On Board with...Trisha Crowley

Trisha Crowley joined the board in July 2012.

Describe the importance of public libraries.

Libraries have always been a large part of my life. I remember my childhood library, where I found Little House on the Prairie, The Secret Garden, and many more classics. And the excitement of getting an adult card (the adult library was in a different building)! My dorm at Northwestern was next door to the Evanston library and I spent my recreational time there.

Since 1971, the Champaign Public Library has been my home library. I love the new books section, the sci-fi collection, and CDs. I use the meeting rooms for the organizations I belong to, especially the League of Women Voters of Champaign County. The children's section was a weekly destination when my daughter was young.

These experiences shape my notions of the importance of public libraries. Access to the knowledge of the world. A doorway to the imagination. A safe but also exciting place.  With the Internet such a transforming part of our life today, one of the library's missions has to be bringing its gifts to those who may otherwise not have access. Programs for children which stir their imaginations should continue to be offered because our children's department is great. New books and new ways to access these books, and staying in touch with new technologies helps our residents. I also hope to learn from our great staff about ideas for how to continue to be a great library in the future.

Describe your background and what you bring to the board.

I am a retired City of Champaign employee. I have knowledge of the legal environment of city libraries from my job. I hope to offer some of those insights, as well as the viewpoint of dedicated user of the library, in my service on the board.

What have you read, watched, or listened to lately?

I visited the Mongol horde exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago, which inspired a search for books on the Mongols. John McPhee is a favorite author, so I am reading a book by him called The Control of Nature. And, of course, sci-fi authors such as David Weber, Mercedes Lackey, and new authors recommended by the Science Fiction e-mail newsletter the library sends out.