Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thank You Carol Stream!!

In a repeat performance of our victory two years ago, all three of our 2015 STL candidates were elected yesterday to four-year terms on the Carol Stream Library Board. 

Just as impressive was the fact that Nancy Bagdonas, Justin Lynch, and David Larimer received more than twice the number of votes than any of the opponents received in the election. This means that in two short years, our STL organization has completely erased the last vestiges of the previous destructive and dysfunctional Board led by Michael Wade, David DeRango, and Dominick Jeffrey and replaced them with seven highly qualified, intelligent, and motivated trustees who will serve the library and community well.

We wish to thank all of the residents in Carol Stream who supported our candidates, helped us to campaign on their behalf, and worked so hard to get our positive message out to friends and neighbors. Together, we have taken the final step in restoring ethical and responsible leadership to our Library Board. The future of our library looks very bright indeed under the leadership of the new Board.

We would also like to extend our deep thanks to Jim Bailey who will be retiring from the Board to relocate in Alabama so that he and his wife can be closer to family members. Jim has devoted many years to our Library Board and has served with distinction, even in the face of some of the most disgraceful actions our community has seen during the Wade/DeRango/Jeffrey regime. We are extremely pleased that he will be able to step down with the knowledge that our new Board is now in a position to serve the next generation of library users with a group of enthusiastic and dedicated trustees who share a positive vision for the future.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Endorsements Keep Pouring in for STL Candidates

Two years ago, the Support the Library Carol Stream (STL) organization was formed to support five excellent candidates for the Library Board. At that time, the community was outraged by the disgraceful actions of several members of the existing Board, and the candidates backed by the STL Committee promised to restore ethical conduct and fiscal responsibility to the Board. The editors of the Carol Stream Examiner endorsed the STL slate of candidates and were joined by former Director Lynn O'Dell and a long list of respected citizens who also enthusiastically supported our candidates.

Voters in Carol Stream elected all five STL candidates in 2013 by wide margins, and the five trustees have done well to restore dignity and respect to the Library Board. The job is still unfinished, however, since two carryovers from the old regime (David DeRango and Dominick Jeffrey) have chosen to run again. The STL Committee has responded with the selection of three excellent and highly qualified candidates who will complete the task of restoring responsible leadership to the Board that we started two years ago. Once again, a long list of respected residents have endorsed these candidates, and so we urge voters to join them and elect these three excellent candidates as Library Board trustees in April:

Justin Lynch
Nancy Bagdonas
David Larimer

2015 STL Endorsements:

Cindy Allston - Citizen of the Year, 2002
Jim Bailey - Library Trustee; Citizen of the Year, 2003; Vietnam Veteran; 33 year resident
Leigh Bailey - Retired Educator; 33 year resident
Jim Benzin - Navy Veteran, Vietnam War; Retired Educator;  21 year resident
Peggy Benzin - Friends of the Library Volunteer; 21 year resident
Patricia Betlejewski - Business Owner: Budget Blinds; 10 year resident
Craig Cronquist - Attorney; 6 year resident
Don Depa - Educator, Glenbard North; long-time resident
Maria Depa - Special Citizen of the Year 2007;  long-time resident
Mary Douglas - Friends of the Library President; 30 year resident
Larry Evans - Business Owner: Graphic Vision, Inc.; 36 year resident
Sue Evans - Four Time Special Citizen of the Year Nominee; 36 year resident 
Rick Fisher - Carol Stream Fire Protection District Trustee
Rick Gieser - Civic Leader; Village Board Trustee; 40+ year resident
Dr. Bonita Berryman Gilliam - Library Trustee
Dr. David Akbar Gilliam - University Professor
Ginny Goldbach - Special Citizen of the Year, 1995; 25 year resident
Mary Hudspeath - Former Library Board Trustee; Citizen of the Year nominee 2012
Beryl E. Jacobson - Former Pres., Forest Glen Townhome Owners Assn; 12 year resident
Brian Jordan - Carol Stream Fire Protection District Trustee
Ed Jourdan - Current Library Board Trustee, Friends of the Library, VP; 33 year resident
Linda Keen - Special Citizen of the Year 2013;  Business Owner: Massage Clinique
Ann Kennedy - Former C.S. Library Director
Mary Heitert - Business Owner: The Mystery Shop; 32 year resident
Susan Lynch - 30+ year resident
Dick Marchessault - Friends of the Library, Membership Chair; Retired Educator
Ellen Marchessalt - Retired Library employee; 30 year resident
Bob McNees - Attorney; Special Citizen of the Year 1987; Former Rotary Club Pres.
Lynn O'Dell - Retired Library Director 1964-2005; 55 year resident
Roger Petty - 2 year resident
Laura Pollastrini - DuPage Cty Regional Board of Schools, Former Library Board Trustee
Greg Schwarze - Carol Stream Fire Fighter, Civic Leader; 15 year resident
Asif Sheikh - 7 year resident
Nadia Sheikh - Current Library Board Trustee; 7 year resident
Barb Siegman - Former Library Board President; CS Woman's Club; 25 year resident
Earl Smith - Retired Educator & Assistant Principal; 51 year resident
Jan Smith - Special Citizen of the Year 1972; Former Library Board Trustee
Luanne Triolo Newman - Special Citizen of the year 2006; Citizen of the Year 1992

