Library Trustee Candidate Profiles:

April 2023 Election 


Note: On February 6th, all candidates received an email invitation to participate in the Library Candidate Survey.  Details here


1. List your qualifications for the position of Homer Township Public Library District Trustee.

Cynthia Bochenek - I was a 14 year employee of the library. I worked in the following departments: circulation, adult services, youth services (fill-in). I am a current library trustee and have been since 2016. I am a 34 year resident of Homer Township. All of my children are products of Homer 33-C and Lockport Township High School districts and have played sports through Homer Athletic Club.

Jane Klunk - As a Homer Township resident for more than 35 years, I have seen a lot of growth in our community. My husband and I raised 4 children and now have 6 (soon 8) grandchildren that are life-long learners and avid readers. As a special education teacher, I brought that perspective to the opportunities and services that our library offers.
I have had the privilege of being a trustee for many years and bring that experience to the position. I have attended library conferences and trustee workshops. I have always served with the Homer Community’s best interests in mind.

Clare Lund - As a certified librarian, I understand the important role that libraries play in our community. I have been a public educator for 17 years, first as a language arts teacher, and now as the K-8 Librarian for Gower District 62 in Willowbrook. I am responsible for maintaining and developing our book collections, and I teach lessons to students at all grade levels to develop reading, writing, and research. I am an active member of the Association of Illinois School Library Educators, and serve on the selection committee for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award.
Within our community, I organized and personally funded multiple book giveaways for kids of all ages in local neighborhoods during the pandemic when schools were closed and book access was limited. I am also the steward of Little Free Library #104959, which my husband and I built in our front yard. We love seeing our neighbors stop by and share books with each other!
Since 2019, I have been a Trustee on the Homer Library Board. During this time, I have gained valuable experience from my colleagues, which has served to deepen my knowledge and broaden my perspective about how our public library system functions.

Rita Woods - Aside from being a long time patron/supporter of libraries, I have served on multiple other Boards in the past. As Medical Director for several big Centers, including FQHC's, I have experience in the workings of governmental entities, grant writing and program development. As a writer, I am also familiar with how libraries acquire, review and utilize materials and have worked and/or interacted with librarians across the Midwest.

Stephen J. Balich III - No response.

Tony Drabik - No response.

Breanna Roti  - No Response.

John E. Walters - No Response.


2. List your motivation for seeking a position as a Library Trustee.

Cynthia Bochenek - I am seeking re-election to continue to serve the Homer Glen/Homer Township community. I enjoy working with the other trustees to commit to building a strong library system to be utilized by the residents.

Jane Klunk -  As a library trustee for the past several years, I am proud that I have been involved in its growth. The expansions and renovations have all been self funded without impacting township tax payers.
I want to see the library services and programs carry on with their excellence. I am inspired by the director and her staff’s energy and innovative activities which insure that our library is everything it needs to be in the 21st century and beyond. Some of this is due to the many grants which have been awarded to the library because of the director and staff’s initiative to obtain them.

Clare Lund - While raising our family here in Homer Glen, I felt a strong desire to become more involved in our community. So when a position on the Homer Township Library Board became available in 2019, I was excited for the opportunity, and felt it was a perfect fit for someone with my professional background. I love our library, and want to support our excellent and knowledgeable staff, as well as maintain the level of services provided to our patrons. I believe that my experience and knowledge as a librarian is and will continue to be an asset to the Board.

Rita Woods - I believe that libraries and schools are the soul of communities. They are safe spaces to explore/interact and learn. Homer Township library is proactive and creative. Reaching out to and partnering with seniors, community groups, the local schools. I want to see that continue, and as a proud member of the Homer community, I want to contribute in some small way to this.

Stephen J. Balich III - No response.

Tony Drabik -  No response.

Breanna Roti - No Response.

John E. Walters - No Response.


3. How do you currently use the Library?

Cynthia Bochenek - I have always been an avid library user. I use the library website to place holds for books and have used Hoopla to download books and music. I use the study rooms during my "work remote" days. Whenever we go on a trip, I always check out a mobile hotspot to take with. I have attended many of the programs offered by the library.

Jane Klunk - Because I am always reading and listening to books. The library’s app “hoopla” has become my favorite way to immediately access ebooks and audiobooks whenever I want and wherever I am. If I still need a book, the library staff is able to find it for me from another library.
The Homer Township Library has many wonderful programs and activities that I attend with my grandchildren. The craft fair and holiday events are favorites!
I have enjoyed attending programs where authors discuss their books, as well as, the writing/publishing process.

