Paul A. Schreck: 2021 candidate for Lake Villa Public Library District trustee
Four candidates running for three, 4-year terms
Town: Round Lake Beach
Occupation: Retired pastor. Making films Schreck Kinowerks (self-employed)
Civic involvement: Laremont School volunteer building adapted devices for students
Q. Why are you running for the library board, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
A. My family is a frequent user of library services, and I see this as a chance to give back and support an institution that has a huge impact on the quality of life in this community.
Q. Did your library continue to adequately serve its constituents during the disruptions caused by the pandemic? If so, please cite an example of how it successfully adjusted to continue providing services. If not, please cite a specific example of what could have been done better.
A. The LVDL staff has done an exceptional job of continuing to provide service during the pandemic. I was already a big fan of searching the online catalog and placing materials I wanted on hold, and by featuring this service, bagging items when ready to be picked up, placing them on tables at the entrance, and quarantining items upon their return, library patrons were assured the safest possible experience. Expanding online resources, such as making Ancestry.com from home, has also been a wonderful adjustment of services.
Q. Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A. The Lake Villa District Library has seen a dramatic increase in Hoopla, Libby, axis360, and other digital services to provide audio books, music, and magazine to patrons unable to enter the building. The catalogue of materials is quite rich, and new publications are added frequently as soon as I've seen a review.
Q. In light of our experiences with COVID-19, what safeguards/guidelines should you put in place to address any future public health crises?
A. The Lake Villa District Library has enacted a robust protocol to remain as open as possible during the pandemic. Paying close attention to Lake County's designated adjustment of tier levels, the library has been able to adjust quickly as the situation unfolds. The Board should establish a continuing committee to consider other types of potential health emergencies that might arise in the future so the library can continue to serve patrons just as well.
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. If elected, I will spearhead an expansion of non-book items for loan. The library currently offers telescopes and WiFi hotspot devices, but many patrons are unaware and can be better promoted in the Newsletter and App. This program could also be expanded to include: winter sport equipment like snowshoes; tools for occasional home improvements or gardening; baking pans; even musical instruments. A thorough survey of patron interests would be an important first step in deciding how to expend this service.
Q. Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A. I have had my Lake Villa District Library card since 1998, and use it weekly (sometimes more than once!). It's one of the most important plastic cards in my billfold.