IHLS Board of Directors Elections

Published 3/15/2021 1:50 PM CT

Jump to:  Open Board Seats  |  Board Member Duties  |  Geographic Locations  |  2021 Candidates  |  Cast Your Vote

Voting for IHLS Board of Directors Elections 2021

VoteNominations Committee >> (coming spring 2022)          

Welcome to the Board of Directors Election 2021 hub, where you'll find election information, an overview of what board members do, candidate statements/bios, and a sample ballot. 

The official ballot, available electronically only, includes 12 candidates for the five open seats on the Board of Directors for a three-year term. All were candidates were confirmed as eligible by a Nominating Committee, chaired by Sarah Isaacs. 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 Public Library Representative (3-year term)
  • 2 School Library Representatives (3-year term)
  • 2 Public Library Trustees (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.


Geographic Locations of Current Board Members

The pins represent the locations of current board members:

RED for board members who are in the middle of a term and may continue to serve into 2021-2022

BLUE for board members whose terms are ending



2021 Candidates for the IHLS Board of Directors

Candidates for Public Library Representative (1 seat open)


Rose Gilman, Director

Watseka Public Library (201 S. Fourth Street, Watseka, IL 60970)

Hello! For the past 16 years, I have been a librarian working in small and medium sized libraries. 10 of those years were in Library Management with 5 years as a Director. I have experience with stand-alone and consortium libraries, as well as, experience in libraries that are part of MLS (combined with other systems to now be called RAILS), RAILS, and IHLS. I briefly served on PrairieCat’s financial committee as the consortium was making plans to become financially independent of RAILS. I have vast knowledge of working with small to large budgets, familiarity of differences in stand-alone and consortium libraries, and am perceptive of the needs different sized libraries. Since December 2018, I have had the opportunity to be the Director of the Wateska Public Library in Iroquois County and hope to continue this role for years to come!


Rochelle Hartman, Director

Lincoln Library (326 S 7th St, Springfield, IL 62701)

While fairly new to library directorship, I have a long history of professional service at the state and national level. I was first elected to ALA Council as a Councilor-at-Large in 2003 and served two terms. My third term as an at-large Councilor began in July 2020. While working as an Adult Services Manager in Wisconsin, I became involved with the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries and served as a chair in 2017. I also have external board experience, currently serving on the board of directors for Springfield Center for Independent Living and for the Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation. I see this as an opportunity to share the strength of my considerable network of library workers of all types in the US and Europe, and as a way to immerse myself in my new home system.


John Howard, Director

Mahomet Public Library District (1702 E Oak St Mahomet, Il 61853)

I have worked in and with public libraries since 2007, after working twenty years as a fund-raiser and non-profit consultant. I served on the Board of Directors of the RSA LLSAP in East Peoria until leaving the area to take this job. The demographics, numbers and size of the libraries included in IHLS make the library system unique, and make the services and support provided by the system especially vital. My vision for IHLS is that as an organization we aggressively and proactively looks for ways to support libraries of all sizes, but especially those small libraries that make up so much of our membership and who are limited in their own resources. The role of libraries is evolving in our society, and we will need to work together to keep the profession and our service to our communities strong.


Ryan Johnson, Director

O'Fallon Public Library (120 Civic Plaza, O'Fallon, IL 62269)

Ryan has worked in libraries, in one form or another, since 2002. In that time he’s found a career and a passion. Ryan has served as the Director of the O'Fallon Public Library (OFPL) since late 2019. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Director and Adult Services Manager at OFPL, as well as Circulation Manager at the Glen Carbon Centennial Library. Ryan graduated from the University of Missouri in 2017 with a master's degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies. In his professional work, he focuses on the patron-experience, accessibility, marketing, outreach, collection management, and teambuilding. Ryan currently chairs SHARE’s eResources Committee and serves as vice-chair of SHARE’s Executive Council. He also serves on ILA’s Best Practices Committee. Like most adult humans, his interests are not simply limited to those of his career. Hiking, gardening, home-brewing, board games, and baseball are among his many hobbies.


Candidates for School Library Representative (2 seats open)


Tiffany Droege, Director

Belleville West High School Library (4063 Frank Scott Parkway West, Belleville, IL 62223)

I have served on the board of directors in the past as a representative of school libraries, and I would be honored to serve again. I have a passion for outreach and advocacy for school libraries after teaching for ten years and working as a librarian for five years. I believe my experience on the board, as a teacher, and as a library director will enable me to competently serve.


