Glen Ellyn Library Board Election: Kelli Christiansen
Learn more about the candidates running for a seat on the Glen Ellyn Public Library Board of Trustees.
Glen Ellyn Public Library Board of Trustees
Campaign Contact Information:
What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?
Working together with other board members, library staff, patrons, and residents to ensure that the library continues on its path of good stewardship while meeting the needs of the community within budget constraints.
Your Home Address:
Glen Ellyn, IL
J. Patrick Ryan (husband)
Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (nd)
Northern Illinois University, 1991, BA cum laude
Wheaton North High School, 1987
Current Occupation and Employer:
bibliobibuli professional editorial services (self-employed)
Previous employers: ABA Publishing, McGraw-Hill, Publications International, Ltd., Press Publications
Political Party Affiliation:
This is a non-partisan election. The Civic Betterment Party was instrumental in helping me get on the ballot
Why Are You Seeking Office?
I'm running for library board trustee because I believe in giving something back to my community and because volunteering is important to me. The Glen Ellyn Public Library is a great community resource, and as someone who has spent her entire career in publishing, I believe I can lend the board some unique insight.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
As a publishing industry insider, I can bring unique insight to the Glen Ellyn Public Library Board of Trustees. Addressing technology, funding, and staffing will require a collaborative effort with board members, library staff, and industry experts to focus on maintaining and improving library access and services within budget constraints.
Issue 1: What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the Glen Ellyn Public Library?
Changing technology will be one of the biggest ongoing challenges. I believe that it is important to perform regular assessments of the state of technology at GEPL in terms of demand, access, capabilities, materials, and budget. As more residents demand digital products and e-books, the role of the public library will continue to shift. GEPL, like all libraries, will need to adapt to this change. I’m a book person through and through, but more and more readers are seeking digital books for their e-readers. e-Book lending issues will continue to be of utmost importance as more and more publishers make their books available electronically, often simultaneously with hardcopy or paperback release, though usually at different price points. Equitable access at a reasonable price will be an ongoing issue, and libraries will need to work closely with publishers and the ALA to deal with this challenge.
The ALA is working closely with publishers to determine what fair pricing and equitable access looks like. The e-book issue has been a rather contentious one, and many libraries are feeling frustrated by the lack of progress as discussions have been taking place for well more than a year. While libraries strive to make materials available to patrons regardless of format, they must juggle pricing and purchase terms required by publishers and demands and expectations from readers who expect the same access to e-books as they have to printed books.
This is no easy task, and it is a fight that GEPL will wage with other libraries and the ALA in the coming months and years. I believe this is something that GEPL library staff and Board of Trustees members, together, will need to monitor closely in order to ensure that Glen Ellyn’s residents and library patrons get the best deal possible.
Issue 2: With more readers using e-books and e-readers, what does the library need to do to stay relevant and a trusted source of information in the 21st Century?
As mentioned, changing technology is one of the biggest issues facing libraries today. GEPL is doing much to navigate the print-digital transformation (e.g., the library's Technology Bar). By continuing to connect with readers in a variety of ways, the library will be able to further meet the changing demands and technology needs of library patrons and village residents.
Issue 3: What, if any, programs and resources do you feel the library should be offering that it doesn't? Or update for patrons?
As libraries adapt and change to evolving needs, the library will need to monitor patrons' desires. GEPL already serves as a great community center, and I hope the library will continue to offer a variety of resources in different platforms as well as a variety of programs for patrons of all ages.
Please add any other information pertinent to your campaign.
As a new trustee, I hope to bring my experience in business and publishing to the table, lending the board my expertise and insight into the industry. As a business owner, I keenly understand budgeting and making the most of available resources. As a publishing professional, I understand the changing nature of libraries, technology, and accessibility. As a trustee, I will be able to combine these elements as we help lead the Glen Ellyn Public Library into the future.