The Red Feather Mountain Library District board of trustees reviews policies — the library’s operating principles — on a minimum three-year rotating basis to ensure that those statements are up-to-date, reflect current day-to-day practice and meet the needs and interests of the community.
Policies tend to be pithy, relatively brief overall philosophical statements regarding library services, say, computer use or programming. Procedures are a second set of documents that define the application of policy, for example, how programs are initiated, advertised and presented.
This all may sound rather dull. However, it’s critical in determining, when you come into the library, whether you’ll be greeted warmly and personably by someone who’s there to assist you, or whether the individual at the circulation desk is unfriendly, rule-bound and too busy to assist.
A specific example is the Library’s Mission Statement, which the board of trustees is reviewing this month. This relatively short statement begins with the sentence “People come first” and ends with “We are a community good neighbor.”
We’re aware that it’s easy to throw out words and then conduct business as usual. However, we take these statements seriously and at face value. Let us know if that’s ever not the case.
As a community good neighbor we are part and parcel of the community; our star is hitched directly to the well-being and welfare of the Fire Department, The RFL Property Owner’s Association, The RFL Historical Society, local businesses and local individuals. In the summer especially we spend a fair amount of time directing newcomers to local stores, places to obtain gas or find a meal. Or, refer those individuals to the best person who can provide a thumbnail history of Manhattan, or where to obtain a fishing license. Your gain as a member of the community is our gain as a member of the community.
“People come first” means that when you come into the library you’ll be treated courteously, decently and respectfully. We’ll meet your interests or needs, or provide a referral to an agency or individual that can. If we don’t have the book or viewing material you want we’ll either buy it or borrow it. We can’t necessarily (per the phone call received last winter) pull you out of a snowdrift at Red Feather Highlands but we can refer you promptly to someone who can.
That means that we have rules but we’re not rule-bound. I worked at a library once that allowed two renewals — one in person one by phone. If you’d done one the next time you had to do the other. That didn’t make sense. We insist here that things do make sense — and are comfortable, convenient, sensible and in everyone’s best interest.