RAILS Board Election

Voting is open for the 2018 RAILS Board of Directors election from April 30 through 5:00 p.m. on May 18.

Each RAILS member library may cast only one ballot on behalf of the library agency. (Each library designates one person who will vote; generally, it will be either the library director or board president.) Your library may vote on all seats, regardless of your library type.

Profiles of the 2018 candidates are available below.


Map of Current Board and 2018 Candidates


red pin 2018 Board Candidate

black star Current Board Member - Term expires/vacant in 2018

green star Current Board Member - Term not expiring this year


At-Large Seat Candidates

Mary Aylmer

Chillicothe Public Library District

Candidate Statement

Serving on the RAILS Board of Directors would be a unique opportunity to give back, to grow personally & professionally, and provide a voice for libraries in our area through service to the consortium.


ILA Fundraising Committee, Chair (2017-2019)

ILA Fundraising Committee, Member (2016-2019)

Moweaqua Park District, Commissioner & Secretary (1998-2004)

Moweaqua Public Library Building Committee (1998-2000)

Moweaqua Public Library District , Trustee (1994-1998)

Barry Hanrahan

Wheeling High School

Candidate Statement

I am interested in supporting the library community and volunteering my time and expertise in school libraries for the benefit of Rails and the public.


I have collaborated across school libraries and public libraries in the Northwest suburbs. Examples include literacy programs run with Algonquin Area Public Library, Prospect Heights Public Library , Indian Trails Public Library and Arlington Heights Memorial Library. I have been a school librarian for 13 years and a high school social studies teacher for 6 years. During 2016-2017 school year, the Wheeling High school library (my current assignment) was recognized as a finalist for the ALA AASL school library program of the year award.

Monica Harris

Schaumburg Township District Library

Candidate Statement

I am interested in a At-Large seat for the RAILS Board of Director. As the Executive Director of the Schaumburg Township District Library, it is important to me that RAILS is well run and well supported by its membership. As RAILS undergoes it's new strategic planning process, I would be honored to support that effort through the Board.


I am currently the Executive Director of the Schaumburg Township District Library, which serves 126,000 residents with an annual budget of 16 million and three locations valued at more than 40 million. I am the chief administrative officer of the library, responsible for overseeing and directing all operations and functions of the library, in accordance with the direction of the Board of Trustees and in alignment with the Vision Statement, Mission Statement, and Values. I have also served on the LIRA (Libraries of Illinois Risk Agency) Executive Board since 2015, chaired the 2014 Illinois Library Association Conference Committee, and taught Library Innovation for the San Jose State University's iSchool from 2014 to 2016.

Liza Hickey

Peoria Public Library

Candidate Statement

I would like to apply for a position on the RAILS member board to share my expertise in the interests of public libraries, and to participate in helping to shape services for the RAILS library community. Since attaining the position of Manager of Technical Services at Peoria Public Library, I have a desire to be more active and engaged in a significant and meaningful way. I hope you will consider me for a position.


I participated in the RAILS Board Consortia Committee's Cataloging Working Group, which produced the documents for Consortia Cataloging Best Practices and Cataloging competencies. I have also recently been appointed to the ALA ALCTS CaMMS Continuing Education committee.

Paul Mills

Fountaindale Public Library District

Candidate Statement

I am completing my first term of service on the RAILS Board and I am very proud of the work our member-driven organization has done. During the past three years RAILS has made great progress on its Strategic Plan and has strived to be inclusive of all of its members in offerings such as grants, programs, and key services such as resource sharing. I am excited by our efforts to ensure our Strategic Plan is relevant for RAILS members and if re-elected, I shall continue to work for resource sharing – materials, services, knowledge, expertise -- that benefits all RAILS members.


I have served as the director of the Fountaindale Public Library District in Bolingbrook for 7 years, and have also worked at several other libraries – both public and academic. I have taught in Joliet Junior ColIege’s LTA Program and serve on its advisory committee as well. I have served as treasurer on the RAILS Board for the past two years and have also served as treasurer for the Libraries of Illinois Risk Agency (LIRA) and as treasurer for the Pinnacle Library Cooperative. I also serve on the ALA Elections Committee. Outside of my library life, I serve as an assistant troop leader for Girl Scouts, as a public relations co-chair for my community’s Rotary Club, and as an assistant governor for my Rotary District. I strongly believe in the power of community and endeavor to help foster community wherever I can. These experiences outside of libraries provide additional perspectives and experiences in creating community and cooperation.

Daisy Porter-Reynolds

Aurora Public Library

Candidate Statement

I'd like to help RAILS continue to excel at working with libraries of all sizes and types. I believe in governance by members and would like to give back to an organization that I feel improves the state of libraries in Illinois. Large libraries have an important role to play in RAILS, and as the terms of board members from bigger libraries expire in mid-2018, I'd like us to continue to have a voice on the board.


