Natasha Bergeron Flossmoor library_web
Local News

Voters Guide: Flossmoor Public Library Trustee

Learn about the candidates running for a seat on the Flossmoor Public Library Board in the April election.

FLOSSMOOR PUBLIC LIBRARY TRUSTEE 
(Three 4-year terms) 

 

Natasha Bergeron, age 44

Advertisement

Education: B.A. Psychology, Indiana University-Bloomington 1998; M.A. Integrated Marketing Communications, Emerson College-Boston 2001; B.S.N. Nursing; Saint Xavier University-Chicago (will graduate in May 2021)
Occupation: Director of Marketing and Communications; Levy Restaurants-Chicago, IL (2001-2005)
Current employer: n/a
Family: Married to Matt; four children: Remy (14), Simone (11), Ryder and Price (7)
Incumbent? Yes, since October 2015
Other elected positions? n/a
Most important issues: As a Flossmoor library board trustee for the past five years, I can highlight the most important responsibilities that I will continue to uphold: 

  • Making sure the library funds are appropriate.
  • Approving all policies that govern the library.
  • Overseeing the library’s strategic plan.
  • Being an advocate for the library within our community, which is vital. 

As board members, we are ultimately responsible for providing the framework for the library to move in the direction it needs to go. Establishing and maintaining a solid relationship between the board and the director is essential. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful director and staff at the Flossmoor Library. The COVID pandemic has come with many challenges, but the library team has continued to support our community through it all. We are looking forward to seeing some fun new programs and innovative web and technology services this year, as we hope to anticipate the reopening once it is safe to do so.

Goals: I was born and raised in Flossmoor, and the library has always been the centerpiece of our town. I personally have enjoyed spending many hours over the past 15 years with my children at the library. I have been so fortunate to be a part of the board as a library board trustee since October of 2015. For the past year, I have taken on the role as board president which has allowed me to further build my relationship with our wonderful library director, Jamie Paicely, and our fantastic staff. I would be honored to be elected again to continue as a Flossmoor library board trustee for another four years.


Karen Cheung, age 40

Education: B.A. in Business & Communication, University of Pittsburgh, 2003
Occupation: 16+ years of experience in Strategic Sourcing and Contracting for University of Chicago Medicine and True Value Company
Current employer: Multipet International
Family: Married to James; three children in SD161 (ages 5-11)
Incumbent? yes, 1.5 years.  I was appointed in May 2019.
Other elected positions? none.
Most important issues

  1. Like all organizations, how to operate during and after COVID-19 will continue to be a challenging and important issue.  As a board member, I will continue to push for ways to operate safely while keeping access to the library’s services and programming. Our library is an important pillar of the community and we will need to find new and innovative ways to operate during and after these times.
  2. Revenue is always a concern.  To date, Flossmoor Library has been a great steward of finances and I will continue to find ways to meet the needs of the community while being fiscally responsible.
  3. Technological change happens quickly these days.  Our library does need to find ways to continue being technologically relevant, especially to our younger generations, while being fiscally responsible.

Goals

  1. Our library director has developed a 5-year strategic plan and my goal is to keep us moving forward – even as we face the challenges of a pandemic. 
  2. Establish stronger relationships with our schools.  We need to find more ways to support them and our students, especially as schools also navigate challenging times. 
  3. Ensuring our Youth Services remains relevant to the needs of the community and its children – through programming, technology, and materials. 
  4. Continue to support our library director and staff in their initiatives, goals and plans.

Shekika Daggett — NO RESPONSE  

 

FLOSSMOOR PUBLIC LIBRARY TRUSTEE
(One 2-year term)

Clarissa Watts, age 34

Education: B.A. in Accounting, Chicago State University, 2013
Occupation: Auditor; served as an internal auditor for the public sector and private
sector entities with a focus on risk management and internal controls; also a
published author and digital lifestyle blogger.
Current employer: Avant, LLC
Family: Married to Brentez Watts; two children
Incumbent? No
Other elected positions? None
Most important issues:
Due to the strain on community engagement and human interaction during the unprecedented global pandemic that was associated with COVID-19, the library has been affected by the mandatory but necessary restrictions mandated by federal and state legislatures.

Despite this situation, I believe that the library can be the place where history, culture and emerging technologies can co-exist in a centralized space that represents the value of art as expressed through literature, education and meaningful contribution.

Goals: The goal is to provide adequate oversight of funding, infrastructure, staffing, strategic and operational activities. My goal is to contribute, grow and create experiences that best support the short and long-term vision of the library.


Leilani Shute, age not given

Education: M.Ed. with a General Administrative, American College of Education, 2014; Master’s in Library and Information Science, Chicago State University, 2008; Master’s in Teaching, Concordia University, 2003; B.S. in Broadcast Communications & Management/Marketing, Ohio University, 1977
Occupation: Librarian
Current employer: Librarian at the Frankfort Public Library; previously, librarian and teacher at Veterans Memorial Middle School in Blue Island. 
Family: Married to Anthony; two children
Incumbent? No 
Other elected positions? n/a

Most Important Issues

  1. In this age of uncertainty during COVID-19, our libraries have been challenged to operate smoothly while maintaining high health and safety standards set by the State of Illinois and the CDC. As it pivots to guard everyone’s health and safety, we must continue to offer essential services for all patrons. 
  2. If I am elected trustee, I will be a faithful financial steward of the library budget as we navigate these unsettled health and financial times, while demonstrating excellence in services and programming. 
  3. The ease and efficiency of our library website is crucial, especially now when so many people are working from home. As a trustee, I will work alongside the library director and others in rebuilding the website so it is clear, appealing and effective for the user, whether it’s a student researching from home, a person seeking professional journals or a family looking for the best books and programs for their children in the library.

Goals: As a longtime resident of Flossmoor, our beautiful library structure and grounds fill me with pride when I am downtown. I will be a steadfast steward of our tax dollars and work alongside the library director’s budget goals as we pay close attention to revenues and expenditures that affect the Library’s building and services. My goal is that the library remains a beacon of learning, exploration and cultural significance.

As an educator, I believe young people fuel the library’s future. There are so many technology distractions that keep our young people away from utilizing the library. Outreach and partnering with our schools will be a priority as we seek to maintain positive communication and engaging programming for our youth. 

While focusing on the needs of our young people, we must remember to meet the needs of our adults and seniors with effective outreach programming as well.

All of this should be done in a systematic framework of goals and objectives set by the library, driven by responses from our constituents, to successfully lead Flossmoor Library into the future.

Community Calendar

News by email

Subscribe to The Latest (daily headlines email)

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Free weekly newsletter

Subscribe to The Weeks (weekly newsletter)

* indicates required
Most read stories this week