Director Ken Hall announces retirement plans
Fond du Lac Public Library Director Ken Hall has announced he will retire on July 27, 2012, completing 10 years with the library.
Hall has worked for more than 34 years in public libraries in Appleton, Wisconsin Rapids and Two Rivers. He was brought to Fond du Lac in 2002 to oversee the library’s massive expansion and renovation project.
“I have been exceedingly fortunate to finish my career in this community,” said Hall. “The library has received tremendous support from all quarters – government, businesses and the public. Thanks to the best library staff in the United States, we’ve been able to achieve a great deal in 10 years. I’m very proud to say I played a part in the further development of a very special institution.”
“Ken has been a true innovator in creating new ways to bring people into the library,” said library board President Lori Pain. “His ingenuity in working with an ever-shrinking budget while not sacrificing quality has been nothing short of amazing. I will miss him as a friend and as a colleague.”
During Hall’s tenure, the library evolved from a place where people primarily borrowed books to a community center dedicated to lifelong learning. Among his achievements, Hall:
- Oversaw the expansion and complete rebuilding of the main library
- Saw a 42 percent circulation growth in the past 10 years
- Started Fond du Lac Reads, an annual effort to encourage the community to read and discuss the same book
- Created the Opportunity Center, a free computer lab for persons seeking work
- Oversaw the library’s first branch expansion, FDLPL Express
- Created a system of library satellites, including Journeys at St. Agnes Hospital
Hall came to the Fond du Lac Library from the Winnefox Library System, where he was the system coordinator. He started his career in Appleton after receiving his Master’s of Library Science from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1981.
Hall has been a noteworthy contributor to the community, including serving as board president at the Fond du Lac United Way, serving on several Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership committees, including several years helping to build first the Fall Festival and then the Fondue Fest. He served on several committees for state Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning as well as the Wisconsin Library Association.
“Ken Hall is a Fond du Lac treasure,” said City Manager Tom Herre, who recently announced his decision to retire in May. “He thinks well beyond the needs of the library and consistently looks toward the greater good for our community. Ken’s good judgment and wise counsel have been invaluable to me during the challenging times we have faced while serving together.”
The independent library board is responsible for hiring the library director. While the library is a municipal entity, the library board administrates library management and oversight.