Trustee Corner – January 2021

The front of the Wetmore Community Library, featuring brick and concrete construction, along with an American flag.
Wetmore Community 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:

  • New Trustee Orientation
  • Patron Privacy & Policy Development
  • Trustee Training Webinars
  • Call for Program Proposals: CALCON 2021 Trustee Track

New Trustee Orientation

At the start of the new year, new library trustees are beginning their terms on many library boards across the state of Colorado. 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. If you’re looking for new ideas for how to provide new trustee orientation, read the latest blog post, Welcoming New Public Library Trustees: Orientation Tips & Resources.

Patron Privacy & Policy Development

The right to privacy is essential to intellectual freedom, and is a foundational principle of library service. Without privacy, our freedom to read, free speech, and free thought are all in jeopardy. Privacy is addressed in the U.S. Constitution, the Library Bill of Rights, and Colorado Library Law. Public libraries should also have policies in place to further protect patron privacy. These documents communicate to the public, and they provide guidelines for staff for handling situations that threaten patron privacy.

The Colorado State Library hosted a webinar on this topic in October 2020, and covered some basic principles of library ethics, Colorado library law, and policy examples. This webinar was presented by Crystal Schimpf (Colorado State Library) with guests Shana Wade (Mesa County Libraries) and Susan Kadlec (Loveland Public Library). The presentation was directed towards library trustees, but may also be of interest to library directors and others involved in policy development. View the webinar recording on YouTube, and [dead Google Drive link removed 19 May 2022].

Trustee Training Webinars

The Colorado State Library is offering the following FREE virtual training webinars for library trustees. Click the links below for more details and to register. Pre-registration is required for all webinars.

  • January 27: Colorado Public Library Standards: A Tool for Trustees
  • February 9: Colorado Library Board Essentials (for Advisory Boards) 
  • February 23: Colorado Library Board Essentials (for Governing Boards)
  • March 23: Trustee Talk: Building Community Support for the Library

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.

Call for Program Proposals: CALCON 2021 Trustee Track

The Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) is 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 and submit a program proposal online.

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 December issue? View it, and more, at the Library Trustees page of the Colorado Virtual Library.

Crystal Schimpf