Trustee Tips and Help

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Advocacy | Board Organization | Board Training

Budget | Documentation | Effective Meetings

Evaluation | Job Descriptions | Legal Issues

Legal Responsibilities | Marketing | Planning

Policy Development | Recruitment of New Trustees

Staff Compensation and Personnel Issues

Working with the Director

General Resources

Visit KLTA's Beginners Web Tutorial if you need assistance navigating the Internet.


Concerned about your board’s effectiveness? Read up on “Board Organization,”
“Budgets,” and “Effective Meetings.” Also preview snippets from the video “Recruiting and Orienting Trustees.” That video has 10-minute segments, perfect for a short discussion at your board meeting – go to the
KLTA website, www.kslibtrustees.org under “Trustee Tips & Help.”

Need a brush up on the Constitutional right to free expression? Find out about library freedoms to read and to get information in the KLA Intellectual Freedom Manual, 2005 – go to the Kansas Library Association home page, http://skyways.lib.ks.us/KLA

Advocacy

Library Advocacy. A guide to building community support for libraries using the political process. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Understanding the Board's Role in Advocating for Funding. This bulletin, published by the Southern Ontario Library Service, May 2002, is part of a series called Trustee Tips. It discusses library funding, with a focus on developing an advocacy plan and a communications strategy for implementing that plan.

Loucks, R. and Lavery, R. (2002, May). Understanding the Board's Role in Advocating for Funding. Trustee Tips, 23.

Library Advocacy, Trustee Essential #13 from Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees. It covers the definition of library advocates and why are they needed, how to establish priorities for advocacy, and ways to act as an advocate. Discussion questions follow each section. The Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (2002, January).

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Board Organization

Board Organization. A guide for handling library business in a timely and efficient manner. Includes sections on bylaws, meeting minutes, and financial reports. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

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Board Training

Orientation of New Trustees. A guide for creating an effective orientation program for new trustees. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

TrusteE-Training. A training tool divided into four, 15 minute interactive modules with feedback. The modules are Roles and Responsibilities, Successful Board Meetings, Developing Library Policies, and Intellectual Freedom. The modules are also listed under the appropriate topic on this site. North Suburban Library System, Wheeling, IL. (2004).

Inside the System: A primer for trustees. A concise step-by-step overview of a few topics a new trustee will have to deal with, including policies, money, the library director, public relations and planning. There is also a further reading section. Swan, J. (1986, February). Inside the System: A primer for trustees. Wilson Library Bulletin. Website updated 8/17/00.

Pinder, J.A. (2003, January/February). "Yesterday I Started A New Job." Public Libraries, 42(1), 7. This short article discusses the importance of board education and how good communication between the library staff and the library board contributes to the most effective decision making.

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Budget

Budget Issues for Library Trustees. A guide to the Kansas public library budgeting process. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Budgeting and Funding. Chapter 8 of the Nebraska Trustee Handbook covers what board members need to know about the library budget, how the process works, and where funds come from. This is an excellent source of understandable information. Nebraska Library Commission. (2001 revision).

Turock, B.J, and Pedolsky, A. (1992). Creating a Financial Plan: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians. Neal-Schuman Publishers. This easy to use manual provides forms, checklists and explanations in plain English to help people create a financial plan. It includes an index and bibliography. 188 pages.

Swan, J. (1990). Fundraising for the Small Public Library: a How -To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Neal-Schuman Publishers. In a very readable style, Mr. Swan discusses the basics of fundraising as well as direct mail, grants, memorials and deferred gifts, annual events, Friends and foundations, and consultants. It includes an index and a bibliography in addition to samples and work sheets. This is one of the best resources for an overview of fundraising possibilities for libraries. 238 pages. [Jim Swan is the director of the Central Kansas Library System.]

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Documentation

Effective Documentation for Library Boards. A guide for documenting library board business to protect the library board and its actions. This article discusses minutes, financial reports and project documentation. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics as part of Trustee Topics.

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Effective Meetings

Effective Board Meetings. Procedures for structuring effective board meetings. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

TrusteE-Training: Successful Board Meetings. This interactive tutorial is one of four TrusteE-Training modules at this site. It provides information and questions for the new library trustee, is designed to take about 15 minutes, and provides feedback on answers given. North Suburban Library System, Wheeling, IL. (2004).

