Emily Fidelman, Nederland. Over the last five years, the Nederland Community Library has seen significant change and growth. We’ve recruited a new director, established a strategic plan, and made facility upgrades to provide sustainability and comfort. I have had the privilege of working through this transitional period on the NCL Board of Trustees as we worked to maximize the potential of the new library facility. Now, upon my departure, we’re seeking a new trustee.
A public library provides access to the information that allows for informed citizenship. In a democracy, this means equal access to information. Library board members represent their community, including those members for whom access poses a challenge.
I am a career librarian, meaning I have professional training in identifying underrepresented groups and their unmet information or service needs, but one absolutely does not need to have worked in a library or attained a professional degree to do the same. Perhaps you are a member of such an underrepresented group or have a gift for speaking for them. Maybe you have experience in community building, or managing public funds or are a whiz at the technologies that increase access for these groups. Or you might be a library patron who has ideas about what library services have benefited–or have disappointed–you in your time in the Nederland community.
Whatever your motivation, as a board member you will have the privilege of working with an engaged, forward-thinking group of your fellow Nederland residents, dedicated to the oversight and support of a fantastic library staff. They are entrepreneurs, parents, business owners, and readers, and the group is low on drama and high on service ethic… an absolute pleasure as a team.
What qualifications are required and what duties does the position entail? Applicants must reside in the Library District (live within five miles as the crow flies of Nederland Town Hall). They must be able to attend the monthly board meetings and an annual retreat. As a trustee, you’ll provide oversight for the library budget, visioning for how it’s used, and outreach to the community to assess the effectiveness of the vision. The Board of Trustees collaborates with the Library Foundation to identify revenue streams and ensure they are put to the best use. You may interface with the public regarding their library needs at open meetings, support the director regarding personnel or policy matters, review new library technologies and materials, and assist in decisions concerning the use of spaces and facilities, as well as expansion thereof. In these ways, you will help to shape the intellectual life of your community and its capacity for enlightened, participatory citizenship.
Please consider the rewarding experience of serving the Nederland community as a Library Trustee. If you are interested in applying and have any questions, contact Jay Mann, the library director. Letters of interest can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped off at the Nederland Community Library and they will be passed on to the board.