Library Director – Portland, TX

Today’s Date: 07/05/2014

Job Closing Date: 08/31/2014

Job Title: Library Director

Anticipated hours per week: Full Time

Institution Bell Whittington Public Library

Library Location: Portland, Texas

Website (if applicable):

Duties / Job description: City of Portland, Texas

The City of Portland (17,500) is seeking a responsible leader to provide direction over of a broad range of public library functions. The Bell-Whittington Public Library is a nationally recognized, mid-sized public library providing services to local and area patrons and various community organizations. The successful candidate selected to lead this organization will be well versed in library policy, departmental planning and direction and administration of library activities. The Library Director is part of the City’s management team working closely with other directors to fulfill the organization’s goals and objectives. The successful candidate must have thorough knowledge, skill and ability in every phase of the public library field.
Essential duties and responsibilities include:
Supervision of the library staff, directly or through appropriate delegation, to create a harmonious team environment
Administration of personnel policies and procedures for library employees, including training, development, scheduling, and evaluation, either directly or through appropriate delegation
Participation in the recruitment and selection of library personnel
Responsibility for developing print and non-print collections, including selection, organization, maintenance, preservation, withdrawal, and disposal of materials, either directly or through appropriate delegation
Preparing and presenting the library budget proposal for approval, and monitoring and approving expenditures from the official operating budget
Developing short-term and long-range goals and planning for collections, services, and programs in keeping with the library’s mission statement and operating policies; studying and planning development of library services to meet present and future community needs
Participating in the planning, organization, and management of technical and automation services for the library
Directing a public relations program to promote and publicize the library’s collections, services, and programs within the community
Maintaining knowledge of new developments in the library profession, including technological advances, through professional development opportunities, including but not limited to participation in activities of professional organizations and networks and of the Texas State Library
Interacting with the appropriate city employees for the maintenance of the library’s building, furnishings, and equipment
Responsibility for the collection and accounting of fines, fees, and other charges
Administering the volunteer program, including recruitment, training, scheduling, and evaluating
Preparing regular narrative and statistical reports for the City Manager, Friends Library Board and the public.
Establishing priorities determined by the needs of the community
Preparing and submitting an annual report to Texas State Library and Archives Commission to maintain accreditation
Presenting special programs, such as book reviews, lectures, and instructional activities to extend library services and facilities into the community.
A complete job description including required knowledge, skills and albilities is available for download at

Qualifications: Minimum Qualifications:
Master’s Degree in Library Science from an ALA-accredited institution required
Minimum 5 years of increasingly responsible experience as a librarian in a public library of comparable size and complexity
Experience as a library director or assistant library director preferred
Active participation with Texas Library Association, ALA, or similar library association preferred

Will out of state candidates be considered? Yes
Salary Range: $62,000-$73,000
How to apply? By mail: Randy Wright, City Manager
1900 Billy G. Webb
Portland, Texas 78374

On Line at
To post job openings, please see Job Submissions.

Board Agenda – Friday, July 18, 2014

Association for Rural and Small Libraries

Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, July 18, 2014  –  10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central


Step 1:  Dial in: 866-740-1260

Access Code: 5149183

Step 2: Web Login –


ARSL Mission Statement: The Association for Rural & Small Libraries provides resources and support that empower those in small and rural libraries to deliver excellent service for their communities




2 min.   I.          Welcome and Call to Order                                                                 Tena Hanson,

****** Start Meeting Recording******                                               President


3 min.   II.        Consent Agenda

  • Approve Minutes of May 16, 2014*/**
  • Current Financial Statements*/**
  • Member Services Committee Report
  • Conference Planning Committee Report
  • Partnerships Committee Report
  • Member Development Committee Report
  • Governance Committee Report
  • Finance Committee Report
  • Executive Committee Report
  • President’s Report


5 min.   III.       Verbal Committee Reports if Pulled from Consent Agenda



10 min.IV.       President’s Report                                                                               Tena Hanson


  • StoryCorps Update
  • Things to be voted on at Membership Meeting at Conference
  • Strategic Plan Tracking
  • Results of ALA Speed Test vote
  • Results of ALA Joint Letter vote



10 min.V.        Vice President/President Elect Report                                                             Donna Brice


