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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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Office sought: Geneva Library Board (4-year Terms)
Family: Wife Glenda, daughter Grace (Duquesne University), son Daniel (Marmion)
Occupation: Manager, Caterpillar Inc.
Education: BS in Business, Indiana University MBA, Bradley University
Civic involvement: Board Member, Association for Individual Development (2007-2009) Geneva Citizens for Excellent Schools Co-Chair (2007) Board Member, Geneva Library Foundation (GLF) (2005-2008) Tri-Cities Salvation Army Board of Directors (2004-2007) City of Geneva Ethics Commission (2004-present) Geneva Academic Foundation (GAF) Board of Directors (2001-2006) Coach, Geneva Baseball Association (2001-2004) Coach, Tri-Cities Soccer Association (1999-2003)
Elected offices held: Geneva Public Library Board Trustee (2005-present) Currently Vice President, and Chair of Policy, and Automation/Technology Committees Former Chair of Personnel Committee and Building and Grounds Committee
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Financials Continue proactive financial management and discipline for the District in an environment of economic uncertainty and increased taxpayer burden.
Key Issue 2
Planning Executing a plan of short-term reconfigurations of current space while working with our partner governing bodies and other parties to secure a long-term, downtown solution for a new library.
Key Issue 3
Technology Managing technology and its impact on library services and staff.
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 desire to continue to provide service to my community, continuity to the Board, all while bringing to completion our current, long-term vision for Geneva Public Library.
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.
Highlights include: - Personnel Committee Chair: Led the Board search and selection of new library Director (Matt Teske), perhaps the single most important responsibility of the Board ensuring strong leadership. - Fiscal responsibility: Responsible setting and oversight of annual budget, ensuring proper balance and utilization of finite resources including reduction in tax levy this year without sacrificing the level of service to our patrons.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
Yes, as do all members of my family. All are well used.
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.
A constant issue for our Library. We cannot expand our current location (have studied multiple times), and we have worked hard to manage our current space while planning for the future, including a downtown solution to our space challenges. Wholesale elimination of collections is not the answer, though this is constantly reviewed to ensure relevancy and usage and we have made moves in that direction at recommendation of staff. We are committed and focused on securing downtown solution for the long-term, while in the short-term ensuring the library collection, services, staff, and facility continue to meet and exceed patron expectations.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
We must continue to evaluate and adapt our services to the needs of our patrons. In this age of accelerating technology advancements, we must be vigilant as we evaluate what the collection should look like and in what format, what services are needed today and what likely will be needed tomorrow, while constantly improving access and patron service. These issues continue to challenge the staff and Board. While the internet and mobile devices permeate our daily life, these do not nor will ever replace a physical library and the professional staff and services provided. The internet and associated technologies are powerful resources that must be leveraged to complement, not replace, our traditional services. Librarians are professionals trained in and practicing a science, which will never be obsolete. In fact, my opinion is the need for professional librarians and the services they provide grows in this environment, not shrinks. Our web site had over 16.8 million hits in 2012; up from 970,000 my first year on the Board. Via this site and other resources, the web expands our available offerings, access to electronic resources and other collections, 24-hour homework support, live research and reference support, and on-line reservations and renewals. All very powerful expansions of our services. Yet over 287,000 people visited the library in 2012 (822 per day); up from 215,000 (633 per day) my first year on the Board. Over 15,000 children attended 141 programs in 2012; over 3,000 patrons participated in our annual reading programs; staff answered over 50,000 reference questions; and we had over 658,000 items checked out from the library. Nothing replaces the services provided by our exceptional staff or those provided within the walls of the library. The future library should continue to serve a community by offering programs, space, services and create a sense of community, creativity, and pride. The future library should continue to serve as the nerve center for information, in all forms. It should continue to be the port of entry to the world of knowledge, both print and digital, with experienced, professional guides.