Nancy Conradt: Candidate profile
Name: Nancy Conradt
City: West Chicago
Office sought: Library Board Trustee
Family: husband, two daughters, two grandchildren
Occupation: Retired Professor, College of Du Page
Education: Ph. D,. M. A., B. A.
Civic involvement: Library Board
Previous elected offices held: President, Faculty Association, College of Du Page; Senator, Faculty Senate, College of Du Page
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? 2009
* What are the most important issues facing your library district and how do you intend to address them?
The most important issues facing the Library District are access to information, education, training, and entertainment for district residents. These issues are tacked through Strategic Planning and financial support. More specifically:
Using broadness of offerings in format, point of view, and cultural diversity, aiding in the development of literacy, critical thinking, and good citizenship
Increasing service to under served populations such as people with disabilities, children with autism, senior citizens who mobility prevents a physical library visit, non-English speakers and their children, adolescents and twenty-somethings.
Building and maintaining up-to-date digital services with books, reference materials, and software availability as well as training in the use of technology
Updating the library inside and outside to better meet patrons' changing needs
Developing the library as a community meeting place for leisure and companionship
* Why are you running for office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what is it?
I wish to preserve broad access to information and ideas for all library patrons and for their children. This core library value has been challenged by individuals and organizations inside and outside our district in the recent past. I am seeking a position as Library Trustee at this time because I believe in and wish to preserve intellectual freedom. I believe that individuals are responsible for determining the suitability of a particular resource for themselves and their own family. I do not believe that some members of the community should limit access to resources needed by other families. It is the library's responsibility to meet the information needs of the entire community.
* 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.
As a board member, giving credit where credit is due to the Library Director, The Treasurer and the Board as a whole, our library has been fiscally responsible, living within its means, while making improvements to our building and its offerings.
As president of the Board since 2011, I have participated in and played a leadership role in all major library achievements:
Accomplishing an improvement in flexibility of space already present while considering and rejecting a a referendum to increase our space
Building the library as a community asset and a active partner in the building of our community
Increasing substantially outreach to the under-served
Increasing digital content and training
* Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
I have had a library card since I could print my name and a West Chicago library card since 1976. I use the card multiple times monthly.
* What impact have economic and technological changes had on libraries? How does a library remain relevant? How should its role in the community change?
The core mission of the institution of libraries is providing shared access to information and resources for the community. Economic and technological changes have broadened the means by which this goal is accomplished. Libraries are a significant economic and technological resource. For example, last month our patrons checked out more than $122,880 worth of materials. This does not count the software that many use in the library. The library now provides free access to print, digital books, and other digital materials as well as software. The library is no longer only a quiet study area for individuals. Through programming and physical spaces people now interact, hold meetings, and build community at the library. Library programs can be held both in the building and in the community. In our diverse community the library provides opportunities for language development and other assimilation options for the foreign born. As a whole, the library's mission remains the same as it has always been. We remain relevant by ensuring the ways that we accomplish our mission meet the needs of the modern individual in today's society.