Lynn DeSmidt: 2021 candidate for Bartlett Library Trustee
Three candidates for two seats
Occupation: RN, BSN Experienced Nurse; MPA (Masters in Public Administration) Health Care Administration
Employer: Currently volunteering in the community and a business consultant
Civic involvement: Current Library Trustee and Ethics Adviser; American Library Association United for Libraries member; Illinois Library Association Trustee Forum Executive Board Member; ILA Youth Services Forum and RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library Systems programs; member of The Friends of the Library, Women's Club, Arts in Bartlett, Chamber of Commerce; volunteer for Bartlett Library Annual Author Event and other library activities, Coffee with Trustees; former member of CAC (Citizens Advisory Council) 4 years, setting the pathways of learning for all age groups; volunteer for U-46 School District (15 years), Raiders Cheerleading, and Ronald McDonald House
Q. Why are you running for the library board? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. Because I would like to continue participating in my community and make a difference. An issue motivating my Trustee position is to represent the diverse economic and cultural backgrounds of the residents in Bartlett. I am running for Trustee on the Library board because I believe in lifelong learning and technology. I also want to continue to ensure the community has availability of all the services offered by the Bartlett Public Library. In addition, I would like to see a strong fiscal policy and strategic plan followed by the Trustees. Our local public library offers the ability to seek, discover, create, enrich and enhance our lives. I want to remain a part of this governing board to keep this great library moving forward for the benefit of all. My motivation is I have resided in the Bartlett Community for 35 years and I am vested in how our tax dollars are spent for the library services. I look toward providing a leading edge in learning and technology in our Library community. My initiated efforts for an author's book fair in 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic, and I would like to be an integral part of this project.
Q. Did your library continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A. Yes, the library recognized the community needs for increasing programs, books and online services. Communication from patrons indicated a driven need for an increase in Hoopla, an online database, therefore increasing funds to provide 5 checkouts a month. In addition, overdrive had a demonstrated need to purchase increased copies of new tittle releases. The Bartlett Library provided increased programs and Storytime to enhance online learning including virtual programs on Facebook and Zoom, including online trivia contests. We served the community through increased and ongoing programs including: Take and Makes, Lookout Kindergarten Here I Come, Scholastic Teachables a new media platform, and Create and Chat. Book clubs and ongoing programs for children through adults met the high request of patrons. Community outreach was in higher demand and, Clare Oaks and the local community centers were provided reading materials on a delivery basis. It is apparent the Director and staff provided the highest quality of library service for the Bartlett community.
Q. Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A. Yes, we definitely saw an increase in online materials due to the effects on the pandemic. We were able to notify the community with updates through our website, Facebook and Library program mailers with offerings of electronic media services. As restrictions lifted, patrons were picking up books and other materials, as a "grab and go" from the library, and increase use with online collections continued to grow. This has been an ongoing, positive "New Shift" to continue in the delivery of library services to our community.
Q. 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.
A. I am a strong advocate for my Library, promoting additional trustee training opportunities through the ILA Trustee Forum, conferences, seminars and podcasts. My direct involvement as an ILA Trustee Executive Board member is planning the offerings of the programs to educate trustees and collectively selecting Trustee of the year. I express the significance for ongoing trustee education, expanding their knowledge of Trustee duties and responsibilities. I have demonstrated ongoing networking with other libraries and trustees within and outside these events. I have presented regular updates to the Bartlett Library board regarding programs, conferences and general information. In addition, as an ILA Trustee Executive board member, I share the Trusty Trustee newsletter to the Bartlett board, serving as a resource for the ILA trustee community through information, education, and news for trustees to successfully perform their duties. I have a strong belief in advocacy for the library, the community and local and state elected officials. I reached out to the elected State Representative's with ILA introductions and through the legislative meetups I have encouraged them to visit and become more involved in our library needs. Also, my ongoing advocacy to the community on all library services, continues through organizations, community partnerships, and education. I supported the community during the pandemic, and trustee board involvement on approval of staff and patron safety, and the library operations. I presented fiscal accountability with the library expenditures through the budgetary process and ending the previous library deficit.
Q. Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A. Yes, I have been a library card holder at 5 years of age, and over 30 years in Bartlett. On average I use my card throughout the month, weekly.
Q. What other issues need to be addressed?
A. The Bartlett Public Library focus is on the patrons and the community services. Although to continue to provide quality library services, we should plan for the ongoing expansion of our technology and outreach to continue relating to the community needs.