Trustee Corner – February 2020

Davies Public Library, Deer Trail School
Davies Public Library, Deer Trail School, Arapahoe Library District

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.

In this issue:

  • Better Boards = Better Communities
  • Good Governance: By the Bylaws
  • Colorado Libraries in the 2010s
  • Library Lobby Day
  • Sam Mamet Good Governance Award
  • Call for Contributions

Better Boards = Better Communities

What drives your passion for serving on a library board? A free one-day workshop for trustees is being offered by the Colorado Library Consortium at the CLiC Spring Workshop in Pueblo on Monday, 4/27. Content includes Financial 101, Advocacy, Strategic Planning and LOTS of time for networking. The workshop is free and includes lunch.

Bonus Day: if you attend the workshop you can also attend the second day of the Spring Workshop for $25, half off the regular cost.

Registration is open. Questions? Just ask

Good Governance: By the Bylaws

gavel resting on white backgroundBylaws are one of several types of governing documents used by nonprofits, corporations, associations, societies, and governments. They are an essential set of rules that any organization must have in order to ensure consistency and fairness in the way the organization functions. In Colorado, public library boards are required to adopt bylaws that regulate the way the board functions in order to provide good governance for the public library.

Whether revising your libary board’s bylaws, or adopting bylaws for the first time, there are a few things to take into consideration. For starters, check with your parliamentary authority (e.g. Robert’s Rules of Order) for details on what articles and statements should be included in bylaws. Also, be careful not to supersede other Colorado state laws or local ordinances, including the open meeting requirements of the Colorado Sunshine Law.

For a more on this topic, including a complete list of considerations and additional resources related to bylaws, read the full article Good Governance: By the Bylaws on the Colorado Virtual Library.

Colorado Libraries in the 2010s

What were the major library trends across the state in 2010 and the teens? And where may things be heading in the 2020s? Throughout January 2020, the Colorado State Library took a look back at trends throughout Colorado libraries. For a look back at the last decade in libraries, read some of these posts written by Sharon Morris, Director of Library Development.

Library Lobby Day

The CAL Legislative Committee (CAL-LEG) is seeking trustee voices to help us tell Colorado’s library stories to our state legislators as part of our annual Library Lobby Day. In 2019, Legislators appropriated an additional $500,000 for the State Grants to Libraries program, increasing the funding baseline by $1,000 for 318 participating libraries. CAL-LEG would like to express gratitude, demonstrate the impact of these funds, and encourage the General Assembly to appropriate another $500,000 for this program.

The CAL Legislative Committee invites library trustees to join fellow members of Colorado’s library community at the State Capitol on March 18, 2020. Library trustees who can’t make it to Denver can participate in wider advocacy efforts by meeting with Legislators this spring, or by calling or writing to their legislators.

If you’re interested in participating in any way, or would like more information, please email for more details.

Sam Mamet Good Governance Award

In 2019, the Colorado Municipal League (CML) announced the creation of the Sam Mamet Good Governance Award in honor of retired CML Executive Director Sam Mamet. Starting with the 2020 CML Annual Conference in Westminster, the award will be given annually to individuals that exemplify and seek to expand the application of principles of good governance. Any municipal (city or town government) elected official, staff member, or other individual in public service that exemplifies principles of good governance is eligible to receive the award. For more details, or to nominate someone from your municipal (city or town) library, view the online application form. Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Call for 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 January issue? View it, and more, at the Library Trustees page of the Colorado Virtual Library

Crystal Schimpf