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MHLS Trustee Resources: Checklist

Checklist for Effective Library Trustees

  • Be active and informed about library matters in general and of those affecting your library. Ask questions of the director and study the issues.
  • Attend all board meetings and be fully prepared to participate knowledgeably.
  • Question issues until you understand. Don't be reluctant to vote no on a proposal you don't understand or are uncomfortable about.
  • Be a team player and treat your fellow board members with respect.
  • Support board decisions even if you disagree. A democracy works by the rule of the majority. Seek reconsideration in the future if circumstances change.
  • Understand the roles of all involved - the board, director, staff, Friends, patrons, etc.
  • Conflicts of interest by any board member are the concern of all members of the board. A trustee or family member may not receive any gain, tangible or intangible, in dealing with the library.
  • Advocate for the library in every manner possible.
  • Support competitive salaries in order to attract and retain qualified staff.
  • Appropriate compensation is a direct measure of the commitment and respect a community has for the institution and its staff.
  • Understand and respect the role of the director and support the director's administrative decisions.
  • Always remember that your job is to provide the highest quality library service possible for your community.

From the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State 2005 Edition



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