Anita Forte-Scott: 2021 candidate for Schaumburg Township Library Trustee
Seven candidates for four 4-year terms
Hometown: Hoffman Estates
Age on Election Day: 51
Occupation: Marketing manager
Employer: Integrated Building Industries, Inc.
Civic involvement: Schaumburg Township District Library Trustee, 15 years, and elected board president; Rotary Club of Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates, member for 16 years and past president; as Rotarian support WINGS, Children's Advocacy Center, Children's Home & Aid Society, School Districts 54 & 211, Schaumburg Township, NWSRA, Harper College, Kenneth Young Center, Schaumburg Senior Program, Trickster Veteran Holiday Dinner, Shop with a Cop, and many more community organizations; Village of Hoffman Estates Chairman of the Northwest Celtic Fest; member of the Environmental Commission
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 have great admiration for Schaumburg Township District Library and all the materials, services, and programs it provides to our community. As a Trustee, I closely monitor all areas of the Library and look for ways to improve upon the solid foundation that was built in 1963 and sustained by excellent Trustees before me. I am motivated to work hard to guide the future of Schaumburg Township District Library with outstanding fiscal responsibility, appropriate policies and procedures, available technological advancements, beneficial programming for all patrons, an equity, diversity, and inclusion focus, and implementation of innovative services.
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. Schaumburg Township District Library continued to serve our patrons to the very best of our ability during the disruptions caused by the pandemic in new and innovative ways. Some successful services that I am most proud of include; a $1.5 million abatement on property taxes was approved by the board of trustees to help all taxpayers, over 3,000 free meals were distributed safely to children and their families at our branches, contactless item pickup and drop-off methods were launched including curbside and an outdoor locker system, digital resources were extended to all students in D54 and D211 to enhance online learning methods, laptop kits with Wi-Fi hot spots were created and available for checkout for people needing a computer, more than 150 programs each month were offered via electronic means, and the central library building completed the first-floor renovation.
The Trustees, management, and staff are to be commended in staying true to our collective purpose of serving our community in the best ways we possibly can. Additionally, our patrons and community are to be complimented for their patience and understanding while our beloved Library had to navigate new best practices to provide safe services to everyone.
Q. Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A. I am extremely pleased that Library patrons have vast opportunities to utilize online materials at their fingertips, 24-hours a day. Our online collection has been increased to meet the ongoing needs of our community. We have tracked these interactions and can proudly indicate that from the start of FY 2019 to January 2021, we have counted over 1,066,224 website visits and more than 314,474 Library Wi-Fi sessions. Our total E-Resource usage is up 77.72% from past years with over 410,552 checkouts of digital items like eBooks and streamed movies. We have increased access to our online collections to all Library cardholders through subscriptions to Hoopla, OverDrive, O'Reilly, Bilblioboard, RBdigital Magazines, PressReader, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Kanopy, AcornTV, Brainfuse, Gale Courses, LyndaLibrary, Treehouse, Scholastic Teachables, Mango Languages, Creativebug, and others. All online materials are available at SchaumburgLibrary.org and through apps for devices. To promote our online collections, we have increased the number of targeted emails sent to patrons with links to online services, seen growth in usage across all social media accounts with higher rates of impressions and engagements, and we have augmented the number of mailings sent to every resident in Schaumburg Township promoting online and in-person services.
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. As a Schaumburg Township District Library Trustee for the past 15-years I have contributed greatly to many significant initiatives in service to our community. Most notably I led the $1.5 million abatement on property taxes in 2020, I was a strong proponent for STDL to become a fine free Library, I have a solid record of long-standing fiscal leadership with NO tax increase referendum request to taxpayers, I was in favor of and involved with the building of the new Hanover Park Branch Library building and I have been closely involved with all renovations made at the Branches and Central Library areas including children's, teens, fiction, circulation, the Commons, staff spaces, the cafe, the workshop, and the entry area. I am looking forward to the upcoming renovations being planned for the 2nd floor. In 2020 I was honored to be the recipient of the Special Districts Leadership in Technology Innovation National Award, from Government Technology an AT&T program, for my leadership and contributions to Schaumburg Township District Library.
Q. Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A. I am a very proud STDL cardholder and patron. I have had a Library card since I was a child growing up in Schaumburg starting in 1969. I use my library card many times each week whether checking out books or materials, using our online services and streaming platforms, or registering for, and participating in programs.
Q. What other issues need to be addressed?
A. I, like all Schaumburg Township residents, am a Library taxpayer too. I work hard to be sure that all tax dollars are being spent thoughtfully and responsibly. The Library annual budget review process is extensive, thorough, and designed to weed-out any unnecessary or outdated expenditures before being approved. The current FY 2020-2021 budget was approved with a more than 5% reduction of initial requests and overall expenditures. As a Trustee, I carefully and meticulously review all financial statements each month and examine annual trends in costs vs. funding.
Library Trustees serve without any compensation. I am a volunteer, devoting my time and effort toward keeping the Library functioning at an optimal level. I represent the community as a whole in a nonpartisan capacity. Focusing on what is best for the Library, the patrons, and the employees are the prominent reasons why I wish to continue as a Library Trustee. I would be honored to continue serving our community as your most experienced Library Trustee. Thank you for your vote.