Monday, January 19, 2015

Join Us For the STL Fundraiser on February 8

The STL Committee is pleased to announce our slate of candidates for trustee positions on the Carol Stream Library Board, and we invite you to meet the candidates at our upcoming fundraising event at RoccoVino's Restaurant on February 8. Our three excellent candidates, Justin Lynch, Nancy Bagdonas, and Dave Larimer, are all avid supporters of our library and have all taken an active role in library activities.

The three candidates will be on hand for dinner and conversation from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., but the fundraising event will go on for the entire day. Even if you are not able to join us for the dinner event, please consider dining in or taking out meals anytime during the day to help support our outstanding candidates. Be sure to mention "Support the Library" when you place your order so that the STL Committee receives a percentage of the sales. This will help us to purchase campaign materials for the upcoming election in April.

Many thanks to RoccoVino's for once again hosting an STL event and for graciously sharing a percentage of the proceeds to help our cause. You can view the menu and other information about the rerstaurant on their website:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

6th Annual Shape of Carol Stream Town Meeting

On Wednesday, September 24th, the 6th Annual Shape of Carol Stream Live Town Hall Meeting was held at the Bielawski Municipal Center. Nine local government leaders, including Jim Bailey who is serving as the president of the Carol Stream Library Board of Trustees, were given an opportunity to speak about the agencies they represent and to answer questions from the audience. As you will see from the text of Jim Bailey’s presentation, there are many important and exciting programs and changes taking place at our library—all proof of the dedicated and responsible leadership of the five trustees who were elected with the help and support of the STL organization. We are extremely proud of the fine work they have done.
Good evening and thank you for coming.  My name is Jim Bailey and I have served as a Trustee of the Carol Stream Public Library for over nine years and currently serve as President of the Board of Library Trustees. The role of the Trustees is to provide oversight to ensure that the Library has the facility, staff and resources to provide for the Library needs of the community.  The financial health of the Library is good and we maintain recommended reserves in our various funds.  We rely heavily on our Library Director, Susan Westgate, to manage the day to day operations.

Speaking of day to day operations, let me take this opportunity to tell you some interesting things about our great library.

• The Library had  over 200,000 visitors and nearly 500,000 items circulated in the past year
• We have a collection size of over 200,000 items including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and more.
• The Library is open seven days a week and provides online services 24/7 through our website.
• Online services include subscription databases, program calendar, newsletters, access to downloadable eMedia, links to local resources, Chat Reference, online program registration and much more.  A mobile website is also available for cell phones.
• Public computers, printers, copier, Fax, scanner, study rooms, meeting rooms, Friends Book Sale, and a family play area with games and other activities.

FY 2012/2013 Accomplishments:
• Downloadable e-magazines using Zinio
• Coming in October we are offering on demand streaming video with Hoopla
• Updated the patron computer reservation system
• New preschool computers
• New Peek-a-book viewing station in Youth Services

Programs and Services

• The Library offered 621 programs during the year with nearly 20,000 attendees.
• New Discovery play table in youth services department featuring a train set and Duplo blocks.

