral advisory boards in the various communities that she has lived and worked over the years.
In 2003, she received a Business of the Year Award from Chillicothe, Illinois. She was named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” in 2005, a 2006 Career Woman of Achievement by the YWCA, one of 25 Woman in Leadership by the city of Peoria, Illinois, as well as one of their 40 Leaders Under 40, both in 2008.
More recently she has worked with special needs children and adults for the North Suburban and Northwest Special Recreation Associations. These organization work with over 30 area park districts and schools in the Chicagoland area to provide both traditional and inclusion services to children from 3 years up to, and including adults for programs in both education and recreation.
In addition to her work life, Ms. Waskin has a very active home life as well. As the mother of six, she has been keeping busy with her kids’ lives for the past twenty-five years, volunteering for cub scouts, PTA groups, Room Mother, the Picture Lady Program, field trip monitor, and, the football boosters club. She loves the outdoors including camping, boating, fishing and hiking, as well as cooking for her friends and family and being active in musical groups like the Peoria Area Civic Chorale.
Ms. Waskin chose the Upper Peninsula as a great place to raise a family, and the Superior District Library as a great opportunity to continue the work begun by Ken Miller and the Board and Staff of all the Member Libraries. According to her, “my focus is always on the needs of the patrons and how we can best meet them, as well as providing great customer service and developing close collaborations within the community.” Please stop by the Bayliss Public Library, a part of the Superior District Library, and welcome Ms. Waskin to the Sault.