By Pat Jansen, Library Board Past President
Sedona AZ (March 6, 2017) – Do you want to be part of a dynamic team responsible to guide a treasured community resource? Do you dream of sharing your valuable experience and contributing to a non-profit recognized as the heart of Sedona?
Each spring, the Board of Trustees of Sedona Public Library (SPL) actively recruits new trustees. We are now seeking new members, especially people who have fund-raising, marketing, computer technology, and/or construction experience. We are seeking an ethnically diverse membership that reflects the diversity of our community. All are welcome to apply.
Information about applying for Board membership may be found at the end of this article. As an introduction, I’d like to tell you about the Board of Trustees and what the Board does, so you will better understand what membership entails.
Instead of being owned and administered by a city or county library system, SPL is a private 501(c)(3) corporation, and, as such, its Board of Trustees is a governing board. Our library was started by volunteers in 1958 and was incorporated in 1966 – more than 20 years before the City of Sedona. The library building was constructed with private funds and SPL remains entirely debt free. Today, the City of Sedona, and Yavapai and Coconino Counties contribute to the operational expenses. Our library relies heavily on volunteers, in-kind donations, donations and bequests, and funds from Friends of the Library to cover all other expenses necessary to sustain and preserve the building and offer ever increasing services to meet the needs of the community.
Our current board has eleven members: President David Simmer, President-Elect Joel DeTar, Past President Pat Jansen, Treasurer Abbie Denton-Lander, Secretary Wendy Edwards, and Members-at-Large, Harvey Bershader, John Crawford, Charles Curtis, Gwen Ortmeyer, Roger Shlonsky and Mike Yarbrough.
Some of the most important duties of the board include:
- Fundraising to support continued operation and any necessary expansion of the Library in a fiscally responsible manner
- Making and enforcing all policies, rules, regulations and bylaws necessary for the administration and government of SPL and all library property
- Exercising and administering any trust declared or created for the Library
- Employing a Library Director, determining compensation, and empowering the director to administer the policies of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees holds monthly meetings, scheduled on the third Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. The board’s annual meeting in June is an open meeting at which annual reports are submitted for approval, and new Trustees are elected and installed for the new fiscal year.
The Board of Trustees conducts much of its work through committees. These committees include: Building and Grounds, Budget, Investment, Donor Relations, Marketing, SPL in the Village, and Strategic Planning and Policy. Each of these committees has specific responsibilities outlined in the Board of Trustee Bylaws. Board members usually serve on two or more committees.
According to Mary Y. Moore in her “The Successful Library Trustees Handbook”, the common characteristics of successful board members include:
- Willingness to participate in fundraising
- Record of working well with others,
- Ability to participate in discussions without dominating
- Knowledge of the community
- Commitment to library progress
If you have these characteristics and are interested in joining a dynamic, fun-loving, and fiscally responsible team, please send an email requesting an application packet to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Application packets are also available at the Reference Desk at the Sedona Public Library’s main site, 3250 White Bear Rd., Sedona, and at SPL in the Village, located in Bell Rock Plaza. Applications will be accepted through April 8. We look forward to hearing from you.