William Nolden: Candidate Profile

Villa Park library

  • William Nolden, running for Villa Park library

    William Nolden, running for Villa Park library

Updated 2/23/2011 4:04 PM




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: Villa Park

Website: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought: Villa Park library

Age: 65

Family: Single

Occupation: recently retired after serving 25-plus years with the U.S. Postal Service

Education: high school diploma, three years of college

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Civic involvement: Founding member of the Friends of the Villa Park Library, coordinator of the Friends' Book Sale for five years, raising more than $20,000 for library materials and programs, host of the Friends' Sunday Movie Matinee for five years, trustee for the Villa Park Firefighters Pension Fund for three years, founding committe member and active participant in the annual Villa Park housewalk

Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.

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

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Stewardship: The library board must recognize the needs of the community and work diligently to economically and effectively satisfy them; the board should have a forward-looking action plan that answers the question: what is the future of the public library in Villa Park and how can it better serve its patrons?

Key Issue 2

Transparency: The library board must be as open and forthcoming to the community as possible; there should be an absolute minimum of closed meetings, minutes of meetings should be promptly and accurately posted, the board should clearly articulate its goals and its plan to achieve them.


Key Issue 3

Accountability: Any board member should be willing to explain his actions and to be held accountable for those actions. Customer feedback forms should be easily accessible and carefully reviewed.

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 want to improve the library and its services and to help prepare it to meet the challenges of the future.

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.

I would bring a pragmatic common sense approach to my responsibilities. Expenditures should be carefully evaluated to maximize their return to the library. Policies should be examined to determine their effectiveness and relevance and revised if necessary.

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

I do have a card, I have had one from the first day I became a resident of Villa Park and I have been a committed supporter of the library since that day as well, I visit the library six to 10 times a week.

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 library has to serve the needs of the community to remain viable. Remodeling and updating facilities and reconfiguring the library's collection may be more effective than building a new library, especially in the current economic climate. Books vs. computers? I don't think we have reached an either-or threshold. I will confess that I love books, both for their content and their appearance. I also recognize the ever increasing importance of computer technology. There is information in books that is not available on the internet. A large segment of the community continues to enjoy reading books. Access to and knowledge of the latest computer technology is considered by many patrons to be essential. For the present, both books and computers have their role to play at the library. The key is balancing priorities.

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

A recent study by Public Agenda identified four areas of opportunity for public libraries: (1) Provide stronger services for teens by offering them safe and productive activities; (2) Help reduce illiteracy and poor reading skills among adults which will strengthen their work and citizenship skills; (3) Facilitate access to information about government services and programs, and (4) Ensure even greater access to computers for all, especially those individuals who cannot afford them. From my vantage point, our library is moving in this direction, but more can be done. "Libraries are an important, quiet oasis from fast-paced stressful lives," the study said. Discussion groups, informational programs focusing on different aspects of the community and beyond, even entertainment programs, all add relevance to the library.