Monday, January 26, 2015

New Trustee Resource

From the American Library Association

NEW Short Takes for Trustees

Short Takes for Trustees is a series of 10 short videos (8-10 minutes each) that can be shown during Trustee meetings to stimulate discussion about the important role that Trustees play in the governance of their libraries. Topics in the series explain the basics, such as what it means to be a Trustee (discussing the broad fiduciary responsibilities of governing boards as well as the limits of an advisory board), as well as how to set policy, how to evaluate the library director (and why you should!), along with board self evaluation, and the ethical and parliamentary standards for boards — both governing and advisory.

The courses are: What It Means to Be a Trustee; Board Meetings; Board Ethics; Library Advocacy; Library Policies; Strategic Planning; Working with Friends; Evaluating the Library Director; Board Self Evaluation, and Succession Planning and New Board Orientation. Learn more about the series, pricing, and how to register. United for Libraries members save an extra $10 through Feb. 28! Libraries in Nebraska, North Dakota, and Texas have access to Short Takes to Trustees through their statewide group membership.

School Librarians Transform Learning

From ALA President Courtney Young

School Librarians Transform Learning

How do school librarians transform learning? As library professionals, we all know that school librarians are indispensable to education. We know that schools with a strong school library program and a certified school librarian give their students the best chance to succeed. We also know that the education today’s children receive at the school library level will affect their ability to use and benefit from public and academic libraries throughout their lives.

We truly are an “ecosystem,” and we all need to support strong school libraries. That is why the American Association of School Librarians is launching an awareness-campaign during the ALA Midwinter Meeting this month: to educate the whole of our profession -- and through them, the public -- about the importance of school librarians in the lives of children.

How do school librarians transform learning? Here are just a few ways:
•    Schools with a strong school library program and a certified school librarian give their students the best chance to succeed.
•    Certified school librarians make the whole school more effective. They teach students how to learn, and they help teachers drive student success.
•    Students and teachers love, value, and use school libraries every day.

I am personally asking you to speak out about the value of school librarians in your communities. Everyone can be an advocate for school libraries!
Visit the School Libraries Make a Difference web resource on for specific ways to get involved, including drafting a letter to the editor or writing an op-ed for a local publication. Letters to the editor and op-eds are an easy way to reach large numbers of community members.  If you have never written one of these letters, or need tips along the way, I Love Libraries provides a comprehensive guide to writing and placing an op-ed piece at
We know that our children’s education and readiness for the workforce is in peril when school library budgets and school librarians are cut. You have a role in ensuring excellence for every student by demanding a school library with a certified school librarian in every school. Join us in speaking up for school libraries!

Courtney L. Young
ALA President