Notes from The Director

Previous Notes from the Director

Who makes the Decisions around here?


Have you ever wondered who runs the library?  Most people don't think about it until they have a complaint about the library, a books, or the staff.


We are set up like a small corporation.  There is a CEO or Director, that's me, Alita.  I can mostly be found working in my office at the Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library Branch, or out in the branch doing stuff like working at the Circulation Desk, helping people find materials, or working on computer issues.  Sometimes I help with big programs and the ones I think will be fun.  You might also see me at one of the other branches, delivering equipment or working on the computers.


Each branch has a Head Librarian to keep things going: help people, order books for that branch, and call repair people when stuff breaks.  We also have some Library Assistants to work at each location.  The Bookmobile is like a small moving branch.  We also have some volunteers and cleaning people.  We are not a big staff.


Head Librarians, the Cataloging Librarian,  and the Programming Librarian make some decisions for the library, like what programs to have and supplies to order.


I make decisions about bigger things: staff, ordering equipment and materials, as long as it falls within our approved budget.


I answer to the Library Board of Trustees, a group of five citizens from different parts of Letcher County who together make decisions about the library.


How do we choose these five people?  Anyone who is interested in possibly being on the board, just needs to let me know.  And I will put your name on a list.  Being on the Board is not a paid position; it does have some benefits and responsibilities.  You are invited to library staff events like our Thanksgiving potluck (seriously good food), and the library provides food for meetings (Okay, the benefits are food). The board is responsible for approving policies for the library and setting the tax rates.  They also approve the budget and make suggestions for materials and equipment, and approve any large purchases.


A library Board Trustee term is four years.  We do ask for a commitment, but if life happens, there is a way out.  When a position needs to be filled, we have a process we are required to follow.  We collect two nominees, with their permission I submit those to the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (so they can ensure we are following the rules).  They then send the information on to the County Judge Executive and Fiscal Court.  The court decides between the two nominees.  The Library Board meets regularly on the third Monday of the month.  Those meeting can last from 1 to 3 hours and we cover a number of topics:  the finances, invoices, and any policies that need updating.  We also talk about any big events or problems happening at the library.

I would love for the library board to be truly diverse.  A better representation of the residents of the county and our library users.  So if you have interest in helping direct the future of the library, just let me know you want to be on the list.