Kerry W. Pearson
Kerry Pearson is an attorney with extensive experience in business law and operation. His law office, located in Arlington Heights since 1980, represents both businesses and individuals. Dir. Pearson has resided in Arlington Heights for a cumulative total of 34 years. He has served on the Arlington Heights Memorial Library’s Board of Trustees since 2003. Currently the Board’s President, Dir. Pearson has served as Board Vice President/Secretary and as Library Board Treasurer. His community activities also include the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights. He served as Club President and on the organization's Board of Directors. He was named Rotarian of the Year in 1992 and again in 2002. Dir. Pearson is the RAILS Ethics Officer and serves on the RAILS Policy Committee, Delivery Committee, and Personnel Committee. He is serving a three-year term on the RAILS Board.
Why did you decide to run for the RAILS Board?
I was encouraged by a RAILS Merger Transition Board member (and my library's then President) to run. He thought my professional background as an attorney, coupled with my library board experience, would be of benefit to the new RAILS Board in addressing post-merger issues.
What are your interests and background relating to Illinois library systems and libraries?
Like the typical library board trustee, I have a lifelong love of libraries. I have been an Arlington Heights Memorial Library trustee since 2003, and over the years have served as Board Treasurer, Vice-President/Secretary, and am currently President.
What do you generally envision for library systems in the future?
Generally, if finances remain as strained as they have recently been, I envision further system service cuts and/or consolidations, and increased emphasis on achieving economies of scale touted as a potential benefit of consolidation.
How do you envision the future for library systems in our state?
Because of our state's dire financial condition, the financial difficulties experienced by systems nationwide are magnified in Illinois. We will just have to wait and see whether this will result in further cutbacks or consolidation here, and be prepared and ready to show if and to what extent various services would be enhanced or diminished if such additional consolidation were to be proposed.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing RAILS and how can you help meet that challenge?
While there are many post-merger challenges facing RAILS, some of the major challenges are:
- Building retention/sale and delivery issues relating thereto; filling positions, etc.
- Unifying the members of the five legacy systems so they have the same trust, confidence, faith in, and respect for RAILS as they held for their respective predecessor systems, and
- Convincing members of the need/benefit to find common ground in addressing service and other issues because like it or not, all are now part of one system -RAILS.
The RAILS Board's duty and obligation is to do what is best for the new system and its members as a whole (a task made more difficult because the RAILS Board cannot just act according to the desires of its members but must act within the confines and restrictions imposed by our funding entity). My help as a board member lies is having background and experience beneficial in dealing with, for example, the building sale/retention issues, and I do so with objectivity.
What are some of your outside interests?
I am an Assistant Scoutmaster in my 13-year-old son's Boy Scout troop, and was his Cub Scout Den's Den Leader. I also coach an event for his middle school's Science Olympiad Team. As a family we enjoy geocaching and travel. I am very proud of being an active member of the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights for 22 years. And of course being President of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library Board is a very important interest for me.
What else do you think is important for RAILS members and staff members to know about you?
I do not have the active library system experience held by many other board members, which has been both a blessing and a curse. There has been a steep learning curve, but RAILS staff and fellow Board members have been very generous and helpful in educating me about library systems. My not having had prior active library system experience has enabled me to be able to address board issues objectively and unburdened with the pressure I think some face who have had prior active library system involvement.
Do you have an interesting quotation to share?
"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." -Abraham Lincoln