I have been the executive director of Aurora Public Library, the biggest public library in RAILS, for 3.5 years. I have served on numerous interlibrary committees, including the ILA conference and awards committees. In California, where libraries work together in quite different ways, I served on and chaired state committees as well as PLA and YALSA grant juries. Locally, I just finished serving on the Aurora Downtown board and am a member of the Noon Rotary Club. I've presented extensively at conferences and have published a book about streamlining programming costs for libraries.

Lynne Schick

Elgin Academy

Candidate Statement

My 30+ years of library experience encompasses a background in various key area including a PS-12 independent school, as well as public libraries, college and university libraries, and corporate library management and administration. I am interested in joining the RAILS Board of Directors because I am at the point in my life and career where I have time to grow in my profession and share my broad library experience. In the past, I enjoyed the time I served on the ILA and LACONI Boards, as well as the the time I served as a Cary Area Public Library Trustee. I enjoy networking and sharing ideas to make a positive influence in libraries.

As the Director of Library/Media Center at Elgin Academy, I am able to channel my passion for children's educational and informational services on a daily basis.

Beyond my employment at Elgin Academy, I enjoy reading, traveling, supporting University of Missouri football and basketball, and volunteering in my church parish.


Served on the ISACS accreditation team at Park Tudor School, Indianapolis, IN, 2010

Team Lead for Library Media Committee

Team Lead for Safety and Security Committee

Completed Designing Instruction for Web-based Training, presented by Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc., in October, 2003

Two-term, elected member of the Cary Area Public Library’s Board of Trustees, 1993-1999

Vice President of the Board of Trustees

Chairperson of the Personnel Committee

Member of the Acquisitions Committee

Member of the Automation Committee

Member of the Building Committee

 Member of the Finance Committee

Served on the Youth Library Association Board for North Suburban Library System

Served on the Youth Services Section Board for the Illinois Library Association

Completed “Management Development Program for Library Administrators” through the School of Business Administration at Miami University, Oxford, OH

Attended “Facilitative Problem Solving and Decision Making for Public Library Managers.”

Invited and attended the Allerton Institute “Illinois Libraries and Illinois Youth; Developing a Statewide Agenda.”

Participated in the Ela Area Public Library Building Project.

Group Discussion Leader at the ILA/YSS workshop “The Unknown Manager.”

Completed the following courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

 "Financial Management,” and “Improving Job Performance.”

Kimberly Shotick

Illinois Institute of Technology

Candidate Statement

I am interested in serving the diverse community of libraries across Illinois because I believe that collaboration and communication are essential to the success and growth of our libraries. Our libraries are being impacted by a wide variety of factors, from innovations in technology to changes in the publishing landscape, putting us at a critical juncture. Responsible stewardship of RAILS is key to not only strategically supporting libraries throughout their evolution, but to also enabling growth and innovation as we look toward the future.


I have experience working in a variety of Illinois library types, and my career has been marked by increasing responsibility and contributions to the profession. My first professional library position was at a public library, working part-time nights and weekends. I’ve also worked as a faculty librarian at Northeastern Illinois University and am currently in administration at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). This variety of experiences has given me the ability to look at the bigger picture and see our various connections and opportunities for collaboration. Also, my administrative responsibilities in academic libraries, experience serving on various consortial committees, and skills in communication and outreach make me an ideal candidate for the Board of Directors. In my current position as Assistant Dean of User Services and Outreach at IIT I have contributed to the implementation of strategic priorities across the library and am tasked with the creation and maintenance of library policy. Policy work, evaluation, and promotion are part of my key responsibilities and those skills make me a great fit to serve on the team of Board Members. Finally, I am passionate about the work that RAILS does and would be honored to represent its membership through service.

Heidi Smith

Park Ridge Public Library

Candidate Statement

Bringing people together to make connections, generate ideas, solve problems, and get excited is what I do best. I am looking for opportunities outside my home library to invest in the relationships that make our library community strong. I would represent RAILS public libraries well, and gain valuable experience and perspective that will enable me to better support my team as well as the library community in years to come.


As Assistant Director of the Waukegan Public Library, I supported the Board of Trustees as the OMA/FOIA officer, and answered questions about practical applications of the Open Meetings Act and parliamentary procedures. I have also assisted the Board as substitute secretary when needed. Now as the Library Director for Park Ridge, I will gain experience serving the Board of Trustees as their chief executive officer, expanding my knowledge and understanding of other facets of public library governance and administration.

Kathryn Sofianos

Palos Park Public Library

Candidate Statement

I respectfully submit my statement of interest to serve on the RAILS Board with passion and enthusiasm. The benefits of a strong library consortia cannot be overstated. RAILS provides an important platform for discussion of quality library services and a means of resource sharing. It allows all sizes and types of libraries a collaborative environment to achieve a common cause - meeting the varied needs of our users. If elected to the RAILS Board I promise to bring a deep commitment to contributing to the work of RAILS. It would be an honor to contribute and I thank you for your consideration.


