Trustee Corner – December 2019

Statue of people reading in front of the Mamie Dowd Eisenhower Library entrance, Brommfield Colorado.
Mamie Dowd Eisenhower Public Library, Broomfield

The Trustee Corner is a monthly series featuring information of interest to public library boards. Topics include training opportunities, legal issues, helpful information, and relevant news impacting public library governance. The information included in this newsletter is for informational purposes, and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Please consult your library’s attorney with any questions about your specific situation.

Welcome: Southwest La Plata Library District

Have you heard? Colorado has a new public library district! The Southwest La Plata Library District has been officially established, following the successful passing of a mill levy in the November election. This library district will take over management of two libraries south of Durango, and will begin operations in January 2020. The newly formed library district board received training from the Colorado State Library in December.

Free Webinar: Community Centered Library

One of the key changes in 21st Century public librarianship has been a shift in focus from library-centric to community-centric. This is sometimes called “turning out.” But pragmatically, what does this shift mean to library operations? The Colorado State Library is hosting a free webinar, The Community Center Library, on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 from 2:00-3:00pm. Join Jamie LaRue, former public library director, author, and consultant, to explore the Community Centered Library as it applies to human resources decisions, building projects, strategic planning, and the larger issue of advocacy.

Call for Program Proposals: CALCON2020

“Interested in the bigger picture of public library trustees in Colorado? Have a great idea you’d like to share with other trustees and librarians from around the state? Want to meet and network with fellow trustees? Consider attending CALCON’s annual meeting in Loveland or even making a presentation! It doesn’t need to be long. This year there will be the option of presenting for 5-7 minutes (lightning talk) or 18-20 minutes, in addition to the full 60 minute program sessions. It is energizing and informative to interact with library lovers from all over the state.” – Susan Kadlec, Loveland Public Library Trustee

The Colorado Association of Libraries is now accepting proposals for programs for their annual conference (CALCON2020), and trustees are encouraged to submit proposals for the Trustee Track. The conference will take place September 10-12 in Loveland. Proposals are due February 1, and can be submitted using the online proposal form. If you have any questions or require an accommodation to complete your application, please contact the Programs Subcommittee at

The CALCON2020 conference planning committee is also seeking volunteers to review proposals, and needs reviewers specifically for trustee-related sessions. If you are willing to review conference program proposals in February 2020, please fill out the volunteer form. Proposal review can be done remotely from any location, and further instructions will be sent to volunteers via email.

Tips for Trustees: Orientation

At the start of the new year, new library trustees will begin their terms on many library boards across the state. This makes is a good time to review your orientation materials for new trustees. An orientation should provide an introduction to their role on the library board, and the basic information they will need to successfully perform their duties as a library trustee.

Some libraries prepare a handbook for each library trustee that may be in a folder or binder. Others may provide everything in a digital format using a collaborative filesharing tool such as Google Drive or Dropbox. In addition to providing informational resources, an orientation may include a tour of physical library spaces, particularly if the library has multiple facilities. The library director and board can work together to provide a welcoming orientation to new trustees to help them feel welcome and prepared to serve.

Here are some resources to consider including in your orientation for new library trustees:

For more suggestions, visit the web page Recruitment and Orientation of New Trustees created by the State Library of Iowa.

Trustee Corner Contributions

Does your library have trustee news to share? Would you like to share an update in the Trustee Corner? Do you have a topic you would like to see featured? Email Crystal Schimpf with your ideas.

Be sure to follow Colorado State Library on Twitter and Facebook. Interested in receiving Trustee-related updates via email? Sign up for the Colorado Library Trustees (COLT) email list.

Did you miss the November issue? View it, and more, at the Library Trustees page of the Colorado Virtual Library

Crystal Schimpf