In a unanimous vote, the Board of Library Trustees appointed Oak Park resident Susanne Fairfax to fill its current vacant seat. Fairfax is invited to the board’s July 24 strategic planning session. She will be formally installed as a trustee for the special two-year position at its July 27 regular meeting.
‘Ability to re-envision and fully embrace change is essential’
Fairfax chose to submit a personal statement to the board as part of her application. In it, she stated:
“Watching the board meeting gave me a sense of the commitment involved and a feel for the culture of the Board. I was pleased to see the nuanced discussions among board members and staff with opportunities for questions and an exchange of ideas. I so appreciate the commitment to transparency and public access while this appointment process was discussed. The OPPL vision ‘to empower every voice in our community’ was alive in the conversations. I was also grateful to hear that the library has worked with Reesheda Graham Washington and will be hiring a Director of Equity and Anti-Racism. It is promising to see that the Anti-Racism Strategic Plan is not tangential, but integral as a fourth strategic priority along with engagement, learning, and stewardship. In my work in support of equity I have seen that such ability to re-envision and fully embrace change is essential.”– Susanne Fairfax
The selection process
Following its May meeting, the library board began accepting applications for the open trustee seat via a brief online form available on the library website. By the June 15 deadline, 26 applications had been submitted. Prior to the June 22 meeting, one applicant withdrew their name.
All 25 applicants were invited to speak for up to five minutes at the June virtual meeting about their interest in the position. After concluding regular business, the board entered a closed session for discussion and returned to a public session to vote. Watch the meeting on the library’s YouTube channel »
Fairfax will fill the vacancy created earlier this spring, when Saria Lofton declined her elected seat.