Name: Elizabeth R. Olson
Town of residence: Elburn
Office sought: Town and Country Library Trustee
Civic involvement and volunteer work: Regular classroom volunteer at Friendship Station Preschool. Classroom party volunteer at John Stewart Elementary School.
Previous elected offices held: None
1. Why are you the best candidate for this office?
Libraries are a central place where people come to know themselves and their communities. There is a quote that says “People may go to the library looking mainly for information, but they find each other there.” New moms connect at story time, elderly people facing life transitions attend events and find new friends, teens meet at the library after school and readers can gather there to discuss current events. In libraries community building happens all the time. My family and I have made many friendships and lasting connections at the library. I feel that the young families going to the library need good representation on the board to ensure good decisions are being made that supports the growing community members. I am passionate about keeping the community involved in all that our library has to offer.
2. What are the biggest challenges facing the office you seek?
Our library isn't very big, but yet our community is growing fast. Our biggest challenge over the next few years will be how to support the growing number of families while also supporting citizens with grown children or no children at all. Many of the programs are already filled up by our current citizens - what new programs and activities can be done in a cost effective way that would allow us to accommodate even more visitors?
3. What issues would you like to address should you be elected?
The past 7 years of regularly visiting the library has been an overall positive experience, but it has had some ups and downs. The changes in staff have had a great impression on the “family friendly” feeling the library possesses. At times it seems a lot of energy and resources went away from the kids area and focused more on the older adult patrons and my young family suddenly felt out of place there. I want to ensure that leadership has a long-term vision towards keeping the library a family friendly environment that can continue to be a central meeting place for the families in this community.