  • Approval of ARSL Annual Report*/**
  • Board Orientation Information

5 min.   VI.       Treasurer’s Report                                                                  Mary Stenger, Treasurer


  • Consideration of implementation of Investment Policy*/**



10 min.VII.      Online Meeting Task Force Report*/**                                               Becky Heil, Chair



10 min.VIII.    Partnerships Committee Report                                              Cal Shepard, Gail Sheldon,


  • Review/approve new non-member “Partner” category along

with the following DRAFT Documents:*/**


o   Membership categories with mutual benefits

o   DRAFT letter to groups interested in partnering



5 min.IX.         Scholarship Committee                                                            Shirley Vonderhaar, Chair


  • Review/Approve Recommendation for Emerging Leader Candidate*/**



10 min.X.        Membership Development Committee                                     Lisa Lewis, Chair


  • Review/Approve Proposed additional information for ARSL brochure*/**



5 min.XI.        Nominating Committee Report                                                Andrea Berstler, Chair


  • 2014 Election Results**



10 min.XI.      Conference Updates                                        


  • Tacoma Conference                                                            Carolyn Petersen, Chair
  • Arkansas Conference                                                          Judy Calhoun, Chair






5 min. XIV.    Topics Identified for Board Work Session?



Next Board Meeting – Saturday and Sunday, September 6 & 7, 2014 – Tacoma, Washington




100 min.                       ADJOURN BOARD MEETING



* Denotes Action Item

** Posted in DROP BOX

Library Director – Lake Elmo, MN

Today’s Date: 07/01/2014

Job Closing Date: 07/18/2014

Job Title: Librarian/Library Director

Anticipated hours per week: Full Time

Institution Lake Elmo Public Library

Library Location: Lake Elmo, Minnesota

Website (if applicable):

Duties / Job description: POSITION: Librarian/Library Director of the Lake Elmo Public Library, Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

Start date for the position: immediately upon acceptance by the Library Board.

SUMMARY OF POSITION: This full-time position involves hands-on day-to-day management of the Lake Elmo Public Library under the direction of the library board.

Collaborate with the Finance Committee to:
• Keep accurate records of expenditures and income from donations and other sources.
• Manage library funds and budget
Collaborate with the Collection Committee to:
• Manage and organize collections
Collaborate with the Outreach Committee to:
• Plan programs and activities
• Promote library services by speaking to community groups, including schools and business
Collaborate with the Facility Committee:
• Plan for facility needs
Collaborate with the Personnel Committee to:
• Train and supervise volunteers and staff
Collaborate with the board and:
• Prepare written reports for the Lake Elmo Public Library Board meetings
• Attend all open library board meetings
• Advise the board about the need for professional memberships and continuing education seminars and workshops for updating skills
• Inform and advise the library board about local, regional, state and national developments in the library field
In addition:
• Work directly with patrons in the library and at the circulation desk, including reference services
• Maintain positive relations with patrons and users of the library rooms
• Keep statistics for required Minnesota annual reporting and prepare report in accordance with state guidelines
• Maintain communications with other libraries in the area
• Prepare grant applications when opportunities are offered
Essential Knowledge and Skills:
• Ability to supervise personnel
• Ability to communicate ideas and information in both verbal and written forms
• Ability to organize, maintain records, plan and direct services
• Ability to understand financial operations and plan budgets
• Ability to understand and operate library equipment, including printer/copier, fax, computer, Nooks, Kindles, and other electronic reading devices
• Ability to maintain records on electronic databases, including KOHA and Excel
• Ability to install and update electronic equipment as needed
• Knowledge of Internet resources and navigation
• Ability to work with volunteers and community in a pleasant and respectful manner
• Ability to learn new processes and procedures
• Ability to analyze and implement library programs
• Ability to perform arithmetic
Library resources, hand carts and hand trucks, step stools, ladders, basic audio/video and computer equipment, general office equipment and machines, library systems including check in and out systems, surveillance systems
Full-time salary with some extended hours, evenings, and weekends
Mainly indoor work, low hazard environment, frequent work with the public, staff and volunteers
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: can involve, but not limited to:

