Friday, June 23, 2017

Library Board Interview

This afternoon I'm interviewed for a position on the Normal Public Library Board of Trustees. What are some questions they might ask?

Tell us about yourself.
- I moved to Normal in 1990 to attend ISU.
- After graduating I worked with State Farm for 19 years, eventually as the director of the tax department.
- I volunteered as the treasurer of our condo board for 13 years, developing a 20-year financial plan to replace roofing, driveway, upgrade pool, etc. with gradual fee increases rather than big lump sums.
- I also graduated from the Chamber of Commerce's leadership program and served as a volunteer in that program for ten years.
- Eight years ago I started a private math tutoring business, and left insurance four years ago to focus on it.
- I'm also a certified substitute teacher and a part-time professor of math at ISU.

What qualities would people say about you?
- Inclusive. Example in ISU class, or in building the leadership program.
- Upbeat.

Why do you want to be on the Board?
- Since moving out of the condos two years ago I've been looking for ways to volunteer in a leadership capacity in the community.
- It's a unique volunteer opportunity because the library is growing and that's the kind of organization I want to invest time in.
- At heart I'm a teacher. My father was a coach. Education is my calling.
- The library is progressive. I've watched it transform over the last eight years. 
- The leadership is strong. I've only known the Board a short time but I've seen the joy of the staff and been in management long enough to know that it starts at the top.

What unique strengths would you bring to the Board?
- High school educational connections - substitute teacher
- Supervisory experience - 25 employees from part time to management
- Presentations/facilitating
- Spent a lot of time on the adult floor

What are the top priorities for the library?
- Engaging the community. School-library card partnership, book drops, cafe
- Inspire literacy, learning across ages.
- Engage underserved populations
- Build a library

What are your weaknesses?
- I'm better at analyzing information deeply rather than quickly, so I tend to listen more than talk at a meeting when I see information for the first time.
- On the flip side, as a personal note, if I'm confident on a topic I need to resist the impulse to overtalk.

Will you be able to make the time commitment required?
- I have at least six partners available to help free up my evenings.

Would you accept this position if it meant your business could no longer work here?
- Yes. I'm aware of some alternative space, and a two-year commitment is a good length of time to experiment with other options.

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