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Trustee Support Resources

Getting to Know You

There are a number of ways to minimize confusion on the part of management and staff regarding designated roles and authority including:

  • Defining appropriate protocols for interactions between the board and staff in the board’s code of ethics.
  • Clarifying personnel roles and responsibilities and communication protocols in orientations of new trustees and library staff:
    • Trustees and staff should refer to the library director any:
      • Complaints from the public regarding library staff or operations.
      • Complaints from library staff.
      • Suggestions related to library services or programming.
    • Trustees need to refrain from:
      • Giving directions or instructions directly to library staff.
      • Exerting pressure on the director to influence decisions.
      • Abandoning or undermining staff if there is a community controversy, especially when they are following policies established by the board.
    • Who does what?
      • The library board is responsible for creating policies;
      • The library director is responsible for implementing policies
      • The library director is responsible for hiring and supervising library staff;
      • The library director is responsible for library operations.
  • Assuring that board members, the director, and library staff have current and clearly written job descriptions;
  • Having personnel policies, procedures, and protocols in place and reviewing and revising them on a regular basis;
  • Circulating board agendas and minutes to help library staff understand the role of the board of trustees and the issues that they address.