Archive for the ‘Trustee Cert.’ Category

Trustee Training Resources now Available on YouTube

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

A new set of Trustee Training videos has recently been made available on YouTube by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries in Pennsylvania. They are from the program called: “Getting on Board: Tools for Board Development and Assessment.” These eight videos are ten to fifteen minutes long and are listed below. There are several reasons why Pennsylvania’s achievement is a very exciting development for Kansas libraries.

The video programs are very high quality and very professional, yet engaging and likable. They involve excellent trustees and heavy library users, as well as experienced library directors. They can be accessed at any time by any Kansas trustee or librarian at no charge.

They are supplemented by an excellent trustee manual on WebJunction, which can be accessed at:

The full package is a very comprehensive training program. The videos and manual should be used as partner pieces.

These are not traditional trustee training programs. They do include very helpful best practices for orientation, effective meetings, budget management and policies. But these programs also market cutting-edge ideas for board development that can help trustees become sophisticated and effective developers of great library service:

– The fundamental role of a library board is to create the future. The board should spend most of its time on planning, marketing, and fund development. They should be very focused on the library that needs to develop, rather than talking about what has already happened. Written reports and working committees should be used effectively for board management, so that full board meetings can keep a major focus on planning.

– The library should be a community center, focused on the community, with staff and trustees fostering relationships all over the service area. Planning for the library’s future should be partnered with a wide understanding of the needs of community residents.

– The library director should function with full authority to manage the library operations. The library board should have library director evaluation as a top priority, but within a context of planning and support.

– The library trustees should also have an active program of board evaluation. Evaluation allows a library board to determine when their procedures or plans should be adjusted to increase the board’s effectiveness. [Sample evaluation materials are available from the State Library of Kansas. Call Shannon Roy at 785-296-2148 or send email to]

Library directors and library boards should review these training materials in a planning context. How does the library board need to change the way it does business so the trustees can develop a library that is always responsive to the changing needs of the community?

The eight videos in the “Get on Board” training program include:


Board Basics

Hiring and Managing Relationships

Planning and Meetings


PR and Marketing



Re-Certification Requirement Eliminated from Trustee Certification Program

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The State Library staff has been delighted with the success of the Kansas Library Trustee Certification Program. 430 Kansas trustees have completed the requirements for trustee certification since John Flower became the first certified trustee in April of 2008. The partnership among the State Library, the Kansas Library Trustee Association, and the regional library systems has been both productive and satisfying. We look forward to continuing to work with the program.

Four Grainfield trustees celebrate their certification

The State Library staff members have decided to make one change in the program in 2011. We will  continue to help trustees participate in the certification program, but we are eliminating the re-certification requirement. Kansas has over 2500 public library trustees and there are a large number of new trustees each year. It was decided that the certification program should put its major effort toward helping Kansas trustees have productive first terms.

That does NOT mean that the relationship between a Kansas trustee and the Kansas library community will end with certification. The State Library and the KLTA Board are making plans to offer training for all Kansas trustees that will supplement the materials that are presently available on the core skills for certification.

If there is one idea that we would choose to leave with all certified trustees, it is that State Library staff, regional system staff, and the members of the KLTA Board are very eager to help Kansas library boards when they encounter a question or a problem. “Don’t work alone” is excellent advice for both library administrators and library boards.

The Kansas Library Trustee Certification Program is available at:

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Shannon Roy at 785-296-2148 or email

Wichita Library Board Works with Staff Members to Achieve Full Certification

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

By Jennifer Heinicke, Special Project Librarian, Wichita Public Library

All 14 members of the Wichita Public Library Board of Directors have earned a Kansas Public Library Trustee Certificate from the State Library of Kansas. The voluntary program was designed to enhance library service for all Kansans through knowledgeable public library trustees. To be certified, trustees complete one contact hour of continuing education credit in five areas of core skills for trustees. The five areas are working with library administration, effective board organization, building support for the library, creating effective policies and strategic planning.

“I loved the process. Spending a little extra time at the beginning of our meetings was natural and worthwhile,” said Library Board President Susan Estes. “Having the staff members take turns as presenters gave the Board an opportunity to get to know them better and become more aware of what they do.”


Members of the Wichita Public Library management team led trustee competency training sessions at the start of each of the monthly Library Board meetings. The training created opportunities for dialogue and collaborative learning. If Board members were absent, they were assigned staff mentors who met one-on-one to review the training curriculum and to talk more specifically about how the topic relates to the work of the Wichita Public Library.

