Tools and Resources for Wisconsin Public Library Board Members
This page provides resources of value to Wisconsin public library board members (trustees), as well as tools that can be used to support trustee training and trustee continuing education. For many, many more resources for the Wisconsin public library community, visit the Division for Libraries and Technology's Public Library Development Team home page.
Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for additional resources.
Walter Burkhalter, Public Library Administration Consultant
Wisconsin Public Library Trustee Handbook
Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees. This new handbook comprises 27 "Trustee Essentials", each covering an issue of importance to library board members. Additional "Trustee Tools" provide important reference information. Electronic versions of each section of the handbook are available here.
Wisconsin Trustee Training Modules
- Library Board Powers and Duties Trustee Training Module #1
- Development of Essential Policies for Public Libraries Trustee Training Module #2
Other Trustee Training Resources
Pennsylvania's Bureau of Library Development offers a number of useful Trustee Toolkit Training presentations in PowerPoint format. These presentations, prepared by The Ivy Group and funded by an LSTA grant, may be useful for discussion of corresponding issues with Wisconsin library boards. Be aware, however, that some of the laws, guidelines, and provisions covered in the presentations may apply only to public libraries in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has also posted a set of trustee training videos in the bureau's LibraryImprovement channel on YouTube.
Library Administration and Legal Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Public Library Administration and Governance.
- Administrative Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Directors.
- Chapter 43 - Wisconsin Public Library and System Statutes PDF file
- Copyright - Copyright Resources for Schools and Libraries
- Wisconsin Statutes, Acts, Attorney General Opinions, Legislative Reference Bureau
- Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law and Library Board Closed Sessions
- Wisconsin Attorney General's Open Meeting Law Compliance Guide PDF file
- FAQ About Wisconsin's Public Records Law
- Records Retention Schedule for Wisconsin Public Libraries and Public Library Systems approved by the Public Records Board for adoption and use by public library boards
- Wisconsin Attorney General's Public Records Law Compliance Outline PDF file
- County Library Planning and Funding and Other Act 150 Library Law Changes
- Frequently Asked Questions About Compliance With the Parental Access to Library Records Law
- Wisconsin League of Municipalities Frequently Asked Municipal Legal Questions
- Wisconsin League of Municipalities Article on Municipal Library Board Authority
Two newsletters published by the DLT provide news and other information of interest to the Wisconsin library community. Channel is distributed to every public library trustee and library system trustee in Wisconsin. Channel Weekly is the electronic newsletter of the DLT. More information, including how to subscribe to Channel Weekly, as well as access to current and back issues of both publications, is available below.
Public Library Standards
These standards define a basic level of library service that should be available to all residents of Wisconsin and also provide a pathway to excellence in library service.
- Wisconsin Public Library Standards, Fourth Edition (2005)
- OWLS Public Library Standards webpage. Rick Krumwiede, Director of the Outagamie Waupaca Library System (OWLS), has developed this webpage covering use of the Wisconsin Public Library Standards. Included is a handy tool that will automatically calculate the quantitative standards levels for your library. All you need to input is your library name, municipal population, and library service population.
Trustee and Related Library Organizations
- Wisconsin Library Trustees & Friends (WLTF)
- Wisconsin Library Association (WLA)
- Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries (WAPL)
- Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF)
Wisconsin Public Library Statistics
- Wisconsin Public Library Statistics. The statistics available from this page allow for comparisons of each Wisconsin public library to similarly situated public libraries in Wisconsin. Statistics are available in Excel and HTML format.
Public Library Policies and Board Bylaws
An important library board responsibility is establishing regulations and policies for the operation of the board and library and for the services provided by the library to the public.
- Wisconsin Public Library Policy Resources Page. This webpage provides resources to help Wisconsin public libraries develop local library policies. Links to Wisconsin public library policies are provided as a resource to help libraries develop and refine their own policies.
- Sample Policies for the Small Public Library. These sample polices were developed by the Small Library Committee of the Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians. 2nd Edition, Revised by David L. Polodna, 1999.
- Sample Library Board Bylaws for Wisconsin Public Libraries. These sample board bylaws were developed by DLT staff and may be freely adapted for local library use.
Public Library Director Certification
Wisconsin library boards must hire a library director who qualifies for appropriate certification and who maintains that certification through required continuing education. See the links below for further information on this requirement.
- Certification Resource Page for Wisconsin Public Library Directors. Forms and information on the certification requirements and process for public library directors. Appendix C of the manual summarizes the issues relevant to public library boards in Wisconsin.
- Certification Manual for Wisconsin Public Library Directors. The entire Certification Manual for Wisconsin Public Library Directors is available here in PDF format.
Other Resources for Library Trustees
- Outagamie Waupaca Library System (OWLS) Trustee Page. This webpage also provides links to many resources in Wisconsin and beyond that may be of interest to trustees.
- Wisconsin Valley Library Service (WVLS) Public Library Trustee Links. Another webpage with trustee links.
- South Central Library System (SCLS) Trustee Page. Provides resources for library trustee orientation and Wisconsin library law.
- Trustee Tale. A newsletter written and distributed by the Winnefox Library System and the Outagamie Waupaca Library System. The online version of the newsletter is in PDF format.