Library Board Practical Guides

The following practical guides are available free of charge in electronic format to members of the United for Libraries Trustees section as well as United for Libraries Trustee Board group members.

These publications are copyrighted by United for Libraries and can only be utilized for the benefit of Board of Trustees. Please do not share copyrighted materials with non-members.

A Library Board's Practical Guide to Self-Evaluation

by Nicholas Spillios (Lifetime Member, Alberta Library Trustees, Canada) and Sally G. Reed (Executive Director, United for Libraries). Committee members included; Donna McDonald (Library Director, Arkansas River Valley Regional Library System) and Alan Smith (Trustee, Contra Costa County Library).

Trustees and Library Commissioners make important fiscal and administrative decisions critical to the functioning of their library. Board members commit their time and skills for effective governing. It is important that they understand their roles and responsibilities and possess the information necessary to make wise decisions as a Board. This annual self-evaluation tool can assist Trustees to assess the competencies essential to their performance as Board members. Further, it will assist them in seeking opportunities for training and continuing education and adjust individual perception of operation and gaps in information. Download now.

A Library Board's Practical Guide to Hiring Outside Experts

by Christine Lind Hage, Rochester Hills (MI) Public Library; Mary Pergander, Deerfield (IL) Public Library; and Jean Tabor, Canton (MI) Public Library

Library boards are volunteer organizations made up of individual trustees with myriad skills and expertise. During their tenure on the board, trustees are often faced with difficult, complex issues outside the realm of their experience. Undertaking a feasibility study, passing a millage/levy, and evaluating compensation packages for staff are but a few of the challenges that boards face. Based on individual skill levels as well as their time to devote to the library, some boards will choose to undertake these issues on their own using subcommittees or the board as a committee of the whole. Others will decide to invest in hiring a consultant to assist in these endeavors. This guide, part of a series written by United for Libraries Trustee members, provides a practical approach for boards to follow when they choose to hire a consultant. Download now.