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Sample Job Description of a Library Trustee

JOB TITLE: Library Trustee
ACCOUNTABLE TO: The taxpayers, elected officials as applicable, and the people served by the library.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Establishes policies and long-term goals for the library; oversees the general operation of the library; initiates and oversees the budget process; promotes and advocates for the library in the community; and, if applicable, hires and evaluates the library director.
Attends all board meetings and participates appropriately
  • prepares for board meetings by reading board minutes and other materials sent out before the board meeting
  • serves on committees as assigned by board chair
  • lends expertise and leadership to the board for the good of the library

Establishes clear by-laws which outline operating procedures

Establishes library policies and reviews them on an annual basis, updating as needed

Strives for adequate funding levels for library operations and maintains a clear picture of the library's financial situation

  • assists in budget preparation
  • represents the library at local budget hearings
  • requests funding from outside sources when necessary
  • regularly reviews financial reports of current income and expenses

Becomes informed about the services offered by the library and promotes these services in the community

  • establishes an ongoing public relations program
  • cooperates in the creation and presentation of an annual report to the governing body and the public

Encourages ongoing strategic planning

Employs a competent library director (if within the purview of the Board) who is responsible for the daily operation of the library

Regularly evaluates the performance of the library director, taking action if appropriate

Adheres to the Nebraska Public Meetings Laws

Supports basic library tenets such as: Intellectual Freedom, Freedom to Read, Confidentiality of Patron Records, Library Bill of Rights, and the Public's Right to Information

Actively participates in library related workshops and activities leading toward Nebraska Library Commission Board certification

Becomes aware of local, state and federal library laws and issues, taking action when appropriate

  • participates in Library Legislative Day
  • contacts local and state elected officials as needed
Abides by majority decisions reached by the Board and publicly supports these decisions

Follows the established chain of command for effecting change, working through the library director

Reviews and signs significant or costly contracts if appropriate

Keeps up with current library trends and practices through:
  • reading the literature
  • attending professional meetings
  • visiting other libraries
  • talking to trustees from other libraries

Regularly evaluates the board's actions using standard tools available from the Nebraska Library Commission or the Nebraska Library Association.

QUALIFICATIONS: Commitment to provide the best possible library service for the community

An abiding interest in the library and the community

Knowledge of the political climate of the community

Support for local, state, and national library organizations, joining those deemed most appropriate

Readiness to devote time and effort to the duties of trusteeship

Ability to work with people, lead meetings, and communicate effectively

For more information, contact Holli Duggan.