George Goldstein: Candidate Profile
Vernon Area Library Board (6-year Terms)
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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Vernon Area Library Board (6-year Terms)
Family: Wife: Nancy. Married 26 Years. Son: Ari. 24 years old. Graduated University of Michigan. Teach for America, Special Education, San Francisco, CA. Extended, still teaching Spec Ed inner city San Francisco.
Occupation: Physician, Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, Throat), retired. My office was in Libertyville, IL.
Education: M.D. University of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln College of Medicine, Chicago, IL M.B.A. Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Evanston, IL
Civic involvement: Vernon Area Public Library District Board of Trustees, 1989-present. Library Board President 2001-2007, 2011-2013. Lake County Medical Society, 1980-2000. Lake County Medical Society President, 1989-1990. Illinois State Medical Society, 1980-2000. Delegate from Lake County Medical Society to Illinois State Medical Society House of Delegates 1983-2000.
Elected offices held: Vernon Area Library District Board Trustee, 1989-2013.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
We must keep the library current and relevant. We have to have the technology--both the hard- and the soft- ware--to run the business of the library. We also have to have the technology--hard- and soft- ware--as well as print, electronic, and audiovisual materials, programs and classes that matter to our patrons. We must invest in our staff making sure that they have opportunities for continuing education so that they can stay current and relevant in their fields.
Key Issue 2
We must make sure that the Library is properly funded. We have a fiduciary responsibility to the Library and the Community to make sure the Library has the funds it needs to fulfill its mission but not so much that it puts an undue burden on its tax payers. During the recent severe economic downturn, the Board made sure to keep the Library's levy unchanged for 3 years so as to minimize the chance that anyone's Library tax would increase.
Key Issue 3
As times change, the services that libraries provide change. We have to make sure that our building adapts to support the delivery of these new services. Our patrons have already noted the improvements brought about by Phase I of our renovation. We are now entering Phase II of our renovation which will bring about even more changes to further enhance our delivery of services. In addition, our 20 year old building will soon be needing replacement of major systems, e.g. HVAC, which are reaching the end of their life expectancy.
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 love our library. It is a center of our community. I first ran for the Library Board when the library was located in the small building on Indian Creek. The Library was at a juncture point. Did it want to remain a small library or did it want to grow to meet the needs of a growing community? I wanted to be involved in that decision process. I was elected to the Board. We decided to grow. We continue to decide to grow. The growth has not been by building, but by delivering services in better and smarter ways.
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 special contributions you could make.
I was Chairperson of the Building Committee which led to our Facility on Olde Half Day Road. I was the Library Board's liaison with the State of Illinois on our DCEO grant for renovation of the old library building for new uses. I was the first Library Board President to attend American Library Association meetings and served on an American Library Association affiliated organization board.
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 moved to Lincolnshire in 1978 and got my library card shortly thereafter. I'm a library regular, being there 1 or 2 times a week.
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.
Space is always an issue. That's why we?re doing our renovation. We did some weeding of our collection before the renovation began. Most of the items removed from the collection were titles of which we had multiple copies and titles which had not circulated in at least 3 years. Also removed were reference resources that were replaced by electronic resources.
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 economy has had an impact on libraries, ours included. We are a District Library which levies its own taxes. We have been cognizant of the financial hardship families have been suffering. We have not wanted to add to their hardship by increasing the library levy. Our levy has been flat for 3 years. Technology, with the internet, the e-reader, etc. has led many people to predict the end of libraries. Yet, we?ve been busier than ever. These technologic changes are just new ways to deliver information. Information is the business of libraries, and librarians are the information professionals. At our Library, Computer sessions average almost 7000 per month, and website and Social Media statistics grow by leaps and bounds. Technologic changes have meant that some multivolume reference sets now come as online resources. For the user, this means that instead of using an unwieldy multitome item that is probably not current by the time it is put on our shelf, he/she is seeing something that is up-to-date and much more user-friendly. An added benefit for the Library, is freed up shelf space. The Library is constantly adding online data bases. How does the Library remain relevant: please see answer to Campaign issue #1. Our role in the community is to provide items of general interest and to support the schools. Our Adult Service Librarians work hard to get to know the community so they can select books and periodicals; electronic, audiovisual, software and foreign language materials; programs and classes to meet the needs of our diverse community. Our Youth and Young Adult Service Librarians meet with teachers in the schools in our district to learn what materials in various formats we'll need to support the students? curricula. If, and as, these needs change, we will re-evaluate the situation and adapt as needed so that we remain current and relevant.
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