Arlington Hts. library candidates discuss future direction

Updated 3/17/2013 4:02 PM
  • Joan Brody Garkisch

    Joan Brody Garkisch

  • Tiana Brazzale

    Tiana Brazzale

  • Alex Hageli

    Alex Hageli

  • Greg Zyck

    Greg Zyck

The four candidates running for two open spots on the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Board gave voters a sampling of their views at a weekend forum previewing the April 9 election.

Tiana Brazzale, Joan Brody Garkisch, Alex Hageli and Greg Zyck spoke at a crowded League of Women Voters of Arlington Heights-Mount Prospect-Buffalo Grove event.

Among the questions from the audience was how to balance the traditional role of libraries with the demand for technology.

"It's something the library has to embrace," Zyck said. "I love taking a book and opening it up and reading, but it's changing. Digital growth is coming to us ... and the library has to keep on top of that and all the cutting-edge things that go with it."

Hageli said, "The library is doing a great job integrating technology into programming."

"There are Nooks and Kindles to rent ... but the library needs to stay a library. The library is a place to read books and do research -- whether its electronically on a tablet or a physical book. Technology needs to supplement not supplant the traditional library experience," he added.

Brody Garkisch said, "I think it's great the library is moving beyond four walls, and it's not just a warehouse for books but a center to gather, to learn and create."

Currently, the future of electronic books "is a little bit like the Wild West," she noted, "because a lot of publishers are not clear with a business plan on how to use electronic books or media. But the library is staying on top of that, and I look forward to working with them."

Brazzale credited the library board with allowing residents to access information from their home computers.

"You can do so much sitting at your desk at home to reserve and check out books. They've done that in a seamless way. It's hard to imagine a library today just being stacks of books, but I do agree there is something special about walking into the library and seeking out a particular stack of books, and I don't think that will ever go away," she said.

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