Theresa Hart: 2023 candidate for Cary Area Library Board, 4-year term


Town: Cary

Age on Election Day: 64

Occupation: Managed Care and Credentialing Specialist

Employer: US Oncology

Previous offices held: Precinct Committeperson


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?

A: The Cary library is a precious resource, one that serves every member of our community equally. I am running because I believe equal access to information deserves to be maintained and protected. I support the library's promotion of literacy, and provision of an environment that is inclusive and safe for residents of all ages.

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

A: It appears from available statistics that digital circulation has been pretty flat for the last couple of years. the online collection is promoted along with other programs and services, but when I am elected I will learn more about how the board and the director view current usage and whether or not promotion is adequate.

Q: What do you see as the future of role of libraries in the electronic age? How well prepared is your library for meeting that role? What new steps must the library begin taking?

A: As with any other institutions, libraries must evolve along with the rest of society, and the Cary Area Library has done so as well as any library I have used in recent years. I look forward to hearing what the library Director and the staff think about our preparedness, and to supporting them and the community as the role of digital media continues to change.

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: There are ample opportunities to contribute to continuing the mission of the library and its service to the community, whether in strategic planning or the search for a new director, and I welcome the opportunity to serve in whatever capacity the board requires. I am interested in outreach to the community at large, and hope that is an area in which I can make a difference.

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

A: Applying for library cards was one of the first things my husband and I did when we moved to Cary in 2015. I wish I could say that I use it more often than I do! My most recent read was over the holidays, in my favorite genre, historical fiction. It was a book on display as a recommendation by staff. It piqued my curiosity about Johann Sebastian Bach's music, and I have been listening to cello concertos as a result. Quite a change for me! This is the type of library experience I wish for all of our community.

Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your library board.

A: The work I do requires interaction with a number of different units, each with different roles and responsibilities. Because my actions affect all of them it is important for me to understand how they and the tasks they perform will be impacted. It is my responsibility to understand the end result of a policy change, from the big picture, but also from the perspective of those whose tasks will change as a result. That collaborative style is what I hope to bring to policy discussion on the Cary Area Library board.

Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?

A: The Cary Library and the community it serves is fortunate to have a board that had been a good steward of the library's resources. Their dedication shows in the fact that all of the terms on the ballot have incumbents running for them, including the 4 year term for which I am running. I bring a desire to apply a passion for learning to the role of trustee, whether it is in the management of library finances or strategic planning, library law, or understanding the changing needs of the community the library serves. I am committed to fulfilling the role ethically and responsibly. I look forward to knowing the voters' decision.

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