I look at our Library as the cornerstone in our community.  Many don’t recall the tough race that occurred as it pertains to the referendum to build our new building.  Some leaders here in Bolingbrook were against the referendum, but it passed on the strength of the communities voice.  It was the absentee ballots that were counted after election day that put our new library on the map.  We had a few good community members working hard to promote why the additional tax was needed and the benefits it would provide to the entire community.

On Wednesday January 30th a community forum will be hosted by the DuPage Township Democrats and myself.  Please come and meet the Fountaindale library candidates of the Bolingbrook United ticket as well as the other Bolingbrook United candidates, 694 W. Boughton, suite 100 from 7-9PM

In April there will be a consolidated election, these are the elections that are local in nature and not driven by the 2 major political parties.  The election will fill four (4) library district trustee positions. Two (2) library trustee positions are six (6) year terms. Two (2) library trustee positions are two (2) year terms.  The reason for the 2 different terms is because the 2 positions that are 2 years are due to the resignation of some former board members, normally all positions that would be up would be 6 year ones.  In addition you should note that not all Bolingbrook residents are a part of the Fountaindale Library, we have some residents in Wheatland Township that are in the Plainfield Library district.

Public library boards have five primary roles:

1.  Advocate for the library in the community and advocate for the community as a member of the library board.   To be a library advocate is to work for the betterment of library services for the community.   Advocacy includes working to obtain adequate funding for the library; pursuing opportunities to meet and speak with community groups; getting to know the mayor and city council; making sure the community’s needs and interests are paramount when making board decisions.

2.  Plan for the future of the library.  Planning is one of the most important trusts that the community gives to the library board.  Planning is deciding what is going to happen with library services over the next few years.  It is taking charge of the library’s future and creating it to be responsive to what the community needs.

3.  Monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the library.  The community puts its trust in the library board to make sure the library is operating the way it should.  For example, the library board is familiar with the library’s budget – where the money is coming from and how it will be spent.  The board monitors monthly financial reports and approves the bills so they can be paid.  The board also helps determine whether the community is satisfied with the service received from the library.

4.  Set library policies.  The library board spends much of its time on policy issues – developing policies and monitoring the effectiveness of those policies.  (Policy is a carefully designed, broadly stated, written guideline for actions and decision of the library.)  Once adopted by the board, library staff carries out the policies on a day-to-day basis.

5.  Hire and evaluate the library director.  The board hires a qualified director to manage the day-to-day operations of the library and works with the director, carefully respecting each other’s roles.  The board also regularly evaluates the director to make sure the library operates well and in the best interest of those the library serves.

Bolingbrook United is running 2 candidates for Fountaindale and one for Plainfield Library Board(s).  They filed their petitions on Dec. 10th.  You will see Jason Cann on the ballot for western Bolingbrook/Plainfield Library, and for Fountaindale are Otis Gatlin, Ryan Harter, (2 year terms).  As we get closer to the election I am sure you will find out more about the candidates on the website www.bolingbrookunited.com and you can keep up with their activities on the facebook page Bolingbrook United (be sure and like the page)

I see our library as the most precious gem in our community.  It offers our residents regardless of income level all the same opportunities and its free (at least once we pay our tax bill), you can’t say that about our Park District or Schools.  They both have additional costs tacked on after paying taxes, called user fees.  Bolingbrook has a world class library and our local residents want to ensure it continues to thrive and be the Gem of our Community.