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A Guide for Public Library Trustees


Thank you for your willingness to serve as a trustee on your local public library board. Both of my parents served as trustees (at different times, of course!) for my hometown public library in Buhl and I know what a time commitment serving can be. I hope you also find it fulfilling and a good way to contribute to your community and the most democratic of institutions, the public library. It is my hope that this guide will assist you as you work with your fellow trustees to continuously improve your library’s ability to serve your community.

Best wishes,
Stephanie Bailey-White, State Librarian


Libraries: A Great Democratic Tradition

I believe that the library is society’s most vibrant, democratic and life-affirming institution. It does not attempt to impose its opinions on anyone but seeks to help people make up their own minds. At its best, it is open to everyone, but it forces itself on no one. Because it neither affirms nor rejects any opinion, it gives a voice to the unpopular, the unheard and the brokenhearted, sometimes at a great cost to itself. Libraries should never be an afterthought. To have a great community, a great school, or a great college or university, you begin by creating a great library. And to have a great library, you must begin by having great librarians. Every one of us [in this room] has been given the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives. It is both a wonderful privilege and a tremendous responsibility to be a librarian.”

Gardner C. Hanks, accepting the Librarian of the Year Award, Idaho Library Association, 2001.

For More Information

For more information about this manual, trustees and directors are encouraged to contact the ICfL library consultant.

Clay Ritter
clay.ritter@libraries.idaho.gov | (208) 639-4177

Disclaimer: The information in this manual is intended as a reference guide and is not intended to replace the advice of legal counsel.

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