By Pat Jansen, Library Board President
Sedona AZ (March 14, 2014) – Do you have life experiences to share? Do you have a vision for improving our community resources? Do you want to be part of a dynamic team responsible for guiding a treasured community resource?
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 financial, marketing, fund-raising, and/or business operations experience.
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 board 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. The land on which our beautiful library sits was donated, and the library building was constructed with private funds and is entirely debt free. Our library was started by volunteers in 1958 and was incorporated in 1966 – more than 20 years before the City of Sedona. Today, the City of Sedona, and Yavapai and Coconino Counties all contribute to the operational costs. 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 our library.
Our current board has eleven members: President Pat Jansen, Past-President Anne Uruburu, Treasurer Abbie Denton-Lander, Secretary Susan Sagahon, and Members-at-Large, Harvey Bershader, Cliff Hamilton, Gwen Hanna, Laura Lawrie, Paul Schwartz, David Simmer, and James Wilson.
Some of the more important duties of the board include:
- 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
- Authorizing the sale or purchase of books, journals, publications, real estate, equipment, or other property or services of the Library and pay for same
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, Fundraising Development, Marketing, SPL in the Village, Marketing, and Strategic Planning and Policy. Each of these committees has specific responsibilities outlined in the Board of Trustee Bylaws. Board members serve on two or more committees, and each committee develops a plan of work at the beginning of the fiscal year.
According to Mary Y. Moore in her “The Successful Library Trustees Handbook”, the common characteristics of successful board members include:
- Record of working well with others
- Ability to participate in discussions without taking over
- Knowledge of the community
- Commitment to progress for the library
- Willingness to participate in fundraising
If you have these characteristics and are interested in joining a dynamic and fiscally responsible team, please send an email requesting an application packet to: email@example.com. Application packets are also available at the Reference Desk of Sedona Public Library’s main site, 3250 White Bear Rd., Sedona, and at SPL in the Village, located in Tequa Plaza.