Andrew Deitchman: Candidate profile
Name: Andrew Deitchman
Office sought: Batavia Public Library Board Trustee
Family: Married, two school-aged children
Occupation: Environmental Engineer
Education: BS Mechanical Engineering -- Southern Methodist University, ME Civil/Environmental Engineering -- Texas A&M University
Civic involvement: Cub Master for son's Pack, board of directors for Engineers Without Borders -- Chicagoland Professional Chapter
Previous elected offices held: None
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? Yes, 2013
What are the most important issues facing your library district and how do you intend to address them?
The most important issue facing the library is addressing the improvements raised in the Community Engagement Sessions. The library and grounds are seeing some deterioration and long-term planning is needed to ensure that the investment made by the community in the library is maintained. The community told us that we should maintain our excellent collection of print materials, movies, games, audio books, and digital items. The community would also like the library to extend our operating hours. For these reasons, we asked for and the voters approved a change in the general operating tax rate. It is important the library's funds continue to be managed conservatively to provide the lifelong learning opportunities to our community.
Why are you running for office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what is it?
I think it is important that people stay involved in their community. Our community provides a lot to me and my family included a safe place to learn, live, and grow. I believe that the library provides many great services to our community and I appreciate the opportunity to help support and guide those efforts.
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've been on the Library Board for six years and been President for two. As a trustee, we help to support and guide the library's amazing professional staff. We recently completed a Community Engagement program to better understand what the community wants from the library. Based on the results of that process and the Capital Assets Plan, we recognized the need to ask the community for additional funds to meet the needs of the community.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
I got my Batavia Library card shortly after moving to Batavia 16 years ago. I'm in the library a few times a month to check out books and games.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
I believe that a library will always be an important asset to any community. Libraries are more than just a collection of books on shelves. They are a place for the community to gather. They are a place of lifelong learning not just because of the collection, but also through the programs offered and the knowledge of its staff. And, the library's collection is more than just books -- it's movies, video games, audio books, music, magazines, activity bags. Yes, many of these items are also available as digital downloads, but it will never all be available in digital format. And, there is something joyful in walking down the aisles of the library looking for something to catch your eye.