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updated: 2/22/2013 6:07 PM

Ruth Jonen: Candidate Profile

Schaumburg Township Library Board (4-year Terms) (Republican)

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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: Hoffman Estates

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Schaumburg Township Library Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 70

Family: Married, three sons, seven grandchildren

Occupation: Retired. Formerly employed as Director of Food Service for Township High School District 211 in Palatine (1980-2006)

Education: Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from University of Wisconsin/Stout, 1964.

Civic involvement: Former member and Chair of District 211 Foundation Board of Trustees; member of District 54's District Citizen's Advisory Committee; member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Elected offices held: Trustee, Schaumburg Township District Library, 1984-present.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Maintaining financial health of the Library while providing outstanding programs, services, and materials to the residents of Schaumburg Township.

Key Issue 2

Measuring and evaluating Library programs and services to ensure best utilization of resources and top-notch value to Township residents.

Key Issue 3

Ensuring that Library programs, services, and materials meet the needs of the changing demographics of our community.

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 am a firm believer in the value of Library services and the link to literacy and life-long learning. The Schaumburg Township District Library's history of excellence and financial stability are the result of the hard work and dedication of the Library staff and support of its Board of Trustees. Serving as a Trustee on a non-partisan, collegial Board is an honor and a way to contribute to my community.

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 have served several terms as Board President, including the search for and hire of new Library Director Stephanie Sarnoff. I believe my leadership in this area helped create a smooth transition after retirement of long-time Director Mike Madden. I have served as Chair of the Board's Personnel Committee for many years. I helped develop the process used to identify candidates for student trustee.

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

Yes; I have had one since we moved to Schaumburg Township in 1973. I use it at least twice 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.

We recently re-purposed space to create a state of art Teen Center (grandopening in November, 2012) that provides a rich tech invironment, study space, and materials exclusively for Teens. We have reorganized the collection to better serve patrons. Our technology resources (public access computers, data bases, etc.) are outstanding. We have public access computers at both branches. We have reduced the number of periodicals (magazines, etc.) purchased as many are more readily available on line. Back issues of magazines are now circulated instead of available for use in-house only. Reducing subscriptions to magazines makes it possible to utilize those dollars for other information options.

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 Library is the community's primary INFORMATION resource. We provide information in multiple forms; print, on-line, audito/visual, in person. The Library offers classes teaching various computer applications to patrons of all ages. We are proud to provide services to patrons with vision and hearing disabilities as well as outreach services to seniors. In a community with an increasing number of seniors, this is exceptionally valuable. It offers literacy classes to assist adults in learning English as well as basic reading skills. The Library subscribes to many data bases that allow patrons access to materials that would otherwise be unaffordable. The programs we sponsor offer tremendous learning opportunities to residents of all ages. The Library will continue to change to meet the needs of our community