1. Accessible Education
My commitment to championing education and supporting learners is central to my career and to my priorities for a role on the GRPL Board of Library Commissioners. At Grand Rapids Community College, beyond the teaching that I love as a faculty member, I am also the Open Educational Resources Coordinator. I help lead an initiative for faculty to find and adopt no-/low-cost, copyright-free textbooks that fit their curriculum. Everyone should be able to access education regardless of their life circumstances.
2. Comprehensive Support
Libraries are far more than repositories for learning. They are a safe haven when there is nowhere else to turn, and a secure base to explore next steps when trying to make major life changes. Internet access has become a necessity for living and working in the 21st century, and the library provides that portal. More than that, though, I believe the library should be able to connect patrons with support of all kinds available in Grand Rapids, from mental health to job training. Our community is strongest when we are all supported.
3. Stimulating Curiosity
Our world would be a healthier place if everyone were able to find ideas and activities that stimulated their mind and promoted personal growth. However, a person cannot be curious about a topic they know nothing about. I would love to see programming at the library that introduced topics and allowed participants to learn enough about a new area that their interest can blossom into curiosity, in the perfect place to then seek out a deeper understanding of that topic.