You are here

Trustee Training Overview

Part I: General Strategy for Orienting New Trustees
Part II: Sample Outline for New Trustee Orientation
Part III: Materials

Part I: General Strategy for Orienting New Trustees

  • Initial orientation should start as soon as possible after a new member is appointed -- before their first board meeting if possible. (see a Sample Outline)
  • Give them a tour of the library.
  • Provide each board member with a 3-ring binder containing Trustee Essentials, and many of the other tools and documents listed in Part III, with labeled divider tabs. They can add the agendas, minutes, budgets, and other documents from meetings throughout the year, to sections you have also labeled.

    Sample sections:
    • Trustee Essentials
    • Board Agendas and Minutes
    • Board Calendar for the Year
    • Budget
    • Board By-Laws
    • SCLS Information
    • Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 43
  • Each of the 27 “Trustee Essentials” that make up the trustee handbook can be used for short continuing education sessions held during regular or special board meetings. Board members could take turns at leading these sessions.

Part II: Sample Outline for New Trustee Orientation

  1. Welcome
    • Tour of library
    • Information and handouts about your library. (See Part III.C. )
    • Their binder. Refer to parts of it as they come up in this outline. (See Part I)
  2. Trustee Job Description (Trustee Essential 1)

    Spend some time on this outline of their duties and responsibilities. It is also useful as a reminder, for the entire board, of their duties, as the need arises.

  3. Trustees and Directors
  4. Essential functions of the board. Their role in:
  5. Legal and Political Issues
  6. Other Info
  7. Keeping current

Part III: Materials

A. Internet Resources

B. Resources available from SCLS

C. Local Resources

  • List of library board members, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  • Calendar of upcoming board meetings, and board’s annual “timeline.”
  • Your library board’s by-laws.
  • Organizational chart for library (if a large library); or, at the very least, list of staff, and their titles.
  • List of municipal board members, for your library's municipality (for a joint library, both municipalities)
  • Information about county library board and county board of supervisors, including contact information. Indicate county supervisors that represent your municipality.
  • URL for your library's web page
  • Library's strategic plan. This should include library's mission and goals.
  • Minutes of previous year’s library board meetings.
  • Most recent library annual report.
  • Library's current budget.
  • Statistical report for last full year. Statistical report for current year to date.
  • Personnel policy. Other policies -- or, at the very least, selection/collection development, complaints/challenged materials, meeting room, internet usage.
  • Current library newsletter.
  • Information about library programs.
  • Brief history of the library: when established, where it has been located, major additions/remodels, list of directors and years of service, awards won, etc.
  • Information about the library Friends group.



For more information, contact: