Development of the Plan

In October 1998, an application was submitted to the Kansas Library Association for the establishment of a section of the association for public library trustees. The Core Group that developed the application wrote a very thorough document that served as a plan for the Kansas Library Trustee Association (KLTA). In 2001, the KLTA Board decided it was time to develop a strategic plan for 2003-2006. In February, three faculty members of the School of Library and Information Management (SLIM) were selected to work with the Board.

The planning process was based on four actions:

  1. Search of the literature for innovative ideas
  2. Discussions with those who have a stake in the success or failure of KLTA
  3. Development of this document to be submitted to the Board
  4. The Board will make planning decisions

The literature search yielded very little. The fact seems to be that KLTA is ahead of other state organizations. This was confirmed during conversations at the national meeting of the 2002 Public Library Association and by phone calls to colleagues in other states and at the American Library Association headquarters. Ellen Miller’s confirmation of this was very helpful. Therefore, the recommendation from the consultants is that Kansas trustees and librarians take the opportunity to be national leaders in trustee education and advocacy.

The Board of KLTA was asked for names of trustees across Kansas who should be interviewed. This list was supplemented by additions from the consultants. The staff held telephone discussions with close to 30 trustees and librarians around Kansas. The discussions were basic (How would you describe KLTA to a new trustee? What should KLTA become? What are the needs of local trustees? What do librarians need to learn about working with trustees?). Respondents’ ideas were carefully recorded. Often they added suggestions that went beyond the basic questions. It was obvious that the association is highly respected, that its successes are admired and that everyone assumes that it will continue to be a major force in the development of strong libraries in Kansas.

The information gathered from conversations was cumulated into themes that were presented to the Board on September 14. After discussing the themes and reviewing the 1998 document, the Board read three scenarios designed to elicit discussion on what KLTA should be in the future. Discussion at the meeting enriched the earlier themes and is reflected in this document.

The consultants have drafted a plan that we think will be usable in 2003-2006. There are additional components that could be included in a plan for this organization but our goal has been to be brief and realistic. The current economic realities, the incredible success that KLTA has had, and the needs of the library community will influence which parts of this plan are actually implemented and will lead to ideas that were not developed in 2002. It has been our intent to suggest a plan that will assist KLTA as it evolves from the dynamic young organization that began with the diligent work of dedicated leaders. KLTA can now become the mature organization that represents trustees throughout the state and steadily contributes to the development of highly effective library service for all Kansans. However, the allocation of tasks and the sequence of actions are left to the Board.

It has been our privilege to work with the people who have served on the KLTA Board and those who have become members since we started this process. We respect the work of Melva Barlow, Hans Fischer, Dorothy Holt, Midge Jones, Ellen Miller, Brian Moline, Paul Nelson, Jacque Oakes, Marjo Scott, David Shultz, Joe Simunac, Nancy Tush, Byron Warta, Robert Welch, Sylvia Wolf, as well as Duane Johnson from the Kansas State Library.

Strategic Plan
(October 25, 2002; revised 2/19/03 per 1/18/03 KLTA board discussion)

Vision statement for KLTA: to promote the development of highly effective library service for all Kansans, in every type of library and community.

Mission statement for KLTA 2003-2006: The Kansas Library Trustee Association will: Become known statewide as a proactive group of Kansans who advocate for local community libraries and statewide library services.

Support local library boards by sponsoring education for library trustees about the purpose of and operations of libraries and statutory authority of the Board.

Increase awareness and visibility of KLTA in each region of Kansas.

