Welcome New Trustees and Returning Trustees
Library Boards of Trustees are now
reorganizing after the April 5th elections. In May, new trustees
will take the oath of office and new officers of the Board are elected. It is
important at this time to provide an orientation to new trustees so that they
have the information they need to be effective board members.
For an orientation of new members, these
events should take place and they should receive these documents:
- Give a tour of the library and
introduce staff to new board members
- A copy of the library’s by-laws and
- A copy of the library’s long-range
- The past six months of secretary’s
minutes and treasurer’s reports
- A copy of the most recent annual
- A list of all board members with
phone numbers and other contact information, address and/or email address. Include the director’s contact information also
- An overview of the roles and duties
of a trustee
- A copy of the Trustee Fact’s File 3rd
- A copy of the most recent Illinois
Library Law or instructions on how to find the law on the web
- A copy of Serving Our Public or the
link to the web version
- Information about Rolling Prairie
- If automated with the RPLS LLSAP,
information about Dynix Horizon and the online catalog. If automated with a
stand-alone automated system, demonstrate its use to new trustees.
- Web addresses for the library’s web
page, RPLS, Illinois State Library, Illinois Library Association, and American
- Information about joining the ILA
Library Board’s Responsibilities
- Employ a competent and
qualified librarian as director.
- Determine the purpose of
the library and adopt written policies to govern the operation and program of
- Determine the program
and the needs of the library in relation to the community and keep abreast of
standards and library trend.
- Secure adequate funds to
carry on the library program.
- Establish, support, and
participate in a planned public relations program.
- Assist in the
preparation of the annual budget and approve the final document.
- Know local and state
laws to actively support library legislation in the state and in the nation.
Establish among your library policies, policies dealing with book and
- Act as technical advisor to the board, and recommend
employment of all personnel and supervise their work.
- Carry out the policies of the library as adopted by the
board, and recommend needed policies for board action.
- Suggest and carry out plans for extending services of
- Prepare regular reports detailing current progress and
future needs of the library.
- Maintain an active program on public relations.
- Prepare an annual budget for the library in
consultation with the board and give a current report of actual expenditures
against the budget at each meeting.
- Know local and state laws to actively support library
legislation in the state and in the nation.
- Select and order all books and other materials
according to board policy.
- Attend all board meetings and see that accurate records
- Affiliate with state and national professional
organizations and attend professional meetings and workshops.
- Make use of the services and consultant of the regional
system and the state library.
- Report regularly to the library board, to officials of
the local government, and to the general public.
File What do I Read First?
Start with the first four chapters. They are:
Trustee Duties and Responsibilities, Orientation
for New Trustees, Board Organization, Legal Responsibilities and Liability.
Then for district Trustees I would go to Chapter 10 on Budgeting and Financial
Management. All trustees need to read this chapter, but May and June are the
months that much of the budgeting work is done in the district library. Follow
this with the chapter on Policymaking, which is Chapter 5. The rest of the
chapters are all important, so read them. After you read the Fact Files, when an
issue comes up in the library refer back to the appropriate chapter for review.
If there is a book challenge, read Chapter 6 Intellectual Freedom. If thinking
about a new building, read Chapter 9 Facilities. Enjoy reading this new edition
of the Fact Files. If you have any questions after reading the Fact Files, ask
your director or call RPLS for an answer.
Per Capiata Grant
As Board members you have some
responsibilities to review documents as part of the Per Capita Grant. For the
FY 2006 grant these are the requirements.
The library must submit a current Annual Report to the
Illinois State Library
The library must review and report on progress in meeting
Chapter II, "Governance and Administration"' and Chapter IX, "Facilities",
of Serving Our Public: Standards for Illinois Public Libraries,
By June 30, 2006 the library must send at least one staff
member to the Illinois State Library's "Essential Elements of ILLINET Member
Library Resource Sharing", which will be held periodically from October 2004
through June 2006 at each regional library system.
As a group, the library board must review the Illinois
Library Association's recently revised Trustee Facts File, Third
Edition, which the library and each board member have received on CD-Rom.
Provide the date(s) of the review.
In compliance with applicable federal, state, and local
codes, in narrative format, describe any emergency and safety maintenance
procedures the library's staff and board have developed to insure the safety
of all staff and patrons. This should include, but is not limited to,
evacuation routes, the use of fire extinguishers and the location and use of
first aid supplies.
List the accomplishments made in implementing the
library's long-range plan.
Describe how the library is coping with the challenges of
today's economic climate.
Rolling Prairie Library System, 345 West
Eldorado Street, Decatur, IL 62522.
Executive Director Bob Plotzke
Trustee Times is compiled and edited by Bev
Obert, Assisted by Angela Thompson