Matt Fruth

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Below are candidate-submitted answers to a biographical survey Wednesday Journal sent out to all candidates running in this year's elections.

Age: 34

Profession: Consultant

How long have you lived in Oak Park? 34 years

How often do you visit the Oak Park Public Library? At least once a week.

Why are running for this office?

I strongly believe in the importance of the public library in our society. I am very proud of the work that I have been a part of as a member of the Library Board. I feel that I bring a different perspective than the rest of the board as I am significantly younger than the others serving.

Have you ever run for or served in a local political office before? If so, when and which office?

Yes. I have twice before been elected to the Oak Park Library Board.

Have you served on other boards or commissions at a local level? If not, what makes you want to serve now?

Yes, at the position for which I am currently a candidate.

What do you consider to be the greatest strengths at the Oak Park Public Library?

At the top of any strength list would have to be our staff. We have been able to attract an incredibly talented group of professionals from around the country. Our facilities compliment our team in that we have the ability to provide an amazing range of events and programming to meet the desires of the Oak Park community.

What is the biggest issue the library faces today?

The biggest issue facing all libraries is the changing face of the publishing industry and its relation to non-profit avenues of distribution. As ways to consume material mature and become more prevalent all levels in the book and audio-visual industry need to reassess their methods.

What is your idea for how the library board should approach the library lobby redo?

I have supported the remodeling of the lobby space since it was first proposed several years ago. At this point it is important to make sure that improvement construction impacts our current delivery of service as little as possible.

How do you think the library can evolve with technology while still providing its basic core services?

I don't think that evolving with technology detracts from our core services. I strongly believe that technology allows us to enhance and expand the ways in which we provide those services.

What is your vision for the future of the Oak Park Public library? What else should Oak Park residents know about you?

I see the Library continuing to grow into its position as the cultural heart of Oak Park, providing access to books, music, movies, and art to all of our citizens. We have a responsibility to foster literacy, collaboration, innovation, and personal development across all age groups. Working with our partners, both public and private, we can help ensure that Oak Park is a vibrant and aware community.

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