Board Meetings, Process, Retreats, etc.. This resource includes sample meeting agendas and minutes, ideas to generate participation, a sample attendance policy and parliamentary procedures. This is part of the Free Complete Toolkit for Boards, compiled by Carter McNamara (1999).

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Evaluation

Library Facility Planning. What to do? Renovation, Addition, or a New Building? Originally part of the Kansas Library Trustee Associationís 9th Trustee-Friends Day program, "Diagnosing space headaches--Paint? Remodel? Build?", this checklist was developed by Northeast Kansas Library System Consulting Architect Hans J. Fischer, AIA. Asks Why Who What and How!

Evaluation and Planning. Resources for community and library analysis, planning and evaluation, essential ingredients in the creation of dynamic library services. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Mapping Your Board's Effectiveness, by Robert S. Kaplan, August 30, 2004, HBS Working Knowledge. This article will help your board develop a process for evaluating its progress.

Public Library Peer Comparison Tool. This tool is made available by the National Center for Education Statistics. From the website, The Public Library Peer Comparison Tool, this resource allows the user to get information on a particular library, or to customize a peer group by selecting the key variables that are used to define it. The user can then view customized reports of the comparison between the library of interest and its peers, on a variety of variables as selected by the user. The data utilized is from fiscal year 2001.

New Pathways for Planning. This website includes worksheets for community and library analysis, partnering with people and organizations in the community, and developing and implementing a plan, along with many other planning and evaluation resources. "Our goal was to provide a process that could be used by small public libraries to meet a system requirement for a written library plan, including a vision statement, goals and objectives." Hale, M., Butcher, P. and Hickey, C. (1998). Evaluating Your Progress.

Evaluating the Board. This area includes links to board member self-evaluations as well as an evaluation for the health of the board. This is part of the Free Complete Toolkit for Boards, compiled by Carter McNamara (1999).

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Job Descriptions

Responsibilities of Library Boards and Directors. A guide to understanding the major trust and functions of a Kansas library board and the major responsibilities of the library director. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

TrusteE-Training: Roles and Responsibilities. This interactive tutorial is one of four TrusteE-Training modules at this site. It provides information and questions for the new library trustee, is designed to take about 15 minutes, and provides feedback on answers given. North Suburban Library System,Wheeling, IL. (2004).

Overview of Board Roles and Responsibilities. A wealth of Information and links about the roles and responsibilities of boards in general. This is part of the Free Complete Toolkit for Boards, compiled by Carter McNamara (1999).

The Trustee Job Description. Trustee Essential #1 from Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees. This guide covers the function, qualifications, and principal activities of a public library trustee in straightforward, simple terms. The Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (2002, January).

Christenson, J. (1995, Summer). "Role of the public library trustee." Library Trends, 44(1), 63-76. From the abstract:"This article examines the functions, roles, and responsibilities of the public library trustee in a rural setting. The author emphasizes the important role the library trustee serves in determining policy, encouraging partnerships with other libraries and community organizations, and ensuring sufficient funding for the library to meet community information needs."

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Legal Issues

Legal Issues and Your Library. A guide to the differences between legal responsibilities and legal issues including resources for handling legal issues. Developed by the Kansas Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Dealing with Challenges to Materials and Policies. Trustee Essential #23 of A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees. This essential resource covers the need to have a written policy to deal with challenges and your responsibility as a trustee in a challenge.” The Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Intellectual Freedom. This interactive tutorial is one of four TrusteE-Training modules at this site. It provides information and questions for the new library trustee, is designed to take about 15 minutes, and provides feedback on answers given. This module covers censorship, collection development, internet use and the Patriot Act. North Suburban Library System, Wheeling, IL (2004).

Mayo, K. and O’Donnell, R., eds. (1994). The ADA Library Kit: Sample ADA-related Documents to Help You Implement the Law. ASCLA of the American Library Association. This kit offers simple work sheets and survey samples to help libraries comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. It covers policies and procedures, signage, community surveys and staff training. Index and bibliography included. 132 pages.

