This is the risk of not being able to take typwritten notes it ends up taking me a few days to take handwritten notes and turn them into a blog post. Sorry about that!
Staying the course on Yelm
Anyway, the meeting in Oakville (packet and preview here) and the big action of the night was the board agreeing stay the course with the situation in Yelm. Currently, if nothing changes, the Yelm Library will close at the end of 2011. Before 2001, the city’s library was housed in a wing of their city hall. Due to an expansion of the city offices, the library was moved to a leased space.
Leased spaces aren’t usually allowed to house libraries, because they cost too much (compared to owning) and they are inconsistent. Also, since 2001, TRL has been helping the city pay for the leased space. The yearly cost of that help has been $140,000 per year, adding up to more than $1 million since the beginning of the lease. Most of the other libraries within the district inside city limits, are paid for by either the city or a library facilities district, so Yelm is a special case in that manner too.
Yelm (signed by interim executive director Micheal Crose and board president Bob Hall), saying the board’s position is that the agreement from 2001 is still in place and that the leased location is still an interim solution. Also, like most other city’s that have annexed to TRL, it is the city’s role to provide a library space.
The library district will also be migrating into social networking, adding a Facebook account to its already existing (but only somewhat active) Twitter account. Most exciting to me was the social media policy that was distributed at the meeting. From reading the (internal staff) policy, it struck me aa a progressive and adaptable document.
Expanding to social media
Its obvious that the main TRL Facebook and Twitter accounts won’t be the last social media accounts created. Written into the policy is the possibility that each library can launch its own Facebook page and that other social media tools can be deployed (with approval). Also, building managers can have the flexibility to designate staff to manage the tools. I’m sure I’ll write more about this later, but this is a great, great start.
There are at least two things I’d add to the policy:
1. Spelling out how social media tools and interactions are documented internally. This can be an excellent teaching tool for staff who aren’t familiar with social media in terms of learning what works.
2. Set expectations online by posting at least part of the social media policy on TRL websites. At least the part of when patron comments will be removed will let patrons know what to expect.
It was Dick Nichols’ last meeting, and staff and other trustees said a lot of nice things about him. I have my own memories of Mr. Nichols, the highlight being when our professional paths passed when I was a reporter. Indirectly, I learned from him that you can make a living (and should make a living) doing what you most enjoy (not unlike the “Crush It” guy). His work in radio, doing play-by-play for KGY and his political career has guided me to believing that I should pursue my interests.