Behind almost every successful library district is a hard-working, dedicated, governing board. The efforts of each board member, though invaluable to the districts they represent, tend to go unrecognized and even unnoticed by the overall community. Recognition, however, is not why these people sign up for the job.
"I wanted to make a difference," says Judy Briscoe, board member for Delta County Libraries board of trustees, when asked why she joined. The board appointed Briscoe in the summer of 2015 and she feels they have made a lot of progress since then. "It's a dynamic board," says Briscoe. "We work well together. These libraries are such a treasure for us and we want to make them the best they can be."
Laura Earley, president of the board, agrees with Briscoe. "I joined the board because I thought it would be an excellent way to serve my community," Earley explains. "I have been so impressed with my fellow board members and the library staff. They are all dedicated to improving services to patrons."
The duties of a board member for Delta County Libraries vary from attending meetings and assisting with fundraising efforts to approving policies and overseeing the annual budget. Additionally, board members play a great role in directing the future of the libraries through strategic planning and revising outdated policies to improve library services and support library staff and patrons.
Following through on their commitment, Earley and Briscoe have spent their terms working closely with the board and library staff to increase public outreach, maintain and improve buildings, strategize budgetary concerns, update patron and employee policies, and facilitate a major fundraising campaign.
Most recently, an effort to replace two board members with expiring terms has been a priority. The current board is seeking representation for Crawford and Delta positions.
"I would encourage anyone who realizes the critical services our libraries provide to citizens in Delta County to consider serving on the board of trustees," Earley states. "It is an excellent way to help make sure our libraries continue to be the community treasures we have come to expect."
Board members are strong advocates for the libraries and often wear multiple hats in their efforts. They commonly contribute by volunteering at their home libraries, joining local friends groups, and helping with book sales and other events.
Briscoe was a friend and a volunteer at Paonia Library before becoming a board member herself. Her advice to library supporters and potential board members is to get involved. "Get to know your libraries. Not just the library in your community, but all the libraries. Meet the staff, view the materials, and gain an understanding of what is happening throughout the district."
Applications for the open board positions are due by Friday, Nov. 10. Interested applicants can learn more and apply online by visiting the Delta County Libraries website at http://deltalibraries.org/board-openings/.