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.
Telling the Library’s Story
In order to be champions for the library, library trustees have to be storytellers. Who does the library serve, and how does the library make a difference in the community? This month’s newsletter features tips and resources for telling your library’s story.
What’s Your Story? Create Impact Through Smart Storytelling
It was a dark and stormy night…
Everyone love’s a good story! How do you tell your library’s story in a way that creates impact? Learn some tips for smart storytelling in this blog post by Katherine Weadley and Sandy Irwin.
Using Data to Tell Your Story
It’s often a good idea to include some data when talking about the library. The Library Research Service (LRS) collects annual data on Colorado’s public libraries and shares that data through interactive reporting tools on the LRS website. This data can also be used to influence strategic planning and support fundraising efforts.
Not Just Preaching to the Choir
It can be easy to communicate about the value of libraries to those who are already supporters. But what about those who have a different opinion about the role of the public library? Read a few tips for communicating and collaborating across different viewpoints in this blog post by Diane Lapierre.
United for Libraries
United for Libraries is a division of the American Library Association, and provides resources to support library Trustees, Friends, and Foundations. They have resources related to library advocacy including their free Power Guide to Successful Advocacy. Some United for Libraries resources are available only to members, and membership is available to library boards based on the size of your library budget.
Tips for Trustees: Collaborative Communication
If your library board is trying to find new ways to connect with the community and be a champion of the library, consider working with your library director (and possibly library staff) with regard to communications. Your library may have dedicated marketing and communications staff, or a community relations librarian. Collaboration can help “connect the dots” when it comes to telling your library’s story. Be sure to approach any potential collaboration through your library director, so as to not confuse the chain of command.
There are some benefits to collaborating with staff:
- Understand what key messages the library is already communicating about the value of the library.
- Align board and library communication to amplify the message.
- Strategize about when and where to focus communication efforts.
- Learn what library services and programs have the biggest impact on the community, based on data collected by the library.
- Engage in meaningful conversations with library staff to better understand the role they play in the community.
Webinar Archive: When Advocacy Becomes Second Nature
If advocacy is a scary word to you, this free archived webinar may change your feelings about it. Advocacy 101: When Advocacy Becomes Second Nature,produced by WebJunction in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, presents strategies for including advocacy in your everyday activities. The webinar is targeted at library staff, but may also be of interest to library trustees.
Free Webinars for Trustees
- December 5: Doing the Work Externally and Internally: Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (WebJunction)
- December 11: Intellectual Freedom: What Library Friends, Trustees, and Foundations Need to Know (United for Libraries)
- January 8: The Community Centered Library (Colorado State Library)
- On demand: Reaching Across the Aisle for Library Funding and Other Initiatives (EveryLibrary)
Trustee Corner Contributions
Does your library have trustee news to share? Would you like to write a post for the Trustee Corner? Do you have a topic you would like to see featured? Email Crystal Schimpf with your ideas.