Candidate Q & A: Katherine Barker, Library Board of Trustees

The following represents the candidate’s responses to the Current’s questions for the Abbot Library Board of Trustees candidates. Jump back to Election Guide

Years in Marblehead: 29

Occupation/education: I currently work part time as a reinsurance professional/consultant. I am a graduate of University of Massachusetts Amherst and have an MBA from Babson College. Over the past 30 years, my work experience has been in the insurance and reinsurance industry working at subsidiaries of The Hartford and Swiss Re.

Appointed positions and/or elected offices: I was recently appointed by the Select Board to the Marblehead Cultural Council

What are the most significant issues facing the library, and how would you address them if elected? While I am a frequent user of the library, I believe that it probably faces pressures to manage rising costs while continuing to serve the whole of our community in education and culture. The current renovation will allow the library to expand its outreach and impact to the community. If elected, I believe that I can actively participate on the Board bringing my experience in governance, planning and financial acumen that was gained from participation on various boards of directors in the corporate world and nonprofit boards. As a trustee, I would actively listen and learn from the community to be a strong representative. I believe I can be a valuable advocate for the library.

How do you keep the library relevant in the era of technology?

Libraries in general provide a safe haven for all ages to learn and pursue knowledge. Introducing Marblehead students to the new library would help them understand and appreciate its new resources and benefits and how they could incorporate those resources for personal use. Libraries should embrace and teach available and emerging technologies as a service to the community. Reading skills will always be relevant and the library’s children and teen spaces and programming will enhance and broaden those skills. The library’s programming also provides our town with a sense of community.

What are your thoughts on the library’s role in preserving the community’s history and culture?

The library continues to be a valuable source to learn and highlight Marblehead’s history in its collections and programming. Our town enjoys a unique history and culture that the library has and will continue to showcase our culture in arts, music and education programs.

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