Kristen Palic : 2021 candidate for Cook Memorial Library board
Four candidates for three seats.
Employer: Libertyville District 70
Civic involvement: Volunteer for Lake County resettlement teaching English and tutoring refugee children
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: I am running because I am a lifelong reader, writer, and library patron. Literature and language arts are my passion, and as a teacher I rely on the library. One of my greatest pleasures is connecting students with books that interest and inspire them, with the hope of turning them into lifelong learners as well. I am invested in serving Cook Memorial Public Library because it is a resource I rely on, and I encourage my students to rely on as well. A great library makes my job easier. So, if I can help in any small way to keep the library serving the community, it is my pleasure to do so.
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: Yes, they did a great job of setting up contactless pick up and drop off for patrons to still access materials. They also promoted online content and programming though social media, and provided programming via Zoom. Lastly, they have eliminated late fees during the pandemic, so that patrons didn't need to worry about late fees when they might have been struggling financially. Even better, going fine free has become permanent even after COVID.
Q: Has your library seen a significant shift in the use of online materials? Has it adequately bolstered and promoted its online collection?
A: I do not have access to official numbers, but I would assume they have seen an uptick in the use of online resources. They have also done a nice job of reaching out on social media to reach patrons and promote online programming.
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: We should continue to bolster our online resources, and explore ways to make sure that patrons can access materials easily.
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: I would love to see a revamping of the website to make sure that all of the amazing things the library offers is easily accessible to patrons. With the reliance of technology here to stay, it's important to stay up to date on the interface for patrons. I would also like to see the library develop closer relationships with the area schools. While we have fantastic learning centers in D70, getting students to use Cook as well can only benefit both the schools and the community. Getting kids in the door gets families in the door, and that's never a bad thing. The library offers programs that our students would benefit from, and having a closer connection with the schools would provide a way to get more students involved.
Q: Do you have a library card? How long have you had it? How often do you use it?
A: Yes, I have had one though the school where I work for 17 years, and when we moved to Libertyville 8 years ago, I signed up for my personal card.