Branch News

Lorain Public Library System Board Of Trustees Welcomes Elaine Novak

6/28/2013 -- The Lorain Public Library System (LPLS) is pleased to welcome Elaine Novak, of Lorain, to its Board of Trustees.

“There is a great need in the community for a Library,” Novak said “I want to make sure that it is maintained for the future generations,” she said.

Novak will serve a full term as Trustee for the period of January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2019. She is replacing outgoing Trustee Victor Leandry, who served a full, seven-year term.

Novak is a longtime library user and advocate. She and her husband, Rick Novak of the Lorain Port Authority, have long supported the Lorain community, she said. Her two daughters graduated from Lorain City Schools and have each achieved their higher education degrees.

She said her family lived close to Lorain’s Main Library back in the 70s. Novak said her best memories of Lorain’s Main Library were taking her children to the story times, and seeing her mother-in-law’s painting displayed there.

Her oldest daughter now lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and twins where she works for a research organization. Her youngest daughter, who is planning her marriage, works in Columbus in a consulting firm.

Your first encounter with a Library can be an unforgettable experience.

For Novak, she still clearly recalls the sights and smells of books and evergreen at the Fremont Public Library she visited as a child.

“The Fremont Public Library was this large old building full of books. Every Christmas, an evergreen tree was placed in the middle of the room with two large windows where sunrays would stream in. It was beautiful,” she said.

“You fall in love with the Library when you have that experience,” she said.

She has a background in Human Resources and Education and has previously served on the LPLS Board of Trustees.

Novak said she wants to continue to maintain fiscal security for the library system and wants to maintain access to information and technology for everyone.

“The Library is not just a building with books anymore,” Novak said. “The Library is a meeting place where knowledge is shared, a place for technology, to connect online and connect with the world,” she said.

When asked if she prefers print books or their modern, digital versions, Novak said she uses both. She has a Nexus Google eReader and had a Kindle a few years ago.

Though she says she still can’t get away from the joy of having a hardbound book in her hand.

“I couldn’t get away from print. I love the smell of books,” she said “But now I read two books at a time – one in print, the other on my eReader,” she laughs.

Some of the books she’s recently enjoyed are The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Her favorite authors include Margaret Atwood, Faulkner, Shakespeare, and Vonnegut.

During her previous tenure on the Library Board, she played a role in the planning and design of the South Lorain Branch Library.

She also advocated for the placement of computer portals with Internet access throughout the Branches, and for the placement of the infrastructure necessary for the 21st century technology.

Novak also brings extensive experience working with levy campaigns. Her levy experience includes LPLS, Lorain City Schools and the Lorain Port Authority.

Novak first started working on a LPLS levy campaign over 20 years ago.

“I found out the (Main) Library needed volunteers to help with the levy campaign,” she said. “I packed my youngest in a stroller and went to help. I first worked on securing addresses for mail outs,” she said.

With Libraries receiving less state funding, money is a bigger issue today than 20 years ago, she said. But she believes accessibility to Libraries and online privacy concerns continue to be issues today.

“The Libraries are stretching their resources to accommodate for that growth in library use, in suburban areas for example,” she said.

“This is why being on the Board provides me a unique opportunity,” Novak said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to discuss these issues.”

A position on the Library Board brings responsibility and opportunity, she said.

“A library system is a way to disseminate knowledge and allow children and adults from every walk of life to have equal accessibility to great words from the classics of Shakespeare to the top ten bestsellers, to the newspapers on the iPad, to the Internet,” Novak said.

“It should be equally accessible to everyone,” she said. “My responsibility is to make sure the Library continues to fulfill that role,” she said.