A. Action Goals for KLTA 2003-2006

  1. In order to “become known statewide as a proactive group of Kansans who advocate for local and state library services,” KLTA will focus advocacy efforts on one issue per year of statewide importance. Advocacy is the act of verbal support for a cause that results in gaining support of decision-makers for that cause.
    1. 2003 statewide issue: salaries of library staff members must be increased.
    2. 2004 statewide issue: may focus on promoting the value of small libraries (more details in Appendix A).
    3. 2005 statewide issue: may seek to increase the involvement of trustees in local advocacy for increased visibility, expansion, funding and the benefit of Kansas libraries (more details in Appendix B).
  2. In order to “support local library boards by sponsoring education for library trustees about the purpose of and operations of libraries and statutory authority of the Board,” and to contribute to its advocacy efforts, KLTA will sponsor workshops and the development of educational materials.
    1. 2003: an advocacy workshop including the role of individuals and library organizations in the legislative process will be held in the fall of 2003.
    2. 2004: work in partnership with the State Library and Institute for Continuous Education (ICE) to sponsor 2 workshops (one in central and one in western KS) on such topics as evaluation of directors, library laws, liabilities and responsibilities, public relations.
    3. 2005: work toward the development of web-based education modules that trustees can use at their convenience and in their local location.
    4. Each year KLTA and FoKL will collaborate in planning and conducting the Trustee/Friends Day at Tri-Conference. The purpose of these meetings will be to address current topics and educational needs as well as to encourage social networking. Together with FoKL, KLTA will call attention to issues as they arise (e.g. censorship, CIPA, funding, etc.).
    5. Throughout this planning period, KLTA will publicize appropriate KLA, ALTA and SLIM/ICE workshops to its members.
    6. When appropriate, workshops will be followed with publications on the same topics. These may be posted on the KLTA website or made into videos or print publications.
  3. In order to “increase awareness and visibility of KLTA in each region of Kansas,” KLTA will continue to recruit members, offer its educational programs throughout the state, encourage participation by more of its members and continue to work with regional library systems and the State Library.
    1. 2003: Encourage all library directors to promote KLTA as an organization for local trustees. KLTA will provide membership material to the directors.
    2. 2004: Each Board Member should commit to visit 2 small library board meetings each year and should be reimbursed for travel. The purpose of such visits is to listen to the concerns of trustees throughout the state, to make KLTA and its efforts more visible, recruit members, encourage networking, and provide resources if asked to do so.
    3. 2005: KLTA will call the attention of local trustees and city officials to issues of importance to libraries (e.g. funding, censorship, CIPA, etc.).
    4. Throughout this planning period, efforts will be made to encourage mentorship of new members by current KLTA members.
    5. Throughout this planning period, KLTA will seek partners and will be a partner in any activity that furthers its ability to meet its goals and mission.

B. Administrative Goals for the Board of KLTA 2003-2006

  1. Organization of KLTA Board
    1. The KLTA Board will continue to make policy, implement plans and make connections with the appropriate statewide library organizations.
    2. Governance of KLTA is designed to efficiently promote the mission and goals of the organization through frequent communications, participation and partnerships.
      1. 2003: The Board will explore the governance relationship between KLTA and KLA and consider the possibility of KLA staff working with and for KLTA in exchange for salary support and database maintenance in 2004.
    3. The Board may reorganize itself into 4 sub-committees and invite KLTA members not on the board to be sub-committee members. Steps to consider include having two face-to-face board meetings annually attended only by Board Members who will discuss ways that the committees can work together. The Board will work to find ways to review and approve committee actions by conference calls or email communication so that committee action does not have to wait for bi-annual Board meetings.
      1. Membership Sub-Committee - promote institutional membership, accept individual membership.
      2. Budget Sub-Committee - oversee the use of KLTA monies and seek additional funding sources.
      3. Advocacy Sub-Committee - design and promote the annual statewide advocacy issue and activities.
      4. Education Sub-Committee - contract or conduct workshops.
  2. Policies, Procedures and Protections for KLTA will need to be re-written by 2005 because times change. A current constitution and by-laws should always be available on the website.
  3. Communication with members and librarians should continue to be a constant effort of the Board.
    1. Continue the newsletter and website. While a paper newsletter delivered to KLTA members is still effective, the Board should consider posting the newsletter to the website also in an attempt to expand its distribution at little cost.
      1. The newsletter and website should promote the value of each other.
      2. The Board should appoint someone to monitor and evaluate the content of the website and its value to the constituencies.
    2. Create an email, postcards and/or phone ACTION NOW! that would supplement the work of the KLA Legislative Committee by aiming its content directly to trustees. Brief information on pending legislation and requests for specific action would be included. Perhaps a trustee who is not on the KLTA Board could be recruited to coordinate this effort.
    3. Continue to encourage the inclusion of trustee news in library newsletters and on KANLIB-L.
  4. Contract for and supervise the development of resources for trustees (see Appendix C).
  5. Other things as decided by the KLTA Board because of wisdom, initiative, creativity, opportunities, gifts, need, orders from God, etc.

Appendix A

Note: In KLTA’s 1998 plan Report E was devoted to Small Libraries. This page is revised here in case the Board decides that this should be the focus of advocacy activities in 2004. It should be noted that in the KLTA Strategic Plan Action Goal A.2 (page 1) the verb “may” is used in recognition that within the next year the Board may find it more advisable to choose a different issue for advocacy.

