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:
- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Libraries
- Friends & Foundations Forum: Book Donations & Book Sales
- Trustee Training Interests Survey
- CAL Award Nominations
- Share Your Library’s Story
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Libraries
Libraries in Colorado and beyond have begun to prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in their organizational values, strategic planning, and key initiative areas. At the national level, the Public Library Association (PLA) has affirmed the importance of EDI by including it as a core value and a primary goal in its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. EDI is included in the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Bill of Rights, and further expanded on in Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.
Libraries try to create spaces where everyone is welcome, and to provide equitable access to information. Libraries do this for people from diverse backgrounds and origins, regardless of their beliefs or affiliations. But achieving goals for equity, diversity, and inclusion are not easy, and often take years of undoing old systems of inequity. It takes the work of library boards and library management: learning, listening, and responding in order to chart a new course for libraries to become more equitable, and to have more inclusive spaces for all.
Recent protests against racism across the United States have sparked a renewed focus on EDI initiatives in public libraries. The ALA released a statement condemning police violence against BIPOC, protesters and journalists, which was also affirmed by the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL). Libraries across the United States have issued statements against racism, including statements from the Denver Public Library and other libraries in Colorado. Libraries have also responded by creating reading lists, community resource guides, and community conversation circles.
Here are some resources which may be helpful for library trustees looking to learn more about equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries:
- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ALA)
- Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA)
- Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (PLA)
- Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries: Case Studies from the Field (Government Alliance on Racial Equity)
- Advancing Racial Equity in Your Library (PLA) – recorded webinar
- A Chorus of Voices Doing Important Work: PLA’s Equity & Social Justice Workshops (Public Libraries Online)
Additionally, the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) is hosting a virtual conference on July 17: Power and Privilege at Play: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in the Library. Registration is open, and special rates are available to CAL members.
Friends & Foundations Forum: Book Donations & Book Sales
How is your library’s Friends or Foundation handling book donations and book sales during the COVID-19 pandemic? Join us virtually on July 9, 2:00-3:30pm, for an interactive forum to listen, share, and learn. Listen to a panel made up of staff and volunteers from several Colorado Public Library Friends and Foundation organizations as they discuss their strategies for safety, partnership, volunteer engagement, and fundraising alternatives. You will have the chance to participate, to ask questions, as well as share your ideas and experiences using chat. This forum is hosted by the Colorado State Library, and will be held on the Zoom online meeting platform. It will feature panelists from the Denver Public Library Friends & Foundation, the Friends of the Durango Public Library, and the Arapahoe Library District. This forum will be recorded and archived, and shared directly with all registrants.
Please register to receive the Zoom login information, as well as a link to the recording. And please pass this information along to your library’s Friends group, Foundation, or book sale coordinator.
Trustee Training Interests Survey
Are you interested in learning about how you can better support your library as a trustee? The Colorado State Library will be revising and updating its free training content for library trustees, and will also be working to improve online access to free training materials and free events. Please respond to this short survey to let us know your preferences and interests. The deadline to respond is Monday, June 22.
Please also share this survey with other trustees from your library. We would like to receive as much feedback as possible from trustees and library directors, and from both governing and advisory boards.
CAL Award Nominations
It is an important year to celebrate the accomplishments and efforts of people who work in and around libraries. The Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) Awards Committee, with the approval of the CAL Board, updated the slate of awards with three new awards including: Distinction in Library Services; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award; and Innovated Spaces Award. Because CAL recognizes the important role of Trustees, CAL gives an annual “Outstanding Library Trustee” award during the CAL Conference (CALCON) awards lunch in September. It is easier than ever to nominate yourself or someone you know for one or more of the awards. Nominations close July 1. Award descriptions and details can be found on the CAL website. If you have any questions about CAL awards, email Katherine Weadley.
Share Your Library’s Story
How is your library’s board responding to COVID-19? What are your trustees doing to advocate for the library during these changing times? Email Crystal Schimpf to share your story.