Monica Boyer: 2021 candidate for Bartlett Library Trustee
Three candidates for two seats
Occupation: Youth Services Manager, Fox River Valley Public Library District in East Dundee
Civic involvement: I have attended most of the library board meetings for the past two years.
Q. Why are you running for the library board? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. I am running for a seat as a Bartlett Public Library District (BPLD) Trustee because I have firsthand experience of how libraries can change lives. I grew up at my local library and it not only provided academic resources, but ultimately my future career. As I became a young adult and needed to choose a vocation, I decided to attend Dominican University in River Forest to earn my Master's Degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS). When I moved to Bartlett 3 years ago and began visiting the library and attending programs, I realized I could actively give back to the Bartlett community by offering my unique perspective as a professional librarian. It is one of my ultimate dreams to serve my community and combine one of my life's passions-libraries.
Q. Did your library continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A. I am proud of the service BPLD has continued to provide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Administration and staff have made the community's health and well-being its utmost priority. This is evident by limiting library visits to 15 minutes, providing plastic sneeze guards on all public service desks, and keeping the building physically open to the public even before many other libraries reopened their doors. BPLD has done an awesome job of transferring its in person programs to virtual programs. I have been able to attend a few virtual programs for adults and children and have been impressed by the high quality of the presenters and content. During this time, the Library has purchased new databases that are family friendly such as Scholastic Teachables. With a valid library card, library patrons are welcome to enjoy high quality resources such as the one mentioned to keep their child(ren) scholastically on track. Overall, BPLD has been able to continue offering resources despite rampant cases of COVID-19 throughout our state.
Q. Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A. The Library has adequately promoted its online collection and virtual programming. As a resident of Bartlett, I receive the Library's print newsletter quarterly by mail. The newsletter offers a sense of normalcy and reminder that the library is present. In the newsletter, folks can easily see all the methods one can join virtual programming. I noticed that in the most recent newsletter, the Library chose to devote a 2-page ad for one of its audiobooks and elementary school resources. The ads are eye catching and certainly a good marketing tactic. Also, BPLD has used its social media pages to promote databases, print and other electronic resources.
Q. 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.
A. As the only degreed librarian running for the board and being in the library science industry for more than 15 years, I would bring knowledge with past, present, and future practices in the library science field. From early literacy initiatives to data analysis trends, I would be able to share new resources with the board and the library that could entice a new demographic of users.
Q. Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A. I have had a valid library card since kindergarten. As a child, I would ride my bike to my neighborhood branch library. Early on in my life, I made the connection that having a library card meant I had the freedom to select literature of my liking. As I became a tween and teenager, I attended informational programs about college and post high school life. When my husband and I moved to Bartlett in 2017, applying for a BPLD library card was one of the first things I did. I utilize my library card to check out print titles, conduct research through Morningstar Investment Research Center and visit local museums and other cultural centers through the Museum Adventure Pass program.
Q. What other issues need to be addressed?
A. Additional issues that need to be addressed are:
• Equitable access to library resources for all members of the community. From print to e-resources, the Bartlett community should see themselves mirrored in the collection, programming and library policies.
• Transparent finances and budgetary decisions while providing relevant services. Throughout my 16 years in the library science industry, I have shown that I can provide up to date services while being fiscally responsible with taxpayer funds. I strongly believe that programming and physical material doesn't have to equate to overspending.
• Increase awareness of the Library through the district. By working with local entities and school district, BPLD can attract new library users in order to rally up support and create the next generation of lifelong library users.