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updated: 2/22/2013 6:05 PM

Louise Barnett: Candidate Profile

Indian Trails Library Board (4-year Terms) (Independent)

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  • Louise Barnett, running for Indian Trails Library Board (4-year Terms)

    Louise Barnett, running for Indian Trails Library Board (4-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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Buffalo Grove

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Indian Trails Library Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 67

Family: Married, two children, 4 grandchildren

Occupation: Former English teacher, Children's librarian

Education: BA- Queens College CUNY MS- Queens College CUNY English/Secondary Education

Civic involvement: Congregation Beth Judea

Elected offices held: Indian Trails Public Library Trustee- 2009-present

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

At a time of limited economic resources for government institutions, I wish to provide energy and advocacy for Indian Trails Library and provide input in making decisions which will keep library services current and at a high level when demand is increasing and funding is not.

Key Issue 2

Recent research has confirmed that a capacity for learning is formed during the first few years of a child's life. I wish to continue to support and encourage early literacy programs for all children in the library district and to partner with other community organizations in this important role. I would also like to reinforce these programs with workshops for parents.

Key Issue 3

Rapidly changing technology changes the materials libraries purchase as well as the ways they share these materials and supply them to their patrons. I would like to continue to insure that Indian Trails stays current with the technology needs of its community at a time when these needs will challenge the library's budget.

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 wish to continue the progress Indian Trails has made in the last four years and to act on the mandate of our community which passed a referendum for the library's continued growth.

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.

The past four years have been quite productive at Indian Trails. I ran on a platform to promote early literacy and we have created a youth services department which no longer is merged with adult services. Providing specific staffing to serve our younger population has grown our reading clubs and our youth programming. In addition we have implemented a self-checkout technology which returns materials to the shelves much more quickly, providing better access for patrons The opening of a branch library in an area of our community which was underserved gives children and adults access to technology and library materials as never before. Finally, the hiring of our new director, David Seleb, has kept us moving in positve directions with an exciting management team that is looking toward the future with new technologies and great public service.

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

I have had a libray card since I moved to the community in 1979. Since I work at another library in our Northern suburbs I actually have two library cards that I use to check out materials regularly and my family downloads e-books as well. In addition, my library card allows me access from home to many wonderful databases.

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.

There is not one solution to the space problems at our library. The community has indicated in surveys that we have just completed that they want more quiet space and more space for meetings and library programs. We will be working shortly with an architect to see if we can better use the land and space that we currently have. Also we have been weeding the collection to make it more current. As new technologies come in, older ones, such as VCR's and audiotapes, have been replaced making readjustments to space needs. Both solutions have been discussed and need to be employed in the next four years.

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

Libraries are gathering places in the community as well as providers of library materials and technology. Our development of a long range plan involved surveying many different age groups and library users. They have told us what they want and the staff is currently setting goals and objectives to support the long range plan. A library remains relevent by listening to its users, having its staff involved in professional organizations where they can network, and by planning for the future. Keeping the infrastucture solid and the staff enthusiastic under the guidance of an effective director will allow the library to plan for change.