Maureen DeRosa: 2021 candidate for Palatine Library Trustee
Two candidates for one 2-year term
Age on Election Day: 71
Occupation: Publishing and marketing executive (retired)
Employer: Past employer, The American Academy of Pediatrics
Civic involvement: Board member of the Palatine Public Library District Foundation, board member of the League of Women Voters Palatine Area, Deputy Voter Registrar, Volunteer at wings and Holy Family Parish, Inverness
Q. Why are you running for the library board? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. I am running for the library board because I want to continue my commitment to community service and the library. I am a long time supporter of the library and currently serve on the Board of the Palatine Library District Foundation. I fully support the Foundation's mission to foster awareness of the value of the library and to gather and solicit funds for the enhancement of the Library's services. I believe the library is an essential community resource whether it be for education, recreation, personal advancement or building life skills. As a library trustee, I would strive to nurture existing community/library relationships while expanding and increasing library services in new relationships.
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. The Palatine Library has done an excellent job serving the community during this pandemic to keep material and programs available when people needed them more than ever. The pandemic brought many challenges to the library. In particular, how best to serve the community when the building was closed as well as when it reopened. Much work was needed to create a safe and sanitized environment. Much work and new training and technology was needed as staff transitioned numerous live programs to virtual programming. Staff developed and implemented an efficient system for curbside pickups. This was all occurring while the library was initiating the renovation project made possible by the referendum approved by the community in 2019.
Q. Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A. The library has definitely seen an increase in the use of online materials. Staff have done a great job promoting "Library on the Go" in the weekly e-newsletter and quarterly print program catalog sent to cardholders. "Library on the Go" allows library card holders to tap into resources such as Hoopla, Kanopy, OverDrive/Libby, Tumblebooks and Pressreader which work on smartphones, tablets, e-readers and streaming devices. Where possible, the number of titles that could be borrowed at any time was increased as well as the number of holds that could be placed. The library also increased the variety and quantity of technology and equipment that can be checked out. As an example, cardholders can borrow a Kindle e-reader preloaded with best-selling titles or a Roku to stream movies, TV shows and documentaries. The library is also educating patrons on how to use these resources through Virtual Digital Life Technology classes
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 non-incumbent. I believe my qualifications and direct work related knowledge and experience would add great value to the board. I have a Master's degree in Public Administration with a concentration in management of nonprofit organizations. I have over 30 years of experience in publishing and marketing having directed the publishing program for the The American Academy of Pediatrics. I am experienced in policy development, strategic planning and fiscal management. I directed a staff of 40 marketing and print professionals who developed and published both print and digital health care publications. Just a few of the initiatives I spearheaded include development of HealthyChildren.org, a website for parents with health information in both English and Spanish and the development of a low-literacy patient education program. I have worked with boards of directors and served on the boards of several organizations. Colleagues and clients have often stated that I have a collaborative nature and am an effective communicator. I would work with the board and staff to help ensure the library is equipped to meet the needs of all the residents of the community served by the library.
Q. Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A. I have had a Palatine Library card since moving to Palatine over 30 years ago. I use it multiple times each month. The library has always been a great resource both personally and professionally for me and my family.
Q. What other issues need to be addressed?
A. Libraries must strive to meet the wants and needs of those facing the greatest barriers to access and opportunity in the community. The Palatine Library Strategic Plan includes an action goal to "interact with its diverse community to discover and respond to the current needs of all groups" I fully support the library's efforts in this regard. I believe it is the role of each trustee to represent the interests of all the residents in the community served by the library. The library is truly an essential resource in the community and I would be honored to serve as a trustee.