01.18.18 – Trustee Dev Meeting – Minutes

01.18.18 – Trustee Dev Meeting – Minutes

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Trustee Development Committee Minutes

Thursday, 1/18/18

Park Ridge Public Library

Attending:  Dave Cubie (co-chair and Director, West Orange) and Tom Madru (co-chair and Trustee, Park Ridge), Patty Durso (Executive Administrator, Allendale), Larry Bergmann (Trustee, Livingston), Lynn Kloss (Friends, Teaneck) and Darlene Swistock (Liaison, BCCLS).

Absent:  Peter Wendrychowicz (Trustee, Mahwah) and Mike Banick (Director, Millburn)


Dave and Tom welcomed everyone to the fourth meeting of the Trustee Development Committee at 1:10 pm.


It was moved by Larry and seconded by Tom to accept the minutes as written.  No further discussion.


Although it will be under the advocacy umbrella going forward, everyone would like to continue to be involved with trustee development and is excited about its focus for 2018.  Since the Johnson Act and the Construction Bond Act both passed in 2017, there are many stories to share and educational opportunities.  Some libraries are funded at the required 1/3 mill and some libraries are funded above.  Some towns cover staff salaries and books while money for programs comes from grants or Friends Groups.  A suggestion was made to include personal stories in the advocacy toolkit; how libraries transform lives helping people find jobs or even someone’s birth mother.  We talked about a survey how to reach people and to show the value of the library to the community.  One realtor tours the local library with prospective home buyers.  Trustees should be visible to the town council and mayor, and can be educated about their important role.  It is also critical to explain the benefit of funding the library at more than the required 1/3 mill.  For example, the library can be open longer hours, provide the latest technology, offer more programs, etc.  The average of the total tax levy that funds each BCCLS library is 1.66%. 

Dave summarized the committee’s discussion and how the Trustee Development, Government Relations & Public Policy and the Friends Committees might collaborate going forward to host another series about the Johnson Legislation.  He will discuss with Kurt: 

  • 1st session:  Trustee Development Committee:  What is the Johnson Legislation and should your library pursue a referendum campaign to increase funding?  In our session we can describe exactly what the Johnson Legislation is and whether or not this is something that your board should pursue, and/or when is the right time to pursue it.   Our purpose would be to educate and raise questions. 
  • 2nd session:  Government Relations and Public Policy:  Teach how to get your referendum on the ballot.   Johnson Legislation allows two paths to being on the ballot:  through Municipal sponsorship or through signatures.   How do you approach elected officials to get it sponsored?   How do you determine what is the best approach for your community and if you go the route of signatures, how do you go about that? 
  • 3rd session:  Friends:    Once you have your referendum on the ballot, how do you conduct an effective advocacy campaign that will win in your community?   What can the library do?   What can’t the library do?   What is the role of advocates like the Friends?    What can they do, what can’t they do?  What is the most effective message? etc. 

We also talked about providing general education and then sharing stories from individual libraries:  those that are funded at the 1/3 mill and those that are funded above.  If a library is already funded well, we should explain what else the library can do with additional funding.  It is important to quantify the cost to support the Johnson Act; similar to how the cost to support the Construction Bond Act was quantified.  For example, some estimates equate the impact of the Construction Bond Act to equal $1 per year, per resident for 35 years.  We also need to remind people of the value of the Friends Group.  Most people do not realize that the Friends Groups provide funds for programs, computers, TVs; they assume it comes from the library funding. 


TBD – late February/early March 


It was moved by Dave and seconded by Patty to adjourn the meeting at 3:10 pm

dms:  1/30/18