Library Director Hiring Guide

Your library director has just announced they’re leaving. Now what? You’ve never done this beforewhere do you start?

Hiring a library director is one of the most important and challenging duties of library boards in Wisconsin. Trustees have to figure out what kind of leadership the library needs, find a candidate withthe skills to meet those needs and then foster the new director’s success.

Every library is unique, and each hiring process is different, too. It can be a complicated and overwhelming task.

The IFLS Library System can help, with step-by-step navigation throughout the process or targetedguidance as needed.

Trustee Resources

Information about issues important to public library board members. (If you need additional support on Trustee issues, contact John Thompson, IFLS Director.)

Open Meeting and Public Records Information

Staying Informed

Looking for ways to stay informed about libraries and library issues? The following resources are some good places to start:

Library Advocacy

Education, public relations, advocacy, and lobbying are often confused and sometimes used interchangeably. However, there are differences in their meaning and purpose and in what may be allowable for public employees and officials. Teg Wegner, of the American Library Association’s Washington office, and Stephanie Vance, the “advocacy guru” recently teamed up to produce a webinar that clarifies the distinctions between different forms of public communication, titled “Education, Advocacy and Lobbying – Oh My!: What’s Allowed (and What’s Not) When Reaching out to Elected Officials.” Find out more about what library officials and supporters can and can’t do in this free archived webinar (one hour in length) offered by the American Library Association’s Washington Office. For more information and links to the video and related slides, see this District Dispatch article (shortened URL):

Library Director Evaluation

Evaluating the Libray Director can be a difficult task for library boards but it is important tool for the board in evaluating library service and the performance of the director.  DPI’s Trustee Essential #6 provides a good overview of the process as well as a sample evaluation form.  Mid-Hudson Library System (New York) has additional resources for evaluating the director on their Evaluating the State of the Library – Director Evaluation page.

Library Director Hiring

 Trustee Essential #5 Hiring a Library Director (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)

Library Policies

One of the main responsiblities of a Library Board is to establish policies that govern the use of the library.  Those policies must be legal and appropriate for the community.  The Library Director should recommend new policies and review and recommended changes to an existing policy.  The Library Board should review and approve any new or revised policy.  The Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning has developed a Wisconsin Public Library Policy Resources website that contains links to policies from other libraries and other resources that can aid in the development of library policies. 

Wisconsin Trustee Training Week 2020 archives

Walk the Line: How Trustees Can Best Lead Their Libraries Without Overstepping Their Authority

Presenter: Becky Spratford, Readers’ Advisor, Author, Librarian

Being a Trustee is an important job. You are part of a team that represents the tax payers, oversees the Library Director, and advocates for libraries. However, where exactly do your duties end and the Library staff’s begin? This line, while very clear from a legal standpoint, can become a bit fuzzy in practice. Join Becky Spratford, a 20 + years librarian and 5 term library trustee as she helps you understand how to walk the fine line between being a leader and being in the way. She will go over how you as a Trustee can best help the Library thrive, noting when you should step in but also when you should back off, strengthening all of Wisconsin’s Libraries in the process.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: What Library Trustees Need to Know

Presenter: Anne Phibbs, Founder and President of Strategic Diversity Initiatives

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) impacts all communities and all aspects of librarianship. Library Boards of Trustees have an important role in supporting EDI and related initiatives. This webinar will help trustees and library directors understand how to incorporate EDI into policy development, strategic planning, funding initiatives, board development, and more. Anne will present a variety of interactive scenarios in which EDI issues are a factor, with time for Q&A and discussion. In this webinar, Anne Phibbs, PhD, Founder and President of Strategic Diversity Initiatives, will give a basic introduction to EDI and discuss what library trustees and boards need to know about EDI.

Public Library System Redesign (PLSR) Implementation Update

Presenter: Bruce Smith, Project Coordinator, Division for Libraries & Technology

Throughout the response to the public health event, the Department of Public Instruction Division for Libraries and Technology, Public Library Systems, Public Libraries and other partners have been extraordinarily collaborative in our efforts to support the Wisconsin library community. These efforts have allowed us to see new ways for how libraries and systems can be connected and work together in the spirit of PLSR. Through this lens of cooperation and continuous improvement as libraries bounce back from the impact of the pandemic, we continue to move our efforts forward to implement the recommendations of the PLSR Steering Committee. This presentation will include an overview of the PLSR process and an update on the progress of implementing the seven recommendations including information about specific activities and timelines. There also will be time for questions, comments, and input from attendees.

Recruiting and Engaging Friends and Trustees Under Age 40

Presenter: Tess Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator

Millennials are more likely than other adults to have visited the library recently. However, most Friends and Trustee boards do not have even a single Millennial member (Pew 2016, ALA 2018). What accounts for this discrepancy, and how can we rectify it? Learn how to attract Millennials to your Friends group and Board of Trustees, and turn the largest generation of library users into your best advocates.

Core Values of Librarianship

Presenter: Jessamyn West, Librarian and Technologist

Librarianship as a profession has a set of core values. But where do they come from, and what do they mean? Library technologist Jessamyn West will talk about the things that make up the core values of librarianship and discuss the tensions that exist between some of them.