Susan Earley: Candidate profile
Name: Susan Earley
Office sought: Library Trustee
Family: Husband, 2 adult children
Occupation: Director of Data Management
Education: UIUC BS Math/Computer Science
Civic involvement: Library Trustee
Previous elected offices held: Library Trustee
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Incumbent, 2013
What are the most important issues facing your library district and how do you intend to address them?
Issues: Changing community population, aging infrastructure, lack of funding
Solutions: Adapt (add more bilingual employees and programs), manage budget to enable improvements/investments, promote grant requests
Why are you running for office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what is it?
I want to keep contributing to the community and improving the library.
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.
Treasurer for all 6 years. Promoted coordination with Special Education TLC, enhancement of audiobook inventory for disabled patrons, improving technical assets and services, improving environmental/green upgrades to infrastructure.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
Yes, 10+ years, when I want to take something out of the 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 changes -- We lost a huge chunk of our district to the O'Hare expansion which reduced our income. We have become for some people their social place due to lack of funds to pay for other outlets.
Technology changes -- Computer services are much more important than they were, including in Spanish. Social media marketing is now necessary.
Cultural changes -- shift in population ethnicity mean we need more bilingual staff.
Libraries remain relevant by changing with the community, offering services to support, maintain, and improve the community's population as that population changes through age, cultural shifts, and economic shifts.
Libraries should be to mental activities (intellect and creativity) what Park Districts are to physical activities. Libraries should support the needs and encourage the aspirations of the community. Libraries should always be 1) a safe space for community to meet, 2) a great place for community and self-improvement efforts, and 3) a welcoming space for learning and expansion of horizons.