By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The library is looking for people with a love of books and a desire to help oversee the operation of the Morinville Public Library. Library Manager Isabelle Cramp said the library is currently seeking to fill three positions on the 10-member board.
“The library board members are in charge of directing the library,” she said. “So they are in charge of the policies, procedures, the financial aspect of putting a budget together.”
Board members meet once a month to go over budget and library reports as well as other aspects of the operation of the facility. Additionally, there are other committee meetings that board members may be required to attend to deal with special projects the library is involved with or fundraising initiatives.
“Somebody interested needs to know that they have to invest some time into the position,” Cramp said, noting the time commitment averages between five and 10 hours per month, but conferences could add a few days each year to that time commitment. “There’s one conference in Jasper [and] one conference in Elk Point at our headquarters. That usually is a three day commitment. Not every board member needs to go, but we always need to have some board members available to go.”
Cramp said the ideal board member is someone who is enthusiastic about libraries and able to communicate that enthusiasm in the community.
“The ideal board member has a passion for books and libraries,” she said. “The ideal board member needs to be able to speak to the public about libraries and be an advocate in the community for the library.”
Outside a love of books, experience in human resources, finances, fundraising and public relations are always welcome skills for the board to have.
Cramp said with Morinville’s centennial celebrations at hand, the library board will be involved in looking at how the library can participate in the 100th anniversary of the town.
One board member who has spent the past eight years volunteering with the library is current chair Noreen Radford. Radford, like Cramp sees the library as far more than a collection of books and periodicals.
“The library isn’t just about books anymore,” Radford said. “It is more of a media centre where people go to get information. As a board we facilitate these services being accessible.”
Radford explained board members are trustees appointed by the Town of Morinville.
“It’s a wonderful job,” she said, adding she feels board membership is a good way to become involved in the community. “It is rewarding. The public themselves find true value, so it is easy to work with the public and speak to them to find out what their needs are and to try and accommodate those needs.”
Board members need to be residents of Morinville or Sturgeon County. Application forms are available at the Morinville Public Library’s front desk, and anyone interested in becoming a board member is welcome to attend the next board meeting – Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
Editorial Note: In the interests of disclosure and accountability, we point out the author of this article is a member of the Morinville Public Library Board.