2008 Friends and Trustee Day at the Kansas Library Conference
Over 330 folks attended the seven sessions at the 9th Annual Trustees-Friends Day.
◊ Free coffee, pastries and informal discussions at the 2nd Kansas Koffee Klatch.
◊ Must-have facts, tips and trends from national advocacy guru Stephanie Vance, a former Congressional aide who knows her stuff.
◊ Credit-earning sessions about "Taming & Attracting Teens" and "Diagnosing Space Headaches."
◊ Appreciation for award winners at the joint KLTA and FoKL celebration luncheon, along with excellent food.

More than Legislative Day!Kansas Koffee Klatch Once again Barker Printing's grant let trustees and Friends enjoy Starbucks coffee, tea and pastries. They discussed "What's the #1 way Friends and trustees could cooperate to help libraries?" and other topics. "Celebrate Kansas Libraries on KLTA-FoKL Day" luncheon. Emcee Nancy Malone, FoKL president, honored FoKL winners. Longtime library community leader Pat Gaunce, formerly with KCPL, won the Duane Johnson Library Leadership Award.
KLTA president Caroline McKnight recognized outgoing board members Keith Anderson, SCKLS; Stan Dorsch, NWKLS; Beth Bradrick, SEKLS; and Karen McCulloh, NCKLS. She also welcomed these new KLTA board members:
• Debi Lorenz, Parsons, SEKLS
• Jerry Gentzler, Augusta, SCKLS
• Melissa Masoner, Topeka, Urban Libraries
• Beverly Roepke, Waterville, NCKLS
McKnight then honored the first class of trustees certified by the State Library. All seven winners are from the Topeka-Shawnee County board. She also thanked the six visionary libraries for their support in the final year of the Leader Library program
"Taming & Attracting Teens" Speaker Emily Sitz, SWKLS' director, emphasized attracting teens with diverse collections. She urged boards to embrace new items such as graphic novels, especially helpful with reluctant readers, and games that reinforce literacy. Moderator Carole Byram kept things moving smoothly.
Panelist Gregg Wamsley, Hutchinson, discussed their "good behavior" red chance cards. Since July 2007, the library has drawn 10 winners a month; each one gets $10. The Friends pay for this program. The new Independence library building encountered unexpected and disruptive teen behavior. Julie Hildebrand described the problems as well as the "carrot and stick" methodology that has improved behavior. Its new "Policy on unattended children at the library" has helped define rules and consequences including contacting the police when needed.
Space Headaches"Diagnosing Space Headaches Paint? Remodel? Build?" (see summary checklist) When the McPherson PL had growing pains, director Steve Read helped his board discuss whether to "take space or build space?" They looked at usage and circulation as well as seating configurations before deciding on a twostory floor plan. Panelist Hans Fischer talked about the why, how, who decides and options for space decisions. He urged that the library's strategic and service plans look 10-20 years ahead. And that flexible space be built that can adapt to new situations. Kim Priest, director of Mary Cotton Public in Sabetha, and board treasurer Lynn Hartter discussed their major building project. Protecting thehistoric library was very important in their community and to their Friends. Constant communication helped win a 1/2 cent sales tax vote with 66% voting "Yes." Hartter discussed using their capital improvement fund to help with expenses. Board issues included where to locate in an interim basis. Moderator John Flower kept folks on track.
BasketKLTA basket wins! The huge KLTA basket, "Outdoor Retreat," attracted a whopping 301 bids for the KLAEF fund-raiser the next highest number was 287 bids. Many thanks to KLTA board member Debi Parsons for putting it together.
BONUS! Trustees enrolled in the State Library's certification program received credit for three sessions Stephanie Vance, core skill 3; "Taming & attracting teens," core skill 4; and "Diagnosing space headaches," core skill 5.


Librarians don’t often get credit they deserve

Posted on Tue, Jan. 29, 2008 10:15 PM
Reprinted with permission from the Kansas City Star

Ann Seidl’s documentary made me think of all the libraries I’ve frequented and loved, and the librarians who’ve helped make them so irreplaceable and welcoming.

But the film also made me realize how right she was: Most people value libraries for what they offer but have little to no regard for the librarians.

“The better we do our jobs, the more invisible we become,” said Seidl after a screening of her documentary “The Hollywood Librarian” last month at the Central Library downtown. “The better we do our job, the less respect we get.”

Seidl, who has a master of library information services from the University of Denver, did the film to draw attention to the Hollywood image of librarians vs. the real people who keep libraries alive.

The documentary included film clips of librarians from “The Music Man” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which give negative depictions of librarians as shushing, inflexible and unappealing. Seidl said that like teachers, most of the people who study to be librarians are women, and women get stereotyped.

The film showed that some libraries throughout the country are closing because of budget shortfalls. In other cases, people aren’t willing to support them with tax dollars. When libraries suffer so does civilization.

The film included footage of libraries being looted in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion of that country in 2003. Priceless books and material were lost.

The documentary showed how librarians have had to defend people’s freedoms against Bush-era, civil-liberties-bludgeoning laws, which open people’s library records to government snooping. But because of patriotic fervor, librarians have mostly stood alone in the struggle.

“As far as I am concerned, we have never been in a worse situation,” Seidl said.

“People believe in the library fairy,” Seidl said. They think libraries are “a natural resource like the Grand Canyon. They don’t realize we put it there in the first place.”

Librarians suffer a huge problem, Seidl said: “We think that because people love the library they love us. That is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.”

Not surprisingly, Seidl said librarians love her film, and the audience of mostly librarians at the downtown library was in that camp.

Seidl made me think of librarians who have influenced me. They include Emily Mogelnicki, my high school librarian. She knew my name and always made me feel welcome. In college Anna Jones at the Ellis Library was tops.

In Kansas City some of my favorites are Mary Roberson at the Westport Branch, Cindy Guyler at the Johnson County Library, and Jean Hendershot with the Mid-Continent Public Library system and Pat Gaunce with the West Wyandotte branch in Kansas City, Kan., before they retired.

Carol Levers is forever helpful at the West Wyandotte and Plaza branches. Such individuals have worked hard to make this area’s libraries great community gathering places.

I said during the discussion after the film that librarians need a Carl Sagan-like person who can do for librarians what he did for science — make the profession something everyone should value.

Seidl added: “We don’t advertise our value during the course of the transaction. Our skill is invisible.”

That has to change before we lose the librarians and the libraries we love.



“Thank You” Tells Library Message

Friends.  Local officials.  Legislators.  Supporters.  When you need to say “thank you,” appealing photos of folks using libraries does the job right.

You can’t beat this value!

  • Appealing photos of kids, families and others show how “Libraries enhance the quality of life for everyone in our communities
  • Six note cards per shrink-wrapped pack
  • Four-color photos on heavy stock paper
  • Tips on contacting elected officials

Order your sets by
P.S. For just $20 you get three note card packs (18 full-color cards), including all tax, handling and postage.



KLTA Unveils Web Tutorial

KLTA invites you to visit and tour our new KLTA Beginners Web Tutorial.

KLTA's new tutorial was designed to assist Kansas library trustees in using the KLTA web site and its resources. Designed by Liz Rea, Technology Specialist for the Northeast Kansas Library System, the tutorial will teach trustees the basics in web navigation, acquiring and using a free Internet e-mail account, searching the web and more.

As part of KLTA's mission to promote and provide continuing education for Kansas library trustees, the tutorial was created through the collaboration of KLTA and the Institute for Continuous Education. Funding for the tutorial development was provided through an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant awarded by the Kansas State Library.


Don't forget to read Trustee Talk!


Page last modified: July 10, 2008

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