I have over 20 years of experience working in public libraries promoting and advancing services, programs, and policies that build and support communities. I have been director of the Palos Park Public Library since July 2016 and formerly worked at the Chicago Ridge Public Library as a department head and assistant director. I have served as a LACONI officer, Illinois State Library grant reviewer, and was a participant of the inaugural Directors University in 2017.

Robin Wagner

South Holland Public Library

Candidate Statement

I would like an active role in guiding RAILS over the next three years as the System and its libraries navigate through the issues of funding, unserved populations, school libraries, and social issues libraries and patrons face on a nearly daily basis.

There is much RAILS can do to support, educate, and strengthen its members. As RAILS develops its next strategic plan, I can provide insight from my past and current professional perspective. I also know the value of listening to and advocating for the member libraries.


I have worked at SLS/MLS/RAILS member libraries for over 30 years and have experienced the ups and downs of systems and libraries in Illinois. I have worked at libraries in Elmwood Park, Stickney-Forest View, Oak Lawn, Orland Park and now am the Director of the South Holland Public Library. These libraries and communities run the gamut from small to large, wealthy to working class, and all with different levels and types of diversity. I have also worked in SWAN libraries and a standalone library.

I have worked in Youth, Adult and Circulation Services; spent six years doing library marketing and public relations; another eight as an Assistant Director responsible for facilities management.

My most relevant experience was being a board member and then working my way through the executive board and finally President of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce during 2002 - 2009.

These experiences have given me a broad understanding of the politics, needs, wants, trends, and futures of libraries and the communities they serve. I will work hard and dedicate the time to be an advocate for all libraries and communities served by RAILS.

Public Library Trustee Seat Candidates

Michael Campbell

Fox River Grove Library District

Candidate Statement

Libraries represent our communities, bring them together, and provide support for education. I have been involved in our library for the past four years as a trustee and before that as an avid reader, as well as a participant in the many programs. We need advocates for the library and the future of libraries.


I have served as a library trustee since 2014 and have been involved in school libraries through a background in education and publishing.

Jay E. Kasten

Vernon Area Public Library

Candidate Statement

I have a sincere desire to advocate & improve on behalf of libraries, their value to all constituents in their respective districts & municipalities. I also through many years of volunteering, have a thorough understanding on the importance & hence, have become a strong supporter of the fiduciary responsibility & long range planning that goes towards participating on a Board. I have the respect of my fellow colleagues & I in return demonstrate respect towards them so we can collaborate to further library agendas. I feel serving on the VAPLD Board for 23 plus years, the cumulative sum of all my years volunteering & serving on various Boards, gives me a sound & broad basis to serve, contribute & make a difference on the RAILS Board.


Current Trustee at Vernon Area Public Library, have sat &/or chaired all committees & committee positions during my tenure at the VAPLD, member of the RAILS Nominating Committee, membership in ILA, RAILS, ALA, current Officer on the ILA Trustee Forum, Board member at Or Tikvah Congregation, current Board member at The Courtyards at the Woodlands Condominium Association, member of the Stevenson High School Foundation Board, member of the Long Range Planning Committee at Stevenson High School. Have attended numerous workshops, conferences & seminars to stay current in library matters, increase & broaden my knowledge. Have & continue to network with many colleagues to maintain & strengthen these connections & to seek input on how to better identify & correct issues in a respective scenario.

Thomas P. Stagg

Alpha Park Public Library

Candidate Statement

As a Trustee in a changing demographic district, we face a lot of obstacles: funding, not enough resources' for materials, changing tax base, insuring safety of our patrons and staff, etc. Processes and documentation of policies are items that I see as issues when I have visited other libraries and talked with Staff. As the State and Local governments work through the financial uncertainties. It is up to the Library Officials and Trustees to be proactive. We have to work together to make differences. To provide a voice for Downstate and challenged districts in RAILS.


Primary Library experience has been with my term as a Trustee on the Local Library Board. Have had the pleasure of serving on many Boards and Organizations. Currently on the Western Illinois University Supply Chain Management Advisory Board has given me a new focus on Education and the technical items that are found in the Library System as a lot of the new study in this field is in Periodicals and Journals. The Students abilities to get that much needed information is through the Library systems. On the APICS Quad Cities Chapter Board Strategic Planning has been my recent focus as well as assisting the Student Chapter. Many Years of Management experience and community involvement.

Working in a Six Sigma environment; we analyze and measure meaningful events and make decisions on the data. With IoT and Big Data are the Member Libraries using the data to make meaningful change. In my Trustee experience, I see tables of data and do not see a link to the community it serves. Which is a shame as the data will show what a difference the Library and its relationships with the communities it serve have a great influence in all walks of life.