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Meet the Library Board Candidates. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
What are your qualifications for the position of Library Trustee?
Dr. Phyllis Dahlstrand: I have served in this role since 2009 and am intimately aware of the responsibilities of this position. In these years I have held the office of board Secretary and am currently Vice President. In 2017 I retired and sold the physical therapy practice in Homer Glen which I had owned and directed. My responsibilities as a business owner reflected many of the routine issues we cover as trustees and has further prepared me for this position.
Clare Lund: I am the librarian for Gower School District 62, where I oversee the elementary and middle school libraries, plan programs and events for our community, and teach students at all grade levels. I am a member of the American Library Association and the Association of Illinois School Library Educators, and I serve on the Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award Selection Committee for the state of Illinois.
Dr. Eileen McCaffrey: I have a BA in Elementary Education, an MA in Educational Administration and an EdD in Educational Administration with an emphasis on Peace and Social Justice, along with my Superintendent of Schools Endorsement.
Robert J. Mikols: I have earned a bachelors degree in history from Loyola University Chicago and terminal managers for trucking companies so I have leadership abilities.
Kitty (Kathryn) Mitchell: I have lived in Homer Township since 1978. In 1982, I began working at the Library as the only employee in the Children’s Department, demonstrating the importance of having our own Community Library. I am proud to have served as the first Children’s Department Head for 30 years, retiring in 2012. I have also served as a Library Board Member Trustee, for the last 8 years.
What is your motivation for seeking a position as a Homer Township Library District Trustee?
Dr. Phyllis Dahlstrand: I have been proud to serve on this board as I feel our library holds a unique position in Homer Township, serving many needs beyond the basic literary items that are normally associated with libraries. There is great respect within the board and with the director which serves us well in accomplishing tasks. I am pleased to give back to the community where I have resided for 36 years.
Clare Lund: My husband and I moved to Homer Glen in 2012, and we now have a Kindergartener and 2nd grader at Schilling Elementary. We love our neighbors and living in Homer Township, and I am looking forward to becoming more involved in our community. As a parent of school-aged children, I would bring a fresh perspective to the Board, and I will work to represent the growing population of young families in Homer Township in the years to come.
Dr. Eileen McCaffrey: The Homer Library has been a big part of my life since I moved to this community 28 years ago. When my three children were young, the library was our "go to" place. Without a park district, I relied on the library to provide fun, free classes and activities for my children. And, of course, it was always my "go to" place for their books. Now that they are grown, I participate in so many of the classes they offer and I am there weekly to check out books for myself. Our Homer Library has definitely provided me and my family with so much through the years. I want to continue being a Trustee in order to ensure that our library continues to provide such great opportunities to Homer residents. Our library is SO much more than a building filled with books. It is the heart of our community.
Robert J. Mikols: To serve
Kitty (Kathryn) Mitchell: As a Trustee, I have the privilege of overseeing an indispensable organization that provides our patrons not only with books and computers, but much of the cultural, educational, and recreational needs of our community. I would like to do my part in continuing to do this.
What do you feel are the most essential services that the Library provides to the community of Homer Township?
Dr. Phyllis Dahlstrand: The essential services regularly evolve. They are dictated by the ever changing community needs and must respond to technology growth, economic changes, and educational and social needs across the ages.
Clare Lund: Libraries are one of the few shared spaces where all are welcome, and Homer Township Public Library is truly the heart of our community! I’ve always been so impressed with the wide variety of programs and events that are offered for patrons of all ages, and with the new materials that are constantly being added to their collection each month.
Dr. Eileen McCaffrey: As stated above, the classes we offer are diverse, fun and greatly needed (not to mention free). In a community with no park district, this is important. It is a gathering place for students to study (private study rooms). It is a place to use a computer if needed. Did you know you can download free audiobooks via our library? Did you know you can check out free zoo and museum passes via our library? The library has so many resources available that it is hard to select a few and call them the "most essential". What is "essential" to me might not be "essential" to you, which is why offering so many services is important. There is something "essential" for everyone! I will be honest and say that I am a good, old-fashioned book reader. I like having a "real" book in my hands, so checking out books is what is MOST "essential" to me!
Robert J. Mikols: Information theroies thoughts enlightenment
Kitty (Kathryn) Mitchell: Libraries should provide not only popular reading material, but also up to date computers and research assistance, and programs for all ages. At the same time ensuring a safe and pleasurable environment.
If elected, what would you see as your responsibility to the patrons of the Library?
Dr. Phyllis Dahlstrand: A library trustee serves the community residents in overseeing the fiscal activity of the library including all aspects of the budget and, with the director, makes broad operational decisions. Therefore, my responsibility is to attend the meetings, stay informed and offer opinions so that local resident needs are being met.
Clare Lund: Our library is meant to be a collective space for the entire community to use, so one responsibility is to ensure that policies continue to be inclusive and fair to all patrons. Another responsibility is to make informed decisions about how the library spends its budget each year. I will carefully consider all information and input from patrons and staff before casting my vote on financial matters.
Dr. Eileen McCaffrey: Continue to maintain (and possibly expand) our current services while remaining fiscally responsible.
Robert J. Mikols: More history. A section just about Chicago and suburbs and section just for the American Civil War
Kitty (Kathryn) Mitchell: As a Trustee, I would work to support the Library Director and staff that provide excellent service to all of our community members, as well as being responsible to the Libraries budgeting and growth process.