Board Development

Why is Board Development important? 

  • Trusteeship is a working relationship with the community, library staff and fellow trustees. 
  • Trustees are entrusted by the public to look after its interest and are accountable to the public. 
  • There is a direct correlation between the quality of library service a community offers and the knowledge, capability and enthusiasm of its Board members. 
  • The most effective trustees are those who take advantage of learning and training opportunities.

I’m a new trustee! What do I need to know? 

Introduction to the Montana library Community - A webinar series explaining public libraries, the state library and other important aspects of trustee responsibilities 

Trustee Trouble - A series from the Wyoming State Library depicting some common missteps trustees may experience

The job of the library board - First of a series, this video explains how a trustee contributes to the library board

Library laws and financial responsibilities - Second in a trustee training series, this video discusses library laws and financial responsibilites of the board

Planning and policy making - Third in the trustee training series, this video explains strategic planning

How do we hire a new library director?

Succession planning - resources for both planned and emergency succession events

Toolkit from COSLA (Chief Officers of State Library Agencies) containing sample job descriptions, recruitment ads, interview questions, reference checks, letters and more

Public library standards recommend trustees are certified. How do we do that?

Voluntary certification for trustees

Using the ASPeN directory to track continuing education credits

Public Library Standards

Other Helpful Resources

Trustee Manual (there is also an updated Library Administration Manual with useful information) 

Library Law

Legal Resources for Public Libraries from previous Montana State Library trainings

Suggestions for Bylaws for Montana Library Boards (pdf)

Understanding Meeting Minutes Procedures (pdf) based on research conducted by MSL staff

MSL Extension Local Government Center resources for local government entities

United for Libraries

American Library Association (ALA)

Wiki for Trustees (ALA)

Resources for Trustees and Directors on the MSL Library Learning Portal