September 28, 2023


Daniel Russo, Batavia Public Library Board election questionnaire

Batavia Public Library District Board of Trustees candidate Daniel Russo

Full Name: Daniel Russo

What office are you seeking? Trustee, Batavia Public Library District

What is your political party? n/a

What is your current age? 68

Occupation and Employer: Retired LRC (Library) Director, Batavia High School

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Trustee, Batavia Public Library District

City: Batavia

Education: B.A., English

M.A., English

Library Media Endorsement, Professional Educator License

Community involvement: I am a volunteer tutor with Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley. I am also involved with Preservation Partners, Friends of Garfield Farm Museum, and the Friends of Batavia Public Library.

Marital status/Immediate family: I am married with two adult children.

Why are you running for office?

As the current president of the Batavia Public Library Board of Trustees, I have learned a great deal about the Library’s programs, facilities, finances, and long-term plans. I am seeking a second term as a Trustee to ensure a smooth transition for the new Executive Director, who will begin in about 3 months. Additionally, I am an enthusiastic proponent of the Library. I enjoy helping people discover the vast offerings of the Library that range from a 3D printer to story time for preschoolers.

What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?

First, as the retired LRC (Library) Director at Batavia High School, I understand how libraries operate and how they share resources to best serve the entire community. Second, as a current Trustee, I want to continue helping the Library evolve as technology and usage patterns change. Third, I have a long history of service to the Library. My past roles include being the chair of Citizens for Batavia Public Library, co-chair of Speak Up Batavia, and the president of the Friends of Batavia Public Library.

What is a library’s role in its community?

Batavia Public Library is essential to making Batavia a great place to live. Open to everyone, the Library provides print and electronic resources to promote learning. Its programs and collections entertain and enrich people’s lives. Its spaces encourage collaboration among groups, both small and large. Its computers promote exploration of emerging technologies. Best of all, the Library provides staff and professional librarians to assist and guide users in person and by email, text, and chat. It is also important to highlight that the Library attracts thousands of people to Batavia’s downtown each year.

Do you support banning books from local libraries?

No, I do not support banning books. Batavia Public Library has adopted the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association. One provision of the Code is that, “We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.”

Which books would you ban from your library and why?

Not applicable

Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?

The Batavia Public Library Board of Trustees has a long history of being good stewards of the public’s investment. Part of the Board’s responsibility is to manage the budget to employ staff, renew resources, and effectively maintain the building and property.

Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?

The Library Board has no plans to ask voters for a tax increase. In 2018 voters approved a referendum to transfer about 7 cents from the construction bond fund to the operations fund. Without a change in the tax rate, this referendum provided funds to maintain the 20-year-old facility, build a reserve fund, and maintain and slightly expand services.

Would you support lowering taxes in your library district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?

The Library Board continually looks for ways to operate efficiently in spite of rising costs. Our programs are very well attended and our services are heavily used, so I do not see a need to seek reductions in programs or services.

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