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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Birmingham Library Board {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

THREE 4-year terms.Vote for not more than THREE.
  • Candidate picture

    Ashley Aldenbaum Associate Program Officer, The Skillman Foundation

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    Mike Kroll Librarian

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    Melissa S. Mark Community Volunteer/Swedish Consular Assistant

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    Frank Pisano Director-Investments Oppenheimer & Co.

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Please provide biographical information and explain why you are running for City office and relevant qualities and skills you would bring to the position.

What are the top 3 Priority Issues that the city should address and what actions would you take regarding each of them?

Baldwin Public Library is a very important place to me as a Birmingham resident and lifetime lover of reading. Naturally, I was thrilled to be appointed to the library board in 2015. We are a very dedicated group, and work hard, in partnership with the City, to keep the library strong. It has been an honor to contribute to the team.

For the last few years, I have been working for the Skillman Foundation (first as Special Projects Manager and now as Associate Program Officer), which focuses on improving education and increasing opportunity for kids in Detroit. In 2007, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in cultural anthropology and a minor in history. In addition to philanthropy, I have professional experience in business, project management, community outreach and communications.

The role of libraries is so critical today as we face declining education quality in our state. I hope I can continue to serve and ensure that BPL - a key feature of Birmingham’s civic center – remains a steadfast place of learning and community for all ages.
I will speak to this in terms of the strong partnership between the library and the City, and how I hope we can go forward:

1) Keep improving our library in ways that are responsive to the community and broader trends in libraries. Birmingham has many strengths, but remaining competitive requires ongoing strategic effort.

2) Continue to focus on resident needs and wants. We must use all the tools available to us to make sure our decisions as board members are informed by quality input from the public.

3) Maintain fiscal responsibility. This means using our resources wisely to deliver maximum value to residents.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
I moved to Birmingham in 1983 and have lived here continually except for 9 years as a resident of Beverly Hills in the 1990's. I served on the Friends of Baldwin Public Library board for many years. I graduated from Fairfield University with a business degree in 1980 and an MS degree from Wayne State University in Library & Information Sciences in 2005. I was an Adult Services substitute librarian at The Baldwin Public Library briefly when I became Executive Director of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce. As the Director I was able to double the membership and put the Chamber on a much stronger financial foundation.

I am running for the Library Board position because of my passion for "lifetime learning". I am an avid reader, and I love to explore all kinds of subject matter. I believe in the importance of libraries, and I believe that libraries are community builders. I want to continue to make Baldwin even more relevant to all Birmingham and contract communities' residents by exploring ideas to connect "non-Library" resident users to Baldwin.
From the perspective of Baldwin Public Library, I believe fiscal responsibility, customer service, and "connectivity" are three top issues.

Seeing how wonderful the renovated Birkerts addition is now, with better infrastructure, design and light is so exciting. It is even more commendable since it was accomplished on time AND below budget under the auspices of our Library Director, the Library Board and staff. I expect that if the renovation of the children's room is approved, similar results of the project will be realized.

Customer/patron service is my strongest priority. I was trained in customer service excellence in my first job at Xerox Corporation. I believe great service creates better relations and ensures community support. I would urge continual staff customer service training in order to accomplish this.

By "connectivity" I mean increasing all kinds of connections to schools, business entities, associations, the senior community, etc. This connectivity would come in the form of library materials, programs, speakers, etc. as it relates to our residents' needs.
Resident in Birmingham for 22 years. Completed two terms as Baldwin Public Library Trustee

I'm running for my third term as a Baldwin Public Library Trustee because I want to continue to serve in the community that I live. Over the last 8 years I have been on the Library Board we have been able to accomplish a lot of positive things at the library and I want to continue serving to accomplish goals we have in place for future enhancements to the library. I have been on the Finance & Building Committees the last 8 years and we have been able to be fiscally discipline with the Library budget and accomplished the New Adult Service Renovation that came in on time and under budget. I've also been able to work on the Books & Bites committee since inception. We have raised money for the Library to enhance areas in the library and enhance programs that weren't part of the Library budget. I'm really passionate about the Baldwin Public Library and I want to continue to be apart of the great things that the library provides for our community.
Fiscally responsible with Tax payers money. I will continue to make sure we stay on budget and look for ways to enhance the library without raising taxes.

Enhance the Library. I want to continue to enhance our library and have services that support our patrons. We want the space to be flexible, collaborative, and able to change with how people will use the library in the future.

Community Relations. Continue to listen to our residents and patrons on what they would like to see implemented at Baldwin. I will also continue to visit our contract communities and to make sure they are satisfied with the services that we provide to their communities. logo


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