Below are candidate-submitted answers to a survey Landmark sent out to all candidates running in this year’s elections.
Previous political experience: Currently finishing a four year term on the Brookfield Public Library Board.
Previous community involvement: I was active in the Hollywood School PTA for ten years, serving on the Board for two years as PTA President, two years as Recording Secretary and two years as Treasurer. In addition, I managed various programs as well as a variety of fundraising events to fund PTA programs and arts residencies.
In 2007, I served on the Library’s Facilities Committee until it disbanded. During that time, I worked on the community survey. For many years prior to serving on the Library Board of Trustees, I volunteered and worked on the annual Friends of the Brookfield Library fundraiser – The Taste of Brookfield @ Your Library. The 9th annual Taste of Brookfield will be held on Friday, September 25, 2015.
Education: Attended Columbia College, Chicago.
When my husband and I moved to Brookfield in 1998, I was very disappointed in the services offered by the Brookfield Library. At that time, the Library did not participate in cooperative borrowing so Brookfield residents had access only to the materials on the Library’s shelves. Since that time, the Brookfield Library has completely changed. Not only does the Library meet members’ basic needs for materials through its own collection as well as through SWAN, the Library has become a leader in providing access to changing technologies. As a lifelong Library user, I am cognizant of the multitude of educational opportunities offered by libraries to members. I am proud to serve my community and support these opportunities for Brookfield residents.
For the past four years, I have attended Library Board meetings regularly. All aspects of the meetings have been of interest to me, from the monthly financial reports, Library policy, and all aspects pertaining to the construction of a new Library facility. The evolution of technology available to Library members has also been interesting. Since I joined the Board of Trustees, members can now borrow internet hotspots, e-readers, and Nintendo DS devices. In the Library, members have access to a 3-D printer, laptops and tablets, Nintendo 3DS devices, and a VHS to DVD / digital converter. Libraries are not book depositories. Libraries are about access to information in a multitude of formats. The Brookfield Library has been very progressive and creative in providing this access to residents.
The next-seated Library Board will make decisions on final building plans and how best to achieve construction of a new Library facility. The building plans are being developed in a participative fashion with the input of the public via the Facility Advisory Committee and the Library staff. I believe this is the correct path. Brookfield residents deserve a practical and flexible building that will serve the community’s evolving needs for decades to come. For many years, the Library Board has been setting funds aside for a new building in order to minimize impact on taxpayers. The next Board will make decisions on how best to finance the project and will consider all options.
Four years from now, I would like to see a new facility for the Brookfield Library become a reality. The Board of Trustees has made excellent and deliberate progress towards this goal.
I would strongly resist any attempt to remove or censor Library materials. Censorship is a slippery slope. I strongly believe that we do not have the right to expect not to be offended. In fact, the cost of living in a free society is the expectation that at some point, we will be confronted with something that we find offensive. A good Library collection contains materials that some may find offensive.
The Brookfield Library is an integral part of our community and one of the few institutions that serves all members, from its very youngest to its oldest. The Library is a place for members to borrow or download materials, such as books, e-books, DVDs, CDs, games, laptops, game systems and hotspots. The Library is also a place for members to learn new technologies, such as 3-D printing, as well as a community resource for hands-on computer classes, writing workshops, after-school programs and more. Teenagers can take the practice ACT and become CPR certified. The Library is a place for people to meet, collaborate, create and exchange ideas.
One of the most dynamic but perhaps underutilized resources at the Library is the multitude of databases available. Members can access Consumer Reports at home through the Library website as well as a multitude of other databases such as Mango Languages for language mastery and Tutor.com which provides homework help for students in elementary school through college. And although it can only be used from inside the Library, members interested in geneology research have access to Ancestory.com. Over the next four years, I would like to see the usage of databases increase as I believe most people may be unaware of these resources.