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.
Trustees in the Community
Trustees play an essential role in shaping the public image of the library and being a positive influencer in the community. Keep reading for tips, resources, and library news that will inspire you to become an even better advocate for your library.
Library Community Champion Award – Durango Public Library
The Library Advisory Board for the Durango Public Library established an annual Library Community Champion Award in 2017. Library Board Chair Bill LeMaire wrote a guest blog post about why the library honors distinguished library volunteers. In September 2019, two individuals were honored with this distinction: former presidents of the Friends of the Library, Nancy Peake and Maile Kane.
Cultivating Local Notables
Who else in your community might be good advocates for the library? The Cultivating Local Notables Toolkit from the American Library Association (ALA) provides tips and guidance on how to identify well-known community members and ask for their help with library advocacy efforts.
Palaces for the People
Public libraries are an essential part of social infrastructure. Sociologist Eric Klinenberg writes about the importance of libraries in healthy communities in his book Palaces for the People. In December 2018, Eric spoke to librarians of the New York Public Library in a live interview, which you can listen to in The Librarian is In podcast, episode 121.
Public libraries will play an important role in Census 2020 efforts to get a complete count for Colorado. Read more about what library trustees and staff can do to be prepared in a guest blog post by Sara Wright, Deputy Director of the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC).
Tips for Trustees: Community Engagement
Interested in ideas for how to be better engaged as a library advocate in your community? Review these tips taken from the Colorado Public Library Board & Trustees Pocket Handbook.
The effective trustee will:
- Understand and be able to articulate the library’s mission.
- Be familiar with and support the library services and programs.
- Keep the lines of communication open between the trustees, the director, the community, and local government officials.
- Foster community involvement with the library.
- Maintain a positive relationship with the Friends of the Library and/or Library Foundation.
- Never miss an opportunity/occasion to build goodwill for the library.
Trustee Trouble: Advocacy
Being a community advocate for the library isn’t easy. To learn about some of the challenges and pitfalls, watch the short video Trustee Trouble: Advocacy created by the Wyoming State Library.
CAL Trustee Interest Group
The Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) is looking at forming a Trustee Interest Group (TIG) to help trustees stay connected throughout the year. Trustees will also have an opportunity to be a part of CAL Conference planning for next year (September 10-12, 2020). If you are interested in joining this group, please fill out the CAL-TIG interest form. CAL membership is required to be a member of CAL-TIG, and is available at the individual or organizational (library) level. You may already have access to trustee membership through your library.
ALA Trustee Citation
Does your library have trustee who deserves recognition at the national level? The Trustee Citation is an award given by the American Library Association (ALA) to recognize public library Trustees for distinguished service to library development. The winner will be honored at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in June 2020. Submit an application by January 10, 2020.
Free Webinars for Trustees
- November 7: Advocacy 101: When Advocacy Becomes Second Nature (WebJunction)
- November 13: Friends, Foundations, Trustees, and the Future of Libraries (United for Libraries – members only)
- November 14: Unearthing Seed Money: Locating grants to fund your project (Colorado State Library )
- On demand:
Trustee Corner Contributions
Does your library have trustee news to share? Would you like to write a post for 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) newsletter.
Did you miss the September issue? View it, and more, at the Library Trustees page of the Colorado Virtual Library.
- Virtual Learning for Library Trustees - April 7, 2021
- National Library Week 2021: Welcome to Your Library - April 2, 2021
- Trustee Corner – March 2021 - March 24, 2021