LWV: What in your education and experience make you the best qualified candidate for this position?
Dr. Duvall: My focus of interest and research is "The Future f Libraries."I have conducted workshops to teach librarians and others a process to recognize trends, identify signals for change and apply the process to the values of their unique institution. I have conducted workshops in the USA (in conjunction with the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries), in India and in Belarus.
I was awarded a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to study the future of libraries in India. My dissertation, awarded by the AASA for excellence in educational research, centered on the effects of the working relationship between the board and the executive on the goals and outcomes of the organization. I have served 20+ years as a professional librarian, including as Director of Secondary School Libraries for AAPS. I hold a degree in Library Science and a doctoral degree in educational leadership. I am dedicated to the nationally recognized excellence of our community library system.
LWV: What are your goals should you be elected and how will you work to accomplish them with current resources?
Dr. Duvall: As a former business CEO, I am well versed in the processes and practices of responsible fiscal oversight, which is one of the duties of an elected trustee. I propose to serve on the Finance Committee.
I recognizes that the Ann Arbor District Library is one of the finest public library systems in the United States. As a trustee I sees my duty as to look at the big picture including modernizing the facilities, staying current with technology, and coordinating with other library systems, in Ann Arbor, the State of Michigan, across the country and in other countries, in order to maintain a forward-thinking dynamic attitude throughout the AADL organization.
I plan to work collaboratively with a wide variety of library patrons, community leaders, ALA futurist thinkers, and my international network. I have found that solutions and good suggestions arise from an atmosphere that treasures information and ideas from unexpected places.
LWV: What is the greatest challenge facing the library today?
Dr. Duvall: The international community of library advocates agrees that the dominate issue in the coming decades for libraries of all kinds is free and open "access." The AADL must participate in forward-thinking conversations with other organizations that are considering like issues. The AADL should participate on the cutting edge of these conversations, and in fact, provide leadership to help define what "access" should look like across all levels of libraries, services and programs as the demands shift to meet the times. That is the big picture.
In Ann Arbor specifically, the strains of change for AADL come with the population shift from outlying development to a focus on downtown population growth. The AADL has responded to peripheral development with an excellent net work of modern, responsive branch libraries. In the next few years the focus needs to shift to the downtown facility, services, programs and a volume of public access never before needed in our downtown library.
LWV: In an age where more and more information is found online, how does a library stay relevant?
Dr. Duvall: The most impactful aspect of relevance is visionary leadership. AADL has recently hired a new director who is nationally recognized for his cutting-edge vision. I am looking forward to joining him in strategic thinking with a future focus.
More specifically, AADL is relevant if it can provide free and open access to all avenues of information and services to people of all income levels. Where else can an aspiring but poor woodworker simply check out publicly available tools, or attend a free workshop, or use a computer? Providing access to whatever the new technology might be is the key to relevance.