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updated: 4/2/2013 11:09 AM

Randy Hopp: Candidate Profile

Gail Borden 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

 

Bio

City: Elgin

Website: None

Office sought: Gail Borden Library Board (4-year Terms)

Age: 61

Family: Single.

Occupation: Retired.

Education: Graduated from Elgin High School in June 1969; Graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with B.S. in metallurgical engineering in June 1972; Graduate studies in metallurgical engineering at Colorado School of Mines 1972-74 and Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1974-76.

Civic involvement: Big Timber Dancer since 1961; Song of Hiawatha Pageant 1962-72, 1978, 1979

Elected offices held: Gail Borden Public Library District board trustee since May 2009

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No, I have never been convicted of a crime.

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

My experience observing and serving with the Gail Borden Public Library District board of trustees. I have attended over 100 Gail Borden Public Library District board of trustee meetings over more than the last 8 1/2 years. First as an observer, I attended every regular meeting from December 2004 through May 2009; 54 meetings spanning 4 1/2 years. Continuing as a trustee, I served at regular and special meetings from June 2009 through March 2013; more than 46 meetings spanning almost 4 years. I have more experience at Gail Borden Public Library District board of trustee meetings over the last 8 1/2 years than any other observer, trustee candidate, or trustee.

Key Issue 2

My performance serving as a Gail Borden Public Library District trustee. During my nearly 4 years of serving as a Gail Borden Public Library District board of trustee at board meetings I have:

1. Diligently prepared before each meeting.

2. Reliably attended those meetings.

3. Actively participated in each meeting.

4. Consistently represented the interests of both:

a. The taxpayers of the Gail Borden Public Library District and

b. The visitors to the Gail Borden Public Library both at the main building and at the branch building in person and online at each meeting

5. Steadfastly persevered.

Key Issue 3

My continued support for computers, electronic book readers, and other electronic equipment for visitor use at the Gail Borden Public Library.

During my term as a trustee, the library has acquired new computers for the children's area, the teen center, and the computer lab at the main building and new computers at the branch building. The library also purchases a variety of electronic resources that visitors can access on the computers and offers computer training classes. The library has a modest number of e-readers at each building which should be increased and can be loaded from a modest selection of eBooks which also should be increased. The library offers e-book training for visitors occasionally which should be offered more frequently. The digital media lab projected for the Studio 270 Teen Center in the main building is the next major addition of electronic equipment for visitor use.

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 candidate for re-election to continue to serve as a trustee for the Gail Borden Public Library District so that I can continue to be a voice and a vote to represent the interests of the taxpayers and all of the residents of the Gail Borden Public Library District and all of the visitors to the Gail Borden Public Library. I am motivated by my determination to fulfill in my modest measure the American ideal of representative democracy on the board of trustees of the Gail Borden Public Library District.

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.

During my nearly 4 years of serving as a Gail Borden Public Library District trustee at more than 46 board meetings, my main contributions have been in 2 categories.

1. Persistent advocacy for financial transparency and accountability both in bills and expenditure authorizations that are part of each meeting and the annual budget and appropriation multi meeting process.

2. Enthusiastic support for the technological equipment acquisitions. Most notably to the visitors are the motions that I made and were successfully passed to:

a. Replace all 60 computers in the main library computer lab with new computers.

b. Acquire all of the new computers for the branch library.

c. Replace the unreliable main library community room sound system with a new sound system.

Among many other successful motions and affirmative votes.

The most important initiative that I have led has been to pursue my idea of extending the parking cut out on the west side of North Grove Avenue in front of the main library to Kimball Street to be used as a right-turn lane for southbound traffic, especially for visitors leaving the main library. I spoke to the City of Elgin chief engineer who told me that he would incorporate that feature into his developing plans to widen the intersection of North Grove Avenue at Kimball Street.

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

I received a Gail Borden Public Library card in 1959 at the end of a field trip with my second-grade class from Columbia Elementary School in Elgin to the original Gail Borden Public Library on Spring Street and have continued to hold a Gail Borden Library card ever since, for fifty four years. This spans the remaining time that the library was in the Spring Street building, the entire time that the library was in the new demolished building south of Kimball Street, and the entire time that the library has been in the new grand building north of Kimball Street. I have visited each of those facilities many times over those 54 years.

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.

Since the completion of the main building second floor remodeling project, the library director has not reported any space shortage at the main building to the board of trustees. Similarly, the library director has not reported any space shortage for library materials at the branch building to the board of trustees.

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 latest economic recession and yet ongoing slow recovery has resulted in a decrease in the rate of increase of property tax revenue to the Gail Borden Public Library District but not a decrease in property tax revenue despite the substantial decrease in the fair market value of all the properties in the district.

However, for each person who has lost their primary source of income the consequences to their life have been at least substantial and for many disastrous. The staff at the Gail Borden Public Library has done an excellent job responding to this increased need for people to find new employment with job opportunity resources and job search programs, like resume writing, networking, and interviewing which helps to keep the library relevant.

With each new wave of information technology, there is a corresponding increasing wave of library visitor requests to use the new technologies. The Gail Borden Public Library has been and will continue to be relevant by supplying the increasing visitor demand for new information technology with computers, electronic resources, and computer training; electronic readers, e-books and e-reader training; and digital media.

The primary role of a public library is to be a resource for visitors to find and study information. Technological developments have and are continuing to expand the options to find and study information. However, the primary role of a public library has not changed but rather the means to find and study information are developing and evolving.

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