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Library Board Member Participation

Many new members on a library board do not realize how much time is involved in being an effective board member. It is best to be upfront with potential board members about the committment required.

Active participation requires:

  • Having a library card
  • Visiting the library on a regular basis
  • Attending and actively participating in all board meetings
  • Being prepared for the meetings, including reading minutes, agendas, and other library publications
  • Informing people that you are on the library board
  • Keeping abreast of community and political changes and anticipating how such changes may affect the library’s funding, its service, and /or its public image
  • Attending regional and state library conferences when possible
  • Evaluating the board and director
  • Anticipating future needs of patrons and the library through strategic and long range planning
  • Becoming knowledgeable about the library's collection and services
  • Working and communicating well with others
  • Advocating for the library to patrons and potential patrons, local and state governments, and funding sources
  • Knowing and supporting the basic library tenets such as intellectual freedom, the Freedom the Read statement, confidentiality of patron records, and the Library Bill of Rights
  • Becoming knowledgeable about local, state, and federal laws affecting libraries

Handouts for more info:


Next: Library Board Ethics