Kathy Caudill: Candidate profile
Name: Kathryn (Kathy) L. Caudill
City: Lake Zurich, IL
Office sought: Ela Area Public Library Board -- 4 year term
Family: Married for 36 years to Jeff. Two adult sons.
Occupation: Development Director for a religious non-profit organization
Education:B.A., College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN. Government major, Psychology minor. J.D., University of Iowa, College of Law, Iowa City, IA. Licensed to practice law in Illinois (inactive licenses for MN and IA). Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) certification in 2012, with re-certification in 2015 and 2018.
Civic involvement: Co-Chair, North Suburban Library System Trustee Training Task Force 2005 -- 2007. Church volunteer in various roles 1990 -- present. Cub Scout and Boy Scout volunteer 1996 - 2008.
Previous elected offices held: Trustee, Ela Area Public Library District: 2003 -- 2007, 2007-2011, 2011 -- 2015, and 2015-2019, Director, North Suburban Library System (NSLS) Board of Directors: 2005 - 2011
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Yes, I was first elected to the library board in 2003.
What are the most important issues facing your library district and how do you intend to address them?
I believe two important issues facing our library are 1) the need for increased taxpayer awareness regarding the powerful return on investment of their library tax dollars and 2) exploring alternative revenue resources for our library's financial future.
User surveys show most Ela library patrons love our library. Not everyone takes advantage of this amazing community center (and virtual resource) offering books and much more. Professional librarians help search for accurate information on the internet, recommend books, and assist with online job applications. Each calendar year, Ela library district patrons can obtain a vend card for printing/copies. Experiential materials area available (including telescopes, fishing poles, digital media lab, 3D printers), and amazing programs are offered for adults and children. Social media and marketing, word of mouth from library enthusiasts, and this questionnaire, hopefully encourage everyone to check out what their tax dollars make available for all. Limited locations for new construction available in our library district also limit the availability of additional tax revenues for the library. Processing passports provides a significant alternative revenue source. As good stewards of the library's revenue and expenses, the Library Board continues to consider alternative revenue sources beyond annual property tax revenues.
Why are you running for office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what is it?
I love our library! I am proud to be a part of the leadership of this amazing hub of reading, learning, and community. Ela Library's mission is to "share the joy of discovery". Everyone, regardless of financial means, can read, grow, and learn here. It is a privilege to give back to our community through service as an unpaid elected member of the Ela Area Public Library Board. This is a group of dedicated individuals who donate their time and talents to our wonderful library, working with our enthusiastic executive director and his dedicated staff to provide our community with an exciting and thriving place where curiosity is fostered, innovation is promoted, individuals are empowered thru inclusivity, and collaborative work is encouraged. I welcome the opportunity to continue to serve as a member of the Ela Area Public Library District Board of Trustees.
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 am a passionate advocate for our library. As an attorney, I bring my education and experience to the Board's legal matters. As a certified fundraising executive (CFRE), I bring my practical knowledge of mission advancement and revenue sources. Having served as Library Board President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, I bring leadership experience and firsthand knowledge of the library's institutional history. I currently serve on the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Trustee Forum Executive Board. I have served on the North Suburban Library System (NSLS) regional board, and on the ILA fundraising and annual conference committees. I was named the NSLS Trustee of the Year in 2008, and I received the ILA Trustee of the Year award in 2015. I have presented programs on trustee training, fundraising, and advocacy at local, state and national library association conferences. I began my service on the board a year after the current building opened. Since that time, the library has refinanced its bonds three times, saving our taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The final bond payment on the library was made in December. I look forward to continuing to plan for Ela Library's future needs with a debt-free building.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
I absolutely have, and use, my library card! I obtained my library card since shortly after we moved to Lake Zurich in the late 1980s. I use my card, in person at the library or online with 24/7 services, on a regular basis. In addition to obtaining books and audio books at the library, I love attending excellent programs at the library -- computer classes, cooking demonstrations, author visits, and the excellent Book Buzz just offered in mid-January. I read online copies of various magazines with Flipster, and request books for my monthly book club through reader's services. I definitely receive an amazing return on the tax dollars my property taxes invest in our 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?
There is a common misconception that the internet makes libraries no longer needed or relevant. I believe nothing could be further from the truth! Rapid fire technological changes make libraries more important than ever. While a search engine may result in millions of results, a trained librarian can help you narrow the search and determine if information comes from a reliable source. Having served on the Board here at Ela, I have seen firsthand how our library strives to be on the cutting edge of new technologies. Libraries help level the playing field so that everyone can have access to the tools needed to succeed. Long before many of us had personal computers at home, much less the tablets and smart phones we use today, I remember our library making computer access available to us all. Today our library still maintains a large number of computers available to the public, and does not place a time limit on access to the computers. Technology, books, movies, multimedia tools, enriching entertainment and educational programs, and much more -- are available and waiting for everyone at the Ela Area Public Library.