Laura Bedolla: 2023 candidate for Gail Borden Public Library District board
Age on Election Day: 30
Occupation: Government employee
Employer: State of Illinois
Previous offices held: Appointed to Gail Borden board in September 2022
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?
A: I am running for library trustee because I am passionate about education, literacy, and community. The library is home to all of these things. The Gail Borden Public Library has always served an important and central role in my life.
It was the place where I practiced my reading as I learned to speak English. It was also the place where I studied during college and graduate school and the place that helped launch my professional career. I am seeking a trustee position because I hope to give back to the library and community that has given my family and I so much.
Q: Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A: Online materials are a growing library service. The library has a large collection of e-books and online resources. The collection and availability of materials continues to grow each year. As a Trustee, I'm committed to supporting the maintenance of these programs and resources so that the public may continue to enjoy them. It's essential that the library provides accessible materials that meet the needs of all district residents, whether they prefer digital media, physical media, or printed materials.
Q: What do you see as the future of role of libraries in the electronic age? How well prepared is your library for meeting that role? What new steps must the library begin taking?
A: As we continue to live and work in this electronic age, the library has only become more essential to the community. The library continues to serve as a central hub for resources and lifelong learning. The library currently has an extensive catalog of online materials such as e-books, movie streaming, and databases.
As library trustee, I look forward to supporting the library's continued efforts in identifying new electronic resources and making them accessible to the public.
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 library trustee, I have supported various library exhibits and helped bring awareness to these great initiatives. Along with my colleagues, I have worked toward the expansion of the South Elgin Branch to bring greater access and opportunity to the residents of the district. If elected, I will continue to prioritize fiscal responsibility, diverse programing, and literacy services.
Q: Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A: I have my original library card that I received in grade school, which I continue to use on a regular basis. I visit the library or access its online resources at least twice a month. I encourage everyone to sign up for a library card and enjoy the many collections. However, the library also offers other services that do not require a library card; some of these include passport services, programming, and license plate sticker renewals.
Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your library board.
A: I enjoy working in a collaborative environment in order to shape policy. In discussions, it's important for me to listen and form opinions based on the facts and information provided. I seek to understand different perspectives and value the input of my colleagues, stakeholders, and the public. I hold a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Loyola University Chicago and a Diversity Equity and Inclusion certificate from Northwestern University.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I believe that I am an ideal candidate for library trustee because of my experience and passion for the library. I spent six years working at the library in a variety of positions, beginning as a Library Page. I later worked in Hispanic Services and Adult Services organizing events and helping individuals locate books and resources. I currently serve on the Gail Borden Public Library Foundation and I am an incumbent library trustee.