Christopher K. Pudelek: 2021 candidate for Addison Public Library trustee
Three candidates are running for two, 6-year terms as an Addison Public Library trustee in the April 6, 2021, election. They are incumbents Maria F. Piscopo and Christopher K. Pudelek, and challenger Matthew G. Moretti.
The Daily Herald asked candidates to respond to a questionnaire about library issues. Moretti did not respond to the questionnaire.
Occupation: No response provided
Civic involvement: I currently serve on the Village of Addison Historical Commission, Addison Historical Society Board, Addison Knights of Columbus, and have previously served on the St. Joseph Parish Council.
Q. Why are you running for the library board, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in August 2020. As a lifelong Addison resident, I believe the Addison Public Library has always played a vital role in the community. I hope to ensure that this important resource continues to thrive for all in Addison.
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 the library went above and beyond during the pandemic. From instituting a curbside pickup, home delivery, laptop rentals, and consistent virtual programming, the staff did an excellent job at adapting to the conditions and was able to maintain, and even increase all regular services for our patrons.
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, the library is so much more than the books on the shelves. The library has consistently responded to the needs of the community. In doing so, we have an extensive array of online materials and programs. At the Addison Public Library, a patron can checkout material from our digital collection, use our online platforms to assist in career and job searches, learning a new language, genealogy research, learning about investing, and even guidance on starting a business.
Q. In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A. As all people adjust to the changes that COVID-19 has brought on society, it will be very important that the library maintains its commitment to public health. The library should maintain its rigorous cleaning and disinfecting and other precautions that have been put in place. Ultimately, we should rely on information from public health authorities as we assess how best to serve our patrons and the 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. Having only been on the board for six months, most of the decision-making has been related to the pandemic. We have carefully assessed when it was safe to reopen the library, as well making sure the library patrons and staff are safe as they utilize and work at the library. Many more important decisions will need to be made in the year ahead as we adjust to a post-pandemic reality.
Q. Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A. Having grown up in Addison, I received my first Addison library card early in grade school. I have consistently used the library is some shape or form all throughout my school years. Most recently, as a personal project during the quarantine, I've been researching my family history using the library's genealogy platforms, which have been very helpful.