David Jonen: 2021 candidate for Schaumburg Township Library Trustee
Seven candidates for four 4-year terms
Hometown: Hanover Park
Age on Election Day: 49
Occupation: High school social studies teacher, Varsity Water Polo coach
Employer: Township High School Dist. 211, James B. Conant High School, Hoffman Estates
Civic involvement: Incumbent library board member, current treasurer; Hanover Park Police Pension Board, Appointed Resident Trustee; Boy Scout Troop 297 Assistant Scout Master; Schaumburg Athletic Association volunteer soccer coach
Q. Why are you running for the library board? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. Library board trustees act as stewards of a beloved resource for our community. My reason for running for the library board has always been to help fulfill the mission of the library and to see it serve the needs of the residents. Ensuring our library is driven by sound policies and a fiscally responsible vision are key to my approach. As a father and a teacher I am particularly concerned with making sure the library is seen by children as an inviting and useful space that provides a vast array of resources and programs.
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. I believe our staff has done an outstanding job of meeting the needs and interests of the residents of the township throughout the pandemic. The library was quick to provide curbside pickup of material for residents at all of our locations. We also implemented a 24/7 electronic outdoor locker pick up system to better meet the need of patrons. For safety, the library quickly adopted a system to quarantine materials for an appropriate period of time before being processed and returned to circulation. Perhaps most notable, the Hoffman Estates and Hanover Park branches were able to continue the Free Summer Meals program despite the pandemic.
Q. Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A. Most certainly. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a considerable increase in the use of online materials. This increase had begun before the general shutdown of in-person library visits due to the growing demand for access to e-materials. The availability of online resources like Hoopla, Kanopy and the Libby App have become great options for accessing books, music and films. I believe our director of marketing has done an excellent job of promoting our online catalog through various social media formats and through the monthly mailing.
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 most proud of the board's support of the library director and staff as they have risen to the challenges posed by the pandemic. We maintained compensation and benefits to our employees during a period of great uncertainty. The board allowed access to online materials to any household served by school districts 54 or 211. Our library also joined many others in becoming a fine free library while still providing extensive programing. Finally, I along with my fellow trustees reviewed and revised a variety of policies such as purchasing, investments, borrowing, privacy and our code of conduct.
Q. Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A. Yes, for over 20 years. I use my library card several times a week to obtain both physical materials and to access online materials.
Q. What other issues need to be addressed?
A. Changing demographics and changing technologies are certainly issues that remain priorities. Knowing how to better serve our residents always begins with understanding the dynamics of the communities we serve. Similarly, retaining a professional staff that is responsive to changes in how materials are accessed and utilized is of the upmost importance.