For 3 years, it ran in the Greeley Tribune. Since then, it has run in various subsidiaries of the Douglas County News Press. I still have most of my columns in digital format.
For many years, I only gave myself one rule: try to work the word "library" into every piece. My intent was to think in public about just what librarianship means at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st.
There have been many advantages for me. I found that putting library plans out in front of the public, and getting feedback about them, helped me make better decisions. Sometimes, I found that it was very difficult for me to describe those plans or policies -- the kind of thing that makes me realize that they might not be good ideas after all. The weekly discipline of explaining my profession to the public keeps me more mindful, more honest. It also has provided steady visibility for the library and its issues.
February 4, 2010 - WANTED: LIBRARY TRUSTEE
Job Title: Library Trustee, a member of the governing Board of the Douglas
County Libraries. There are seven Trustees in total. This appointment fills the vacancy of Stevan Strain, whose term ran through the end of January 2011.
Residency requirements: must live in Commissioner District I, which encompasses the Northeast area of the county. The Commissioner representing this area is Jack Hilbert.
Qualifications: Must believe in the value of strong public library services to the citizens of Douglas County. The Douglas County Libraries is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a vision of a vital and literate community.
Responsibilities: Trustees are responsible for library finances (budget approval and review), the evaluation of the library director, and the setting of library policy. Trustees also work with a host of other appointed and elected officials. Position requires one Board meeting a month (average length, 1 to 3 hours each), an additional board lunch, probably one or two committee assignments (meeting 4 to 5 times a year), and other conferences as needed.
Pay: the satisfaction of a job well done. Convivial and thoughtful colleagues. The opportunity to make a difference in one of Douglas County's most effective governmental agencies. Douglas County Libraries is currently ranked the number one public library in the United States for communities serving between 250,000 and 500,000 people (see Hennen American Public Library Ratings).
Application process: Send a letter of interest, accompanied by a short resume, to Douglas County Board of Trustees. Depending upon the number of applicants, interviews will be conducted with the Board Nominating Committee, or may involve a panel interview with other applicants. Successful applicant will be recommended for appointment by the Library Board of Trustees to the Douglas County Commissioners, who are the appointing authority.
Closing date: first consideration will be given to those applications received by Feb. 25, 2010.
Company background: founded by popular vote in 1990, the Douglas County Libraries is an independent taxing entity serving the citizens of Douglas County. It has at this writing over 700,000 items, circulates almost eight million materials annually, employs approximately 330 people, and has an annual operating budget of over $21 million. It is debt-free. It operates library branches in Castle Pines North, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Louviers, Roxborough, and Parker.
Current strategic initiatives: the promotion of early, childhood, or "emergent" literacy (based upon partnership with other literacy organizations, and using current brain development research in this area); the organization, coordination, and delivery of information of use in economic recovery (assistance in the creation of personal resumes, assistance in the the writing of start-up business plans, market research for business expansion, and partnership with economic development agencies throughout the county); the further merchandising of our collections to become the best-used library in Colorado in both per capita and absolute terms; to engage more directly with the community, demonstrating our value beyond the walls of the library through direct service and an awareness campaign of our contributions; and to achieve long term sustainability, matching available resources with the demonstrated needs of the community.
While expertise in any of these areas is welcome, the board would be especially pleased to entertain applications from those with expertise in the area of public finance.
For more information: please contact Aspen Walker, secretary to the Board, at 303-688-7656, or e-mail any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.