Jim Deiters and Alex Todd combine for over 50 years of experience working in city, village and district libraries throughout northern Illinois; including 25 years of experience leading libraries as their director.
Both Jim and Alex come from library families. Jim's mother was director at the Tinley Park Public Library while Alex's dad was director at the Fountaindale Public Library District. Although neither saw themselves as librarians when they were young, the profession's calling was ultimately too strong to resist.
Jim and Alex met through the Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois (LACONI). As partners in its leadership circle, they oversaw a successful restructuring of LACONI's popular salary survey . The two paired up again as co-chairs of ILA's Advocacy Committee. During their tenure, they helped rewrite the committee's charter, implemented an annual work calendar and increased the number and quality of advocacy-related programs and workshops offered at ILA's annual conference, Reaching Forward and other regional and statewide events.
Alex began his career with the Fountaindale Public Library District in 1996. He was hired as the director of the Sycamore Public Library in 1998 before becoming the Head of Adult Services of the Prospect Heights Public Library District (PHPLD) in 2001. Alex has been PHPLD's Executive Director since 2012.
Alex went through school on an ROTC scholarship and spent 20 years in the Army Reserves. The leadership training and experience he gained from this service has formed the basis of his leadership philosophy.
Alex has served as the President of LACONI and of the Cooperative Computer Services (CCS) consortium. He's also chaired the Reference Services Forum, Intellectual Freedom Committee and co-chaired the Advocacy Committee for ILA.
Alex enjoys mentoring new library directors. He hosts a budget workshop every spring where new library district directors are invited to learn the general budget and levy process and to ask questions about the most important process they oversee.
Alex has spoken at regional workshops for LACONI and Area Training for Libraries and Staff (ATLAS) as well as ILA, Reaching Forward, PLA and ALA.
Jim did not want to follow in his parents’ footsteps and be either a high school teacher or a librarian. Well, after teaching high school for 3 years, he’s spent the past 23 years as a librarian. His library career began in Palos Heights before he became Director at the Blue Island Public Library in 2008 and then Director at the Oak Lawn Public Library in 2012.
Jim has served as a director in both a city and village library, giving him valuable insight into the unique challenges boards of those organizations face.
Jim has developed an outstanding reputation among suburban libraries over his career thanks to his service on the board of the System Wide Automated Network (SWAN) and as president of LACONI. He is well known and liked among librarians state wide as well thanks to his co-chairing the annual Director’s University and work on several ILA committees.
Jim has spoken at regional and state-wide conferences on library budgeting, policy development, advocacy and other topics critical to any library’s success.