Physical dexterity
• Frequently sit, stand, walk or move about inside on uneven and elevated flooring
• Occasionally lift and carry objects or materials that may be up to 20 pounds
• Push/pull objects 20 to 50 pounds using wheeled book cart
• Bend, squat, stoop, or kneel while working as low as ground level to access shelving or materials
• Occasionally climb & balance on ladders, step stools, or stairs

Manual dexterity
• Frequently stretch, reach, handle, and grasp materials
• Use hands, fingers, and arms to safely operate equipment
• Load/unload materials, turn pages of books, type

See, Read, Smell, and Hear
• Read and understand English language in written information, instructions, and safety warnings in all forms, including handwritten, hard copy, and electronic formats
• Smell and feel in order to identify damaged materials
• See near, far with depth of vision
• See colors for designing web pages and presentations
• Speak and be heard at normal ranges
• Hear at normal ranges
SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Direction and evaluations are done by Personnel Committee of the Lake Elmo Library Board. Evaluations are to be based on stated areas of the job description with added specific duties.

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: Daily coordination of volunteer and staff duties

Send resume with at least three references. In your cover letter, state why you want to work at the Lake Elmo Public Library.

Send resumes to by 12:00 p.m. CDT, July 18, 2014. Inquiries received at the same address.

Qualifications: Qualifications:
Minimum: Master of Library Science (MLS) or equivalent degree in library science with at least five years experience in all aspects of librarianship

Will out of state candidates be considered? Yes

Salary Range: $40,000-$50,000

How to apply? Send resume with at least three references. In your cover letter, state why you want to work at the Lake Elmo Public Library.

Send resumes to by 12:00 p.m. CDT, July 18, 2014. Inquiries received at the same address.

To post job openings, please see Job Submissions.

Library Director – McCall, ID

Today’s Date: 06/30/2014

Job Closing Date: 07/28/2014

Job Title: Library Director

Institution City of McCall

Library Location: McCall, ID

Website (if applicable):

Duties / Job description: The primary function of the Library Director is to perform a variety of complex administrative, supervisory, and professional librarian duties, including knowledge of library specific software and computer programs. The Library Director is responsible for the planning and organization of all programs and services offered by the City’s library system. Direct and indirect supervision is exercised over the work of all library staff members and volunteers.

Qualifications: Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; Master’s degree in Library Science or a related field is preferred; and Five (5) years experience in library administration, supervisory experience is preferred; or any combination of education and experience which demonstrates the knowledge and abilities necessary to be a successful Library Director.

Salary Range: Begins at $56,374 annually and is enhanced by an excellent benefits package
How to apply? Qualified Candidates should submit an application package consisting of:
1) A cover letter explaining their interest in the position.
2) A completed City of McCall Application for Employment (available at Http:// and,
3) A resume of professional experience and education.

Application packages should be submitted via email to: or delivered to

City of McCall
Attn: Human Resources
216 East Park Street
McCall, Idaho 83638

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. MST on the closing date to be considered.
If you have questions, contact Human Resources at 208-634-8316.

To post job openings, please see Job Submissions.

Assistant Director – Sedro Wooley, WA

Today’s Date: 06/26/2014

Job Closing Date: 07/11/2014

Job Title: Assistant Director

Institution Central Skagit Rural Partial County Library District

Library Location: Sedro Woolley

Website (if applicable):

Duties / Job description: Assists in planning, implementing and evaluating library services, coordinating selection of library materials.
Schedules and supervises the library staff and substitutes for the Director in his/her absence.
Acquires library materials and assists in developing and administering policies concerning library operations, budgets and financial reports, and programs.
Oversees the cataloging of materials.
Plans and implements programming for library patrons. Attends professional meetings.
Performs other related duties as assigned.

Qualifications: A Master’s Degree in Library Sciences from an accredited college or university plus three years of progressively responsible library administration experience including at least 1-2 years in a supervisory capacity or equivalent.

Will out of state candidates be considered?

Salary Range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
How to apply? Please send resume and three professional references to

To post job openings, please see Job Submissions.