In addition to traditional services the Library provides:
• New Early Literacy incentive program-1000 Books Before Kindergarten
• Home-Bound delivery to local patrons that  are physically unable to visit the Library.  Librarians deliver over 200 items each month to over 40 local patrons.  Carol Stream is one of only a few local libraries that provide this service.
• English Conversation Practice program every Tuesday morning for ESL learners to develop their conversation skills.  This program has been active for three years.
• Teen Advisory Board (TAB) of local teens that plan teen events and projects at the Library.
• Finals Study Nights for high school students when we are open until 11 p.m.
• The Museum Adventure Pass program provides patrons with the opportunity to free passes to local museums.

Awards and Recognition
• Received Best in Parade at this year’s annual Fourth of July Parade
• In August 2014, the Library’s Youth Chess Club won second place in the annual Neighboring Library Chess Tournament.

FY 2014/2015 future plans include:
• Developing a Strategic plan based upon feedback from the community provided in an online survey and focus groups.
• Pursuing an intergovernmental agreement with the Park District to establish a passive park on the Kuhn Rd. property.
• Mark your calendar for Sunday, Dec. 7!  The Library will be hosting a Holiday Open House for the community featuring live reindeer, Santa, Victorian Carolers, Bell Choir, crafts and more!  Please join us for an afternoon of fun-filled activities and refreshments from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

I would like to thank our dedicated professional staff and Board of Trustees for their contributions to making our library one of the best in the State of Illinois.  It is a pleasure to be of service to our community.  I will be glad to answer any questions you may have regarding our library.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Focus on Trustees: Nadia Sheikh

As we continue to focus on the great work being done by all of the library trustees that the STL Committee supported in the election in April, 2013, we are pleased to report on the many activities in which Trustee Nadia Sheikh has been involved since she was sworn into office last Spring. Nadia has taken an active role in all Library Board regular meetings and committee work and has distinguished herself as a dedicated worker who has done much to support library programs and services. She serves in a leadership position on the Friends of the Carol Stream Library organization and is also active in the Carol Stream Women’s Club.

Just as important, Nadia Sheikh has been active in many other events in our community and has volunteered her time and services to help make Carol Stream a better place for our neighbors and their children. Here is just a partial list of some of the specific activities in which Nadia has been involved:

May 18, 2013: 

Volunteered at CSWC booth and CSPL booth at the Carol Stream Park District “Just Play!” Event.

July 4, 2013:
Participated in CSPL's July 4th parade and handed out candy and library information from the library float.

August 3, 2013:
Participated in the Dominican University Public Library Trustee Orientation at the Gail Borden Library in order to learn more about her responsibilities as a trustee.

September 24, 2013:

Invited by District 94 Community High School (West Chicago) to participate in National Voter Registration Day and speak to high school government students about her role as a locally elected official.

September 25, 2013:
Attended the annual “Shape of Carol Stream” Town Hall meeting to represent the library and support Jim Bailey, fellow Library Trustee and President.

November 2, 2013:
Invited to speak at the Village of Streamwood's Community Relations Commission Annual “Cultures in Our Community” event to promote diversity within our communities. 

November 21, 2013:
invited by District 94 Community High School (West Chicago) to speak to a high school honors English class for their “Community Leaders Teach for a Day” program during National Education Week on the topic of “Leadership and Diversity in Local Government”.

December 8, 2013:
Worked with the library staff and the Friends of the Carol Stream Library to help make the CSPL Holiday Open House a big success.

January 14, 2014:
Invited by the Assistant Community Development Director of Carol Stream to participate in the Carol Stream Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee

February 2, 2014:
Attended the Carol Stream Citizen of the Year dinner as a nominee for this award in recognition for her service to our community.

February 24, 2014:
Participated in the Carol Stream Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Kickoff meeting.

March 19, 2014:
Volunteered to work with high school seniors from West Chicago High School who asked her  to come speak to their government class during their mock legislative session.

