Want to get involved in your library at a higher level? Consider becoming a library trustee.
Library trustees are powerful advocates for libraries. Through the coordination, hard work, and determination of trustees, new libraries have been built, budgets have been restored and increased, and new respect has been generated for the powerful role libraries play in communities and on campuses.
As part of a trustee board, trustees serve on a volunteer basis, can be elected or appointed to a library board for a period of time, and are tasked with the duty of helping to direct the funds and policies of an institution. In general, the library board of trustees has a role in determining the mission of the library, setting the policy that governs the library, hiring and evaluating a library director, and overseeing the general management of the library. This role varies with every library system. For specifics on the role your board of trustees has, contact your local library.
You can learn more about the vital roles that trustees occupy in the library world—and the needed and desired skillsets required to be an effective trustee—in this insightful piece from American Libraries and here at I Love Libraries. United for Libraries is also an important place to start your trustee information-gathering journey—they’re beacons of knowledge who can answer any questions and get you on your way if you’d like to pursue becoming a library trustee.
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Photo: Lexington County (S.C.) Public Library board member training; South Carolina State Library, November 2019. CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED.