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updated: 8/7/2014 6:00 PM

Six seek Geneva library board seat

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  • Six people want to fill a vacancy on the Geneva Public Library board of trustees.

    Six people want to fill a vacancy on the Geneva Public Library board of trustees.
    Daily Herald file photo, 2008


Six people have applied for a vacancy on the Geneva Public Library board, including Robert McQuillan, a co-founder of a Geneva government watchdog group and unsuccessful candidate for several offices.

Other applicants are Jennifer Bruggeman; Zac Ploppert; Ellen Fultz Schmid; Charles Ellenbaum; and William Broderick.

Ploppert has run twice for Geneva alderman. He teaches at H.C. Storm Elementary School in Batavia. Ploppert, 24, serves on Geneva's Historic Preservation Commission, and is vice chairman of the city's strategic plan advisory committee.

McQuillan, 57, is involved with Geneva TaxFACTS, a group that examines the spending of local governments. He ran for mayor in 2013, for the Republican nomination in 2010 for the state 50th House District seat, and for school board in 2005. He is a key account manager for Talking Rain Beverage.

Bruggeman is the Batavia Park District's human resources and risk-management manager.

Schmid, 49, is a librarian with the Kane County Law Library and Legal Self-Help Center. She lives in Geneva, and worked for the Geneva library for 13 years.

Ellenbaum is a retired professor of anthropology and religious studies at College of DuPage. He has served on Geneva's strategic plan advisory committee.

Bruggeman, Ellenbaum and Broderick could not be reached for comment Thursday.

McQuillan said he ran because, among other things, he is concerned about plans to buy land and construct a new building. He said before spending any of the money it has saved up for land, the library should conduct a referendum to see if residents support building a new library.

Also, the library board should do some strategic planning, he said, to determine what kind of facility people want and need, as the role of the library changes. And there may be other ways to serve the population, such as stationing library district librarians in school libraries in the evening for residents to use.

"There are a lot of ideas that need to be talked about before we jump out and buy land," he said.

Ploppert said the library is a community center, and should offer more programming. He also wants to increase the library's role in improving technological literacy, he said. He said he would bring "a great perspective as an educator, and as somebody who is younger."

"I care deeply for the Geneva Public Library," Schmid said, saying she had a "great experience" there with colleagues and patrons. And, when looking to do volunteer service, "libraries would always be my first choice."

The library board will interview trustees at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 11 and 13.

Whoever is appointed will serve through April. Then an election will be conducted to fill the remaining two years of the term.

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