Years of residence in Bonner County: 30-year resident
How can the public contact you? [email protected]
• Current Chair, East Bonner County Library Board of Trustees
• Retired North Idaho College English professor
• Current member and former President, Angels Over Sandpoint
• Library Acquisitions Assistant, Western Illinois University
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Substantial grant writing, research, and technology expertise
• Strong leadership skills, but works cooperatively with groups
1. This is a volunteer position – no pay! Here's a three-part question:
- Why are you running for a seat on the library board?
I have been serving on the library board for almost six years now and have enjoyed it. Our library is AMAZING, and my goal is to maintain that high standard. I believe my service supports that goal.
- Have you ever attended a library board meeting? Yes - countless meetings since I've served for almost six years.
- And, if elected, how many hours per week will you devote to your service on the board? As many as it takes depending on the issues being addressed. Since I am a young retiree, I have both the time and the energy to devote to board needs.
2. How many times in 2019 and 2020 did you visit the library as a patron to utilize its services?
I did not keep track, but I would guess that I have visited as a patron at least twice per month during that two-year period. (Please include both years, as 2020 operations were atypical due to the pandemic.) What library services did you personally use? The primary services I use are the digital materials (ebooks and research databases) and DVDs.
3. Do you consider the library to be well run and well managed currently? As an "insider" as well as a patron, I believe the library is being run and managed very well.
- Is its board of trustees taking it in the right direction? We have a high-functioning board whose primary concern is ensuring the library maintains a high level of services and patron support. In my mind, that's the "right" direction.
- If you were a teacher handing out grades, what grade would you give our library for the services it provides to the community? A solid "A".
4. What do you identify as at least 2-3 things you feel are important issues, that you would want to pursue or address as a member of the library board of trustees? We are currently researching options to replace our decades-old bookmobile, which allows us to provide a valuable service to rural patrons. We are also moving forward with completion of our garden area, which will provide a wonderful amenity and educational opportunity for patrons and our community.
5. Let's talk vision. As the rise of the Internet and the World Wide Web has impacted our lives with instant access to information, the role of many libraries has expanded dramatically. Twenty or 30 years ago, providing books on shelves for checkout was arguably the primary role for the library. Is it still? Describe your personal vision for the services that the East Bonner County Library should provide in this new age of information. One of the upsides of the pandemic has been greater patron knowledge and use of our expansive digital resources, which can be accessed via computer from anywhere. However, I continue to see our primary role as a physical library that serves as an important community education hub for patrons of all ages.
6. The library is a taxing district and its operations are supported by taxes. Do you feel the library is fiscally prudent with its budget? Yes, the library is very careful in its spending. The trustees review expenditures each month and play a significant role in establishing the annual budgets and making decisions on large expenditures. We take our fiscal responsibility very seriously. This fiscal year, even though we were eligible for an increase in our taxing amount due to new home construction, we decided to freeze it at the previous year's level due to the financial uncertainty created by the pandemic. We did not want tax payers to have ANY increase related to the library.
- Would you seek changes to its funding or its expenditures? No. The current funding structure and expenditure decisions are working well.
7. A hot-button issue at the library for some during the pandemic has been its policies requiring the wearing of face masks as a health precaution for staff and patrons. The policy was opposed by protestors at the library last summer and again this spring (my correction). Do you support or oppose the mask policy, or would you have handled this matter differently? As long as a public health threat remains, many Bonner County residents choose to refuse vaccination, and the CDC recommends mask usage indoors, I will support our mask policy. It concerns me greatly that this public health issue has been so politicized. Unfortunately, some of the protestors do not even patronize the library or live in Bonner County; they have simply targeted our policy as an infringement of rights.
8. Finally: With multiple candidates for the two board positions up for election, why should voters give you their vote? As a six-year board incumbent and current chair, I have a clear understanding of how the library functions along with its current and future needs. I also believe myself a fair, trustworthy, and responsible citizen who listens to and considers all viewpoints.
- What would you like voters to most consider in deciding how to cast their vote? I think it's important that library trustees are reasonable individuals whose only goal is to support our library and expand services to the community. Hidden (or obvious) political agendas would only create contention and potential disruption to our currently high-functioning board. There are certainly circumstances and situations where incumbents need to be replaced, but I think it would be a mistake in this case.