Obie Van Cleave, president of the Logan County Public Library Board of Trustees, has completed the Kentucky Public Library Trustee Certification Program.
The program is the first of its kind in the state and is available to all Kentucky public library trustees through the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. It was created to provide trustees with tools to help them fulfill their responsibilities to the libraries and their communities.
Fifty-three Kentucky public library trustees have completed the certification program, which is voluntary and includes five one-hour classes. Topics covered are trustee and director roles, effective board organization, budget and finances, policies and advocacy.
“When it became available I felt it would be a great opportunity and very beneficial for me to learn more about the rules and regulations of library trustees,” said Van Cleave, who said he learned quite a bit of information that he can bring back to Logan County. “It was just general knowledge about laws and library function. I think any organization needs to learn how to function according to the laws and constantly strive to find better ways to serve the public.”
Van Cleave is serving in his second term as a Trustee, having logged in seven years of service to the citizens of Logan County through his dedication on the board.
Van Cleave cannot say enough about his fellow board members. “They are a wonderful board, everybody serves purely for the love of it,” said Van Cleave. The Library Board of Trustees receives no compensation for serving and gets no expense account.
Van Cleave says he has learned a lot from serving as a Trustee.
“It confirms my belief and my resolve and my knowledge that everyone deserves access to all the information they can get. I love the library, it’s the only organization that allows full access, with no charge and no restrictions. It’s an amazing thing,” Van Cleave added.
The Logan County Public Library is very close to beginning construction of a new library to be located on Armory Drive in Russellville. Van Cleave is very excited to be a part of all the changes that are coming.
The library recently received a $500,000 grant from the Carpenter Foundation to go towards the $3.3 million building project. The library has already collected close to a million dollars in grants, endowments, private donations and through fundrasing projects. The library purchased property in 2008 to build the new facility and has been collecting ever since, trying to find the funds to begin.
Despite some opposition, it looks as if the building project will be moving forward.
Fifth District Magistrate Jo Orange has been very vocal about not wanting to build a new library while others on fiscal court have said they are not against it, they just wish the funds to build it were collected first.
“I am terribly excited about where this library is going. It’s been hard road, but it’s so exciting to see this finally coming to fruition. The state had been recommending this growth for years and now its going to happen,” said Van Cleave.
Van Cleave added that he feels the library has a majority of support from the community in building a new facility.
“The library offers free and equal access to services provided and extended to all citizens of the county without thought of political affiliation or social standing. The solution to present and future problems will come from the youth of today. Not all of those solutions will come from the privileged class,” said Van Cleave.