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Library Board Make-up

Consider the following characteristics and qualities of effective boards and board members when it comes time to appoint a new member to the board.


Some qualifications you might consider when seeking new board members include:

  • A strong interest in the library and community
  • Good public speaking skills
  • Effective at leading meetings and committees
  • Ability to negotiate with town/city/tribal managers and councils
  • Good organizational skills
  • Holds a current library card
  • Capable of raising funds for the library
  • Willing to devote time to board activities
  • Has planning experience
  • Awareness and appreciation of the library’s past, present and future role in our community
  • Ability to gracefully handle opposition and make decisions in the best interest of the library
  • Knowledgeable of political issues that may affect the library
  • Willingness to learn about the library and its services


A library board should be representative of the community. Membership should reflect:

  • A variety of skills and experiences
  • Various ages, ethnic backgrounds and income levels
  • An equal mix of men and women


Library boards usually have a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Job duties will vary from board to board, but examples are provided in the handout below.

Handout for more info:

Next: Library Board Member Participation