Susan Estes is President of the Board. Other Board officers are First Vice-President Thomas Engelmann, Second Vice-President Steve Roberts, Secretary Melissa Alley, Treasurer Marcia Newton, and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Brett Barrientos. Additional members are Donna Aldrich, Lee Gee, Kellie Hogan, Evelyn Neier, Jon Roe, Kerin Smith, Randy Yeisley and Marge Zakoura-Vaughan.


More Kansans Complete Trustee Certification

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Three hundred and eighty one Kansas trustees had completed their trustee certification by the end of summer 2010.  The State Library staff continue to be delighted with the commitment of Kansas library trustees to training and development. Two trustees from Mound City, Helen Barnes and Skip Childress, achieved their re-certification this summer.


The following trustees completed their certification in the summer of 2010:

Altoona Public Library
– Donna Bentley
– Donita Houghton
– Brenda Hull
– Donna Meigs
– Wanda Mustain
– Marilyn Thompson
– Cindy Wickham

Coffeyville Public Library
– Marty Evensvold

Edna Public Library
– Deena Carrico
– Kathy Evans
– Heather Simmons
– Michelle Traxson
– Amy Waisner

Independence Public Library
– Patricia Bressee
– Kenneth Rankin

Morrill Public Library
– Peggy LaCounte

Oskaloosa Public Library
– Linda Smatla

Parsons Public Library
– Kathy Chase
– Louise Milks

Prescott City Public Library
– Lavon Burns
– Mary Beth Fornelli
– Carol Houston
– Tracie Pruitt
– Roma Elaine Shroyer

Richmond Public Library
– Stacy Roll

Sedan Public Library
– Debbie Chrisman
– Lonnie Isaak
– Mary Simpson

Thayer FRC City Library
– Vera Bell
– Anna Gindlesberger
– Anita Ohmart
– Beth Parker
– Holly Powers
– Estella Reed
– Joyce Woolery

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
– Duane Johnson

Weir Public Library
– Melissa Gardner
– Kristy Martin
– Ronda Coltrane

A Review of Options for Trustee Training

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Library directors don’t always realize that there are a variety of options for their trustees to gain certification. Most of the Kansas trustees gaining certification at this time are using one of two methods.

1. They are completing a series of tutorials at board meetings, usually using the training materials available on WebJunction Kansas at:

A board tutorial may be taught by a library director, a visiting director, a system consultant, or a member of the board. If the tutorial raises any questions, the director can refer these to the regional library system or to the State Library.

2. They are watching a DVD of Trustee Troubles, a video series produced by the State Library of Wyoming. A library may request a copy of the DVD from the State Library of Kansas.

There are also other ways of gaining core skill credits.

Any working session attended at a system workshop or at a library conference will qualify for one or more trustee core skills, although they are sometimes core skills that the trustee already has. If there is any question about the core skills a conference or system session will gain, a query may be sent to Shannon Roy at

Trustees are also qualified to enroll in the courses in WebJunction Kansas. The Learning Center has many online, self-paced courses to choose from. Access to these courses has been paid by the State Library of Kansas and is offered free of charge to Kansas library workers and trustees who are registered WebJunction Kansas members. Instructions for enrolling in WebJunction Kansas courses are available in an article called “WebJunction Courses for Trustee Certification.” It may be accessed at:

If there are questions or concerns about the Kansas Library Trustee Certification Program, please call Shannon Roy at 785-296-2148 or send email to

“Are You Trustee-Worthy?” is Worth Viewing in Archive

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The regional library systems and the State Library have been co-sponsoring a very successful series on Everyday Ethics for Libraries. The sixth of ten programs was held on the evening of Tuesday, May 25th. “Are You Trustee-Worthy?” was designed to help both trustees and librarians with ethical issues for library boards. Both librarians and trustees were welcomed to the session. It was presented by Gina Millsap, Director of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.


The archive to Gina’s session is available at:

Those who would like to receive continuing education credit for viewing the archive should send an email that includes 1) a description of what webinar information was new to you and 2) what you will do with the information gained in the webinar at your library. Please send this email to <> and CE certificates for the program will be emailed in return.

Trustees may use the certificate for this program to document core skill credits for Core Skill Two – Developing an Effective Board and Core Skill Four: Assessing and Adopting Policy.
Gina created a Trustee Ethics Checklist and several Challenge Questions for Boards to consider. This handout is available at:

This handout may be used at board tutorials, with proper attribution.
Her session slides may be viewed in PDF format at:

If you have questions or concerns about this program please call Shannon Roy at 785-296-2148 or send email to


Invite your library board to watch “Are You Trustee-Worthy” at your library!