The STL Committee is extremely proud of the work that Nadia Sheikh has done for our library and our community, just as we are for the service and dedication of all of the trustees that the STL Committee supported—Jim Bailey, Bonnie Gilliam, Patricia Johnson, and Ed Jourdan. Together, they have restored integrity and fiscal responsibility to our Library Board. We commend all of these people for their dedication and we thank them for their service to our library!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Holiday Open House

In the days before Christmas, the Carol Stream Public Library hosted a special Holiday Open House--a day filled with special events, music, delicious refreshments, and sleigh rides in Armstrong Park with real reindeer! The library was packed with residents throughout the day and the event was a huge success. The Friends of the Carol Stream Library generously provided all of the cookies and beverages, and several of the library trustees supported by the STL organization were on hand to lend support.

Bonita Gilliam, one of the trustees elected to the Board last April, shared some of her thoughts about the event:

"I had a wonderful day at the Holiday Open House in our very own Carol Stream Library. Books, magazines and media were the backdrop for laughter, singing, bell ringing, sleigh rides, reindeer, and movies. Ooops! I almost forgot to mention Santa and his elves were also present.

It was heart-warming to see so many folks who came out on a cold winter day to share holiday fun. I had the best “job” a  Library Trustee  could ask for because I got to welcome our guests at the front door of the library. Let me share some pictures with you--taken by my husband David Gilliam. Mark your calendars and plan to join us next year. Thanks again, Carol Streamers for electing me to serve as your Trustee."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Focus on Trustees: Bonita Gilliam at the ALA Convention

Bonita Gilliam is one of our newly elected library trustees, and like all of the other new trustees supported by the Support the Library organization, she brings a professional approach and a clear dedication to her position that makes her a valued and respected member of the Carol Stream Library Board. As evidence of that spirit of dedication and commitment, Dr. Gilliam took time out of her busy schedule this summer to attend the 2013 American Library Association Conference held at McCormick Place in Chicago. She did this so that she could stay current with the main issues facing public libraries in the 21st Century and to become familiar with new library materials and resources that our trustees may want to consider as they plan the future of our library.

Here are some notes and observations that she submitted to document the sessions that she attended during the ALA conference:

I attended “Nuts & Bolts for Trustees, Friends and Foundations” workshop all day on 6/28/13-- sponsored by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association (ALA).  A total of six panelists made informative presentations. Moderators were Trustees Shirley Bruursema , Kent District Library and Dora Sims, Birmingham Public Library and Trustee-at-Large, United For Libraries Board.

I also attended a session titled "Discussion on Fiduciary Responsibilities of Boards" that was led by Ruth Newell.  This segment was one of the main topics specifically designed for all Trustees present and I summarize here some of the main suggestions that Ms. Newell made during her presentation:
- Be Alert and Aware
- Be Knowledgeable
- New Trustees: Select an approved purchase and follow the $$$ from beginning to end
- Caution do not micro-manage

Another breakout session that I attended was an “Emergency Readiness” presentation for libraries. The presentation was timely and interesting but primarily targeted a public school setting.

As a sidebar, I met people from around the world: Canada, Nigeria, Alabama, England, Ohio,  France…and a former Carol Stream Friends member named Connie Messner. I invited her and all others to visit the library if they ever happen to visit Carol Stream. The total conference attendance was 26,000+ with over 780 venders gathered in the Exhibits Hall. As a first time attendee, I got caught up in collecting as many “badges” as I could.  I collected five before it dawned on me that I was overdoing it a bit!  Battling Blackhawks fans intent on partying at the downtown parade was an unexpected challenge in Chicago during both days I attended.

On June 29, I attended the “Soaring Higher: United for Libraries Leaders in Action” session. I enjoyed the presentations from seasoned members of group. The group is very dedicated. The take-away for me was--I am not ready to participate at this level…yet  Later that day, I attended a session titled, “How to Be an Effective Library Advocate”. I will share the handout on request.

During the conference, I visited the Exhibits Hall and wore myself out trying to “see it all” while collecting conference “swag” from vendors. I did get a few good books. I plan to donate a book on bullying to Cloverdale School. A couple of other advanced reader copies I acquired may prove suitable for the library shelves.

I was exhausted by the end and I had a great time at the ALA Conference. As a result of my experience, I feel more committed and better prepared to serve the Carol Stream Library.

The STL Committee is extremely proud of Bonita Gilliam and we are grateful for her dedication to our library and our community. Along with all of the other newly elected trustees, she brings a new sense of hope and optimism to our library.