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After 28 years' leadership, Allen County Public Library director will retire

Krull oversaw expansions and many changes

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 12:43 pm

After a generation of expanding and transforming the Allen County Public Library system, Director Jeffrey R. Krull will retire Sept. 1.

Krull's retirement was announced by Martin Seifert, president of the library's board of trustees. “The future is bright for our library, in large part because of Jeff's leadership, and we want to ensure that legacy for all of us,” Seifert said in announcing Krull's retirement. Seifert said the library will conduct a nationwide search for a replacement.

Here are some measures of how much the library and its branches have changed since 1986, when Krull became director.

*The library's first computerization project was implemented in 1987, automating the cataloging, acquisitions, and circulation systems, and creating the library's first online catalog. Since then the library has been a leader in providing innovative and leading-edge services using the latest new technologies.

*Circulation of library materials almost quadrupled during Krull's 28 years of leadership, from 2.8 million in 1986 to 10.7 million in 2013. In the same time, entirely new formats, such as ebooks, downloadable audiobooks and digitized books from the Genealogy Center and Lincoln collections, have been added to the library's holdings. Attendance at all library locations increased from 1,982,396 in 1995 to 2,615,890 in 2013.

*The library system is more extensive now. Two new branch libraries, Aboite and Dupont, were built and opened to the public in 1990, bringing the total number of branches to 13.

*After winning the strong support of Allen County residents in a 2001 campaign, the main library was expanded and renovated, adding 127,000 square feet of space. Eleven of the library's 13 branches were rebuilt, relocated, expanded or renovated. At $85 million, this was the largest public construction project in the history of Allen County.

*The library's Genealogy Center, has been enhanced and expanded, remaining the second-largest genealogical research library in the country. Also early in Krull's tenure, the Periodicals Source Index, the world's only index to genealogical periodical literature, was developed and introduced in 1987.

*In 2009 the library successfully secured custody of the library materials and photograph collection of the Lincoln Museum.

*The library established a collaboration with TekVenture to introduce the “maker movement” to library patrons and the community. The first library Maker Labs for public use were introduced in 2013-2014.

*The library raised $1.5 million in private contributions in 1987 to endow the Allen County Public Library Foundation. Since then the Foundation has grown steadily and has assets of nearly $14 million, making it one of the largest public library foundations in the country.

Krull, a native of North Tonawanda, N.Y., received his bachelor's degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in 1970, majoring in English and economics. He received his masters in library science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1974.

He had been director of the Mansfield-Richland County, Ohio, Public Library from when he was appointed director of the Allen County Public Library Public Library in April 1986.