These are the statements of the Candidates for Park Forest Library Trustee as submitted to the Park Forest Non-Partisan Committee: Katherine Coleman, Felicia Rangel, Alan B. Shnay, and Bathsheba Wyatt-Draper. They appear here alphabetically and as submitted to the Non-Partisan Committee.

Katherine Coleman

Katherine Coleman
Katherine Coleman. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

My name is Katherine Coleman, I am a life-long Park Forest resident currently running for Library board trustee. I have been attending programs at the Park Forest Library since I was a child. I love to read and have instilled that love for books in my children. As a homeschool mom of 4, the library is our go to place, we utilize the programs, resources, and study rooms. The library is an underrated resource in the community, and I would love to see our community, especially our youth, take advantage of all the things our library has to offer.

I am a proud product of the Park Forest school system for elementary school and high school. To further my passion for community and children I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University. After graduation I spent 10 years working in district 163. I have watched students grow from children to adults and realize how vital the library is to our neighborhood.

I currently work part time for the Park Forest Water Department as a meter reader. I am outside boots on the ground interacting with the people of the village every month. I have listened to the people; I can tell how important family is in Park Forest. As I Library Board Trustee, I would bring a mix of experience in the community and a fresh set of ideas to help keep the library a safe and engaging place for those families to continue to thrive.

I am not naïve to the challenges that can be presented. However, I am confident that I would be an asset. I have been known to go the extra mile to help initiate positive outcomes in all facets of my career, this position would be no different.

Felicia Rangel

Felicia Rangel
Felicia Rangel. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

My name is Felicia Rangel, and I am running for Park Forest Library Board Trustee. It has been my pleasure serving as your trustee these past years. The library has shaped and enriched my life and I want to continue giving back to my library and the community. I seek your vote in order to do this.

As a resident since 1976 I have witnessed the major transformation of our library from when I was a teenager to an adult. It is an experience to walk in and see our library being utilized by our youngest patrons looking for a book to our oldest patrons using the computers or taking technology classes.

During the past couple of years, we faced the challenge of operating during a global pandemic, while maintaining service levels for our community. People need their libraries for so many things, whether it be for education, recreation, life skills or cultural immersion. The library director and staff did an excellent job of providing these services and I am proud to have been part of the board during this journey.

We have a strong library with a mission to support our citizens and local businesses. I’m excited to offer my work experience and talents to help our library adequately plan for the challenges of future growth within Park Forest and Olympia Fields. I enjoy community service and knowing that I have helped improve our library for future generations is an indescribable joy.

My background as a payroll professional with a strong skillset in accounting, human resources policies and procedures and budgeting are strengths which would serve the board well. I know the primary responsibility of a library trustee is the financial health of the library.

I am asking for your vote for me, Felicia Rangel, to serve as your Park Forest Library Board Trustee.

Alan B. Shnay

Alan B. Shnay

I was 5 or 6 years old when I first visited the Park Forest Public Library. I have clear memories of checking out Lyle Lyle Crocodile, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Cat in the Hat. Over the years I scoured the children’s section, then the young adult, and finally the adult sections for new and interesting things to read. Magazines, especially Downbeat, and many vinyl LPs followed me home from the library as well.

Years later, upon returning to Park Forest, I found the library to be a familiar friend. Of course, it had changed, as all friends do, but it was still a vibrant and important part of our community.

Our job as a Library Board Trustee is to maintain and enhance the library’s vibrancy and important standing in the Village and the region, by ensuring it is responsibly run fiscally, legally, and structurally.

I was appointed to an open Library Board position in the summer of 2021 and during that time, we have managed to reduce the tax levy and have begun the process to have true drive-through service available for patrons. We are also guiding the Library out of the never-ending pandemic into a different and somewhat unexpected future. I would greatly appreciate your support on April 4th, 2023, so I can continue working with the Library Director and the Board in maintaining the library’s status as an important facet of the communities of Park Forest and Olympia Fields.

Bathsheba Wyatt-Draper

Bathsheba Wyatt-Draper
Bathsheba Wyatt-Draper. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

I have been a resident of Park Forest for the last 20 years. I have always wanted to be a part of something that helps to make living in Park Forest special. As a reader and lover of the library I though it would be a good place to start. Computers crash, get hacked and can steal your identity. A book only shuts down when you stop reading it ,it enhance your thinking and can help you grow in to the person you want to be. I want to be a part of making the Park Forest library the library that others want to be like, where family want to come, where minds are encourage for the better.