Librarian/Library Director – Lake Elmo, MN

Today’s Date: 06/20/2014

Job Closing Date: 07/18/2014

Job Title: Librarian/Library Director

Anticipated hours per week: Full Time

Institution Lake Elmo Public Library

Library Location: Lake Elmo, Minnesota

Website (if applicable):

Duties / Job description: The Lake Elmo Library Board is seeking a library director for the Lake Elmo Public Library. An ALA accredited Masters Degree in Library Science and five years experience in library operations required. Salary commensurate with experience.

Job description available at

Qualifications: An ALA accredited Masters Degree in Library Science and five years experience in library operations required. Salary commensurate with experience.

Will out of state candidates be considered? Yes

Salary Range:

How to apply? Send cover letter and resume to

To post job openings, please see Job Submissions.

Library Director – Asbury, IA

Today’s Date: 06/20/2014

Job Closing Date: 07/29/2014

Job Title: Library Director

Anticipated hours per week: Full Time

Institution Dubuque County Library

Library Location: Asbury, Iowa

Website (if applicable):

Duties / Job description: The Board of Trustees of the Dubuque County Library is searching for a knowledgeable, visionary leader to serve as Library Director. The Director will work with the Library Board and staff to develop a 21st Century vision of library services that meets the present and future needs of our patrons throughout the five-branch library system. The Director will be the “face” of the library as well as the internal leader and listener with a focus on developing strategic directions for both community and staff.

Governed by an appointed nine member Board of Trustees, the Dubuque County Library serves a suburban/rural constituency of 29,000. The Director supervises a staff of eleven (five full time) with a $700,000 budget and an annual circulation of 110,000 (a 25% increase from the previous fiscal year). Within the last four years, two new branches have been added to the library system. Two of the five branches exist through unique partnerships with a public middle school and a community college. In addition, a new joint municipal/library facility with a branch city is currently in the fundraising and design phase. The Library actively participates in formal agreements and informal relationships with other public, university, and private libraries in the area. The Dubuque County Library is in a position to reach its potential through innovation and dynamic leadership.

The county population of more than 91,000 is also served by the city-funded libraries in the cities of Cascade, Dubuque and Dyersville.

Dubuque County, Iowa
Dubuque County, Iowa, has it all. From bustling city life to peaceful rural life nestled in the rolling hills of Eastern Iowa. Bordered on the east by the mighty Mississippi River, the area is the perfect place to begin a new career, raise a family or enjoy a slower pace of life.

The city of Dubuque and the surrounding area is considered the “birthplace of Iowa” and features a rich history, interesting architecture, and abundant natural beauty. The county is home to the world-famous Field of Dreams as well as Iowa’s oldest restaurant, Breitbach’s, located along the Great River Road in Balltown, Iowa.

There is more than beauty here. The county is home to six small colleges and universities, major industry such as John Deere and IBM, and a unique cultural mix that makes Dubuque County feel like a major metro area with the friendliness of your hometown.

While it may not be heaven, Dubuque County, Iowa, is certainly as close as you can get on earth.

Qualifications: Desired Qualifications, Strengths and Skills
1. A Master’s degree in library science from an ALA accredited school is required.
2. Professional certification in compliance with state law within one year.
3. Five years of library experience preferred with a minimum of three years library administration.
4. Ability to develop budgets, make administrative decisions, develop policies and supervise staff.
5. Effective interpersonal skills including creative and diplomatic management abilities.
6. Thorough knowledge of the philosophy and techniques of all facets of public library service.
7. Ability to think analytically and to develop new services.
8. Ability to exercise initiative and independent judgment.
9. Considerable knowledge of computers and data communications especially in regards to library applications.
10. Ability to prepare comprehensive reports and present ideas clearly and concisely in written and oral form.
11. Highly developed verbal and written communication skills, social skills, and adaptability.
12. Willingness to pursue alternative revenue streams to enhance library services.
13. Ability to process information to learn new materials and handle complex concepts.
14. Ability to motivate, establish and maintain effective working relationships with the library board, associates, colleagues, volunteers, other community agencies, governmental bodies and the general public.
15. Visionary regarding library trends and the impact of changing information technology.
16. A desire to meet and serve the public.

Other – Criminal History background check required.

Will out of state candidates be considered? Yes

Salary Range: Salary plus benefits ($78,457 – $89,350) 1. Starting salary – $55,000-$65,000 Negotiable based on experience and qualifications.

