Puyallup Library Board Meetings Open to the Public

The Puyallup Library Board Meeting meets at 6:15 pm in the History Room on the second floor of the Puyallup Library on the third Monday of the month. The library will be closed on the third Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday, as a result the January meeting will be held on January 14, 2013.

Dr. Tim Wadham, Library Director, explained the purpose of the meetings, “The library board is an advisory board appointed by the city manager. They can and do approve library policies, but primarily serve as an advisory function, not a physical function as a budget. Mainly, we handle policies that need to be reviewed or advised.

They are also our board of our library foundation and convene after the regular library board meeting as the foundation board and will be doing that at our January meeting.”

Dr. Tim Wadham discussed a little more about the library and its board: “The Puyallup Public library foundation is a separate corporate entity and is a 501c3 entity. There are current bylaws that the state provides. The Puyallup library advisory board also function as a Puyallup public library Foundation board. I’ve been here 4 months now as director of the Puyallup Public Library and my first priority is to revitalize the foundation. My experience in other libraries is the most foundations can most effectively do their function if they’re separate boards. We worked with an independent lawyer and others to re-write the bylaws of the Puyallup Public Library foundation, so that it’s a board separate from the library board.

The library board will convene and do business and then convene, after a recess as a foundation board to approve the new bylaws.”

Dr. Tim Wadham explained agenda items: “Agenda items for each board meeting is different depending on business. The agenda is posted at: http://www.cityofpuyallup.org/library/events/library-events/puyallup-library-board-meeting/ the Friday before each meeting.

Action items I bring are usually an approval or revision of a policy. The policy board reviews and approves loan periods, the amount of time customers can check out and how many renewals. We recently changed loan periods from 4 weeks to 3 weeks and that will be effective January 1, 2013. We’re doing that because our collection is not a huge collection and we are trying to make our materials more available so that are more opportunities to use our materials by reducing loan period by a week allows us to increase those materials that can be available to our customers.

There is a big headline on the Puyalluplibary.org website that says our loan periods are changing and click there for more information and specifics.”

When asked how long the Library Board meetings have been around, Dr. Tim Wadham replied, “The Library Board has been around ever since the library was founded 100 years ago in February of 1913. There has always been a Library Board. Municipal libraries usually have governing or advisory boards. Ours is an advisory appointed by the city manager and there is no physical authority, as the budget is under control of the Puyallup City Council.”

Dr. Tim Wadham stated: “I have a terrific board; they are fantastic and supportive of the library. What I’m doing as the new director is moving the library forward, including technology and other ways and the meetings are really effective as advocates for the library outside the meetings and I’m very, very happy with what the board is doing for me.”

Dr. Tim Wadham discussed the best thing about the board meetings, “That these are citizens of Puyallup that have volunteered their time to support the library. That is very admirable. We’re actually looking for a new board member; their term expires in March. We’re looking for citizens in Puyallup who might be interested in taking an active role to apply.

Please visit: cityofpuyallup.org commission vacancies and people can obtain an application form on website and apply by January 31, 2012. You can get more information and apply now.”

Dr. Tim Wadham discusses the uniqueness of the board and the library, “We’re unique because were an independent municipal library there’s only one or two that are independent in Pierce County, all others belong to the Pierce County Library District. We are independent and this is unique as it allows the board to focus the needs of the city, whereas the governing board of a larger regional system looks at the needs of the system as a whole. It’s less on specific communities. We’re unique as an independent library with an independent board which allows us to focus on the Puyallup citizens directly. I think that’s a pretty important thing.

The Pierce County library system has a governing board. We could have a governing board if the City Council wanted, but we choose to have advisory status, not because of municipal.”

When asked who he recommended attend a library board meeting, Dr. Tim Wadham replied, “Anyone who’s interested in what’s going at their Puyallup library and want to see a meeting and make any comments they have, we welcome that.”

For more information, please call Dr. Tim Wadham at: 253 841-5454 or email him at: twadham@ci.puyallup.wa.us.

This library is a real gem for the community and it is an amazing thing that the citizens of Puyallup come together to bond themselves to build this building. Citizens continue to be involved with what happens to this building through the library board,” Dr. Tim Wadham concluded.

By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com