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New library getting settled in Wausau

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – The new director of the Marathon County Public Library says he's getting settled in just fine.

Ralph Illick was formerly the head of adult services at the Pauline Haass Public Library in Sussex. The library's board of trustees picked Ralph Illick to fill the position back in November and he took over January 10th. Illick says he's happy to be working for Marathon County. “If this library and this community had been half of what it's been I would have been just as happy. It's a real gem.”

Illick says he'll be working to improve employee morale and communication, something the county has been trying to address for several years. “I want to make sure the staff here are able to communicate not only with one another but with management in constructive ways.” A culture survey was performed back in 2008 to help address some of the issues librarians were having with management. A number of librarians had been demoted from higher paying jobs after demand had decreased from patrons.

That changing nature of the library's position is something else that Illick says he'll be working on, as the way people use the library shifts. “Even though we have more access to information than ever before, it's easy to drown in that information.” He says librarians need to shift from being the gatekeepers of knowledge to helping facilitate people finding what they need.

Illick is replacing outgoing director Phyllis Christensen who retired this year.

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