Trustee Training Held on Sustainability Best Practices and Planning | Compendium

Kate Gallagher

The North Central Library District’s Multi District Trustee Training was held on July 17, 2018 at the James V Brown Library in Williamsport. The title of the workshop was Sustainability Best Practices and Planning and the presenter was Kate Gallagher, founder and CEO of coLab.

coLAB, located in Lancaster, PA,  is a community benefit organization that focuses on sustainability in the nonprofit sector. The topic of this workshop was identified through the district’s strategic planning process and is one of five focus areas of the plan.

Public library trustees and directors were invited to complete an online sustainability assessment focusing on thirteen key areas of sustainability. Those thirteen key areas are: strategic planning, board development, human resources, leadership and team building, volunteer management, communications, program evaluation, project management, information technology, legal, business development, financial management, social impact and enterprise, and collaboration and partnership. The assessments were taken prior to the in person training. The assessments scored the libraries on those 13 key areas.

The in person training focused on defining organizational sustainability, making data driven decisions, discussing those 13 key areas, and developing sustainability plans. Participants were tasked with identifying three areas of opportunity for increased sustainability, outlining a few actionable steps to focus on in 1 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, and beyond using a sustainability planning worksheet. Each participant left the training with an actionable plan. Comments from the participants were positive.

This training is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.

Submitted by:
June Houghtaling, District Consultant,
North Central Library District