Staff Profile

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Jill Lininger

Public Library

Henry Ward Beecher once said “a library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life.” In Oak Creek, our library plays an important role in not only giving our residents access to 300,000 different items to check out, but in providing a link between those items and the community. Jill Lininger, our Library Director, has been on the job officially one year this October, making her a perfect choice for October’s employee profile.

Jill, her husband Matt, and 4 year old son Alex, are also Oak Creek residents, and she values that community connection in her work at the library. “I love working in the community where I live… my job is different every day, meeting all kinds of people, and it really is a social job as well. Oak Creek is becoming a big city, but it still feels like a small town.” Jill grew up in Union Grove, Wisconsin, and working in a library is truly in her bloodline, as her mother is the Library Director in Union Grove. Coming to Oak Creek after working as a children’s librarian for the city of Racine, Jill sees the role of our library as a gathering place for all ages, where the experience should be about more than simply checking out a book, seeking an ever-increasing role for programs and events to engage our residents.

With a new library scheduled to be opened in the fall of 2014, Jill has worked with the Friends of the Library campaign to provide financial and volunteer support to the library, but also served on the steering committee for the new library, and most recently helped with the selection of an architect for the library project. She cites her staff as one of the reasons why she loves her job. “ We have 22 employees, 5 who are full-time, and it’s a great team environment here. We are always willing to help our residents pick their next book, or point them in the right direction.”

In 2009, Jill won the Wisconsin Library Association's HighSmith Award for her creation of the "Ruff Readers" therapy dog program, which matched children struggling to read with dogs, giving them an opportunity to practice their reading skills, but also to get over their fear of dogs. Handlers were on hand to make sure that the children were able to safely interact with the animals.

Jill and her staff have an upcoming Halloween Family Night event at the Oak Creek library on October 30th from 6-8:00pm. It’s free to the public and will feature stories, crafts, games, and snacks. For more information on the Friends of the Library program, go to www.oakcreeklibrary.org.

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