Monday Briefing - November 1, 2021

Trustee Workshop: How to Evaluate Your Director - Monday, November 8 at 5:00 PM

Discussion Points:
  • Plan, communicate, and implement a Director Evaluation
  • Tools for evaluating your director
  • Process for keeping an evaluation positive and supportive
  • Conducting a concurrent board evaluation
Click here to register

Federal Funding for Libraries from ALA

Federal funding increases for libraries are currently on hold. We need your help.

As you may be aware, while the new Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 started on October 1, Congress is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR) through December 3, 2021. Since the FY 2022 appropriations bills have not yet been enacted, this means that the federal government is running on level funding from FY 2021 through December 3. Thanks to all of your advocacy earlier this year, the proposed FY 2022 appropriations bills include significant increases for federal funding for libraries, including an additional $9 million for the IMLS-administered Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) in the House bill, and $3 million for the Department of Education-administered Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant (IAL). In addition, the Senate draft includes $3 million for an important Information Literacy Taskforce. However, we need to ensure that these increases remain included as Congress works to reach their final agreement before the deadline.

Will you contact your legislator and ask them to ensure these funding increases are included for libraries in FY 2022?

Take Action Now

Book Challenges from Suzanne

In the Monday, October 12 briefing we highlighted some recent book challenges at school and public libraries . Although these are not happening in our area (yet), it was a good reminder to check that your library's Collection Development Policy is up to date and includes a Request for Consideration of Library Materials.

This weekend, a story was circulating (no library pun intended) on social media that a school board candidate in Iowa was threatening to obtain library records to discover (and reveal) which students are checking out LGBTQIA+ books. While this seems to be an extreme (and very illegal) example, it has provided another good reminder to not only check your local policies but to make sure all staff is trained on your library's policies and know how to handle requests for patron information. Here are some resources that you may find helpful:

Question of the Week

_*Question*: Can you clarify if committee meeting minutes should be approved during the next board meeting? We always approve (with any required changes) the previous regular board meeting minutes, but I am unsure about whether we need the full board to approve committee meeting minutes. I suspect not, though we would have to vote on any relevant issues from those committee recommendations. Any advice would be welcome._
Answer: This question comes up a lot when evaluating committee actions. While the Committee on Open Government has ruled that a meeting of two or more trustees discussing library business is considered a public meeting and must follow all provisions of the law, minutes only need to be taken if the committee is taking formal action (i.e. making a motion).
Most committee meetings that I attend only discuss items or work on tasks, they generally do not take formal action. That means no meeting minutes are produced. If the committee does take formal action and they do develop minutes, it's a good practice to present those to the full board. These can be a report to the board or included in your board packet. They are not required to be accepted or approved. Just like minutes of a board meeting, committee minutes must be made available within two weeks of the meeting upon request.
For full transparency, a good practice would be to have your committees deliver reports to your board and include any specific items on your agenda that require action from the full board. With the new provisions to OML these reports would be required to be made available 24 hours prior to your board meeting like other documents up for discussion.

Thank you for the question!

Ask a Lawyer: Recent Questions

Trustee Addresses for Open Meetings: My assumption is that library trustees will continue to be required to provide their home address or the location from where they are remotely attending the virtual meeting. Has that law requirement changed with this extension [referring to the recently signed legislation S.50001/A40001]?

Availability of Open Meeting Documents: The Governor signed S1150A/A1228A into law [on] October 19, 2021. Now Chapter 481, this change requires that open meeting documents be available upon request or posted to the public body's website at least 24 hours prior to the open meeting at which the documents will be discussed. Can you comment?
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