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NLW Staff Profile: Ralph I.

Ralph Illick

April 11, 2016

Marathon County Public Library is extending our observance of National Library Week (April 10-16) throughout the month of April by highlighting our employees through a series of staff profiles! Now through April 30, learn a little bit about the personnel at our nine MCPL locations, and feel free to give them a friendly "hello" next time you see them!

Name: Ralph I.
Job title: Library Director
MCPL Location: Wausau Headquarters
Time Worked at MCPL: 5 years
What are some of your main job responsibilities?
My duties include the oversight of all operations and personnel, as well as policy development.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Man, Economy, and State by Murray Rothbard.
What book transformed you, your way of thinking or of viewing the world? How did it change you?
Illusions by Richard Bach has probably been the most influential book that I’ve ever read. It opened my mind to the idea that we all come to this planet to learn something we need to learn, and that the possibilities are infinite.  
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy seeing people connect with information that will be of value to them, whether it be a child with a new picture book or an adult who wants to learn or experience something new.
What is your ideal vacation? Where would you go and what would you do there?
Any vacation with my wife is wonderful. We plan to visit New York City, to take in some shows, shop a little (for her), and enjoy some great restaurants. Of course, a visit to the New York Public Library will also be on the itinerary.

How do you think MCPL will continue to transform in the future?
Libraries are facing the same challenges everywhere. We have to provide resources that meet the needs of the communities we serve and do so within the constraints of the available funding and resources. As we evolve, we have to continue to utilize the new and emerging forms of technology that our patrons are using while still providing the more traditional formats for storing and retrieving information as well. Given the difficulty of predicting twenty or thirty years ago what today’s library would be like, I can only speculate that the evolution of libraries will continue to be dynamic and unpredictable. I would expect to see a continued expansion of formats for various media. However, I can only guess how long it might be before a hologram of the author might join us in our living room to read their books to us!

National Library Week Library Staff Libraries

image credit: Image by Marathon County Public Library staff.