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Trustee Support Resources


A vital responsibility of the board of trustees is developing library policies. Although this is a legal requirement, set forth in RCW 27.12.210, this also provides trustees, the director, and staff with the opportunity to:

  • Evaluate the library's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Reach consensus on the library's purposes and priorities.
  • Clarify and strengthen relationships within the library.
  • Communicate the library's needs and achievements to the community at large.

Good policies are developed and adopted through a deliberative, thoughtful process. Local needs and situations determine policy content, but policies also need to incorporate best library practices. Governing library boards have the authority to adopt policies, but an advisory library board may need to submit theirs to their governing authority for approval. (For specifics on the level of authority for governing and advisory boards, see Library Trustees - Overview.) An essential part of this process requires the trustees to have a true dialog. Board members should make sure that communication runs both ways, not only talking to the diverse community served by the library, the library director, other governmental units, community stakeholders, and other libraries in the community, but listening to them and welcoming their input and concerns.