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updated: 2/23/2011 4:04 PM

Mary Ann Bretzlauf: Candidate Profile

Warren Newport library

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  • Mary Ann Bretzlauf, running for Warren Newport library

    Mary Ann Bretzlauf, running for Warren Newport library




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Grayslake

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Warren Newport library

Age: 56

Family: Married to Greg Bretzlauf; one son, Harold Bretzlauf

Occupation: Full time English professor at the College of Lake County

Education: AA in English, College of Lake County, 1994

BA in English, Summa Cum Laude, Carthage College, 1997

MA in English, Northwestern University, 2000

graduate coursework in literacy and reading, Northern Illinois University, currently enrolled

Civic involvement: Voter registrar

Volunteer at Warren-Newport Public Library

Campaign volunteer for local and national candidates

Elected offices held: none

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

The most important campaign issue is continuing to provide outstanding service to WNPL patrons while addressing serious budget challenges in Illinois.

Key Issue 2

Another important issue is listening to concerns from both patrons and employees. These concerns should shape the library's responses so patrons have the programs they want and employees are retained and rewarded for their fine work.

Key Issue 3

Currently the library is being remodeled; overseeing this new contruction and planning for possible future growth is very important.

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?

I grew up with weekly trips to the Waukegan Public Library; having access to books, being able to read as much as I desired . . . without my community library, I would not be who I am today. I feel a community can be assessed by the vibrancy of its public library. Warren Newport Public Library has been at the forefront of innovative services. I'd like to work more closely in planning and supporting these efforts. I want to assure that anyone who has the desire to read and learn always has a place at their library.

If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of important initiatives you've led. If you are a non-incumbent, tell us what contributions you would make.

Because I am both a library patron and a former employee, I believe I can listen and respond to concerns from both perspectives. I'm committed to learning about the business of managing my library and bringing my community perspective to bear on Board decisions. As a teacher, I recognize the importance of students having access to academic materials in addition to popular best-sellers. Our library can and should strive to serve all constituents of the district.

Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?

Yes, I have a library card; I wouldn't be without one! I don't remember when I was able to get my first card in Waukegan, probably when I was about 5 years old (I remember the library in the old Carnegie Building). I use my Warren Newport library card less frequently, perhaps monthly, because I use the library at the College of Lake County nearly every day.

Space is usually an issue at libraries. If that's the case at your library, would your solution be to expand the physical plant or make room by doing away with parts of the collection that technology has made less critical? Explain.

Current construction will address issues of space for the near future. Should this issue arise again, a close examination of circulation records could reveal some areas that may be selected for removal. However, if this material is available in another format, online, for example, that might be a way to compromise issues of space and still provide access.

What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?

Patrons look to libraries to lead in areas of technology. When many families did not have computers, libraries built computer labs for word processing and Internet access. Of course, new technology is expensive, but the cost is necessary if libraries are to remain relevant and vibrant. It's not enough to just provide new technology, e-books, for example. Libraries will be expected to educate the public about how to use these new technologies. In times of economic challenges, our libraries are even more important as resources for families, students, and professionals. I only see libraries becoming more vital to individuals with less free time and less disposable income.