Nadia Sheikh: Candidate Profile
Carol Stream Library Board (4-year Terms)
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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.
City: Carol Stream
Office sought: Carol Stream Library Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Married, 1 child.
Occupation: Currently, I am putting my career on hold as a healthcare administrator to raise my one-year-old daughter.
Education: Masters in Health Administration & Certificate in Management of Ambulatory Care Systems from the University of Southern California, School of Policy, Planning, and Development(USC) B.S. in Neuroscience from the Univ. of California, Los Angeles(UCLA)
Civic involvement: Member of the Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library Member of the Carol Stream Woman's Club Almost Home Kids Center Volunteer (a respite center for medically fragile children) Information Connections Volunteer (a website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases with a special focus on autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, Down syndrome, and brain injury) USC Midwest Alumni Club Wheaton Franciscan Prayer Shawl Ministry Free Mobile Health Clinic Volunteer University of Minnesota YMCA Academic/Peer Counselor Bilingual Teacher's Aid Battered Women's Clinic Intervention Project/Crisis Line Advocate
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
It is important to elect board members who accurately represent the Carol Stream community and who do not have any conflicts of interests while serving on the library board. A library trustee should be a representative of the entire Carol Stream community and not just cater to the interests of extreme political groups. Therefore, vacancies on the board should be filled by qualified library supporters, not personal friends or family members. How can having more than one member from the same household on the board be an accurate representation of our community? It also troubles me that two current board members have significant others who have brought litigation against the library. Is this not a conflict of interest?
Key Issue 2
Taxpayer dollars should be spent on library services to the community and not on legal fees and lawsuits. Currently, the legal fees resulting from library board actions are taking away the focus from the library and services it could be offering to constituents. In a recent article, one board member falsely stated that the Support the Library candidates want to "tax the life out of you". It is an outrageous statement that has no basis in fact from any segment of the Support the Library platform. In January, 2013, the residents of the Village of Carol Stream had to endure a frivolous lawsuit to remove 5 candidates (myself included) from the April 9, 2013 ballot. This action ultimately cost the Village several thousand dollars. I believe that the residents of Carol Stream should have the right to decide on the qualifications of candidates for the board.
Key Issue 3
The main focus of the library board should be promoting and expanding resources and services that will benefit all members of our community. From youth services to our senior population, all patrons deserve an advocate on the board.
Do you support the board's decision to put the library's Kuhn Road property on the market? Would you support a sale or lease of the property? Would you ever support construction of a new library in the village?
I was disappointed when the Kuhn Road property was put on the market because I see that land as a real investment for our community that should not be sold at this time when house and property values are so low. Instead, I support exploring options in which the library retains ownership of the land for the time being so that it might be used for public purposes such as a partnership with the park district.
What specifically will you do to improve the working relationship among board members?
As library trustee, I will always promote teamwork and mutual respect among board members. After all, trustees are elected by the people to serve their interests, not our own. The library has a 50 year tradition of service to this community. Lately, there has been too much negative attention on the library board and its individual members and not enough attention on what matters: positive library advocacy. I have a positive attitude and strong leadership skills to take on challenging projects. The ability to manage time effectively, remain organized, and juggle numerous tasks simultaneously has been vital in my previous roles.
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?
This is my second time running for public office. Community service is a virtue that is too often overlooked in today's busy world. I feel blessed to live in Carol Stream. My motivation for running for library trustee comes from my belief that personal satisfaction comes from working for and with other people toward mutually established goals. I believe that accountability and transparency are very important qualities to have in a leader. I promise to always listen to the needs of our constituents and be an enthusiastic advocate for our library within our region and at the state level. I will participate actively in meetings and other library activities and always promote our library. I will stay up-to-date on current local, state, and federal laws impacting the library and be informed of budgetary goals. In addition, I will seek funding to support library services and articulate our needs to local and state government officials. One of the reasons that public service is so appealing to me is the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds. I believe that the library board should represent the diverse economic and cultural backgrounds of the residents of Carol Stream so that trustees can best serve the needs and interests of all residents and not just special interest groups. I believe that my qualifications along with my drive and enthusiasm would make me a good fit for the established expectations of a trustee on the library board.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
Yes, five years. Upon moving to Carol Stream in 2007, one of the first things I did was hurry to the library to sign up for my library card. I am an avid reader and donate my read books to the library. 'the single most important factor influencing a child's early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school" (The Commission on Reading, National Institute of Education, 1985). I visit our library at least two to three times a week with my daughter and we check out books and enjoy participating in the "Tot Time" classes. I have met so many great parents and caregivers through these programs and have built everlasting friendships. I also attend the Bloomingdale and Bartlett library youth services programs. As library trustee, I will provide the library board with valuable insight into current trends in surrounding libraries.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
The Internet has revolutionized how we obtain information. However, libraries should not be neglected as they offer so many benefits to our community. Libraries provide access to countless books, periodicals, subscriptions to newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, CD?s, and DVD's that most likely would not be available to residents without the library. All of these and other services are free of charge to library card-holding patrons. According to the American Library Association,Public libraries are the number one point of online access for people without Internet connections at home, school, or work?. In times of economic uncertainty, a library is a very comforting place to go for resources and for a quiet atmosphere. Libraries also offer many valuable programs such as reading programs, story hours, crafts, movies, and speakers for our adult and youth population. For people re-entering the workforce or those looking for a career change, the library is an excellent resource. I would like to see our library continue to flourish and offer services that are relevant to today's society. It will be important to promote and expand digital and electronic resources for all members of the community.
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