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Legal Responsibilities

Legal Responsibilities of Library Boards. A guide to the legal responsibilities of trustees and suggestions for how the library board can help the library director become knowledgeable about library law. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

The Trustee and the Law. Chapter 3 of the Nebraska Trustee Handbook covers legal responsibilities and liabilities of the trustee, how to conduct oneself in order to lessen liability, and the basic areas of legal liability for the trustee. The last section covers only Nebraska statutes, but the other information is straightforward and informative. Nebraska Library Commission. (2001 revision).

Rubin, R. (1994). Avoiding Liability Risk: An Attorney's Advice to Library Trustees and Others. American Library Trustee Association: Chicago, IL. A concise and thorough discussion of what each library trustee and board should know regarding protection from litigation. 30 pages.

Leifer, J.C. and Glomb, M.B. (1997). Legal Obligations of Nonprofit Boards: A Guidebook for Board Members. The National Center for Nonprofit Boards. This is a very good explanation of board member liability issues, partially in the question and answer format. The concise chapters of this slim paper volume cover many of the general legal questions that a board member might ask, and the answers are brief and clear. It has a table of contents, a bibliography and 2 appendices. 38 pages.

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Marketing

Marketing Issues for Trustees. A guide to understanding and using a library marketing plan. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Marketing the Small Library. A marketing guide (2002) from the Local Library Development Division of the Kansas State Library. It includes 5 chapters: 1) The Supreme Importance of Planning, 2) The Human Side of Marketing, 3) Marketing Library Services, 4) Tools for Marketing and 5) People Who Can Help. Note: This document is 70pages in .pdf file format.

Marketing the Library. Developed by the Ohio Library Foundation, this site is composed of six self-paced library marketing training modules for public libraries. There are also links to marketing resources, examples, quizzes and exercises.

Library Marketing Plan Workbook. Toward the bottom of the Plans & Policies webpage (the rest of which contains sample policies) is a marketing plan workbook and template (in Microsoft Word format) that may be useful in developing a marketing plan for your library. The workbooks and templates were developed by the New Mexico State Library.

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Planning

New Pathways for Planning. This website includes worksheets for community and library analysis, partnering with people and organizations in the community, and developing and implementing a plan, along with many other planning and evaluation resources. "Our goal was to provide a process that could be used by small public libraries to meet a system requirement for a written library plan, including a vision statement, goals and objectives." Hale, M., Butcher, P. and Hickey, C. (1998).

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Policy Development

Library Policies. A guide for building library protection through effective, up-to-date, written policies. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

TrusteE-Training: Developing Library Policies. This interactive tutorial is one of four TrusteE-Training modules at this site. It provides information and questions for the new library trustee, is designed to take about 15 minutes, and provides feedback on answers given. North Suburban Library System, Wheeling, IL. (2004).

Sample Library Policies for the Small Public Library. This site includes twelve different types of sample policies for small public libraries and instructions for adapting them. Compiled by the Small Library Committee of the Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians, 2nd Edition. Revised by David L. Polodna, 1999. Converted to HTML by OWLS and posted with permission.

Plans and Policies. These simple workbooks and templates were developed by the New Mexico State Library to help libraries get started developing policies. A collection development plan, community vision plan, long range plan, staff development, and technology plan are included, as well as a marketing plan.

Manley, W. (2003, September). "Instructions Not Included." American Libraries, 34(8), 112. This short article discusses the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the library board's role and responsibility in setting policy.

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Recruitment of New Trustees

Recruitment and Selection of Trustees. A guide for building strong, effective library boards representing a variety of political, professional and social skills. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Trustee Tips. These are a series of bulletins published by the Southern Ontario Library Service. Of particular interest are bulletin #7, "The Board’s role in recruiting new members" and #24 , "Library Board Recruitment 2003". These pages help to analyze the current composition of the board and determine the strengths needed to meet the board's goals.

Chapter 2 of the Nebraska Trustee Handbook. Scroll down the page for information regarding what makes a good trustee, what makes an effective board and a sample job description. Prepared by the Nebraska Library Commission. (2001 revision).

Joining as, Recruiting, Orienting, Informing, Removing Board Members. This information is focused on the perspective board member, but may be useful in more fully describing the job. This is part of the Free Complete Toolkit for Boards, compiled by Carter McNamara (1999).

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Staff Compensation and Personnel Issues

Staff Compensation. A guide to library staff recruitment, retention and compensation. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Kansas Public Library Salaries Project. Basic information about the project and links to related documents, including samples and tips for building a salary justification. See also, Compensation Guidelines for Kansas Public Library Directors 2003.

