Justin Lynch: Candidate Profile

Carol Stream Library Board

  • Justin Lynch, running for Carol Stream Library Board

    Justin Lynch, running for Carol Stream Library Board

 
Updated 3/18/2015 11:12 AM

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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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BioQ&A

 

Bio

City: Carol Stream

Website: http://stlcarolstream.blogspot.com/

Office sought:

Carol Stream Library Board

Age: 26

Family: Candidate did not respond.

Occupation: Finance Professional

Education: B.A. in Political Science and History from North Central College, 2011 Glenbard North High School, 2007

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Civic involvement: Volunteer with Chicago Cares

Elected offices held: None before.

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?

This is my first time running for public office. The library celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. What motivates me is making sure our library not just exists, but thrives moving forward. I believe the library can thrive by supporting a staff that reaches out to the community and gives people a reason to stop in to check it out and keep coming back.

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 have three main issues that make up what I would contribute to the Library Board: -Mapping the future for the library. The library has developed a strategic plan for training staff and increasing library programs, both big goals to keep our library great. I want to work with the staff to help enact the strategic plan to grow library attendance, increase patron satisfaction, and make the best use of our space. -Being mindful of the economic realities of many families in the area. The library director and staff have to work with a budget, and trustees play a role in approving financial outlays. We can have a library open to all that lives within our means. -Working with other trustees to foster collaboration, not competition, to help further the library’s goals and ensure taxpayer money is being responsibly budgeted. Good government is measured in satisfied residents and tax dollars saved, not headlines.

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 since I grew up in Carol Stream, I’ve almost always had one. I stop in probably 2-3 times a month to find a book on a new topic. I’m interested in reading about history and politics.

Space is an issue at many 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 staff at the Carol Stream Library has done a great job at both utilizing space and making small additions when more space is needed. I'm all for efficiency through getting rid of sections that are now online, but those decisions would be best left to the staff in consultation with library users. I would not support construction of a new library in the village. Too many families are facing tough economic realities and Carol Stream residents have made it clear that we are happy with our current library.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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 technological changes can be seen as obstacles, but both of these have made provided lessons that have actually made the library perform better. A library remains relevant through two means"evolving with the times and providing excellent service for its patrons. Sure, there will always be volumes of books, but kids doing research for projects and adults trying to find a good book on a topic will still need guidance, and that’s where the staff steps in. Library Director Susan Westgate has done an outstanding job raising standards among staff and trying to meet the emerging needs of the community through new programs and enrolling the library in a number of databases, all of which are free to the community. People that think libraries are dying should take a look at our’s"the computers are humming and on weeknights, the place is pretty crowded. This isn’t by luck"the staff does a great job at being accessible and friendly, and trustees should give them the tools they need to succeed.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

I want the library board to be boring-- it is a nonpartisan body that asks people to check their politics at the door for the good of the community. We all come in to the position with different viewpoints and life experiences, but there’s no reason we can’t work together in a collegial and responsible way. I have been told trustees used to go out after meetings for drinks"if elected, I will bring that tradition back. Whatever disagreements we have in library policy, there’s no reason we can’t get along as residents trying to provide the best library possible to the community.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Bill Gates- a titan of business and one of the most generous philanthropists of our time.

What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

The sky is the limit. If I keep at it, I can achieve great things.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

I would have traveled more. There are so many places I'd like to visit around the world.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Social studies- it gave me a good foundation for politics and history, both things I love learning about, and I made them my majors.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

I don't have kids, but if I ever do, I'll tell them anything is possible if you keep your mind to it.