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Top Ten Action List for Trustees


Ten Things Every Library Trustee Should Do:

#10—Give a speech about your library. Rotary Clubs, PTAs, and other groups are always looking for programs and the world won’t know what your library has to offer unless you tell them.

#9—Visit another library and steal a good idea.

#8—Don’t ever stop learning. It’s hard enough to keep up even when you work at it. Seek out learning opportunities which will help make you a better trustee.

#7—Be ACTIVE! Being a trustee means more than just going to the board meetings every month. Write a letter to a governor about state aid. Advocate for your library at budget hearings. Take the editor of your local paper to lunch.

#6—Spend your money wisely. Don't hoard it. Your funding bodies didn't give you tax money so that you could put it in the bank. They are buying a service from you.

#5—Never forget that it’s the public’s library, not the board’s or the staff’s. On the other hand, remember that the board governs the library, not the town board and not the Friends of the Library.

#4—Pay your staff a decent wage. They work hard, sometimes in less than ideal conditions. Generally, library pay rates are below standards, even for the local economy.

#3—Have a plan for your library. If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter which road you take. But it can be a long trip with an unsatisfactory ending.

#2—Embrace change. Welcome it. Create it. Accept it. Make it work for the library.

#1—Have FUN! As trustee of a library, you should love what you're doing, and it should be obvious to others.

(Based on the list created by Malcolm Hill of the Mid-York Library System, Utica, NY.)

For more information about trustee training, contact Mark Ibach.