A library system leader for more than a decade on the North Olympic Peninsula, Margaret Jakubcin has decided to call it a career.
Jakubcin, Library Director for the North Olympic Library System for the past 13 years, announced her retirement earlier this month and will retire in the summer of 2020, the system’s board of trustees said on Dec. 13.
Jakubcin confirmed her retirement date with the trustees earlier that week and then notified library staff in individual meetings and in an email on Dec. 12.
“My thirteen-year journey with NOLS has been a remarkable adventure, full of many personal and professional satisfactions, as well as some painful defeats,” Jakubcin said in a press release.
“I am proud to have been a part of this organization’s growth and transformation, and honored to have served alongside NOLS’ hardworking, creative, and caring staff.”
She added, “I look forward to enjoying an active retirement, and having more time to pursue long-deferred personal and family interests.”
North Olympic Library System (NOLS) officials will be conducting a nationwide recruitment to select the next Library Director, they said last week. The board is currently developing an executive recruitment plan and hope to make the hire by June.
Growing community programs
Jakubcin was initially hired as the North Olympic Library System’s (NOLS) Assistant Director in September of 2007 and promoted to the position of Library Director in July of 2014.
Prior to moving to Clallam County, she worked for public library systems serving other Washington state and Oregon rural communities.
“Margaret has been an outstanding library director,” said Betty Gordon, a NOLS trustee representing the Sequim-Dungeness area.
“Her commitment to the core philosophies of the public library has shaped the vision that has moved the library forward, and her skilled management, high energy, and hard work have combined to guide NOLS on a continuing upward trajectory,” Gordon said. “Margaret’s leadership has provided just what NOLS’ outstanding staff has needed to thrive and accomplish the incredible work they do.”
Library officials noted a number of initiatives and the development of an array of services and program opportunities for all ages under Jakubcin’s leadership. They include: Summer Reading Program offerings; Community Read events; the Art in the Library program; DIY, tech and skills training classes, and numerous author and musical events.
The program developments, library officials note, were in part to expand the system’s role as a kind of “community hub” through innovative use of library rooms for activities that bring the community into the library, often partnering with local schools, agencies, tribes, nonprofits, businesses and community groups.
During Jakubcin’s tenure the library has expanded its reach in the community to include Tiny Olympic Libraries and Read and Ride collections, while inside the branches — including Sequim, Port Angeles, Forks and Clallam Bay — offerings have made sizable additions in digital resources as well as non-traditional collections like the Seed Library, and circulating “NOLS gear” such as telescopes, birding kits and musical instruments.
Between 2014-2018 Jakubcin led the Sequim Future Library planning project, seeking solutions to the aging infrastructure and overcrowding issues at the Sequim branch. The majority of voters approved a measure that would have paid for a $12.4 million expansion of the Sequim facility in the November 2018 general election, but failed to reach the required 60 percent super-majority benchmark to pass (it received 58.68 percent).
NOLS board chair Jennifer Pelikan said one of the key areas of growth under Jakubcin’s leadership has been “the development and articulation of fiscal management policies, practices, and reporting protocols that have enhanced the Board’s ability to be efficient and transparent in managing the library’s public resources.”