Jason Brandt: 2021 candidate for Helen Plum Library board

Seven candidates are running for four, 4-year terms on the Helen M. Plum Memorial Public Library District board of trustees in the April 6 election.

They are incumbents Jason Brandt, John T. Larkin, Jr. and Susan Wiggins, and newcomers Kristin Anne Dittrich, Jennifer Erickson, Julie Kowalski-Schmidt, and Kelly Ann Simms.

The Daily Herald asked candidates to respond to a questionnaire about library issues.


Town: Lombard

Age: No response

Occupation: Technology Strategist, Microsoft

Civic involvements: Helen Plum Library Board Trustee


Q: Why are you running for the library board, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?

A: I am running for reelection to continue the effort of bringing a new library to Lombard and help the library to be the best it can be for the community.

Q: Did your library continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.

A: Yes. After initially closing at the beginning of the pandemic the library adjusted by offering pickup service, and then limited building access to maintain safety for the public and staff.

Q: Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?

A: Yes. Digital access to online materials has increased significantly during the pandemic. Communication to patrons regarding opportunities for digital access to available resources was highlighted as an option.

Q: In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?

A: One of the limitations to serving the public in the current library building is a weak air circulation system. The new library building will have improved air circulation that will contribute to better overall air quality for patrons.

Q: 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 contributions you would make.

A: As president of the library board over the past 4 years I have worked with the library staff, community, library board, and village to help bring a new library building to Lombard. It has taken longer than any of us would have liked, but we have a plan in place to bring a great new library to Lombard in 2022.

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

A: Yes. 20+ years. It varies.

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