Trustee Corner – February 2021

The Ruby M. Sisson Library building and sign, during a snowstorm.
Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, Pagosa Springs. Photo courtesy of the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library.

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:

  • Robert’s Rules of Order
  • Colorado Public Library Standards
  • Vaccines for Library Workers
  • Virtual Trustee Training
  • CALCON 2021 Trustee Track

Robert’s Rules of Order

Does your library follow Robert’s Rules of Order as the formally adopted parliamentary authority? Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 12th Edition (RONR) was published in September 2020, and contains updates related to electronic meetings and handling vacancies. While there are several options for parliamentary authority, many public boards choose RONR as their guide for running meetings and making business decisions. Check your bylaws to see what parliamentary procedure is indicated, and consider updating to the latest edition. If your board does follow RONR, here are some articles that may be of interest:

Colorado Public Library Standards

Multicolored bar chart with red arrow pointing up and to the right.

The Colorado Public Library Standards (2016) provide a lens through which a library can examine its current services and set goals for a better level of service for the local community. The Standards describe recommended practices for achieving excellence and can be used as an aid in planning and policy development. The Standards are intended for use by librarians, boards, staff, governing officials, members of funding agencies, and community support groups involved in planning at the local level.

The Colorado State Library hosted a webinar on this topic in January 2021, which provided an overview for library trustees. This webinar highlighted some of the ways the Standards can be used by library boards for long-range strategic planning, ongoing improvement of library services, and in policy development. View the webinar recording on YouTube, and access the slides and resources via Google Drive [dead link removed 19 May 2022].

Vaccines for Library Workers

There has been ongoing discussion amongst library leaders about the safety of library workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As vaccination efforts have been increasing, there have been questions about where library workers fit into the vaccine distribution schedule in Colorado. Professional associations representing libraries have recently published statements in support of the prioritization of vaccines for library workers, particularly those who are considered frontline essential workers. Decisions about vaccination priorities are designated at the state level by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and then made locally by regional or county public health authorities. For more on this topic, here are some links to related information:

Virtual Trustee Training

Looking for learning opportunities? The following FREE virtual training webinars and workshops for library trustees. Click the links below for more details and to register. Pre-registration is required for all webinars.

  • February 23: Colorado Library Board Essentials (for Governing Boards) (Colorado State Library)
  • Febrary 23: Proactive Advocacy and Communication for Library Trustees and Staff (United for Libraries) Email Crystal Schimpf and ask for details about *free* registration for Colorado public libraries. 
  • February 25: Colorado Library Board Essentials (for High Plains Library District Boards) (Colorado State Library)
  • March 23: Trustee Talk: Building Community Support for the Library (Colorado State Library) CANCELLED
  • March 23: Building Support for the Building America’s Libraries Act (United for Libraries) Email Crystal Schimpf and ask for details about *free* registration for Colorado public libraries. 

View a complete list of trustee training opportunities through March 2021.

Training is also available by request. Email Crystal Schimpf at the Colorado State Library if you would like to request a specific training for your public library board.

CALCON 2021 Trustee Track

Building a Bridge to Tomorrow Colorado Association of Libraries 2021The Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) is still accepting program proposals for its 2021 conference, including proposals for inclusion in the Trustee Track. Please consider sharing your experience as a library trustee. Popular trustee track programs from previous conferences have addressed policy development, governance processes, effective meeting practices, intellectual freedom, open meetings, and library advocacy. The conference will take place September 9-11 at the Westin Westminster. Submissions are due by March 1, 2021. View more information [dead link removed 19 May 2022] and submit a program proposal online.

All program sessions for CALCON are voted on by volunteers (just like you). There are a number of ways to be involved in both the program selection process and organizing the schedule. Some of the work can be done individually, while other work is done with a group. All of this volunteer work can be done virtually. The program proposal review process will take place in March and early April, and can all be done remotely. Your time commitment depends on how much you volunteer for, but in general it shouldn’t be more than a day or two. To get involved, simply submit a volunteer form, and someone from the CALCON Program Committee wil be in touch in early March with more information. Send any questions to

Stay Connected

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