Purpose: Although all libraries experience problems with collections, staffing, electronic equipment and budgeting, these problems are magnified in the Small Library. The majority of public libraries in Kansas would be considered Small Libraries. It is the purpose of KLTA to provide resources for these Small Libraries. Small Libraries experience problems due to the following factors:

  1. Limited funding. This is due to a small tax base.
  2. Limited personnel. Available salaries do not attract many qualified workers.
  3. Limited volunteers. There’s a small population to draw from.

Action suggestions for KLTA in 2004:

To assist the Small Library in any way possible, including any of the following:

  1. A statewide initiative to advocate for state funding for small libraries because of the contribution of libraries to community life, community education, and community development.
  2. Set up a telephone/email network of small library trustees and staff who are well connected with local legislators to encourage advocacy from home.
  3. Making information available to small libraries about alternative funding sources such as grants, gifts, matching funds and endowments.
  4. Continuing Education funds for trustees: Although the regional library systems in KS make information available to the Small Libraries through workshops, meetings, consultant visits and printed materials, it is not always possible for the trustees to participate. KLTA could promote participation by customizing programs to the needs of trustees, providing discounts for KLTA members, searching for funding to help with transportation costs, conducting workshops in locations that reduce travel time and developing materials that can be delivered at local libraries.
  5. Board members will visit small libraries to listen to the concerns of trustees throughout the state, to make KLTA and its efforts more visible, recruit members, encourage networking and provide resources if asked to do so.
  6. Praise trustees throughout the state for participation in the 2003 advocacy issue.
  7. Encourage trustees throughout the state to participate in the 2004 advocacy issue.
  8. Prepare trustees throughout the state for the 2005 advocacy issue.

Appendix B

Note: Material revised from the 1998 plan is appended here in case the Board decides that the Advocacy Issue for 2005 should focus on local advocacy that will increase visibility of local libraries, expansion of services and facilities where advisable and the benefits of local library services.

Action suggestions for KLTA in 2005:

  1. Bring together a one-time task force to brainstorm ways Kansas libraries can increase local visibility.
  2. Create and distribute a template for an annual awareness plan showing the library as a viable, vital center of the community. Trustees, librarians, and Friends of the Library should each be aware of the individual duties, responsibilities and privileges of the position in which they serve, and the importance of each in promoting pro-active library service.
  3. Praise statewide local library awareness activities in the Newsletter and on the website.
  4. Publicize in local and statewide media the plans and activities of local libraries.

Appendix C

Note: The 1998 KLTA plan had so many excellent ideas that no one organization of volunteers could possibly follow through on all of them. The current plan recommends (B.4- page 4) that the role of the KLTA Board is to decide which items it can best do by contracting out to other state institutions or individuals. Listed below are suggestions drawn from the 1998 document. The Board has done this in the past (website and this plan) and has the experience to know how to make it work. KLTA is so widely respected in the state that many would be willing to participate in helping to do more than the members of one board have time to accomplish. KLTA could, therefore, contract for and supervise the development of:

  1. General Policy and Procedure Guidelines for local boards to supplement the Trustee Handbook that is available at
    The new document might include sample: mission statements, library ethic statements, library patrons’ rights and responsibilities statements for local libraries on the right to read, right to view that are in keeping with state laws and policies as well as ALA statements collection development specific to each media internet access policies circulation of library policies emergency procedures legal liabilities of the library, board and staff library facilities and standards.
  2. Continued maintenance of KLTA website.
  3. A Personnel Policies File that includes material on such topics as hiring, firing, scheduling and compensation; equal opportunity, conduct and dress code, continuing education, political and religious expression on library time guidelines for interaction with the public, including patrons and media contact, harassment and the redress of grievances; evaluation forms. Local trustee board members could borrow this material.
  4. A Financial Advice Hotline that could include bookkeeping, tax, fundraising, budgeting, bond and mill levels.
  5. Encourage the regional library systems to establish a fee for service enterprise that local library boards could use for legal, fiscal or personnel problems or have KLTA establish such a service as an income stream.

Prepared for Kansas Library Trustees Association by Martha L. Hale, PhD, Catherine T. Hoy, PhD.and John Agada, PhD, School of Library and Information Management, Emporia State University 2002. Revised 2/19/03 by Ellen Miller per KLTA board discussion on 1/18/03. Pending these revisions, the plan was approved at that meeting. Revisions are in bold.

Page last modified: February 17, 2005

Kansas Library Trustee Association
Copyright Reserved
Web Content: Jen Sharp, Ellen Miller and Sandra Thomas

Send suggestions or questions about this web site to:

This site is hosted by Blue Skyways.