How to apply? 1. For an application please contact: Iowa Works Region 1, 680 Main St., Dubuque, IA 52001; (563) 556-5800 or (866) 227-9874, or email – put “Application” in the subject line; ask for Dubuque County, Iowa, Application for Employment. The application must be submitted to the Iowa Works Region 1 office not later than 3:00 pm on Wednesday, July 29, 2014.

2. In addition, please email a copy of your application, resume and cover letter to Search Committee Chairman Jeff Goldsmith at .

To post job openings, please see Job Submissions.

2014 Conference Schedule

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

4:00 PM 6:00 PM Registration open

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

8:00 AM 5:00 PM Registration open
8:30 AM 11:30 AM Preconference sessions

Pavilion F A Cram Course in Youth Services or “What’s the difference between a 2-year-old and a teenager?”
Pavilion C Community Building—Novice
Pavilion E Gizmo Garage: Closing the Digital Divide One Device at a Time
Lobby Tour three local libraries
1:00 PM 4:00 PM Preconference sessions

Pavilion C Community Building—Advanced
Pavilion E Crafting a Successful Adult Education Program for Small, Rural and/or Part-time Libraries
Tacoma Public
Rooms that Rock: Practical Tips for Library Space Planning
8:30 AM 4:00 PM Preconference sessions

Pavilion B Talking to Voters About Your Library: Planning and Executing Effective Tax, Bond and Referendum Campaigns
6:00 PM Opening Reception
7:00 PM Performance by the Jet City Chorus

Thursday, September 4, 2014

7:30 AM 6:00 PM Registration open
8:00 AM 10:15 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM 9:15 AM Announcements
9:15 AM 10:15 AM Uniquely Connected: Expanding community in 21st century libraries
10:15 AM 11:00 AM Exhibitor break
11:00 AM Noon Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino iPin! Do you?
Pavilion B Programs with Pizazz
Pavilion C Marketing Your Library through Social Media and More
Pavilion E Lab at the Library: STEM Programming
Pavilion F Building Makers: A Statewide Approach
Venice 2 LEGO @ Your Library
Venice 3 Better Meetings Mean Better Governance
Venice 4 Routes to Reading: Early Literacy Models that Work in Rural Libraries
Noon 1:15 PM Lunch
12:15 PM 12:30 PM Announcements & Welcome from Secretary of State Kim Wyman
12:30 PM 1:15 PM You don’t have to do it all! Using the Edge assessment for better outcomes in small & rural libraries
1:30 PM 2:30 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Taking the Fear Out of Content Creation for Teens
Pavilion B The Yacolt Library Express: A maximum of service with a minimum of staff
Pavilion C Delivering Excellent Customer Service
Pavilion E Five Levels of Appreciation in the Workplace
Pavilion F Use Your Annual Statistics to Evaluate Your Library—Fast
Venice 2 Board gaming for all ages and interests
Venice 3 I meant to get an MLS but the library was too busy!
Venice 4 The Pursuit of Happiness… Through Libraries
2:30 PM 3:00 PM Exhibitor break
3:00 PM 4:00 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino To combine or not to combine: thinking about school/public library combination
Pavilion B Advice from the School of Hard Knocks
Pavilion C Tablet Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Library Services
Pavilion E Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from Tech Averse to Tech Savvy
Pavilion F Health on the Range: Rural Health Issues and Resources
Venice 2 Flip the Script: Changing the Direction of Your Library
Venice 3 E-Rate Roundtable Discussion
Venice 4 Increasing Your Library’s Capacity: Do More for Your Community
4:30 PM 5:30 PM ARSL business meeting
6:00 PM Dine arounds
8:00 PM Lightning talks

