Midterm Election 2018 – Candidates’ Responses to DLA Questions

Responses are not edited. 

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Q1: Do you have a library card?  If so, in what ways do you (and your family) use it?

Candidate’s Name District & Party Incumbent? Response
1. Ernie Lopez Senate 7, Rep. Yes  

I do have a library card and so do my children.   We use the cards often to check out books as reading is one of our favorite pastimes.   We also enjoy visiting all of the libraries in the 6th Senate District from Milton to Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.

  

2. Bob Wheatley Senate 21, Dem. No  

I do! I use it to get books that are hard to find or out of print.

 

3. Marcus Wienner House 10, Rep. No  

We all do have our own library cards. We use it for research as well as for utilizing the conference rooms available.

 

4. Paul Thornburg House 11, Dem. No  

I do not have a library card at this time, but when I lived closer to Dover, I had one there. I have recently gotten married and 4 young children came with my wife. We emphasize reading so I believe we will be attending the Appo library.

 

5. Deborah Hudson House 12, Rep. Yes  

NO, I am embarrassed to say I do not have a library card!! 

 

6. Al Ament House 16, Rep. Yes  

Let me begin by stating I strongly support libraries and the necessary use they certainly need to play. I presently (but I have in the past) do not hold a library card.

 

7. Stephanie Barry House 21, Dem. No  

Everyone in my family has always had a library card; it was a rite of passage for my kids to receive their cards at a very young age. Throughout the years, my kids and I have participated in many different library- sponsored events, attended story times, lectures, etc. All of us have used our cards to borrow books, DVDs, CDs, etc., as well as to use library computers. I love our Delaware libraries and believe they are a tremendous resource for the community. 

 

8. Michael Ramone House 21, Rep. (JFC) Yes  

I no longer carry my Library card for Kirkwood since I now have constant access to the Library in Leg Hall and my children are all adults and out of our home. However I am still still a supporter and travel to Kirkwood Library often. Now that I have a new Grandson (4 months old) I am sure Lisa and I will be back. The importance of reading to children is significant, and we very much value the resources available at Kirkwood Library.

 

9.

Brian Shupe

House 35, Rep. No  

Our family has a great relationship with our local library in downtown Milford, DE. I have a library card and so does my two year-old daughter Evelyn. We are there quite often visiting Milford’s Children’s Library and for me to get my fill of John Grisham novels. My mother also volunteers several times a week at the Milford Public Library so we are always kept up to date with the great programs and events they offer. My small business MilfordLIVE, a local newspaper in Milford, sponsors library events including the Music in the Park series that occurs each summer. 

Picture below is my Daughter Evelyn receiving her first Library Card in September. 

 

10. Richard Collins House 41, Rep. Yes  

My wife and I both have library cards.  We often check out books, especially for our grandson who is 7.  My wife is working very hard to help him learn to be a good reader.

 

Q2: Reading scores in Delaware remain low, in large part because school libraries have been in crisis for decades. 
How will you ensure that school libraries regain the support that they need so that Delaware students can
achieve in school, and in college and careers?

Candidate’s Name District & Party Incumbent? Response
1. Ernie Lopez Senate 7, Rep. Yes  

Literacy is extremely important to me and making sure we have alignment in funding priorities through the Department of Education and also the Department of State, where the Libraries Division is housed is vital and has always been a focus for me.  With that said, I will continue to ensure that our local districts are funding and staffing their school library facilities to enable our children to utilize the facilities to the best of their abilities. 

 

2. Bob Wheatley Senate 21, Dem. No  

For some students, the library is the only source for reliable high-speed internet outside of school. I will support programs that enhance the libraries’ multi-media capabilities  and their use as tutoring/mentoring resources.  

 

3. Marcus Wienner House 10, Rep. No  

When I get to Dover I will ensure that the money for our students are going to the right places. Right now that money is filtering from the top to the bottom, by the time it gets to our students there is barely enough left. I will work to change that paradigm and reverse it.

I will stress getting back to the basics, reading, writing and arithmetic and being taught the way it has worked for hundreds of years. Our libraries play a large part in this effort.

 

4. Paul Thornburg House 11, Dem. No  

It’s not strictly about the reading scores for me even though there needs to be some concern. The libraries provide so much more for the areas they serve. For some less fortunate, they provide heat or air conditioning to break through a winter or summer while enjoying the resources. Others enjoy the quiet that is afforded in a hectic life or even worse. They are a  sanctuary for many. The resources from long ago have increased dramatically and other services provided by your group are the only chance for a lower income family to provide internet, books, and other services that many take for granted. Programs in the schools to help identify those that may benefit may be the way get people to the locations. I would listen to your expertise in the field.

 

5. Deborah Hudson House 12, Rep. Yes  

DE should continue to give some funding to Libraries even thought NCC is primarily responsible for our NCC libraries.

 

6. Al Ament House 16, Rep. Yes  

In order to promote greater use of our libraries, we need to work with schools, civic groups, private parties and our governing officials. It’s certainly a group commitment to pursue this absolute need for our communities. Having worked with our youth to improve their reading skills I have personally witnessed the joy and pride in their lives when they work and accomplish this great goal. Reading opens up many doors and provides so many opportunities for all. Not to mention the personal satisfaction it can provide.

 

7. Stephanie Barry House 21, Dem. No  

Our children are our future and in order to protect our quality of life, we need to invest in our children. This means, in part, investing in our school library systems. We are in the information age and libraries provide access to world-wide information through books, media, and most important databases to support research. Our students need to all have equal access to these resources and we can achieve that only if we ensure that each and every public school has a full-time library media specialist (and necessary support staff), a well-equipped library/media center, and access to all the up-to-date technology, which help will make them college and career ready.

