She Knows: Library Services

Get to Know: Monica Dombrowski 

Company/Titles: Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District/Public Libraries/Library Director 

Location: Winnetka-Northfield Illinois 

Tell Us About Your Business/Job/Position: 

I’m a dynamic library leader overseeing a two-branch district serving 17,000+ residents in the villages of Winnetka and Northfield. 

Now do it in 6 words only: Dynamic library leader serving Winnetka-Northfield. 

How and why did you choose your current company? 

I had maximized my impact at my current role and was looking for my next-level opportunity. The team at Winnetka-Northfield needed a leader who encouraged collaboration and empowered staff to use their strengths and talents to grow library services. After speaking with staff, I felt I was the right leader for the organization and could help them move things forward on both a personal and an organizational level. 

Describe your role and the impact you hope to make. 

I am the primary advocate for staff resources, community connector, and face of the library. My vision is to build strong partnerships with our villages and area businesses and organizations so we can pool ideas and resources to provide a great quality of life for district residents. 

If you had an extra 5 hours a week to spend on your business, where would you invest the time? 

Working the public desks so I can get to know our patrons better! 

Give Us Your Wisdom 

What will you always spend business money/budget on? 

Personnel and benefits. 

What is a piece of advice that you have received or read that has stuck with you throughout phases of your career? 

When people aren’t performing, it is either a SKILL issue or a WILL issue and they need to be dealt with in very different ways. 

If you could save readers from one misstep, what would you share? 

Spend time building relationships with your people and showing them you care: it makes all the difference. 

Do you have an absolute favorite business tool or resource? 

My go-to book is The Power of Nice by Linda Kaplan Thayer and Robin Koval. 

Connecting Personally 

What is your personal favorite quote or life motto? 

What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it that you can never get back. 

Is there a pipe dream or bucket list item that you are willing to share? 

I’ve always wanted to travel to Europe. My husband and I booked a cruise there for 2023! 

What is the most significant/impactful purchase that you have made for under $100? 

Photos of my family. They keep me going and remind me of who I’m doing this for. 

Do you read or listen to anything on the regular? 

Of course, I’m a librarian! I’m an audiobook junkie because I’m always on the go. Your local public library has tons of stuff for free, so check them out! I’m also addicted to Dax Shepard’s podcast, “Armchair Experts.” 

What else should we know about you? 

I like to be outdoors, take walks with my hubby every morning to relieve my stress, build in time to daydream, and find spending time with my family and cats therapeutic. 

How can readers connect with you and follow your journey?  

LinkedIn 

Prequal Profiles are intended to capture the diverse stories of womxn in business to spread wisdom and create connections. If you would like to be considered for a future profile, please fill out our questionnaire here.

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