"The Board as Employer", #12 and The Board as Employer: making the most of your staff resources, #17. These bulletins were published by the Southern Ontario Library Service as part of a series of bulletins called Trustee Tips. It focuses on developing “people-centered” policies to aid in library staff recruitment, development, satisfaction, evaluation and compensation.

Sample Personnel Policies. Many sample policies that were compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management. They do not apply specifically to libraries, but they fit many varied situations.

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Working with the Director

Caring for the Library Director's Position.. A guide to help trustees build a productive partnership with the library director. Developed by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association as part of Trustee Topics.

Brown, C., et. al. (2001, Spring). "Does cooperation really work?" [between the library director and the library board]. Nebraska Library Association Quarterly, 32(1), 4-5. This short article discusses the qualities necessary for good cooperation between the library board and the library director, and what that cooperation can accomplish in a community.

Cain, D. (1998). "Director evaluation--a communication tool [for library boards]." Indiana Libraries, 17(1), 30-2. This article discusses the positive role an annual evaluation of the director by the library board can play, what the outcomes of the evaluation should be, and how to conduct the evaluation so it can be used as a communication-building tool between the board and the library director.

Wade, G.S. (1991). Working With Library Boards: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Neal-Schuman Publishers. Although aimed at the Library Director, this book provides much useful information for trustees. Covers seeking better salaries and fringe benefits, budget defense and alternative funding sources, as well as the relationship between the Board and the Director. Contains a table of contents, index and large bibliography. 196 pages.

General Resources

Association for Library Trustees and Advocates Publications. The Association (ALTA) is a division of the American Library Association. Visit this web site to browse publications created for library trustees.

Blue Skyways, a service of the Kansas State Library. Find information about Kansas libraries, communities, government and education at this site.

Designing a Fine Library. Tools from the Kansas Library Association Standards Committee, the regional library systems and the Kansas State Library.

Glossary for Kansas Library Trustees. Developed by the Central Kansas Library System staff and the Northeast Kansas Library System staff. Some terms were also selected from online glossaries published by the Indiana State Library and the Shapiro Library at the University of Michigan.

The statewide online information service for Kansas. You have questions about Kansas? They Kan Answer!

Use these statistics provided by the Kansas State Library to see how your library compares to other Kansas libraries.

Kansas Regional Library Systems: Find information about your regional library system on this Blue Skyways web page.

Links to Trustee Topics. An online handbook for Trustees prepaerd by the Kansas State Library and the Kansas Library Trustee Association. A printable version of the manual is available in pdf format.

Standards For Kansas Public Libraries (2000 Revision)

Library Board Certification: What’s YOUR opinion?

By Shannon Roy, The State Library of Kansas
On April 27, 2005, a Continuing Education Summit was called by State Librarian
Christie Brandau. Library leaders from all over Kansas discussed issues and concerns about librarian and trustee continuing education. Five task forces studied priority concerns, submitting their reports in early October. KLTA’s representatives were Byron Warta, Newton; Joan Hughes, Council Grove; and Ellen Miller, Lenexa.

In December, State Library staff distributed a draft report with 11 recommendations and action steps. Defining librarian core skills. A critically important recommendation in the statewide report was that continuing education programs should be designed around selected core skills, often called core competencies, that Kansas librarians will need in order to offer excellent service in the twenty-first century. Training for the core competencies will be offered through a variety of education technologies, as well as conferences and workshops.

Certifying library boards. Recommendation #6 would create a Kansas Library Certification Program to certify Kansas librarians and Kansas library boards who have had training credentials established for their positions. While other states have established library certification programs for library directors, Kansas is somewhat unusual because we are planning to certify library boards as well.

For the Draft Report for Statewide Continuing Education, go to
http://www.skyways.org/KSL/admin/statecereport.pdf. For the five task force reports, see http://www.skyways.org/KSL/admin/taskforcereports.pdf.
Trustees, the State Library welcomes input on the draft report and recommendations. By January 31, send comments to Shannon Roy, Director of Library Development, at shanroy@kslib.info or 785-296-3296

 

 

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Content for this web page collected by Amanda Engelman.

Page last modified: May 4, 2005

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