Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dave Hanson, guest blogger

Capitalize Your Image--Talk Table by Rosanne Siemens, KLA.

This session can be best described as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Ms. Siemens took the group step by step through the creation and maintenance of a Capital Improvement Fund (CIF). Honestly, after 15 minutes with Ms. Siemens organization, I felt a little like Dr. McCoy in the Star Trek episode when an alien intelligence zapped him and he remarked of complicated brain surgery, "this is child's play!"

I'm sure it is more complicated than that. She emphasized the key magic word that it should be a "positive" idea for your community leaders. If your board and community leaders understand that by saving a little now (10% of your operating budget per KSA 12-1258) for a capital program, you can save a lot of blood and sweat trying to pass a bond later. Separately, there are ways of handling employee benefit funding that can greatly increase budget flexibility--a topic that was of great interest to the group.

Finally, the library board members emphasized to all participants that "we are not alone." Speaking to boards and city officials can be hard, scary and maybe even a little intimidating--that's why we shouldn't hesitate to call upon our regional district resources for help.

After hearing Ms. Siemens speak, this is indeed an option every library should consider.


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