 

8. Michael Ramone House 21, Rep.  (JFC) Yes  

The assessment that reading scores are unacceptable low in our Schools is sadly true. I have always focused on our need to “fill the Cup” of every child regardless of what size cup God gave them. Our Libraries are a wonderful resource to help achieve that goal. The School libraries in some ways have been a victim of budget cuts in the past however this past year, (as one of the newest member of JFC), we have committed to increasing funding to our Libraries. Without proper funding our Libraries are very limited in what they can do for our students. I will continue to keep that focus while vetting our State budget as I am in able to remain on JFC. 

 

9. Brian Shupe House 35, Rep. No  

Our local libraries need more local and statewide support from all members of our society. An admirer of Thomas Jefferson, I wholeheartedly believe in his statement that, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”  Libraries can be great resources for our local families, especially those that do not have the ability to acquire books or perform research on their own. Unfortunately, many of these same families are considered to be on the lower end of our society’s economic and social spectrum. I will work to further community education on the value of our local libraries and work as a lawmaker to ensure that they are properly funded. Engaging young kids through reading  is a very rewarding process for the individual, their family and our community. I look forward to learning from the Delaware Library Association on the various ways we can work together to promote and increase reading among families and in schools. 

 

10. Richard Collins House 41, Rep. Yes  

All Delaware programs funded by government have been at risk for years because of a poor Delaware economy and poor spending choices by state government.  Delaware must reform to remove restrictions that have limited our economic growth to the slowest of nearly all the states, and reduce political considerations on how we spend government revenue.  Once we are prosperous again, there will be money for libraries and many other worthy purposes.

 

Q3: What’s your passion?  In what ways can libraries support the issues that are important to you?
Jobs/Economic Development, seniors, schools, opioid crisis. 

Candidate’s Name District & Party Incumbent?  
1. Ernie Lopez Senate 7, Rep. Yes  

My passion are my children.   I have two incredible young daughters, one in 5th grade and the other in 7th grade.  They love their local public schools and their teachers and have benefited tremendously by the love and care they receive.  I feel so fortunate to represent a district that supports our children they way we do in the Cape Region, at all levels, especially in the services available at our libraries and I will continue to be an advocate and strong supporter for the important work that must continue. 

 

2. Bob Wheatley Senate 21, Dem. No  

Libraries are a vital resource not only for students but for the community at large. Libraries can play an important role in creating awareness and providing information. Libraries also provide a meeting place for people with similar interests to share their activities and experiences. 

 

3. Marcus Wienner House 10, Rep. No  

Our granddaughter loves the reading sessions the libraries have to offer. It re-enforces learning, thinking and community awareness. If there is one passion for me, it is to keep and grow that project.

 

4. Paul Thornburg House 11, Dem. No  

Taking care of middle class and lower class families are my passion which I have been working on for about 32 years now. I have been employed in this field for many years now and find it very rewarding.Every person should have the same chance to succeed if they put in the time and work to reach that goal. Libraries already help level the playing field by providing resources they may not be able to pay for themselves. I look forward to exploring other possibilities with your organization. 

 

5. Deborah Hudson House 12, Rep. Yes  

My passion is enriching the lives of children.  I hope that libraries continue to enhance the children’s section of our libraries–I want to take my grandchildren there!!!

 

6. Al Ament House 16, Rep. Yes  

As a society and as individuals we need to continue to share our love of reading with as many people as we can. As the song writer states, This little light of mine,” I’m going to let it shine”.

 

7. Stephanie Barry House 21, Dem. No  

What I am most passionate about is maintaining the quality of life in my community, and I strongly believe having access to libraries as both an educational and social resource is essential to achieving that goal. A public library can truly serve as a community focal point and I know, through personal and professional experiences, that our library system offers a multitude of resources that aid the community from literacy support programs to ELL programs to financial workshops and more. I am soon hoping to represent the 21st District in Delaware and I would love to see Kirkwood Library, central to the District, to become the real heart and focal point of the District. I hope to coordinate efforts with the library to help constituents to get the services and support they want and need

 

8. Michael Ramone House 21, Rep.  (JFC) Yes  

My passion is giving back and helping others. It gives me and Lisa great pleasure in helping others. This community has been very good to me and my family. Being a Legislator affords me the opportunity to focus on our community. The Kirkwood Library is in the center of my district and is a hub which much is focused. I appreciate the availability of the Library to accommodate many communities and special events in their multi purpose room and its availability of technology and reading resources  for those who reside in the 21st district. Thank you for that.

 

9. Brian Shupe House 35, Rep. No  

Two of my passions are growing a stronger economy through community partnerships that create high, quality jobs and enhancing education of Delaware families through making our public school system greater and providing continuing and vocation training for adults. Working with partners like Bayhealth Medical Center, Nemours Pediatrics & Senior Care and Delaware Tech Community College as the Mayor of Milford, I have seen through experience that private, public partnerships can help not only create jobs but help families achieve skills to prepare for employment opportunities. I believe that public libraries can be a great resource and another partner in helping to build our economy and offer education opportunities for our residents. Many programs that support these efforts are already in place in our local public libraries and I would welcome the chance to connect with them as a vital part of a proactive plan to better our communities. 

 

10. Richard Collins House 41, Rep. Yes  

My passion is keeping Americans, and in particular Delawareans, prosperous and free.  Ours is, and can continue to be, a land of limitless possibilities.  There are many books in the library on American history, economics, and also historical novels that can serve as guidebooks to achieve the American dream of a future filled with promise, profitability, and opportunity. 

 

Sources for further study: