Judeen Bartos for Library Board

  1. NAME: Judeen Bartos




  1. Why are you running for Library Board? I am running for re-election to the board where I have served since 2011. I thoroughly enjoy serving on the board and working with my fellow board members and library staff. I wish to continue serving, especially in this challenging time of the pandemic.


  1. What specific experience have you had that prepare you to serve on the Library Board? As I mentioned above, I have served on the Board for 9 years. I believe the experience I have gained is vital to addressing the challenges our library and libraries in general are facing.


  1. How is the library responding (or how would you like to see the library respond) to the changes in information technology? There have been many changes in how libraries deliver services to their patrons. Our library has remained very attuned to what patrons want and what we can provide to enhance their experience. We are very aware of the gaps in access to technology that some of our users face. With that in mind, besides the easy availability of computers and Wi-Fi within the building, we offer Wi-Fi hotspots for checkout and printing services that can be accessed from home. We have steadily increased our e-services, adding titles to Hoopla and Overdrive.


  1. What do you see as the library’s role in responding to the covid-19 pandemic? As a vital resource for Ferndale residents, the library’s response has been admirable. When library buildings were ordered shut down, we were able to provide e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, music, and magazines in addition to online courses and other educational materials. We have continued to enhance these offerings and have added a new service, Kanopy, to provide another source of video streaming. On June 15th, the library entered stage 3 of our re-opening plan, and began curbside pickup and delivery services. Curbside has proven to be a great success and one of the things most appreciated by patrons during the pandemic. Our staff has been creative and responsive in adjusting programming for the social distancing requirements of the pandemic, including take home kits for children and adults during the summer and various online programming. Most recently, in recognition of the large number of students still attending school virtually, the library has subscribed to a new database service, Tutor.com. The Tutor.com learning suite includes live homework help, writing tutoring, test prep for K-12 students, and similar services for adult learners. We continue to tweak offerings and listen to patron suggestions in planning our responses to the pandemic.


  1. What do you see as the library’s role in creating an antiracist community? The library plays an important role in creating an antiracist community. By the mere nature of our mission – to strengthen the community by providing access to materials and services that inform, entertain, enrich, and empower – we understand the need to be involved. And we also recognize that we are not perfect and never will be in this mission and thus actively look at how we can improve. In September, in partnership with the Ferndale Inclusion Network (FIN), the library offered a book giveaway of several titles addressing racism and including Ibram X. Kendri’s book, “How to be an Antiracist”, which will be used by FIN for a book discussion they will host. The library board has also recently developed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee, which we hope to use to examine our own procedures and policies and network with other community organizations to promote antiracist practices.


  1. What do you see as the strengths of the library? Ferndale’s library is very fortunate to have a passionate director and staff, who are truly committed to their mission. The strength of an institution begins with the quality of its people, and we on the board are proud to recognize this strength. I believe another strength the Ferndale library has is the community it serves. Ferndale is a reading community filled with curious and enthusiastic residents who support the library by committing their tax dollars to our success, along with their appreciation and respect for the services we provide. So while we also offer a wide range of programming and services, and extensive collections of books, music and media, and serve as a community meeting place, none of this would be successful without the mutual support of our residents and library staff.


  1. What aspects of the library do you see as needing improvement? We will always be looking for ways to improve the library, but I think one of our immediate needs is to be innovative and conscious of how we can adjust our physical space in anticipation of re-opening to patrons in the library. While this work has been ongoing since the library closed, there are still actions we want to take to ensure the safety and health of both staff and users.