From the Vermont Department of Libraries newsletter
Lara Keenan is the State Library Consultant, Governance and Management, for the Vermont Department of Libraries. In her Trustee Trainings, Lara talks about the importance of “Succession Planning” – i.e. planning for the future governance of your library, no matter who is on the Trustee Board or who is the library director.
One element of Succession Planning involves creating a yearly calendar for the Trustees that:
- Lists what topics the Trustees usually discuss each month of the year,
- Points out when the Trustees need to start talking about certain items (the budget, for instance) to make sure those items meet deadlines, and
- Shows when the Trustees can fit additional topics into their meeting schedule (ex: when they will review their bylaws, policies, etc.)
Having a detailed yearly calendar will help ensure that the Trustees do not have to rely on institutional memory and can continue to move forward if a Trustee needs to resign due to health or other reasons.
Creating a yearly calendar can be as simple as creating a list of to-do items for each month of the year -and revising that list as you move through the year. Or it can involve a more focused discussion during a Trustee Retreat. Whichever way the Trustees create their yearly calendar, it’s important to store it in a place accessible to any current or future Trustee — in a Trustee filing cabinet at the library or on the Trustees’ section of the library’s website, for example.
The Wyoming State Library offers support, resources, and consulting services to Library Trustees, including the online Wyoming Public Library Board Members’ Handbook. Contact the WSL’s Library Development Office for assistance.