Joe Bean: Cook Memorial Public Library Board Candidate
Joe Bean is among six people seeking three spots on the Cook Memorial Public Library District Board.
Name: Joe Bean
Family: Two sons, graduates of Libertyville High School
Education: BSJ, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Occupation: Professional freelance writer and corporate communications consultant
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices:
- Was appointed to the Board in 1994
- Elected to the Board in 1995
- Served as Vice President 1995-1997
- Served as President 1997-1999
- Completed six-year term as Trustee 1999-2001
Other community involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Position sought: Candidate did not respond.
Campaign E-mail address: Candidate did not respond.
Campaign committee: Candidate did not respond.
Campaign Website: Candidate did not respond.
Campaign Facebook: Candidate did not respond.
Campaign Twitter: Candidate did not respond.
Why are you running?
I believe a library must be an invaluable asset to a community.
I believe a library must intentionally evolve, change and grow to meet its community responsibilities.
I believe the Cook Memorial Public Library District must be attuned to technology and be prepared, through long range strategic planning, to adapt to continuing changes in the ways patrons need and use its collection and services.
In what ways would the library district benefit from your service?
A library is a good as its collection, its staff and the services both embody. I believe the staff has the responsibility for acquiring, managing and evaluating the collection and meeting patron needs. As a trustee, I believe my responsibility is to advocate for the staff and the library’s patrons—a perspective gained from my experience on prior boards.
What is the biggest challenge the library faces and what should be done to address it?
Serving the needs of a patron base from two facilities will continue to be a major challenge that manifests itself in many and sometimes conflicting ways. The patron base is geographically and demographically diverse. How best to serve all patrons efficiently and effectively from two facilities? Should the collection be expanded? Where and how? What part or parts of the collection will be affected? What should drive staffing in the two facilities? How are services planned, allocated and evaluated in the two facilities? Thoughtful governance, attention to short and long range budgets and providing opportunities for patron input are required if those challenges—and others—are to be met successfully.
What do you think the library does well?
Operating two facilities with the same size staff prior to opening Aspen, providing new services and meeting the diverse needs of patrons on a daily basis.
What should be some of the library district’s priorities over the next several years?
The library must have an up to date long-term strategic plan for facilities and personnel; the last plan is outdated. Because technology cannot replace books in the immediate future, what criteria should guide the library in allocating long-term resources with respect to the collection and patron services? Succession planning and staff development is essential; the current director, for example, may be retiring in 2015 or later.
What else would you like voters to know?
The library is a public resource that benefit from patron input, feedback and participation. The Board of Trustees, whose primary function is governance, must take the initiative by listening to patrons and staff if the library is to continue being an invaluable asset to a community by evolving, changing and growing to meet its community responsibilities.