Library Board Hopefuls Eye Service and Keeping Pace

Article excerpt

Byline: Jon Davis Daily Herald Staff Writer

Library board candidates must loudly proclaim their desire to lead an organization for which silence is a virtue.

Four candidates are doing so in the April 13 consolidated election, vying for three seats, only one of which is open.

Seeking those seats are James Bertucci, 39, a financial consultant, Mary Jeanne Fitzgerald, 53, a nurse, and incumbents Richard Frisbie, 72, and Robin LaBedz, 43.

All four responded to a Daily Herald questionnaire, the answers to which are printed below. The candidates' responses have been edited for brevity, not for content.

How should the library prepare to serve the residents who will soon live in the new downtown condominiums?

James Bertucci: We will need to watch the age of the new downtown residents to anticipate and plan possible reallocation of resources to meet shifts in users.

For example, young commuters may find the need to use the library to enhance their careers. Or current Arlington Heights residents who are "empty nesters" may sell their homes to families with young children. ... This would mean expanding the children services. The key is to stand ready to respond.

Mary Jeanne Fitzgerald: Time and space are the keys. Utilization of meeting and study rooms, seating areas and traffic patterns need to be re-evaluated.

Reconfiguring the Hendrickson Room needs to be seriously considered. And vending machines would best be moved to the lower/entry level to minimize their nuisance factor. Are they even necessary? The library would be cleaner and quieter without them.

The use of personnel must be re-examined. Budgets may demand cross-training.

Richard Frisbie: Although several hundred new residents in close proximity to the library obviously will increase usage of library facilities, I don't think we'll have much trouble accommodating them.

We serve many thousands of residents already. The new people represent only a small percentage of our total patron base.

Robin LaBedz: According to the developers, many of the new downtown residents may be current Arlington Heights residents moving from single-family homes and probably already library patrons. However, if they now live closer to the library, they may use it more often or differently than they have in the past.

The people who move into the houses may be new residents, and we might see an increase in the total population of adults and children. …