On Board with...Mark Ballard
Mark Ballard joined the Library Board in November 2008.
Describe the importance of public libraries.
As a community resource, public libraries provide everyone equal access to information, educational programs, and entertainment. As the saying goes, “It’s your tax dollars at work,” and in the case of Champaign, those tax dollars are spent very wisely by and for the Champaign Public Library.
Describe your background and what you bring to the board.
I have a both a bachelor’s degree (from Illinois Wesleyan University) and a master’s degree (from Illinois State University) in accounting, a CPA designation, and have worked in banking my whole life. I bring a strong financial background to the Library Board as well as a strong community orientation. I have previously been chair of the United Way Board, YMCA Board, and the Chamber of Commerce as well as president of Champaign West Rotary.
Tell us a little about your family, pets, etc.
I currently live a few blocks from the library with my dog, Trip, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. I am president of BankChampaign, N.A., having joined the bank in 1991 when I moved to Champaign from Bloomington.
What have you read, watched, or listened to lately?
I travel as a hobby and have recently checked out travel guides for Vienna and Puerto Rico from the library. Additionally, I’ve recently checked out Jamaica Me Dead by Bob Morris and How To Be Good by Nick Hornby. Currently, I am reading Johnny One Eye by Jerome Charyn, a humorous historical fiction about the Revolutionary War.
Given that it’s the holiday season, I have been listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas CD, always a must, along with the new CD by The Killers, Day & Age.
I am a sucker for reality TV and have been soaking up the season ending episodes of The Amazing Race, Survivor, and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (hey, everybody has to have a guilty pleasure).