Melissa M Tedesco, Milburn IMC Coordinator & Information Literacy Instructor

O'Fallon Township High School (650 Milburn School Road, O'Fallon, IL 62269)

In addition to a passion for literacy, my professional and recreational endeavors provide me a desire to serve on the IHLS Board of Directors. I earned my Bachelor of Science in English Education from SIUE and worked as an English teacher for ten years before earning a Master of Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois and working in my current role. As a patron of the Tri-Township Library, I regularly utilize ILL, Cloud Library, and Hoopla for my children and myself, in addition to participating in programs. As a (pre-pandemic) activity, my family enjoyed visiting local public libraries, including Edwardsville, Collinsville Memorial, and Glen Carbon Centennial, to enjoy the different children’s spaces. My parents, who split their time between a home at the Lake of Egypt and caring for my grandma in Highland, often share about their experiences at Marion Carnegie, Vienna Carnegie, and Highland libraries.


Kim Dykstra, District Librarian

Riverton School District (1014 Lincoln, Riverton, IL 62670)

I have a MA in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona. I have been a school librarian since 2006. My experience comes from working near the Navajo Nation and here in Central Illinois.  My desire to serve on the IHLS board of Directors comes from an interest in growing professionally and make a difference to the school library community in Illinois.


Jenna Griffith, Library Media Director

Marion High School (1700 Wildcat Drive, Marion IL 62959)

I have been the Library Media Director at Marion High School for the past 26 years. I have been a board member of the Marion Carnegie Library for the past 12 years. I have served on state and national committees and feel I could bring this wide variety of experiences to both the school and public sides of Heartland Library System.


Tammy Krouse, District Librarian

Edwards County School District (361 W. Main, Albion, IL 62806)

The IHLS provides opportunities for our libraries to meet the constantly changing needs of their patrons. After over 25 years as a Pre-K librarian, last year I joined the IHLS board. I attended one in-person board meeting before the pandemic changed so much about daily life. During the past year IHLS has served as an example of how to innovate during a time of crisis. School librarians will be facing new challenges as students return from a variety of learning situations; meanwhile, school librarians are familiar with ongoing challenges in staffing and funding. I hope to work with IHLS to meet these challenges while building partnerships with public and academic libraries.


Candidates for Public Library Trustee Representative (2 seats open)


Ann L Chandler, Board of Trustees President

Taylorville Public Library (107 West Vine Street, Taylorville, IL 62568)

My career in education began as a school librarian, moved to becoming a reading specialist, principal and ending as a Supterintendent of schools, which totaled 38 years in the education field, makes me well qualified to be on the IHLS Board of Directors. Also I have been on the Taylorville Public Library Board of Trustees for five years and have served as President for three years. I am enthusiastic, passionate, well-versed in the importance of literacy, have great knowledge on how important it is to serve the public, and the critical need of library programs for underserved populations. My latest experience as a Library Trustee has updated my knowledge of the library system and it workings thus giving me the desire to serve as IHLS board member. This experience would also be beneficial to our local library as well. Thank you for your consideration.


Kevin Latoz, Board Member

Elwood Library District (P.O. Box 349 Ridge Farm, IL 61870)

I was raised in a rural community with a small Carnegie Library that fostered my love of reading. Recently I was asked to serve on the board of this library I had not set foot in for 20+ years. In doing so I discovered a beloved memory hanging on by a thread. It was at this moment I became passionate for the plight of the small-town library. These libraries are fighting losing battles to stay open. Along with economics I believe many lack the tools and knowledge to tap into outside resources and best practices. Most of boards consists of people who love books but don’t know how to govern a library. The predominantly part-time staff have limited time to run the day-to-day. I believe the first step to saving these libraries is better local governing. My desire is to represent and rescue these small-town libraries.


Adam Followell-Young, Library Trustee

Six Mile Regional Library District (2001 Delmar Avenue Granite City, IL 62040)

I currently serve as Library Trustee at Six Mile Regional Library District in Granite City Illinois. To serve on the IHLS board of directors would be a great experience for me because I love books and libraries and representing the area in Madison County.






Please ensure that only one person at your library responds to this survey. If your system membership is shared among multiple locations or branches, be sure that only one person votes on behalf of ALL combined locations. All voting is done electronically.


Voting period:     March 15, 2021 - April 15, 2021


View sample ballot




If you have questions or comments, please contact the Nominating Committee:

Sarah Isaacs, Nominating Committee Chair, Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse, isaacs@illinois.edu 217.265.6875
Esther Curry, CE Brehm Memorial Public Library District, ecurry@mtvbrehm.lib.il.us 618.242.6322
Christi Gerrish, Glen Carbon Centennial Library District, cegerrish@hotmail.com 618.288.1212
Louise Green, Richland Community College, lgreene@richland.edu 217.875.7200
Jennifer Lara, O’Fallon Township High School, laraj@oths.us 618.632.3507 x226