Tidbits from the Trustee Corner



The Trustee Corner from the Colorado Virtual Library is a monthly series featuring information of interest to public library boards. This information from their October 2019 issue was written by Crystal Schimpf, Public Library Specialist, Leadership & Community Development at Colorado State Library.

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.

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.

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:

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  • 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.

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.

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