Patricia Lord: Candidate profile
Name: Patricia Johnson Lord
Office sought: Geneva Library trustee
Family: Husband and three children
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Illinois Wesleyan University; Juris Doctorate, University of San Diego School of Law
Civic involvement: Geneva Library Foundation, 3 years; Literacy volunteer, 2 years
Previous elected offices held: Two terms as a Geneva Public Library District Trustee
Incumbent? Yes. If yes, when were you first elected? April, 2011
What are the most important issues facing your library district and how do you intend to address them?
1. Transitioning into the new library on 7th Street as seamlessly as possible while continuing to provide excellent service to our residents.
2. Making sure that our residents are aware of the varied opportunities the library provides to people of all ages. Not only access to books, music, magazines, newspapers, and e-resources, but also quality programming, study rooms, craft space, coffee vending service, and meeting rooms that help make the library a community center.
3. Staying in tune with technological changes that can help maximize convenient access to the library's resources.
4. Selling the current library site on James Street.
5. Improving convenience for library patrons, after we've settled into the new library, by exploring the possibility of an off-site book drop on Randall Road.
Why are you running for office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what is it?
I love our library and want to be part of the leadership that moves us into the new library and a new future. We've taken the important and difficult steps of ascertaining the need for a new library with plenty of space for parking, programming, materials, and community meeting space -- and then making that dream a reality. Now we need to make sure that we provide the right services for our patrons while using tax dollars carefully and to maximum effect. We also need to stay attuned to the ever-changing world of technology and remain flexible in meeting the needs of our patrons. Transitioning into the new library will present its own challenges and opportunities. I've come this far with the library; I'd like to see it through.
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 had three goals when I ran for the Geneva Library Board: 1. To add hours the library was open; 2. To make coffee available in the library; and 3. To take the necessary steps to determine the need for a new library and help make that happen. I have been proud to be part of a library board that:
• Added hours the library is open; on Sundays (to 5 p.m.) and on Fridays (to 6 p.m.).
• Installed vending coffee service.
• Hired a Library Director with great passion and vision for our library.
• Joined a new library consortium that increased our patrons' access to materials that may be borrowed from other libraries from 9 libraries to 96 libraries in the Chicagoland area.
-Performed a survey of the community and a needs assessment to identify what our community expects from its library, and learned that due to the age and layout of our current library, it costs us more to provide fewer services than our peer libraries.
• Purchased the Sixth Street School property from the county for the new library site.
• Proposed a referendum for a new library building that was supported by Library District voters.
• Hired an architect with extensive knowledge of library needs, and a contractor with great experience, to design and build a beautiful new library.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
I've had a library card since I was about seven years old. I have had a Geneva library card since 1983. I use it several times a month, sometimes in person and sometimes by checking e-books and audio books out on my phone.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
During difficult economic times, the library is a place where patrons find resources to identify job opportunities, learn computer skills, and update resumes. It's also a place they can find entertainment, news, and where excellent programs are offered. Technology has made incredible contributions to the services our library provides. We have up-to-date computers available where patrons can study and work, not only by accessing online materials and library databases, but also by having access to reference librarians who can suggest resources and database options that patrons may be unaware of, as well as reference materials not available online. The library offers e-books, audio books, and online music, movies, televisions shows, lectures, and classes of all kinds. At the new library, we will have a maker space for the creation of 3-D materials. We will need to stay flexible and up-to-date as technology evolves in ways we can't foresee. Libraries are a shared community resource. They are relevant because they provide far more than books, magazines, newspapers, music, electronic resources, and programming. They provide a place for our community to meet and connect, to learn and grow.