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updated: 3/21/2013 9:37 AM

Mark Adams: Candidate Profile

Geneva 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.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Geneva

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Geneva Library Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 60

Family: Married to Eleanor Hamilton; 3 children: Julia, Ian and Ross

Occupation: Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Education: B.S. from the University of Maryland

M.A. from Stony Brook University

Ph.D. from Stony Brook University

Civic involvement: "Future of Geneva" focus group

Elected offices held: None

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

I'd like to increase the level of input from taxpayers by conducting a new library survey that would include patrons' thoughts concerning long-term planning issues at the library. Previously, residents strongly rejected moving the library out of downtown. They were not surveyed about the Cetron property.

Key Issue 2

My most important goal is to keep the library where it helps sustain a walkable downtown Geneva. The Cetron land purchase is not final and depends on the results of the site assessment. The land purchase is part of the process of replacing the library; and there should be continued discussion about the future: costs of a new library compared to renovations and expansion at the current site, and timing of any referendum.

Key Issue 3

Helping the library to continue to provide excellent services to the public is essential. Part of this is to improve the use and availability of new technologies.

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 want to serve Geneva by helping to improve this wonderful community resource. The downtown library has been an essential part of our family's Geneva experience and I want to continue the level of services it provides downtown.

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 feel that I can provide a fresh viewpoint since my work experience is very different than that of current members of the board. Through my research, I have worked on large construction projects that represent the complex needs of many participants. Constant and open communication has always been the key to successful projects I've been involved with, so I'd like to help increase transparency on the library board. I can use those experiences to help assess what is most important to patrons and taxpayers.

I am also comfortable utilizing quickly changing technology, and would hope to assist in the gradual move to more electronic media. I gathered useful information in this area by serving on a university committee that set standards for electronic media projects.

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

I obtained a library card as soon as I moved here in 1985. I visit the library in person or via its website every 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.

Some consolidation is possible, but I believe that the physical plant will need to be expanded eventually. Usage of new technology is important and it will continue to increase, however I don't envision that paper books will be eliminated, or even significantly reduced in the near future. In addition, as electronic access to information increases, space needs for computers will grow. Although it has little impact on space, electronic circulation is very small at present. That will change over time and Geneva should make that transition as smoothly as possible

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

There is more to new technology than e-books and the library should continuously adapt. I don't agree with the idea that as information becomes available electronically people can just stay home to use PCs. Although we are an affluent community, we do have citizens who rely on the library for their internet access. The library should also continue to serve as a community gathering place.