Thursday, May 14, 2009

We’re all in this together: Trustees, Board members and Libary staff

ALTAFF, Citizens for Maryland Libraries and local Friends groups should all work together.

Speaker: Valerie Gross, CEO, Howard County PL

inform + inspire + interact = educate
Choose Civility initiative

The unique roles of Trustees, Friends and Director

Library Board of Trustees
Hire and fire director
Set policy (not procedure)

Friends of the Howard County Library
Convey library values
Advocate for public funding
Advocate for private funds

Inform, inspire, engage
Attend meetings
Submit report to trustees
Ensure language alignment: vision and mission
Develop succinct, yet powerful, message

What does your organization do?
Howard County’s 3 pillars: We provide equal education for all Howard County residents. Libraries are in the Maryland Code as a component of education.

Speaker: Pat Fisher, President, P. Fisher and Associates

Role of Trustees
Represent the community
Help set vision
Determine and adopt policy
Advocate to elected officials, family, friends and neighbors

Role of Director
Advise board
Helps set vision
Implement policy of the board
Develop strategies for using legislative advocacy
Encourage neighborhood advocacy
Give numbers and statistics
Develop analogies

Role of the Friends
Advocate for the library
Raise funds to supplement government funding

Vision is put in motion by carrying out the library’s mission, goals, etc.

Greatest advocacy message is a short, heartwarming story (…backed up by statistics).

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. – Yeats

Don’t wing it.
Don’t forget to mention your affiliation.
Don’t tell everything; pick 3.
Don’t forget that relationships are the key to successful advocacy.
Don’t forget your stories, facts and figures.

Speaker: Ari Brooks, Executive Director, Friends of the Library Montgomery County

24 paid employees, plus part-time staff with $1.2 million budget

Branch Friends groups have 1 annual meeting with umbrella group.

Ms. Brooks is invited to staff meetings.

Ms. Brooks and her staff are invited to strategic planning meetings, then her Friends board drafts their own strategic plan in alternating years, so that goals of the library and the Friends are aligned.

Friends fund Staff Development Day ($50k) for 600+ staff.

Joint meeting with branch managers, Friends chapters and library board held annually.
Library Director delivers State of the Library address.
An elected official is often the featured speaker. (Most recently, County Manager)
Come up with 3 points, a unified message for the year.
Listen to and follow through on what the elected officials say.

The Library Director has a column in the Friends newsletter.
The Friends Executive Director has a column in the staff newsletter.

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