The newest member of the Brookfield Library Board of Trustees is a professional librarian who moved to Brookfield two years ago. At a special meeting last week, the library board chose 29-year-old Michelle Svendsen to fill the vacancy created when another Tina Louise Happ resigned from the board because she moved out of Brookfield.
Svendsen was chosen from a field of three applicants.
“They were all great candidates, and it was not an easy decision,” said Jennifer Perry, the president of the Brookfield Library Board.
Svendsen has been a member of the library’s facilities advisory committee since late 2014, and she was an active member of the Place 2016 group that hosted information sessions about plans for a new library.
She will be formally sworn in at the library board’s July 27 meeting.
“This is something I’m passionate about,” Svendsen said. “As I’ve gotten to know the other board members, I definitely fall in line with the mission they want to accomplish.”
That mission includes passing a referendum to build a new library. Svendsen says it didn’t take her long after visiting the Brookfield Library to realize a new building is needed.
“I knew that there were good resources in there, but I think the building is just very sad and it doesn’t represent what we have in Brookfield now and what we can be,” Svendsen said.
Svendsen, who is the mother of two boys under the age of 3, works as a substitute librarian at the Downers Grove Public Library. She worked there part time for a little more than a year before going on maternity leave in May 2015.
She earned her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Denver in 2013. A native of Willow Springs, she graduated from De Paul University in 2009 and attended Lyons Township High School.
At 29, Svendsen will be the youngest member of the library board. She thinks that her youth could lend a valuable perspective to the library board.
“The values of a library haven’t changed, but how it’s used and why it’s used has, so I think keeping up to date with those kinds of things is going to be really important,” Svendsen said.
Svendsen and the other two applicants were interviewed by the full library board and Library Director Kimberly Coughran. Svendsen’s term will expire in April of 2017, but she said that she expects to run for a full term on the board next year.