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Voting in the Board of Directors Election

Election 2023 (FY2024)

The FY2024 election is complete, and results will be announced mid-May.

2023 (FY2024) Nominees for the IHLS Board of Directors
2023 (FY2024) Nominees for the IHLS Board of Directors

You're in the right place to find this year's voting information, including voting period, open board seats, an overview of what board members do, candidate statements/bios, and a sample ballot. 

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The FY2024 election is complete, and the results will be shared with membership in mid-May.


Board Member Duties and Positions 

Voting Period

March 15 to April 15, 2023

The official ballot, available electronically only, includes the candidates for the open seats on the Board of Directors for a three-year term. All candidates were confirmed as eligible by a Nominating Committee. IHLS Board of Directors members help set policies for the library system and have an impact on the quality of library services throughout central and southern Illinois.


Open Board Seats

Voting is now underway for the 5 open seats on the IHLS Board of Directors. Seats to be filled are:

  • 1 Academic Library Representative (3-year term)
  • 0 Public Library Representatives
  • 1 School Library Representative (3-year term)
  • 1 Special Library Representative (3-year term)
  • 2 Trustee for a Public Library Representatives (3-year term)

Board Member Duties

"The Board of Directors of the System shall have the authority to make such policy to carry out the spirit and intent of The Illinois Library System Act, and shall have the powers conferred by the Act." IHLS Bylaws Article 4 Sec. 2: Duties of Board

Effective board members bring to IHLS knowledge of the community and a willingness to continually maintain and strengthen library services in Illinois. The role of the board member is to (1) contribute by defining the Library System’s mission and governing the fulfillment of that mission, and (2) carry out the functions of the office of Board member as specified in the IHLS Bylaws and policies.

The board member role focuses on the development of board policies that govern the implementation of the institutional plans and purposes. This role is separate and distinct from the role of the executive director, to whom is delegated the responsibility of determining the means of implementation of board policies.

Board Member & Nominee Geography

Image of a map showing the FY2023 board members and seats.

View the Interactive Map


2023 (FY2024) Candidates

Academic Library Representative (1 seat open)

Sarah Hill

Sarah B. Hill, Director of Library Services
Lake Land College (5001 Lake Land Blvd., Mattoon)
Sarah followed in her mother's footsteps and became a high school librarian, serving in public schools for fourteen years in southern and central Illinois. Now she's been at Lake Land College Library in Mattoon for ten years, serving as the Director since 2021. Sarah has always been a leader in professional organizations—she's been the president of the Illinois School Library Media Association and YALSA, a division of the American Library Association. She is currently volunteering on the Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges Board as Reporter, the SHARE Executive Council and eResources Committee, and the RUSA Reading List Council. Libraries grow leaders, and Sarah would like to continue serving on the IHLS Board to help serve the students and lifelong learners in central and southern Illinois.


Debbie Houk

Debbie Houk, Library Director
Holman Library McKendree University (701 College Rd., Lebanon)
Since 2020, I have been the Library Director at McKendree University. I went to Belleville Area College (where I began working as a library student worker) and transferred to McKendree College where I graduated with a BA in History. I went on to the University of Missouri - Columbia and graduated with my Master's in Library Science. I started working at Holman Library - McKendree University in 1996 after working as the librarian at the Belleville News-Democrat. In 2010, I took over as Archivist in addition to my other job duties. I have served on CARLI committees, faculty committees, and on the Illinois Depository Council. By serving on the IHLS Board of Directors, I hope to help advocate for libraries, strengthen and grow libraries in the community, and ensure that the libraries in IHLS will continue to use resources available to every library.


School Library Representative (1 seat open)

Melissa Tedesko

Melissa Tedesco, IMC Coordinator & Information Literacy Instructor
O'Fallon Township High School (650 Milburn School Road)
I have been an educator for fifteen years, working as a school librarian for the last six years. I earned my Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois. As a teacher, I earned National Board Certification. As a school librarian, my school library earned the Exemplary School Library Award from the Association of Illinois School Library Educators. To further my profession and serve my communities, I work in a variety of voluntary positions. As part of my professional life, I serve on the Nominations and Selections committees for the AISLE Lincoln Award. In addition, I have held board leadership positions, including chairing the board and chairing multiple committees for St. John Neumann Catholic School. As both a parent and educator, I have seen the amazing impact IHLS has on its patrons, and I would be proud to serve on the IHLS board.


