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Joliet Library Director Retires, Passes Torch to Successor

New director has expertise and an eye towards technology.

On Monday afternoon, as Dianne Harmon and Kevin Medows addressed the media on Harmon's last day as Library Director, Harmon's middle son waxed nostaligic about growing up as her son.

"Libraries and books, these really have been really important to her," Matthew Harmon said of his mom.

When Matthew Harmon was a child, his mom was at the Shorewood-Troy Library and he and his siblings could ride their bikes to visit their mom at work.

Dianne Harmon said her kids would come out and eat lunch with her. When she moved to the downtown branch of the Joliet Library they were initially devastated.

"In their minds, it was a long way away," she said.

To acclimate her kids with the new location, Dianne Harmon arranged a tour of the downtown building and the kids thought that was pretty cool.

Dianne Harmon retired Monday after 24 years in area libraries.

"It's time for me to turn it over," she said. "I envy Kevin (Medows) taking over as director now because there are very exciting times ahead."

Medow has been at the Joliet Public Library since May as the deputy director. Although the library board conducted an extensive interview, Dianne Harmon said they chose to move Medows into the director position. He is thrilled at the opportunity.

"I couldn't be more excited," Medows said.

Most recently, Medows came from Warren-Newport Public Library District in Gurnee. He holds master's degrees in Library and Information Science and Music Theory. He has worked as in academic libraries and public libraries.

With the torch being passed over, the library will host an open house from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Black Road branch, 3395 Black Road. Both Dianne Harmon and Medows will be availble to meet. The public is invited and refreshments will be served. 

Editor's Note: The spelling of a name has been corrected. Patch regrets the error.

Jim Harmon January 08, 2013 at 04:29 PM
I am Dianne's husband. One day,thirty some years ago, I came home from work, my wife told me..."I've volunteered to shelve books at the Shorewood Library. I don't have anyone over three foot tall to talk to all day". Well, I can truthfully say my wife has come a long way from a part time volunteer at the Shorewood Public Library and has had lots of people over three foot tall to talk to. I am truly amazed and grateful to having been blessed to be married to this amazing woman for the past 47+ years. Jim Harmon
Allen Lanham January 09, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Congratulations, Dianne. Thanks for all your work for patrons, libraries and ILA. Have a blast in retirement, you deserve it. Allen Lanham

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