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

What is “Are You Trustee-Worthy”?
A session of the Everyday Ethics training series being presented by the regional library systems and the state library.  This program features Gina Millsap, the director of the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library who will present everyday examples of ethical issues for library trustees. 


When is “Are You Trustee-Worthy”?
Tuesday, May 25th from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M.
To make it more available to library board members, this session is being offered in the evening.

Where is “Are You Trustee-Worthy”?
Wimba.  You will find full information about the program and login instructions are available at

What core skills will be addressed by “Are You Trust-Worthy”?
Core Skill Two: Developing an Effective Board and Core Skill Four: Assessing and Adopting Policy.

Participating in this program will be an excellent investment for both trustees and librarians. Trustees who are trained to maintain trustee ethics not only help their library board to function effectively, but protect the library from political and legal problems. Trustees must exercise their authority with care, place the library’s interests before their own, and uphold the library’s policies while advancing its mission.

Library directors – invite your board to the library to watch this session.
Just attach one of your library computers to your digital projector or use a large monitor.  Use computer speakers for the audio.
Recruit a volunteer to drive the keyboard so your group can participate in the discussions through chat. 
Make the most of your time together by using Gina’s challenge questions to have your own discussion of the everyday ethical situations your library board faces.

Note:  This session will be archived and CE credit will be available through archive viewing.

Questions?  Contact Cindi Hickey, chickey @ or Earl Givens, egivens @

Many Kansans Complete Trustee Certification

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

The Kansas Library Trustee Certification Program continued to flourish through the winter of 2009-2010. A large number of trustees completed their core skill credits and achieved certification. The use of board tutorials and viewings of the Wyoming Trustee Trouble videos have been very successful in many libraries, especially in Southeast Kansas, where the program has been added to the criteria for system funding. Kansas now has 327 certified trustees.


The commitment of Kansas trustees to the Certification Program has been noticed across the nation. The State Library staff participated in a Public Library Association Conference Program called Trustee Excellence. The program was well attended by both trustees and librarians and there was lively discussion. Trustees in Kansas and across the nation are recognizing their important role in public library development. At this time when libraries are struggling with funding cuts and yet being recognized for critical public information services, they need the support of informed trustee leaders and loyal, long-term Friends. Kansas has been fortunate enough to have both.

The following trustees completed their certification in the closing weeks of 2009 or early in 2010.  

Arma Public Library
– Brenda Banks

Linn County at Blue Mound
– Diane Ball
– Brenda Beth
– Anndi Bownes
– Keeko Moeller
– Sharon Terry
– Trina Watson
– Patricia Willcut

Chanute Public Library
– Robert Geiger
– Gail Klaassen
– Troy Krenzel
– Carrie Larue
– Janea Lawrence
– Bennie Robbins
– Deanne Schoenberger

Erie City Library
– Mary Ann Buscher
– Robert Campbell
– Jim Carlson
– William Zimmer

Eureka Public
– Lee Ann Campbell
– William Hart
– Kathryn Helfrich
– Barbara Lewis Long
– Shelby Miller
– Jackie Seely

Fredonia Public Library
– Celia Harris
– Jo Linn
– Fred Lorentz
– Monte Mahan
– Jim Porter
– Joan Richardson
– Howard Svaty
– Nancy Timmons

Garnett Public Library
– Anita Dennis
– Nancy Horn
– Cleon Rickel
– Jennifer Sibley
– Gary Stapp

Girard Public
– Zachary Adams
– Barbara Mikrut
– Faith Paoni
– Lisa Parsons
– Joyce Taylor
– Don Vinardi
– Don Wymore

Hamilton City Library
– Tammy Ashlock
– Brandy Freund
– Shirley Hughes
– Rosann Knight
– Emma Ledford
– Shirley Ledford
– Cindy Raybush

Humboldt Public
– Judy Arbeiter
– Mickey Beagley
– Peggy Griffith
– Ron Jarred
– Rosemarie Jay
– Mary McCullough
– Jean Ranabarger

Independence Public
– Joy Barta
– Kay Bruce
– Jim Kelly
– Mary Mani
– Phyllis Mills
– Tim Raglin
– Linda Spencer

Longton Public
– Irma Bish
– Bobby Dougherty
– Jonas Ferguson
– Kathy Ferguson
– Flora Fielder
– Kay Miller
– Avanelle Rankin

McCune Osage Township
– Katherine Allen
– Judy Brown
– Kathy Coonrod
– Anita McGown
– Martha Parsons
– Paul Troop