Friday, September 5, 2014

8:00 AM 5:00 PM Registration open
8:00 AM 10:15 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM 9:15 AM Announcements
9:15 AM 10:15 AM Libraries Reimagined!
10:15 AM 11:00 AM Exhibitor break
11:00 AM Noon Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Marketing Your Library: It’s more than Flyers and Friends
Pavilion B Trustees: Your Greatest Assets
Pavilion C Crafty U (and patrons, too!)
Pavilion E Flip the Script: Changing the Direction of Your Library
Pavilion F Thinking Outside the Storytime Box
Venice 2 Frugal Fundraising: It Doesn’t Take Money to Make Money
Venice 3 Increasing Your Library’s Capacity: Do More for Your Community
Venice 4 What We Talk About When We Talk About Apps
Noon 1:30 PM Lunch
12:30 PM 1:30 PM Author Keynote: Laurie King
1:30 PM 2:30 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Fundamentals of Fun: Getting the most from your workers
Pavilion B Digital Literacy for Everyone: Going from Tech Averse to Tech Savvy
Pavilion C Programs with Pizazz
Pavilion E Strategic Planning for the Small Library: Aim for the future by planning now
Pavilion F Health on the Range: Rural Health Issues and Resources
Venice 2 Tablet Slinging Librarians: Using Tablets to Improve Library Services
Venice 3 Advice from the School of Hard Knocks
Venice 4 Lab at the Library: STEM Programming
2:30 PM 3:00 PM Exhibitor break
3:00 PM 4:00 PM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Get That Grant!
Pavilion B 12 Ways to Market More Effectively
Pavilion C Delivering Excellent Customer Service
Pavilion E Taking the Fear Out of Content Creation for Teens
Pavilion F Highway to Harmony: Mapping the Integration of Homeschoolers into your library
Venice 2 LEGO @ Your Library
Venice 3 Routes to Reading: Early Literacy Models that Work in Rural Libraries
Venice 4 Strengthening your Tech Core: Training on the Web
4:00 PM 4:30 PM Exhibitor raffle
6:00 PM   Dine arounds

Saturday, September 6, 2014

8:00 AM 10:15 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM 9:15 AM Announcements
9:00 AM 10:15 AM Clancy Pool, Library Journal Paralibrarian of the Year
10:30 AM 11:30 AM Concurrent sessions:

Cavallino Nothing but the Truth: Assessing Authenticity in Multicultural Picture Books
Pavilion B Board gaming for all ages and interests
Pavilion C The Pursuit of Happiness… Through Libraries
Pavilion E I meant to get an MLS but the library was too busy!
Pavilion F Growing Your Own: Mentoring, continuing education and leadership opportunities
Venice 2 Maker Spaces: Small Space, Low Budget, High Quality
Venice 3 I must have been crazy, but it worked: Bringing the Smithsonian to Patagonia
Venice 4 Crafty U (and patrons, too!)
Noon Conference ends
ARSL Board meeting

Croatia Bound

Croatia Trip 071When the invitation came from the U.S. Embassy to travel to Croatia to present a series of workshops on Digital and Traditional Literacy I was overwhelmed with the honor and responsibility of this task.

What were the libraries in Croatia like?  Did they offer programming, community events, internet access?  What were the communities like that they served?  What kind of budget did they have to work with?  How much were they like the libraries in the United States?

What an amazing experience this trip was.  I learned so much from the librarians in Croatia and I can only hope that they learned from me. 

The first set of workshops was held at the U.S. Embassy located in Zagreb.  The librarians that attended on the first day were from all over the country.  One librarian’s trip started at 4:00 a.m. where she boarded a ferry to take her to the city of Split and then a 4 hour drive to Zagreb.  The second day workshop was attended by librarians that worked all over Zagreb. The librarians were so eager to listen to a librarian from America!  They love America and wanted to learn as much as they could.  Each workshop held at the Embassy had a total of about 20 to 25 librarians.

U.S. Embassy in Croatia workshopsI spoke with them about E-books and Digital literacy and how that is becoming more and more common throughout libraries in the United States.  It became very clear, very quickly however, the limitations that these librarians have to work with.  Money is a very big issue which is something all libraries have in common throughout the world.  Sharing the budget struggles that I have experienced firsthand as a Library Director for 7 years seemed to make them feel more at ease.  I could totally relate to their expressions of frustration of not being able to offer these types of services to their patrons because of the lack of funding and the lack of support.  Not only was the cost of these devices out of reach for most of their patrons, the cost of subscribing to a type of E-book provider such as Overdrive was just a pipe dream.

Still, they soaked up everything that I had to offer them and I truly enjoyed visiting with them after the workshops and hearing about their libraries and how proud they were of them.

