The Trustee Corner is a monthly series featuring information of interest to public library boards. Topics include training opportunities, legal issues, useful 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:
- National Library Week
- Colorado Library District Documents
- Pandemic Resources for Libraries
- Virtual CLiC Spring Workshop
- CAL Award Nominations
- Colorado Library Board Essentials Workshops
National Library Week
Mark your calendars! National Library Week is taking place April 4-10, 2021, and the theme is Welcome to Your Library. The week is full of events and activities, all of which are designed to draw attention to the incredible work that libraries do every day. Actress, author, and activist Natalie Portman will serve as the honorary chair for this celebratory week, which will also include National Library Workers Day (April 6), a Virtual Bookmobile Parade (April 7), and a release of the State of America’s Libraries report.
The American Library Association (ALA) provides a day-by-day calendar to use in local planning, as well as free downloadable graphics for use on social media and other digital communications. Inquire with your library director about activities planned at the local level, and to see how the library board can support their efforts.
Colorado Library District Documents
The Colorado State Library serves as the repository of the bylaws and the legal service area maps of all library districts within the state (C.R.S. 24-90-105). This repository is available via the Colorado State Library website on the Library District Legal Documents page. These documents are viewable by the public, and may serve as a useful resource when updating or revising library board bylaws.
According to the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S. 24-90-109), the Board of Trustees of each library district is responsible for filing these documents with the Colorado State Library. However, in most cases this task is delegated to the library director. Updated bylaws and legal service area maps can be submitted via email to Crystal Schimpf.
Other library district documents such as budget, audit, and designated agent filings can be located online using the Local Government Information System, hosted by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). This resource includes documents from all local government types including school districts, special districts, municpal, county, and other governmental entities. Contact the Division of Local Government with questions about this resource.
Pandemic Resources for Libraries
March 13, 2020 was the first day when public libraries began making the decision to close their buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Just over a year later, a majority of Colorado public libraries have reopened their buildings, although with limited capacity and safety restrictions in place. As the world continues to learn how to best prevent the spread of the virus, as well as how to best distribute vaccines to essential workers and vulnerable individuals, public libraries continue to serve their communities. Resources continue to be developed to help libraries navigate the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
Here are a few resources of note:
- The Public Library Association created the Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Interactive Data Visualization based on 2020 survey data from public libraries. The visualization shows data summaries related to staffing, library services, patron needs, and financial impacts.
- The American Library Association (ALA) has assembled advocacy & policy resources as part of its COVID-19 Recovery website. This includes tip sheets like How Community Leaders Can Partner with Libraries During the Response and Recovery from the ALA Public Policy and Advocacy Office.
- The Institute for Museum and Library Services continues to share federal funding news, including $200M in funds for libraries and museums that were included in the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA).
- The REALM Project (REopening Archives, Libraries, & Museums) has created several new toolkit resources, including Managing Uncertainty During COVID-19, Reopening Considerations, and Social Distancing: Resource Roundup.
A more complete list of resources is available in this Colorado Virtual Library blog post: Restoration of Library Services During COVID-19: Resources for Decision Makers
Virtual CLiC Spring Workshop
The Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) will host their Virtual Spring Workshop on April 22-23, 2021. The hallmark of CLiC Spring Workshops is practical content geared for the needs of small and rural library staff. This year’s workshop features sessions addressing lessons from COVID-19, professional development programs, online communications, library core values, and more. The workshop also features welcome remarks from Jim Duncan, Executive Director of CLiC, as well as an update from Nicolle Davies, Assistant Commissioner of the Colorado State Library. Connect informally in the virtual lounge where you can hang out anytime you like. Registration is just $25, and no travel is required. Bunny slippers optional.
CAL Award Nominations
The Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) is now accepting nomiations for the 2021 CAL Awards, to be presented at the annual conference in September. Awards include the Distinction in Library Services Award, the Innovated Spaces Award, and the Library Partnership of the Year Award, and more! There is even an award for Outstanding Library Trustee. Complete descriptions of each award are available on the CAL website.
Please encourage your library to participate in these prestigious awards. It does not matter what size library you are or your location within Colorado. Submit your nominations online by May 17, 2021. If you have questions about the awards, or the nomination form, please contact CAL Awards Chair Katherine Weadley.
Colorado Library Board Essentials Workshops
The Colorado State Library will offer two FREE virtual Colorado Library Board Essentials Workshops in April – one for governing boards, and one for advisory boards. Click the links below for more details and to register. Pre-registration is required for all webinars.
- April 14, 2021: Colorado Library Board Essentials (for Governing Boards)
- April 28, 2021: Colorado Library Board Essentials (for Advisory Boards)
Training is also available by request. Email Crystal Schimpf if you have questions, or if you would like to inquire about other training opportunities for public library boards.