Moline Public Library
– Angela Allen
– Marilyn Brace
– Patricia McCarty
– Sally Morgan
– Janet Rash
– Mary Taylor
– Roxane Walker

Mound Valley Public Library
– Bachele Blackburn
– Fayrene Brownewell
– Deanna Jones
– Teresa Jones
– Louise Williams

Oakley Public
– Richard Kvasnicka
– Pat Ryan
– Judy Swart

Parsons Public
– Judy Ellis
– George Hill
– Patricia Holroyd
– Naomi Long
– Jody Thompson
– Mary Etta Watson
– Brian West
– Scott Zollars

Pittsburg Public
– Gil Cooper
– Cathleen Duncan
– Brad Hodson
– Janice Jewett
– Mark Kolarik
– Jerry Waltrip
– Astrid Zagorski

Richmond Public
– Patti Rosey

Graves Memorial in St. Paul
– Jane Anne Beachner
– Katherine Faskin
– Gertrude Gallo
– Jane O’Bryan
– Carlene Yarnell

Weir Public Library
– Roxy Blessent
– Margaret Sullivan
– Karen Thomson
– Trish Wyckoff

If there are questions or concerns about the Kansas Library Trustee Certification Program, please call Shannon Roy at 785-296-2148 or send email to .

Recruiting New Library Board Members

Friday, March 19th, 2010

by Mickey Coalwell, Consultant, Northeast System

As every serving trustee and library director in Kansas will readily tell you, recruiting new board members can be challenging. The civic responsibility of serving on a local library board requires time and commitment, and it’s difficult to ask busy people to add another task to their schedules.  

But there are good people out there who are up to the challenge. Kansas libraries have survived and thrived because of the outstanding leadership local library boards have shown over the years.


So, instead of dreading them, try to see impending vacancies as opportunities to renew and revitalize the library. Every new member brings new ideas and new energy to the board.

Before discussing specific recruitment strategies, let’s review the purpose, authority, and focus of the public library board.

In Kansas, the Library Board of Directors (individual directors are also called Trustees) is charged with formulating policy and providing adequate funding and staffing for the library. Municipal governments levy, collect and distribute the tax dollars which fund the operational budgets authorized by local library boards.

This relationship, created by library law in Kansas, is intended to protect library boards from partisan politics and ensure the independence and integrity of library services for all citizens of the community.

The library board has the statutory authority to determine the library’s budget. They also have the political responsibility to be good stewards of public funds, and to justify expenditures to the municipal officials.

Public library trustees of a city library are appointed by a municipality’s governing body, generally with input from the library board and staff. A trustee is appointed for a four-year term with an option to be reappointed for an additional four-year term. Trustees can become eligible for appointment again after a one-year hiatus. (Boards of district libraries are elected, and are not bound by renewal limits.)
Unless exempted by a municipal governing body through local ordinance, library trustees must be residents of the taxing district in which they serve.

Members of the board cannot serve as paid staff members. They can volunteer for the library, but they should not interfere with the director’s role as manager of the library. Individual board members have no authority, but together, as a board, they are empowered to establish and support operational policies.

Dr. Robert J. Grover, who is currently Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Emporia State University, where he has also held the position of Dean and Professor of the School of Library and Information Management, sets forth the following criteria for good board members:

– Knowledge of the law
– Political savvy
– Diversity (opinions, professions, skills, experience)
– Representation from the entire community

Grover says trustees should keep abreast of local government goings-on, and know the people involved in local government, because they will be called upon to act as liaisons between the library and the community. Library board members must have, or earn, the respect of at least one governing official in order to be effective. 

The first task of the library board is to negotiate its role in the trustee appointment process. Most governing bodies will look to the library for recommendations when it comes to trustee appointments, but this is not always the case. If you are not already doing so, become a legitimate partner in the process. While it is up to the governing body of the municipality to make the official appointment, it is only logical that the library should have a voice in recommending candidates.

So, where should you look for someone who might make a good board member? The first place you should look is in your own library. The best candidates are people who use the library regularly. Mothers with children, entrepreneurs who use the library’s resources to support their home businesses, and retired people who spend a great deal of time in the library are the people you should be considering. Homeschoolers are also heavy library users, and these parent-teachers are another possibility worth exploring.

