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?

Trustee Manual, Vol. 1: Getting Started - the revised handbook for new trustees containing useful information on the responsibilities and duties of a trustee

Trustee Manual, Vol. 2: Continuing On - more information for trustees on hiring a director, promoting the library and planning for the future

MSL Learn Trustee Courses - with your OKTA account, access self-paced online courses in MSL Learn. These courses are in the Library Administration category.

Visit the MSL YouTube Channel playlist for trustees.

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

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

Sample Library Job Descriptions - Montana State Library has collected sample job descriptions from a variety of Montana public libraries. King County Library System (WA) also has a list.

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

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

MSU Extension Local Government Center resources for local government entities

 MCA - Libraries - explaining libraries and local government


Consulting Topics