Douglas Sullivan: Candidate Profile
Batavia 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.
Office sought: Batavia Library Board (4-year Terms)
Family: married (Erin)
Occupation: Department Manager of Marketing for Pace Suburban Bus
Education: Bachelors of Public Policy, Vanderbilt University Masters of Public Administration, University of Illinois-Chicago
Civic involvement: Batavia Public Library Board, 2005--present Batavia Historic Preservation Commission, 2012--present
Elected offices held: Batavia Public Library Board of Trustees, 2005--present (Board Treasurer, 2009-2011; Board President, 2011--present)
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Key Issue 2
Responding to the community's needs
Key Issue 3
Continuing to host community education events
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 continue to serve the community of Batavia. More specifically, I want to make sure that residents? hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely, while also ensuring the Library provides high-quality services. I believe the Batavia Library has achieved that goal during my time on the Board.
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 eight years of service to the Batavia Library, the organization has managed its resources wisely and remained on solid financial footing. We have been able to handle tremendous growth in traffic and usage with only small budget increases. Most recently, the board refinanced its bonds toabate? (return to taxpayers) a total of $459,517 over the years 2010-12. The Library Board is cognizant of the burden that property taxes place on Batavians, so we did our part to keep the Library's levy as low as possible. The Library also continues to save money for large capital projects, and is now undertaking a master plan to plan what maintenance projects are needed and how much they will cost. Finally, the New Lyceum Lecture Series has allowed Batavia residents to see nationally-renowned speakers in person as well as showcase the Library to residents who don't often visit.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
Of course I have a library card! I first obtained one as a first-grader at H.C. Storm School, and then re-established my account when I moved back to Batavia in 2004. I check out several books per month.
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.
The Batavia Library is now undertaking a master plan to study the facility so as to make better use of existing space and plan for building expansion. One of the main goals of the plan is to create a teen space. We also want to increase the number of computer stations available to patrons. Print materials in our collection are constantly beingweeded? to make room for newer books; that process will certainly continue. The Batavia Library has always been a leader in the use of space-saving electronic resources, with almost 12% of our materials budget going towards database subscriptions.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
Technological changes have forced the Batavia Library to adapt. For instance, many people like the convenience of reading books on e-readers. Rather than resist this change, Batavia Library has embraced it, making available not only e-books for download, but also the e-readers themselves for check-out. Even though most Batavians now have internet access at their homes, the library has not only maintained relevance but actually significantly increased its usage in recent years. In the eleven years between 2001 and 2012, the number of visitors increased 136% and the number of materials checked out has increased 172%. Obviously, Batavians believe their library is relevant. Furthermore, for those who don't have internet access at home, the library is the most popular place in the community where you can utilize the internet at no charge.
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