Patricia Weninger: Candidate profile
Name: Patricia Weninger
City: West Chicago
Office sought: Library Trustee
Family: Married with three adult children and four grandchildren
Occupation: Retired Teacher
Education: Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Bachelor's Degree in Special Education
Civic involvement: Library Foundation, Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Girl Scouts
Previous elected offices held: Library trustee
Incumbent? Yes; When were you first elected? 2015
What are the most important issues facing your library district and how do you intend to address them?
The most important issue facing the West Chicago library district is to have relevant and innovative collections, services, and programs which meet the needs of a diverse population. As a trustee, I will address this issue by advocating for a library that meets the needs of all community members and by upholding and supporting the staff member's efforts in doing so.
Why are you running for office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what is it?
Libraries represent one of the hallmarks of free speech in this country, and every community deserves a vibrant library that allows every member to easily access the information, texts, or services for which they are looking. More than ever before, libraries provide a place for people to not only access free information, but also a place where individuals and families can find enjoyment in the pursuit of knowledge and literature. Ensuring that our library continues to embody the ideal of free speech through offering relevant and diverse collections, services, and programs motivates me to run for this position.
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 an incumbent who has been on the policy committee for four years, served as the secretary for one year, chaired the committee that developed the director's evaluation instrument, attended the annual legislative luncheon, and I continue to remain current with legislative issues facing libraries.
Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
I have had a library card in every community in which I have lived, beginning with my first library card when I was a young child in a small community in Wisconsin. Throughout my entire life, I have used my library card on a regular basis.
What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
It is important that libraries remain current in terms of technological services and support all the while remaining fiscally responsible in its pursuit of innovation. The West Chicago Library continually strives to satisfy the needs of the community in terms of technology and has done so by significantly expanding its online/e-book collection through its membership in a network of libraries that card holders can access for materials, SWAN. The library has also added computers for patron use, created enhanced meeting spaces with available technology, and offered programs to help seniors develop their computer skills. These programs allow the library to remain relevant and widen the services that are available to community members; however, technological changes can also be costly. As a trustee, it is my duty to carefully consider the positive and economic impact that adopting such technological services will have on the library.