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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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School

Banning Public Library DistrictCandidate for Trustee

Photo of Luren Dickinson

Luren Dickinson

Retired Library Director
3,680 votes (26.39%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improve recruitment and retention of library staff by joining CalPERS
  • Settle legal issues to end the excessive ongoing expense of attorney fees
  • Spend more on new materials the public wants--best seller books, DVDs, e-books and other downloadables

Experience

Experience

Profession:Retired Library Director
Chair of the Allie Beth Martin Award Jury, American Library Association — Appointed position (2016–current)
Member of the AIA/ALA Library Building Awards Jury, American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association — Appointed position (2016–current)
Director, Shaker Heights Public Library (2005–2016)
Chair, American Libraries Advisory Committee, American Library Association — Appointed position (2015–2016)
Chair, EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service A, Public Library Association — Appointed position (2015–2016)
Chair, Public Libraries Advisory Committee, Public Library Association — Appointed position (2013–2014)
Director, Jackson District Library (2002–2005)
Director, Reading Public Library (1997–2002)
Director, Findlay-Hancock County Public Library (1985–1996)

Education

Miami University Certificate in Advanced Library Management, Advanced Library Management Program (1986)
UCLA M.L.S., Library Science (1978)

Biography

I have a Master's degree in Library Science from UCLA and a Certificate in Advanced Library Management from Miami University. I am an active member of both the American Library Association and Public Library Association, chairing the Allie Beth Martin Award Jury and serving as a member of the American Institute of Architects/American Library Association Library Building Awards Jury. I am also Past Chair of the American Libraries Advisory Committee, the Public Libraries Advisory Committee, and the EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award Jury. My civic involvement has included serving on local boards for a mental health clinic, credit union, crisis pregnancy agency, and Red Cross. I have been active with school, church and art groups, as well as the United Way, and have been an involved member of organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary International.

 

I am running for the Banning Library District board because I think that our local library has the potential to provide much better service overall. As a resident of Sun Lakes, I have learned a great deal about the library and attended meetings of the Library Board. Based upon what I know, I think more can be done to put the public library on firmer footing than has happened in the past. Being a member of the Library Board would allow me to use the expertise that I have gained over the years and to give back to the community by helping to shape a more responsive and vital Banning Library. 

 

 



 

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

The primary strength that distinguishes me from the other candidates is that I am a retired public library director and bring years of practical administrative experience with me, having run both city and county library operations. Secondarily, I have participated as a member library representative and served as an officer on both regional and statewide library system boards. Finally, I bring needed diversity because I am the only man running at a time when there are currently no men serving on the library board. One of my goals would be to bring attention to the need to improve the reading skills of boys and and to raise the literacy levels of men at a time when girls are succeeding better in school  than boys and more women are entering and graduating from college than men.

One of my highest priorities would be to end the "revolving door" of library directors that has existed over the past several years--as mentioned in a couple of recent letters to the editor of the Record Gazette.  I believe this can be accomplished by bringing Banning Library into the mainstream of other public libraries across the state.  Making the CalPERS retirement system available to library staff, for example, would be a big step toward recruiting more quality applicants, not just for the director position but for other important library jobs, and retaining new hires and current staff long term.  Next, I would hope to end the expensive practice of having lawyers on retainer who are being paid to travel to and from Board meetings, as well as to attend lengthy sessions that are often closed to the public.  Banning Library needs to settle its legal issues and get on with the business of providing library service to the public.  Finally, I would like to see a lot more of the budget spent on the library collection with more new materials--best selling books, DVDs, e-books, and other downloadable items--that people want.

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