Who owns the library?
A number of young visitors to the library have asked me if I own the library. I smile and tell them, no, I was hired to manage the library. I try to explain to them the owners of the library are the tax-payers of north and south Potosi townships. They are represented by a group of elected local residents who volunteer their time. This brings a blank look to the faces of the inquisitive youth.
It occurred to me that an explanation might benefit the adults in the community as well. So may I introduce my collective “boss” — the members of Pleasanton Lincoln Library’s Board of Trustees. Our esteemed board chair, Kenton Bell, is a long-time member not only of the community, but also of the library board. He has served as chair for many years, with only a brief hiatus of a year before being re-elected. Both he and his wife, Mary Lynn, have been ardent supporters of the library over the years. It is Kenton’s job to lead the board meetings, and he does this with a gentle hand.
Other officers include long-time trustee, Tel-lea Cox, who serves as treasurer, and Kathy Secrest, who serves as secretary. Tel-lea oversees the financial aspects of the library, signs checks and assists with the budget process each year. Kathy attends meetings and takes minutes of each, that are maintained in a notebook for posterity.
They are not the only trustees with great responsibilities, though. Every member helps decide library policy. This document can only be altered by a democratic vote of the members. While the policy has been altered over the years for various reasons, it is the most important document in the library. It ensures protection of the library, its contents, maintenance, and most of all, its purpose.
Other current trustees include Mark Willard, Ron Howard, Florine O’Rourke, and newest member Stephanie Brown. Each of these members has skills that help them determine how the county tax revenues, state and district funding we receive should be spent. They have varied backgrounds in how to run a business, manage funds, and make decisions based on facts. Each is important singly, but even more so as a group. They serve four-year terms, and can be re-elected by vote at the library’s annual meeting in March.
These trustees receive no compensation for their involvement on this board. Yet they benefit by getting the satisfaction of supporting one the community’s most important educational and entertainment resources — a free public library. If you see these volunteers out and about in the community, please thank them for their service, and let them know how much you appreciate having your public library.
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