Board of Trustees

The Waukegan Public Library is a component unit of the City of Waukegan. It is governed by a nine member board who are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Waukegan and approved by the City Council.  Annually, before the first of July, the Mayor shall appoint or re-appoint three trustees.

It is the duty of each of the members of the Board of Trustees to carry out the spirit and intent of the Illinois Local Library Act in maintaining a public library and for providing library service to the residents of the city.The regular monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees of the Waukegan Public Library are held at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room on the third Wednesday of each month, unless otherwise noted.

For further information regarding the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, please contact Richard Lee, Executive Director, at 847-623-2041, ext. 250, or at


The Board of Trustees

Jesus Ruíz
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2012-2017
Current Board Position: President

Jesus Ruíz has been a citizen of Waukegan for over 20 years. He is a proud graduate of Waukegan High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Loyola University Chicago. He recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Jesus is the Vice-President of the Latino Coalition of Lake County and is currently working at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science as a Community Relations and Special Projects Officer.

David Villalobos
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2016-2019
Current Board Position:  Treasurer

David Villalobos is the current 4th Ward Alderman for the City of Waukegan.  David also works for Waukegan School District 60 as a substitute teacher primarily at the two high school campuses.  David previously worked at the Waukegan Public Library from 2007 to 2013 in the positions of Reference Desk Assistant, Program Coordinator, Event Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, and Outreach Coordinator.

David’s volunteer work has kept him engaged in Waukegan in various fields.  Organizations that David volunteers with are Clean Power Lake County, GreenTOWN Urban Farms (board member), Little Fort Lions Club, and Waukegan Main Street.  Also, David has recently joined the advisory committees for Waukegan Township’s Staben House and College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus.  David’s past volunteer experiences were with the Latino Coalition of Lake County (board member), F.I.S.T. (Former Inmates Striving Together), and Waukegan 2 College.

David is a second generation Waukeganite and proud graduate of Waukegan High School class of 1999 and University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign class of 2005.  David believes that community engagement is critical for the City of Waukegan and recognizes that the Waukegan Public Library is a key component to community engagement.  David is honored to be a trustee and hopes to bring about a synergy between the City of Waukegan, Waukegan Public Library, and the residents that will move Waukegan forward to a brighter future.

Claudia Freeman
Term of office as Library Trustee:  2014-2018
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Claudia Freeman was born and raised in Waukegan and over the years has spent many hours at the Carnegie Library, as well as, the library in its current location.  She is a product of the Waukegan school system, is a graduate of Waukegan High School and has degrees in the field of Parks and Recreation Administration from George Williams College and Aurora University.  Claudia is currently the Superintendent of Cultural Arts for the Waukegan Park District and she also sits on the board of the Waukegan Arts Council.  Prior to returning to employment in Waukegan, she was the Recreation Supervisor for the Gurnee Park District.  Ms. Freeman is a strong advocate for the arts and arts education. She sees literacy as vital to the growth and the strength of any community and she will advocate for a strong literacy program through the Waukegan Public Library.

Erick Rivera
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2015-2018
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Erick Rivera has been a resident of  Waukegan for over twenty years. He attended the Waukegan Public school system, and is a proud graduate of the Waukegan High School. After graduating from Waukegan High, he attended DeVry University, where he obtained  his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has been a volunteer of many organizations in Waukegan, such as the Waukegan Park District and Waukegan Main Street.  During his free time, Erick enjoys playing the bass guitar and spending time with family and friends.

John Stein
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2008-2017
Current Board Position: Vice President

John Stein is originally from Arizona and has resided in Waukegan since 2004. After grad school, he worked for Motorola for a number of years. He currently is an engineer for an Illinois based medical device company. He believes literacy is a key component a person needs to have in their set of skills in today’s working environment. Besides his engineering background, John has a strong financial and economic background. He has served on several other boards over the last 15 years. John enjoys woodworking, returning his historic home more towards its original state, and records live music performances.

Mary Stickels
Term of office as Library Trustee:  2015-2017
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Mary Stickels has worked in the office of the Lake County Recorder of Deeds for 18 years. Before this, she worked in the private sector, as a Service Manager for Jewel Foods, for a cleaning company for both businesses and private homes (which she started herself!), as an assistant to the VP and an administrative assistant to the Human Resources Manager for a company that did actuarial benefit planning for major corporations, and she also was an assistant to the Marketing Manager for a company involved in credit card development and account services. Mary has a strong work ethic and superb customer service skills that have proved invaluable in all of the positions she has held in her working career, and it is these same skill sets that make her an asset to the Board of Trustees. Mary is no stranger to the Board, as she previously held the positions of both Trustee and President. She says, without hesitation, that her time on the Board “was a wonderful and gratifying experience” and that she is looking forward to lending her support to Richard Lee, the library’s Executive Director.

Jennifer Nydia Salazar
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2016-2019
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Jennifer Salazar was born and raised in Waukegan to parents of Mexican and Ecuadorian origin.  Growing up in Waukegan, the Waukegan Public Library was one of her favorite destinations, especially the bookmobile!  She is a proud Waukegan High School graduate, and in 2013 she graduated Cum Laude from DePaul University with a B.A. in Psychology.  After graduation, she became an AmeriCorps VISTA.  Through this position she took a one year vow of poverty and completed her service for United Way of Lake County working with various schools and service projects.  She is now the program coordinator for Waukegan Township Park Place, as well as the administrative assistant for the Coalition to reduce Recidivism.  Jennifer loves working with first generation students and has true pride in the Waukegan community.

Sylvia England
Term of office as Library Trustee: 2016-2019
Current Board Position:  Trustee

Professional biography to follow