Trustee Corner – August 2020

Burlington Public Library
Burlington Public Library

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:

  • Looking to the Future: Trends Influencing Public Libraries
  • Leading Effective Public Meetings
  • Trustee Talk: COVID-19 Pandemic & Public Library Governance (8/26)
  • Colorado Association of Libraries Virtual Conference (9/10-9/12)
  • Additional Trustee Training Opportunities

Looking to the Future: Trends Influencing Public Libraries

As a public library trustee, it may be helpful to be aware of trends impacting the future of library services. The Center for the Future of Libraries, an initiative of the American Library Association, is dedicated to monitoring and reporting on trends that relate to library work.

Screenshot of Future Trends cards from the Center for the Future of Libraries
Screenshot of Future Trends cards from the Center for the Future of Libraries

The Center for the Future of Libraries specifically studies and identifies emerging trends relevant to libraries and the communities they serve. They share information about those areas in their trend collection. Most recently, the Coronavirus Pandemic was added to the collection. Other featured trends include Artificial Intelligence, Design Thinking, Income Inequality, and Rethinking Rural. In addition to information on each of these areas, there is a set of Trend Cards which can be used for activities and to further your understanding of how these trends may impact future library services.

The Center for the Future of Libraries also promotes the development of futuring and innovation techniques to help librarians and library professionals shape their future. Miguel Figueroa, director of the Center for the Future of Libraries, will be presenting a workshop on Trend Scanning, the Pandemic, and the Future of Libraries at the Colorado Association of Libraries Conference (CALCON) on Thursday, September 10, 8:30-11:30am. This workshop is included with conference registration, and a special rate is available for library trustees.

Leading Effective Public Meetings

It can be a real challenge to lead a public library board meeting, whether in-person or virtual. If you have served as the chair on your library board, or any other board for that matter, you may know this from experience. In ​the short blog post The Chair is not in Charge (Jurassic Parliament) parliamentarian Ann Macfarlane looks at the difference between hierarchical accountabilty and voluntary association, and discusses why the board chair is the leader not the boss.

Trustee Talk: COVID-19 Pandemic & Public Library Governance

Are you a library trustee, board member, or commissioner? Would you like to share ideas with other trustees? Exchange information about effective library board practices? Would you like to learn from fellow board members from libraries across Colorado?

Trustee Talk is a new series of quarterly virtual meetups to allow for informal learning amongst library trustees, hosted by the Colorado State Library. This meetup will provide an online space for trustees to come together and consider important issues from a broad range perspectives. Each meetup will focus on a different relevant topic for library boards.

The first Trustee Talk will be on Wednesday, August 26 at 10am, and the topic will be the COVID-19 Pandemic & Public Library Governance. Come prepared to discuss how the pandemic is impacting your library in terms of policy, planning, and public engagement. This discussion will center around the roles and responsibilities of the library board (advisory or governing), and will avoid areas of operational or procedural management. Visit the event page for more details, and to register. Space is limited.

Looking for more learning opportunities from the Colorado State Library? Visit the Colorado State Library website for an overview of trustee training and support.

Colorado Association of Libraries Virtual Conference

We are just weeks away from the Colorado Association of Libraries Conference (CALCON2020)! CALCON2020 will take place September 10-12, and is the statewide annual professional development event for libraries of all types. This year’s conference will be virtual, and will utilize Zoom for all conference presentations and sessions.

CALCON2020 includes a full day Trustee Track on Friday, September 11, dedicated to the interests of public library boards (for both district and non-district libraries). Many of the general breakout sessions throughout the conference will also be of interest to library trustees. The full conference also includes 3 keynote speakers, awards, and virtual networking opportunities. Conference registration provides access to recordings of all conference sessions, for 70+ hours of professional development.

Read more details about the CALCON2020 Trustee Track. The cost for Trustees to register for the entire conference is $100.  Registration is open now through the CALCON 2020 conference website.

Additional Trustee Training Opportunities

Stay Connected

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) email list.

Did you miss the June issue? View it, and more, at the Library Trustees page of the Colorado Virtual Library

Crystal Schimpf
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