Here are a few more:

– Business people (retailers, bankers, insurance agents, farm implement dealers)
– Church and civic leaders
– Teachers and educators
– Daycare providers
– Police and law enforcement personnel
– Veterinarians

Approach potential candidates with a short invitation speech and a simple one-page overview of the duties and responsibilities of the trustee position (see below). You may need to cultivate some of your potential candidates over time, with several discussions and interactions, before they are comfortable committing, but most people are flattered to be asked. Sometimes planting the seed is all you can do. It may take several months, or even years, for an invitation to bear fruit.

Which means it is a good idea to cultivate potential candidates on an ongoing basis. Don’t wait until you have a vacancy to begin courting your potential board members. The ideal situation is to have a few candidates “in the pipeline” when your vacancy arises. There’s nothing wrong with telling people that you don’t have any current board openings, but that you would love to have them give some thought to becoming a board member in the future. You should constantly be on the lookout for good library board candidates. All current board members, the librarydirector and library staff should all become dedicated recruiters of new board members.

Here’s what you should be doing to effectively recruit new board members:

– Make it known you are looking. Get the word out that the board is always seeking new applicants. Isn’t that what you would do if you had a paid position open? Advertise current board openings in your local newspaper, in your library newsletter, on your website, on Facebook — wherever you think your candidates may see a posting.

– At library events, before programs, and in community presentations, always take  a few minutes to inform the crowd that you are on the lookout for people who want to serve as library board members or volunteers.

– Network. Current board members and library staff should be making personal invitations to people they meet at church, at work, at social events, and business meetings. Ask your city officials to be on the lookout for potential board candidates, too.

Sample Invitation for Potential Library Board Candidates

The Community Public Library would like to invite you to apply for a position on the Board of Directors of the Library. This volunteer position requires concern for and pride in our community, as well as connections and affiliations among various constituencies in our community.

We’re looking for people who believe that the public library is vital to the health and well-being of the community as a whole.  We want someone who can approach people and problems with an open mind, and have the courage to resist pressures which interfere with the community’s democratic right to a full range of library materials and services.

We want people who are passionate about learning, committed to equality, fairness and transparency, and willing to work with others to achieve challenging goals. We want someone who will be a strong advocate for the library

We think you are that kind of person. We’d like to ask you to complete an application for a position on the Library Board of Directors.

• You must be at least 18 years old and a citizen of the U.S.
• You must be a resident of the (city, township, county).
• You must be willing to commit about 6 hours of your time a month, including at least one evening meeting lasting 1-1/2 to 2 hours
• You must be willing to be an active, vocal advocate for the library.
• This is not a paid position.

Would you consider applying for a board position? We would be happy to continue this discussion with you, if you are interested, at your convenience. Please let me know when would be a good time to visit.

Here is my contact information:
Email address



Kansas Certified Trustees Should Re-Certify Within Three Years

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

The Kansas Library Trustee Certification Program has 332 certified trustees, as of mid-March. The State Library staff has been delighted with the early development of this program, which has won nationwide respect, and they are eager to see its continued growth in 2010.


The Trustee Certification Program has two goals:

– We want to share information about Kansas public librarianship and board development with library trustees so they can foster excellent library service for their communities.

– We want to honor the talented and dedicated trustees that Kansas is lucky enough to have.

In order to achieve certification, a trustee must document training credits in each of the five core skill areas. Once a trustee has acquired the five core skill credits needed for certification, the State Library staff feels that they should be free to study the topics needed to support their library programs or to pursue the training offered by their regional library system. A Kansas trustee can keep their certification active by documenting five contact hours of training between the date on their certificate and the same date three years later.

If any library director would like have a record of the certification dates for their library trustees, this may be requested from the State Library.

Any of the following will qualify for re-certification credit:

– Educational or informational sessions presented at the board meetings
– Workshops sponsored by regional systems, library organizations or libraries
– Statewide library conferences or pre-conferences
– National library conferences or pre-conferences
– Community training events if they relate to the library’s concerns
– Presentations given to librarians, other trustees or fellow board members (presentation time only)
– Online webinars
– Desktop courses
– Training videos

While it is not at all difficult for trustees to maintain their certification, they do need to keep a log of events that can be sent with a request for re-certification. 

Requests for trustee certification or re-certification should be sent to:

Trustee Certification
State Library of Kansas
Room 169 West – State Capitol
300 SW Tenth Avenue
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1593
Send all information by email to

As they pursue their development as board members, trustees often have questions about library topics, programs or legal issues. The library director can often answer these questions, but the regional system personnel and the State Library staff members will be very pleased to help at any time.

If there are any questions about the Certification Program for Kansas Library Trustees, please call Shannon Roy at 785-296-2148 or send email to