After the retirement of longtime director Jennifer Burke, the Sandwich Library Board has a new director – Sarah Horn. The board also is building a larger, more modern facility on South Main Street.
Horn spent a few minutes talking with reporter Debbie Behrends about taking over a smaller library than she left, and the excitement of new construction.
Behrends: Where are you from originally?
Horn: I’m originally from Chicago, and I currently live in the suburbs. I commute a ways. I earned my degree at Rosary College in River Forest. It’s now called Dominican University.
Behrends: Where were you working before Sandwich?
Horn: I worked just under 12 years at the Lyons Public Library (in Lyons) as their director.
Behrends: Coming from out of the area, how did you learn of the job opening in Sandwich?
Horn: I found the job listing on the RAILS – Reaching Across Illinois Library System – website.
Behrends: How is the Sandwich library different from the Lyons library?
Horn: There are all kinds of different criteria I could use. The Lyons library is 10,000 square feet. The population is around 10,750, larger than Sandwich at about 8,160. The collection in Lyons is about 60,000 volumes; Sandwich has a little over half that. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow a library and provide more in the new building than we can here.
Behrends: How involved are you with construction of the new library?
Horn: I’m involved in the finishing details – how the interior will look, colors, surfaces, the public meeting room, how the reference and circulation desks will look, computers for public use. Structurally, the building is all set.
Behrends: Do you find that you are more directly involved with patrons at a small library?
Horn: Normally, that would be case, but the building project is taking a good deal of my time. I do like to put it aside and interact with the public to ask what we could be doing better, what we could have on the shelves. I enjoy dealing with the patrons. I got into this line of work to help people find information and entertaining resources. That’s why I do this; it’s the people.