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Orientation for New Board Members

Whether a library is starting its first board or adding a new member, it's very important for the library director and current board president to give new board members an orientation to the library and the board before their first meeting. The orientation should include a tour, invitation to library programs, a library card if the member doesn't have one already, an introduction to available staff, and thank you for volunteering on the library's behalf. This is also a good time for the director and board president to stress the importance of all board members' committment to the board and library.

Each new board member should also receive a packet of information including:

  • list of board member names, contact info, and term expiration
  • board bylaws
  • board meeting calendar
  • list of board responsibilities and desirable characteristics for board members
  • the most recent board minutes, financial statements, librarian's report and other associated documents
  • Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) brochure/link to website
  • history of the library
  • library staff positions, names, and contact info
  • copy of library's mission statement
  • library hours
  • funding sources--State Aid, grants, Friends group
  • previous year's usage statistics
  • library policies and plans
  • library program calendar and most recent newsletter
  • Friends of the Library brochure
  • state and national library laws
  • conversation starters for promoting the library
  • Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read Statement
  • New Mexico Library Association (NMLA) brochure/link to website
  • Link to New Mexico State Library website
  • the information in this Library Board Fundamentals section

Next: Library Board Essentials & Additional Resources