The Mahomet Library Board of Trustees is pleased to welcome our new library director, John Howard. John will be replacing Lynn Schmit, who is retiring on December 31. The two will work together beginning Monday, November 26, to ensure the transition is a smooth one for our library and its patrons.
John comes to us most recently from the Farmington Area Public Library near Peoria, where he has spent the past two years as Library Director, overseeing continued and sustained increases in library usage, item circulation, and program attendance.
After studying Music Education and Business at Drake University (his major instrument was the clarinet), John began his working career with two decades of work in fundraising, primarily for the Catholic Church. But his love of libraries, established during his Davenport, Iowa childhood, came back to the forefront and he began a series of library roles that ultimately led him to earn his Master’s Degree in Library Science and begin his work in Farmington.
John and his wife, also a part-time public library employee and a school librarian, have five children aged 17 to 25. An avid reader, John also finds time to participate in community theatre. His most recent role in a summer production of Newsies at the Cornstock Theatre in Peoria, was especially fun because his daughter was also in the cast.
With over ten years of experience in libraries, John’s message to Mahomet reflects his passion for the role of the public library in the community and is apparent to all who meet him: “I believe that the role of the library in the community is changing, but that it remains necessary and relevant. Libraries today offer access to information and technology, are advocates for literacy and lifelong learning, and are more and more at the center of the communities they serve. I am excited about the opportunity to lead a great library like Mahomet Public Library, and to continue finding ways of making Mahomet the best community in Central Illinois.”