HPL candidate Kristin McDaniel's election questionnaire


Name: Kristin McDaniel

Years in village: 12 (born and lived in Village 3 years, lived in village 2 years while attending grad school, and have been back for 7 years)

Age: ---

Education: MS from Northwestern University in Marketing

Occupation: Marketing Executive

Community service: HMS PTO VP of Communications, active parishioner at SIJ, member of the Families Helping Families committee for the Hinsdale Central PTO

Board experience: 2 years on the Board of the American Fraternal Alliance

Leadership Board of Junior League Quad Cities (2 years) and Chicago (1 year)

One term (four years) as a trustee for the Hinsdale Public Library, serving as Secretary

WQAD/PBS Board of Directors 2011-2013

Ballet Quad Cities Board of Directors 2012/2013

Why are you running for this particular seat at this particular time?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving on the Board of Trustees for the last four years in various capacities- most recently serving on the finance committee, policy committee, liaison to the Friends of the Hinsdale Public Library, and as Board Secretary. With all the uncertainty over the last year, I felt it was important that the Board maintain some consistency with the Board of Trustees. Three of us are returning which I think speaks volumes to the work that HPL does. The Library is integral to the community and it is an honor and a privilege to serve on the Board.

What in your personal or professional experience has prepared you to be an effective board member?

As a data-driven and customer-focussed marketer that has worked for both corporate companies as well as non-profit organizations, I provide a unique perspective to HPL’s opportunities. HPL embraces diversity of thought and consistently tries to exceed the service and expectations of its patrons. It is exciting to be part of this dynamic culture and lend my experience. I also really love the library and the staff!

What is the library’s greatest strength? Which area is most in need of attention?

I think that the library’s greatest strength is also the same area that needs more attention and is one of my priorities if I am elected to serve a second term on the board. The Library has a massive amount of resources available to meet the needs of the community. I think that continued communication of some of the less known resources needs to continue. It is also critical that the Library better understand the changing needs of an increasingly diverse committee. It is that critical balance of not boiling the action and trying to be everything to everyone but studying the data and potentially doing additional research with a wider audience.

What in your opinion are the board’s three most important responsibilities?

In today’s different and challenging environment, the board’s most important responsibility is the health and safety of the library staff and patrons. The second most important is to continue to ensure fiduciary responsibility of the tax payer dollars and the third is to provide support and guidance on HPL’s strategic plan

What is the most pressing budgetary matter the library will face over the next four years?

The most pressing matter is the upkeep of the facilities as well as technology needs. There is a facilities committee on the Board which does a thorough review of the facilities and then works with the Executive Director on the bid process. The review of the facilities outlines short and long-term needs. Due to diligent planning it is rare that there are any surprises.

What will be your top three priorities if elected? My top three priorities dovetail with my opinion of the Board’s most important responsibilities. The first is the health and safety of the staff and ensuring that I am current with any health and safety trends (including those outside of the pandemic, like the flu.)

My second priority is to continue to serve on the finance committee and be a conscientious steward of the library's fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers and the Hinsdale community. This includes playing an active role in the annual levying process.

Last of all, is to continue to monitor the strategic plan for any potential areas of opportunity and management of the KPIs. One area I am especially passionate about is diversity and a better understanding of the needs of other cultures within our community. I want the library to continue to carry on their mission of meeting the needs of the community through literature, programming, digital access, and the myriad of other services the Library provides.

Please cite a recent board decision that you have agreed with and one that you have disagreed with and briefly explain your reason(s) why.

The Board of Trustees is composed of eight members that have different viewpoints and bring varying perspectives. This makes for lively discussion amongst the members on any topics of conversation. One area that I disagreed with was the folding of the art committee into the art commission. I understand the rationale but also feel we lost some of the community voice present under the new model.