Thaddeus Jones, Mayor of Calumet City, Illinois, announced major changes to the Calumet City Public Library. Among the welcomed changes include opening the doors of the library on Saturdays in the first quarter of 2022, along with a current overhaul of library leadership and expansion of some services. In addition, the Library which formerly closed it hours of operation at 4:00 PM is now open until 7:00 PM.
Upon being sworn into office in May of 2021, Mayor Jones and his administrative team immediately ordered a review of all library functions. The staggering results led the Mayor to replace all of the library board members with community members who offered a wealth of professional and organizational development experience that would enhance the overall functionality of the Calumet City Public Library. Moreover, the new members have stellar reputations, all are above reproach, and well regarded in the community.
“I couldn’t stand idle and continue to witness the political shenanigans and enormous decline in services at the Library. This new board is off to a tremendous start and we are meeting the needs of individuals and groups for education, information, and personal development including recreation and leisure.” says Mayor Jones.
For years the previous library administration neglected the needs of Calumet City residents by refusing to open the doors of the library on Saturdays. For youth, finding time during the bust week to sit down and study for the amount of time needed to complete school projects, isn’t always an option; nor is having a completely silent study space. However, Mayor Jones mandated of the new board members to create hours of operation on Saturdays and expanded hours during the week. Already the library board is witnessing scores of residents who are now utilizing the library until 7:00 PM, in addition to patrons expressing their gratitude for the library board’s future plans of opening the Library on Saturdays. The library will remain closed on Sundays.
During the month of October of 2021, the Mayor appointed the following community members to the Calumet City Public Library Board:
- Scott Nnamah-President
- JeTuan Russell-Vice President
- Erica France-Jenkins, Secretary
- Darlene Gray-Everett
- Samuel Williams Jr.
- Jasmine Jones
Scott Nnamah was elected by his fellow board members as President.
“This is an exciting time for our library. Our board is primed and ready for this task. We have a collective love for the entire landscape and functionality of this sacred institution. It is our goal to improve every facet of the operations as well as finances. While we choose to be financially conservative, we also want to preserve and protect the very essence of the uniqueness, tradition and accessibility that libraries across America continue to provide.
The Board is committed to working extremely hard to ensure that the following aspects o f the Calumet City Public Library will always continue to be offered and respected:
- To offer a safe space for learning
- To respect history
- To digitize influential primary sources
- To increase online access to scholarly information
- To distinguish real news
- To continue to provide benefits that are both tangible-such as community spaces and human interaction
The board is currently reviewing the performance measurements of every library employee. The board has implemented some fiscal reductions in effort streamline moderate library services geared towards enhanced productivity.