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.