Clare Lund - When my husband and I moved to Homer Glen in 2012, one of the first things we did was get our public library cards. We both regularly borrow books and other materials, and take advantage of the wonderful online resources available through Homer Township Library. (We especially love the free access to Mango Languages!) After our two children were born, our family visits to the library became part of our weekly routine, and we discovered the wide range of programming available for library patrons of all ages. As our kids have grown up, we’ve loved participating in Wiggles & Giggles, the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, LEGO club, monthly drawing classes, the annual baby chick hatching, larger events like reptile and magic shows, and so much more. Homer Township Public Library is one of our very favorite places in the community!

Rita Woods - Primarily as a resource for research as well as a source for books and activities for my family

Stephen J. Balich III - No response.

Tony Drabik - No response.

Breanna Roti - No Response.

John E. Walters - No Response.


4. What do you feel are the most essential services that the Library provides to the community of Homer Township?

Cynthia Bochenek - The library is so much more to the community than people realize and we offer so many services, it's hard to list them all! We provide a warm, inviting place to study, meet others, as well as offering diverse programming for the residents. We serve all ages, from infants (Wiggles & Giggles) to seniors (book clubs, Fall Harvest, travel programming).

Jane Klunk - Access, access, access! The pandemic never kept our library from servicing the community. Creative ways were developed for delivery of materials and services. Patrons and staff safety always addressed. Our library strives to accommodate all needs. Open 7 days a week:it’s a busy place which is a testament to its use and importance! Have you seen the weekly calendar?! There is always something to interest you at the Homer Township Public Library.

Clare Lund - Homer Library is the heart of our community. There are very few places in our world today where you can walk in without the pretense of spending money, but the library continues to be a space where everyone is welcome! Our library is so much more than just a building full of books. While I am extremely passionate about the importance of reading and literacy development, it’s also important to recognize that our library offers access to databases and online resources, extensive programming and activities for patrons of all ages (both in-person and virtual), museum passes, and spaces for members of the community to use for quiet studying or group meetings.
The Homer Library also does an excellent job with outreach, sending the Bookmobile to our retirement communities and our local schools to ensure access for all. During my time as a Trustee, we installed a micropantry in front of the library for any members of the community to donate to or take from as needed. This resource is truly a representation of Homer Township at our best!

Rita Woods - I believe that information, connectedness (both IRL and technologically) and programming are the cornerstone of Homer Township library services 

Stephen J. Balich III - No response.

Tony Drabik - No response.

Breanna Roti - No Response.

John E. Walters - No Response.


5. If elected, what would you see as your responsibility to the patrons of the Library?

Cynthia Bochenek - There truly is something for every age group at the Homer Township Public Library. I believe that the main responsibility of a trustee is to remain fiscally responsible and to continue to offer programs, reading materials, etc. to meet our diverse and growing population.

Jane Klunk - My responsibility as a library trustee Is to continue to fulfill our library’s mission “…to provide free and equal access to information and ideas, books, and technologies to educate, engage and enrich the Homer community. We support life-long learning at every age and stage of a person’s life.”
Also, it is the responsibility of trustees to be sure that the library is being managed properly; fiscally responsible with our tax dollars. That is why the library has been able to self fund all of its expansions and renovations.
HTPL is the heart of our community and I want to be a part of keeping that heart beating!

Clare Lund - My responsibilities include regular attendance at the monthly board meetings so I can stay informed about the library’s short-term and long-term budgets, grants and other funding opportunities, local business updates, and programs being offered at our library each month.
I have a responsibility to the taxpayers to make prudent decisions about how to spend their money, giving them the best return on their investment in our community. Homer Library accounts for only 1.8% of a resident’s tax bill, and this percentage has not increased since the library was established in 1982. Our library stays within budget each year, still offering exceptional resources and programs. We are currently undergoing a much-needed expansion after an informed planning process with input from library consultants, our financial advisors, and the public. This construction project was budgeted for in such a way that there is no additional financial burden to the taxpayers of Homer Township, but all will be able to benefit from these additional spaces.
Finally, it is our responsibility as a public library to continue to offer a diverse selection of resources for our patrons, and to provide equitable access for all. Every child deserves to see themselves represented in a book.

Rita Woods - To continue to be fiscally responsible to the community. To ensure that the library remains a safe, judgement free space for all Homer residents. To continue to develop relationships with other community entities in a way that ensures that Homer remains the great place that it is. To ensure continued availability to patrons for questions, materials and services.

Stephen J. Balich III - No response.

Tony Drabik - No response.

Breanna Roti - No Response.

John E. Walters - No Response.