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Trustee Update

"Library News You Can Use"

The Trustee Update newsletter provides information to help library trustees perform their important job well. It is published three times each year-- Spring, Summer & Fall-- and is sent to library trustees’ email addresses.

For more information about Wisconsin library law, trustee responsibilities, and library administration, or if you have questions about library advocacy, marketing, or printing Trustee Essentials, please contact Tracie Miller, SCLS Public Library Administration Consultant, at (608) 246-5612.

You can access an archived .pdf copy, or see the Table of Contents for each issue, in the Trustee Update Archive.

For more information, contact: 

Trustee Update Vol. 13, No. 2–June 2020

This issue is also available as a PDF: Vol. 13, No. 2

Webinars scheduled Aug. 24-28, 2020

Register now for Trustee Training Week 2020

Registration is now open for Wisconsin Trustee Training Week 2020, which will be held Aug. 24-28. There will be one webinar each day from noon to 1 p.m. on a topic that’s relevant to pub-lic library boards, friends, and trustees. Webinars are available free of  charge, and are open to anyone.

The schedule of  presentations is as follows:

  • Monday, Aug. 24—Core Values of Librarianship—Librarianship as a profession has a set of  core values. But where do they come from, and what do they mean? Library technologist Jessamyn West will talk about the things that make up the core val-ues of  librarianship and discuss the tensions that exist between some of  them.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25—Recruiting and Engaging Friends and Trustees Under Age 40—Millennials are more likely than other adults to have visited the library recently. However, most Friends and Trustee boards do not have even a single Mil-lennial member (Pew 2016, ALA 2018). What accounts for this discrepancy, and how can we rectify it? Join Madeline Jarvis and Tess Wilson to learn how to attract Millennials to your Friends group and Board of  Trustees, and turn the largest generation of  library users into your best advocates.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26—Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) Implementation Update—Throughout the re-sponse to the public health event, the Department of  Public Instruction Division for Libraries and Technology, Public Library Systems, Public Libraries and other partners have been extraordinarily collaborative in our efforts to support the Wisconsin library community. These efforts have allowed us to see new ways for how libraries and systems can be connected and work together in the spirit of  PLSR. Through this lens of  cooperation and continuous improvement as libraries bounce back from the impact of  the pandemic, we continue to move our efforts forward to implement the recommendations of  the PLSR Steering Committee. Join Bruce Smith for a presentation that will include an overview of  the PLSR process and an update on the progress of  implementing the seven recommendations including information about specific activities and time-lines. There also will be time for questions, comments, and input from attendees.
  • Thursday, Aug. 27—Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: What Library Trustees Need to Know—Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) impacts all communities and all aspects of  librarianship. Library Boards of  Trustees have an important role in supporting EDI and related initiatives. This webinar will help trustees and library directors understand how to incorporate EDI into policy development, strategic planning, funding initiatives, board development, and more. Anne Phibbs will present a variety of  interactive scenarios in which EDI issues are a factor, with time for Q&A and discussion. In this webinar, Anne, PhD, Founder and President of  Strategic Diversity Initiatives, will give an introduction to EDI and discuss what library trustees and boards need to know about EDI.
  • Friday, Aug. 28—Walk the Line: How Trustees Can Best Lead Their Libraries Without Overstepping Their Authority—Being a Trustee is an important job. You are part of  a team that represents the taxpayers, oversees the library director, and advocates for the library. However, where exactly do your duties end and the library staff ’s begin? This line, while very clear from a legal standpoint, can become a bit fuzzy in practice. Join Becky Spratford, a 20 + years li-brarian and five-term library trustee as she helps you under-stand how to walk the fine line between being a leader and being in the way. She will go over how you as a trustee can best help the library thrive, noting when you should step in but also when you should back off, strengthening all of Wisconsin’s Libraries in the process.

You must register for each webinar individually at More information is also available at that link, and you can also access recordings from the 2015-19 webinars.

Trustee Training Week is sponsored by the South Central Library System, with financial support from other WisconsinPublic Library Systems, plus the Division for Libraries and Technology and the Institute of  Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Recordings of  other SCLS Continuing Education webinars are available on the SCLS website at

DLT funds statewide subscription to homelessness videos

Libraries want to provide the best possible service to all people, but some patron interactions require a more thoughtful and deliberate approach. To help library professionals better help all of  their patrons, the Department of  Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) has purchased a subscription to Ryan Dowd’s Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness training. This will replace the subscription purchased by the South Central Library System (SCLS) for the past several years.

The training teaches you the practical skills and tools to prevent and manage conflict with all patrons. It is three and a half  hours long and is on-demand, so you can watch it little by little or in bigger chunks, whenever works for your schedule. Libraries that already had access through the SCLS subscription can continue to use the subscription provided by DLT. If your library hasn’t accessed the video library yet, please contact Jean Anderson at 608-246-5613.