By Josh Bootsma

Background: The Lansing Journal made efforts to contact all candidates in the April 6 election to gather information to share with Lansing voters. Using a “candidate info form,” we asked the same questions of each local office seeker. Answers were prepared and submitted by the candidates. We have been sharing the info race by race in a series of “Voter Guide” posts.

LANSING, Ill. (March 3, 2021) – The Lansing Public Library is a community-centered entity. Though the pandemic and remodeling in the Library basement have limited in-person activities in recent months, the library has pivoted to offering more virtual and curbside options for residents and their families while still making in-person visits as safe as possible.

Why Lansing Library Board elections matter

The Library Board oversees the Library Director, who consults with the Board about programming and finances. The current Library Director is Debbie Albrecht, who has been at the helm since 2006. The Library Board is responsible for reviewing and approving the library’s budget each year and approving all expenditures.

In recent years, the board has approved a number of rehabilitations and improvements for the Lansing Public Library, the most recent of which is a remodel of the youth section in the basement.

The Lansing Library has also served as a community gathering space as tutoring groups, Village commissions, candidate forums, and many more groups and events have been hosted there over the years.

Lansing Library Board elections – Uncontested

The individuals below are the names voters will see on the April 6 ballot for the Lansing Library Board elections. Trustees serve a six-year term. Three candidates are running uncontested and all are running for reelection.

Bonnie Cuthbert

Town of residence: Lansing

Education: TF South, various classes at South Suburban College

Occupation: Retired from various positions with the Village of Lansing

Resumé highlights:

  • Co-head of circulation at Lansing Public Library for over 5 years
  • Appointed to fill a vacated Library Board position in April 2014, and then elected to maintain that position in 2015
  • Current Library Board Treasurer

Most important issues:

  • Continue advocating for the library as a community center
  • Continue to inform the community about all the resources available
  • Continue to support our Library Director as she casts vision for the library

Goals and promises: Whatever the future holds in terms of the pandemic, the library will offer ways for the community to gather safely and cheerfully. We have managed to stay open since July 2020, and will continue to serve in any way we can while preserving the safety of our staff and the general public.

Jerri Villa

Lansing Library Board elections
Jerri Villa (Photo provided)

Town of residence: Lansing

Education: Masters in Education at ISU; History and Science Major at Chicago State University

Occupation: Retired from teaching at St. Ann School

Resumé highlights:

  • I love reading, and I love engaging with people through reading
  • I’m never without a book
  • Years of education always necessitated using a library

Most important issues:

  • Maintaining current information for students and adults
  • Providing adults with a place to learn how to look for jobs, update their resumes, apply online, etc.
  • Enriching the lives of Lansing residents through concerts, speakers, and programs that broaden our understanding and appreciation of the world around us

Goals and promises: The Lansing Public Library will always be a place that people love to come and learn and engage with each other. A library should be a center of community. We are fortunate to have a Library Director with a large vision, and the Board needs to support that vision.

Sharon Novak

No information provided

The Library Board elections will be held on April 6, 2021. The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue, Lansing, IL.

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