Croatia Trip 043The third workshop was held in Zadar which was a coastal community located about 3 ½ hours from Zagreb.  Zadar was absolutely breathtaking!  The city was built around Roman Ruins and was just like what I would imagine old time Rome would be like.  Streets made of rock and beautiful cathedrals everywhere you looked.  You could hear the bells tolling from the many bell towers all throughout the day and early evening.  The one thing that struck me was all the little children that were outside playing.  My escort told me that this city was extremely safe.  It had a very low crime rate and everyone knew each other and looked out for each other.  What a concept!

The group of librarians that I worked with in Zadar were from the “American Corners” libraries located throughout Croatia.  These libraries were partially funded by the U.S. Embassy and in exchange they had a “corner” of their library dedicated to all things American.  All the materials were in English and all of the items offered were related to the United States in one way or another.  These libraries were also required to hold 24 programs every year.  They were all so enthusiastic and motivated.  I was able to tour the American Corners library in Zadar and it was very similar to the Safford City-Graham County library where I currently am.  It was a busy and happening place with many patrons checking out materials, reading the newspapers, attending a program or with their children in the children’s area.  It felt very familiar!

The last workshop I held was actually a lecture to the library students at the University of Zadar.  This was probably the most fun out of all the workshops I gave because the students were so involved in the process.  They also understood all my jokes!  Many of them came up to me afterwards with all kinds of questions and comments!  I made sure these students knew that they had chosen the best profession ever.   There is nothing that can compare to it.University of Zadar Library Students

Overall the trip was a quick, fast paced adventure into a world that I had never been before.  The food was wonderful.  I had Risotto 4 times!!!!  It was delicious.  The sounds, smells and sights will be something that I will never forget and there is not enough time or space to share everything that I experienced.

The most important thing that I learned while I was there was that a librarian is a librarian wherever they live.  We all share the same goals and desires which is to serve our community and our patrons to the very best of our ability.  We have the greatest job in the world!  There is no other profession that I know of, other than a teacher that touches more lives for good than a librarian.  It didn’t matter that we didn’t speak the same language or that we didn’t have the same traditions, we are librarians, and that made us friends!

By Lisa Lewis, ARSL Board Member

Disaster of the Month: D&O Insurance

By Su Epstein

Saxton B. Little Library,  Columbia CTinsurance

To be honest, insurance was not something I really thought much about.  Personal insurance (home, auto, etc.) sure, but for the Library?  When I began as a Library Director, I knew the Library had a basic liability policy and I did review it.  I made sure it covered should someone get hurt in the building and if, heaven forbid the building had a fire, the contents would be covered.  But after that, I gave it very little thought.

A few years down the road, however, the make-up of our library board changed.  Personalities shifted and perspectives clashed.  Things came to a head over a fundraising event.  Tensions had been high and communications poor.  At a very public planning meeting, outside of the Library, a full-fledged shouting match erupted.  Accusations and names flew like startled birds.  A board member left, threatening to sue for defamation of character.  I consulted a lawyer and learned the board member had grounds.  At the same time, there arose issues with the vendor contracts for the fundraising event.  This too posed a potential litigious situation.  I called upon my inner Research Librarian, and hit the books and the internet.

It was then that I learned of Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance (often called D&O).  This insurance, purchased by the organization reimburses the organizations leadership for losses or advancement of defense costs of legal actions coming about from alleged wrongful acts in their capacity as leadership of the institution.    Policies vary by the amount of coverage, but are offered by almost all of the major insurance companies.  Costs are based on not only the amount of coverage, but the size of the board and institution.

For our institution the cost increased our insurance line approximately five hundred dollars annually.  It was not an easy sell.  However, the cost of one lawsuit would be far greater.  At the time, my library was facing two possible legal actions.  A situation that six months earlier would have been inconceivable for all of us.

In the end, the fundraising event went off, but not without some very problematic hitches.  The former Board member decided they liked the Library more than they hated the Board and dropped the suit.  The Library Board purchased D&O insurance.  For me, it was all a little too close for comfort.

I don’t know if such insurance is needed and as the coverage varies, it must certainly be analyzed on a per library basis. Likewise, needs can be greatly affected by circumstance.  What I do know, definitively, is that is far better to research and discuss the options before there is a potential need.