Writer: Roger Nielsen
Library officials from Georgia and 12 other states say the Institute of Government’s new online training program makes their financial management process more accurate and effective.
The first group to successfully complete the web-based Library Financial Management Certification Program was recognized at an online graduation ceremony in July.
One graduate, Ed Goyda, director of Maryland’s Somerset County Library, says the training is enhancing the financial management practices his organization already follows.
“This program has given me insight into the underpinnings of financial management practices, while also improving my understanding and appreciation for the policies and procedures that need to be in place for prudent operations,” Goyda said.
The Institute launched the nationwide certification program in October, presenting a series of six live webinars tailored to libraries’ needs on critical topics such as budgeting, accounting and internal control. Thirty library officials from as far away as Montana enrolled in the webinars, including 12 from the Maryland State Library system, according to Tracy Arner, who manages the Institute’s financial management training programs.
“Our goal in this certification program is to equip those charged with oversight and day-to-day financial management with key knowledge and tools to budget effectively and report financial information accurately,” Arner said. “We recorded every webinar, so now the whole program is online as a self-study course.”
Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller and Helen Rowe, the library’s fiscal services manager, completed the courses together so they could discuss the lessons after each webinar.
“The course series reinforced our approach and direction in a lot of areas of finance and provided guidance in many others, like the financial policies manual that we want to complete this year,” Miller said.
Graduates can maintain their certification by completing 12 hours of continuing education every two years. Graduate Lori Tomlin, stewardship and governance officer with the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library in Indiana, found the program valuable and is looking forward to enrolling in continuing education training.
“The certification program not only conveyed principles and best practices, but the real-time and real-life examples used and the sample policies were worth their weight in gold,” Tomlin said.