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updated: 2/22/2013 6:04 PM

Thomas Perkins: Candidate Profile

Bartlett Library Board (6-year Terms)

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  • Thomas Perkins, running for Bartlett Library Board (6-year Terms)

    Thomas Perkins, running for Bartlett 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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Bartlett

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Bartlett Library Board (6-year Terms)

Age: 64

Family: Married

Occupation: Retired History and Government teacher

Education: BA in Education from Elmhurst College, 71 MA in History from NIU in DeKalb, 78

Civic involvement: Bartlett Historical Society since 1983, Bartlett Centennial Celebration Commissioner 1990-1991, Bartlett Zoning Board of Appeals 1990-2000, Volunteer at First Division Museum at Cantigny since 1992, Bartlett Public Library District Foundation since 2000.

Elected offices held: Bartlett Public Library District Trustee since 2000. Have been elected Vice President and President.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

As a Bartlett Public Library District Trustee, I hope to continue to providing the best in Library services for the Bartlett community while keeping the Library financially healthy.

Key Issue 2

Maintaining the relevance of the Library to the expanding needs of the community.

Key Issue 3

Continuing to provide a physical space and atmosphere conducive to the needs of the Library users, encouraging a community of life-long learners and enjoyment of Library-oriented leisure activities.

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?

Because I care about the Bartlett Public Library and the provision of excellent Library services for the Bartlett community and to continue to serve the people of Bartlett in this capacity.

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.

As a Bartlett Public Library District Board member since 2000, I was part of the decision-making process to successfully pay off the building bonds early, allowing taxes to be reduced sooner. I was part of the committee working on the two renovation projects of the past few years. The main areas of the downstairs were opened up to allow better traffic flow and line of sight between the additions, new study spaces, more computers, a computer lab, a new teen area, and repainting and recarpeting the majority of both floors of the building. Our second renovation project was the expansion of the circulation work areas for a better work flow and services for both staff and Library users. I served on the personnel committees to hire two directors, Todd Morning and Karolyn Nance. I encourage and support staff initiatives, including the genealogy program and its new research section, the job search assistance program, and the adoption and expansion of new web-based services.

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

I have had and used my Bartlett Library card since moving here in 1993.

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.

While space is an issue, at the Bartlett Public Library, the Library Board members,management team and staff have all worked together to address the problem by analyzing the best use of our existing space. The Board of Trustees proceeded with the two renovation projects, at no additional taxpayer expense, which now provide better use of available space. Electronic resources allow us to reclaim space for various uses.

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 and ever-changing technology provide challanges for the Bartlett Public Library District. A major challange is balancing the affordability of these technologies with the need to also provide traditional services for all of our patrons. Through our current written and online surveys, along with individual conversations with community members, I learn what our library users and community want in the future. The Bartlett Public Library has changed as community needs change. I believe we should, while keeping our fiscal responsibilities in mind, keep desired programs as well as adding new programs, collections and services that arerelevant to the needs of the Bartlett Public Library District community.