Special Library Representative (1 seat open)

Lisa Horsley
Lisa Horsley, Director of Library Services & Collections
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum (112 N 6th St, Springfield)
As the Director of Library Services and Collections at the ALPLM, I will bring knowledge and skill as it relates to historical collections of all varieties such as three-dimensional artifacts, manuscripts, audiovisual material, published material, newspapers, microfilm, and born digital content. We have increased our digital efforts and I’m currently in the middle of setting up a dedicated digital department. With our increased efforts, I will bring my expertise as it relates to digital preservation, digital asset management systems, digital collections, and related hardware and software. I hold not only a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences but a Master’s in Business Administration as well. I also have a post-graduate certificate in Strategic Human Resources Management and just finished up another certificate in Strategic Leadership & Management through the University of Illinois.


Kristi Lear

Kristi Lear, Records Archivist
Illinois State Archives (Norton Building, Springfield)
After earning my MSLIS I was hired first as the librarian and then the director of the Auburn Public Library District. The work was challenging and rewarding, and I loved it, but my goal was always to become an archivist. When a position opened at the Archives, I knew I had to pivot. As a records archivist I am part of the team responsible for accessioning materials, maintaining our descriptive inventory (including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Audit, a collaborative and multi-faceted project that will culminate in the revision of all subject headings and descriptions used by the Archives), and providing reference services to our patrons. I also serve on the Council of State Archivists Education & Training Committee which coordinates webinars, continuing education, and early career opportunities for archivists. I believe that with my combined experience, I would be a valuable addition to the IHLS Board of Directors.


Trustee for a Public Library Representative (2 seats open)

Kristy Walker

Kristy Walker, Trustee
Bethalto Public Library (321 S. Prairie, Bethalto)
After working over 15 years at the Bethalto Public Library, I "retired" amidst the shutdown. My job at the time was as a Programming Specialist, and since there was no programming, I resigned to assist my elderly parents. As soon as an opportunity to serve on the board of the aforementioned library, I jumped at the chance! It's been a privilege to serve my community in this capacity as a strong proponent of free access to materials of all kinds to enhance the lives of those who live here. I've used a library my entire life and would love the opportunity to watch and maybe, even if just a little, help things grow and adapt to our changing environment. Thank you for the opportunity to throw my name in the hat.


Francis Buckingham
Francis Buckingham, Board of Trustees Chair
Case-Halstead Public Library (550 6th Street Carlyle)
JOB EXPERIENCE. 2011 – Present Employer: Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville, IL Biology Specialist in the Success Center (and previously, Biology Adjunct Instructor). Provide classroom instruction, course design and evaluation in the department of Biology. Tutor and supervise students in biology, health sciences and related courses. EDUCATION. 1986 – 1987 University of Minnesota St. Paul, MN. Veterinary Medicine/ Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). 1983 – 1985 University of Minnesota St. Paul, MN. Veterinary Medicine/ B.VetSci. 1981 – 1983 Rochester Community College Rochester, MN. Assoc. Degree Pre-veterinary studies. 1980 – 1981 Houston Community College Houston, TX. Business courses. 1978 – 1979 Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville Edwardsville, Illinois. Graduate school courses in biology. 1973 – 1977 Rockford University, - Rockford, Illinois Biology/ B.S. PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS. American Veterinary Medical Association; American Society for Veterinary Informatics. COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES. Board Member (Trustee and President): Case Halstead Public Library, Carlyle, IL. Local business community activities: organizing benefit car shows; community theater.


Ready to Vote?

Please ensure that only one person at your library responds to this survey. 

Each member library can only vote once. If your system membership is shared among multiple locations or branches,  be sure that only one person votes on behalf of ALL combined locations.

If more than one vote is received by a library, then the first vote received is the one that counts. 

All voting will be done electronically. Vote by April 15 to make your library's voice count!

View Sample Ballot            Cast Your Library's Vote