Robert L. Wetegrove: Candidate Profile

West Chicago library

Updated 2/23/2011 4:04 PM
  • Robert L. Wetegrove, running for West Chicago library

    Robert L. Wetegrove, running for West Chicago library



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



City: West Chicago

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: West Chicago library

Age: 63

Family: Married to Peggy M Wetegrove for 40 years.

Occupation: Retired after 30 years with Nalco Chemical Company research and development.

Education: BA in microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, 1970

MA in microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, 1972

PhD in microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, 1978

MBA in Technology Management, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1988

Civic involvement: West Chicago Public Library District Trustee for more than fourteen years. Board President.

Elected offices held: West Chicago Public Library Trustee (1995-2008, 2009-present)

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Stay within budget while continuing to provide a complete range of library materials, programs, and activities to meet the recreational, informational, and lifelong learning needs of individuals of every age, economic status, and cultural background.

Key Issue 2

Libraries have long provided self-help resources to assist adult immigrants and their children to participate fully in American life and culture. The WCPL must continue to supply materials and programs to help new generations of immigrants achieve the same success earned by previous groups.

Key Issue 3

Public libraries serve as connection points for their communities' access to the digital world. The WCPL must continue to explore new means and to expand resources for delivering digital information to its patrons.

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'm running for re-election as a trustee because I believe in the importance of the library as a self-help resource for personal enrichment. I also believe in the importance of establishing priorities and staying within budget while meeting them. If I'm not a trustee, I can't efficiently advocate my views.

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.

During my service as a library trustee I have worked with my fellow trustees to stay within budget while expanding services and access to digital information. I have also contributed by helping to guide selection of an excellent Administrative Librarian. Additionally, I have established the West Chicago Public Library Foundation as a component of the Chicago Community Trust.

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

I have had an active library card for more than 20 years. I am not a heavy user of library services -- often it is better to give than to receive.

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.

Space questions arise from time to time, but they have been resolved without making structural changes to the building. I think that for the foreseeable future the WCPL will be able to re-prioritize and reallocate space without needing to expand. This is the positive tension of creative destruction.

What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?

Economic and technical changes have left libraries scrambling to do more with less, which is good since it promotes efficiency.

Libraries exist to store and access information, whether clay tablets, vellum documents, or DVDs -- the message is more important than the medium. Libraries remain relevant by following the public purpose of providing information and recreation regardless of the medium. I can envision a time when the library building is visited less often and many patrons use e-reading devices to borrow books -- the old concept in a new wireless medium.