Member Spotlight - Tom Stagg

Library Trustee Forum (LTF)

August 11, 2023

This week's member spotlight is on Tom Stagg. Besides serving as president of the ILA Library Trustee Forum, Tom also serves as a trustee on the Alpha Park Public Library Board of Trustees.

We asked Tom to tell us a little about himself and answer a few professional and amusing questions. Continue reading to find out more about Tom

A little background on Tom

Tom Stagg, a retired transportation professional, is currently enrolled as a student at Illinois Central College, where he is obtaining his LTA Certification and pursuing a degree in art.

In addition to his studies, Tom actively serves as a trustee at the Alpha Park Public Library in Bartonville, IL, as well as an ILA Library Trustee Forum Board member and RAILS Board member. He is known for his deep involvement in the community and his passion for volunteering. Tom enjoys various activities, including playing golf, painting and drawing, and spending time with Max and Charlie Brown, his rescued Pekingese dogs known as "mops with legs."

How did you get your start in libraries?

As a child growing up in an underserved community, going to the big library in downtown Peoria was always an adventure.

The vast collection of books created cherished memories. We would fill a box with books to take back home. That initial encounter left an indelible mark on me, and to this day, as someone who frequently explores libraries, the simple act of stepping into a library still evokes a profound sense of wonder and delight.

Best advice you've received since starting your career in libraries?

You should learn as much as you can about libraries. Attend classes, take continuing education courses, and attend webinars. You can never have too much knowledge. 

Any advice to newcomers working in libraries?

The library community is one big family, so network, network, and network some more. There are some of the best library staff out there who don't miss out on anything when it comes to knowledge and assistance. 

When and why did you become a member of ILA?

In 2011, I joined ILA because of its advocacy work. It is crucial for the general public, elected officials, and school boards to be informed about the remarkable impact that libraries have on our communities.

How has being a member of ILA helped you professionally? 

Attending the ILA Annual Conference and taking advantage of the networking opportunities offered by ILA have greatly contributed to my professional development within the library community.

What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

The opportunity to serve on the RAILS board and as President of the ILA Library Trustee Forum Board.

Hardcover, paperback, e-reader, audiobook, or all?

Paperback of course. I am a fan of graphic novels and anime.

Favorite author?

Currently Adam Grant, but it changes often.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what five books would you bring with you to pass the time until being rescued?

  • A Good Walk Spoiled: Days and Nights on the PGA Tour by John Feinstein
  • How We Decide by Jonah Leger
  • March (trilogy) by the late Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott
  • Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

Cat or Dog?

It has to be dogs! I spoil my dogs Max and Charlie Brown everyday.

Favorite film, podcast, or television show?

Podcast: Ted Radio Hour

One person you would like to meet, dead or alive why?

I would like to meet Claude Monet. The Water Lilies and the Giverny paintings were tremendous. His marks and atmospheric perspective speak volumes. 

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