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updated: 3/2/2011 12:22 PM

Erin Van Der Bosch: Candidate Profile

Algonquin Area library

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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: Algonquin

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Algonquin Area library

Age: 46

Family: Married, 4 children

Occupation: Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Science in Advertising, University of Illinois-Urbana, 1987

Masters of Arts Teaching/Early Childhood Education, National-Louis University, 2010

Civic involvement: Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

Elected offices held: Trustee, Algonquin Area Public Library, 1999-2001, 2003-present

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I believe that it is important to keep the library district on a path of fiscal responsibility. These are difficult economic times. It is important that the board of trustees continue to monitor the budget carefully, so we can continue to provide the materials, programs and services that our library users want and need.

Key Issue 2

Budget problems in the state of Illinois have led to the collapse of the North Suburban Library System. The Algonquin Area Public Library, and many others, depended on this for inter-library loans. I think that this is a very important service and will work with the board if re-elected to make our library's voice heard in the process of developing a new way to provide it.

Key Issue 3

Technology will only become more and more integrated into all that we do. I want to see the library stay in the forefront in the use of technology for our patrons.

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?

In addition to the issues mentioned above, I want to be re-elected because I think that this is an exciting time for the Algonquin Area Public Library District. The library has a new director, and I am looking forward to working with her to develop new ideas for the 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.

I feel that one of my major accomplishments on the board was my work to help get the referendum passed that enabled us to operate the branch library on Eastgate Drive. I went door to door speaking with library district residents about the value of a branch for our whole community, but especially for residents on the east side of the district. I have also worked with the board to be fiscally conservative with the library budget over my tenure. I think that is one of the reasons that the Algonquin Area Public Library District is in sound financial shape at a time when many other libraries are facing big budget problems.

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

I have an Algonquin Area library card for almost 16 years, since I moved into the library district in 1995. I use it at least once per month.

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.

The main library was designed and built with the idea that it could be expanded from the back if necessary. Although the building is not currently suffering a space crisis, it could in the near future. I don't believe that it makes sense at this time, given current economic conditions, to think about expanding the physical plant. I think that it would be smarter to consolidate the collection to make space if necessary. Many things are now available in a digital format that doesn't require physical shelf space. I think that our staff is already doing a good job here and one example of this would be the selection of online databases that the library provides for patron use.

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

Economic and technological changes impact the library most in terms of information and services that the library district can provide. New technology has changed the way we receive information and offers new formats. However, it is expensive to keep up with technology too. A downturn in the economy historically results in an increase in library users, so that is good for the library. Falling housing values and sales taxes can hurt the library budget, so those events must be planned for in order to avoid cutting programs and services.

The library will always be relevant first as a source of literature, information and learning. The library is also an important community meeting place for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills. The library's role in the community should change as needed to reflect the needs of its patrons.