Susan Earley: Candidate Profile
Bensenville Library Board (6-year Terms) (Independent)
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.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Office sought: Bensenville Library Board (6-year Terms)
Family: Married for 20 years, 2 children, former foster parent.
Occupation: Data Architect - I design ways for organizations to store data for the best, most efficient and secure use.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Computer Science from UIUC, 1986. Some graduate work. Certified Data Management Professional.
Civic involvement: Kaboom! playground project food committee chair 2012.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Supporting and enhancing the 21st century services (including internet access in general, social media access, and online or network gaming as a monitored social activity for children) and materials (including non-paper materials such as eBooks and books on CD) made available by the library for public use.
Key Issue 2
Supporting and enhancing materials that can be used by special needs patrons who have difficulty using printed media.
Key Issue 3
Supporting and enhancing the idea of the library being a cultural center, including expanding and/or enhancing 'experience-based learning' or 'learning by doing' activities, such as hands-on craft learning opportunities, music and/or video exhibitions, and support for community organizations.
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 think that the idea of a library is necessary in a community, even though the media that the library manages changes over time. I have been active in social media for years (back even when social media was really just usenet [before the internet]). I would like to help the library with my experience in technology, as well as my experience in dealing with databases - which a library really is.
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 special contributions you could make.
I have many years of experience with 501(c)(3) boards, including as a Director and Chairman, as well as holding offices of Treasurer and acting as comptroller (DAMAChicago.org and sca.org). From these experiences, I learned the difference between giving direction as a Board, and executing as Staff. I also understand budgeting and reporting, including the need for fundraising or grantwriting for extra projects. I have many years experience in a technical profession organizing data and communicating the benefit of that data to a community, and acting as an advocate/evangelist for the proper use of that data. I also have many years of experience evaluating and managing technical systems, so I can provide expertise on those topics for the library operations. I am a published editor (DAMA DMBOK, DAMA Dictionary of Data Management), and so have a view into the issues with publishing in both print and eBook formats. Lastly, I have a special needs child with learning disabilities, and would love to see her be able to use more of the library resources.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
I do have a library card, and have had for several years, but I don't get time to read as much as I would like. I do have a kindle account and download a lot of books that I don't have time to read either. But I like having it there - and recently I have been using my library card to check out books on CD for my daughter, who has learning disabilities. She is currently listening to Harry Potter book 5.
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 Bensenville library is already doing this, by removing obsolete reference material that wasn't being used from the floor, and turning the resulting floor space into targeted study areas. I think that we have enough space for what we need currently.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
Where libraries have been an important community resource and have evolved as the community evolves, I think that libraries have seen increased usage - as a free resource for entertainment or education. Where libraries have not kept pace with the changing community needs (such as if a community had a shift in the ethnic population but the library resources did not also shift in response by adding materials reflective of the current language needs), I think that libraries have receded in importance as a resource. I think Libraries should be reflections of the community, and as the community shifts, so should the Library, in all aspects (material types, languages, and services).