Trustee Resources

Training Resources

Library trustees have a critical role in developing quality public library service in Wisconsin. Trustees must be knowledgeable and skilled in a number of areas to do their jobs well. Fortunately, there are several good resources available to help make the task more manageable.

Wisconsin Library Trustee Resources - The Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning trustee page includes a wealth of important information for trustees, including trustee training modules reviewing duties (module #1) and issues/library policies (module #2).

Trustee Essentials - Wisconsin’s trustee manual is a great place for any new trustee to learn about being a trustee as well as a valuable source of answers for challenges facing library boards.

Public Library Administration and Governance FAQ - Answers to questions from library trustees, from the Channel newsletter published by the Wisconsin Division for Libraries and Technology. Topics include Open Meetings, Policies, Fundraising, Friends, Finance, Foundations, and Municipal Relations.

Advocacy Resources - Wisconsin Library Association provides political campaigning guides and legislative alerts.

The Successful Library Trustee Handbook by Mary Y. Moore
This resource will help maximize the experience of serving on a board and addresses the critical questions every board member needs to understand.

Powers and Duties of the Public Library Board  The League of Wisconsin Municipalities has created a helpful outline of the powers and duties of public library boards under Wisconsin law.

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. Sample board bylaws were developed by the DPI Division for Libraries and Technology staff and may be freely adapted for local library use. Note: the material in brackets is for purposes of explanation and should be removed from the final bylaws approved by the board.

WebJunction Friends and Trustees - Resources on organizing a Friends group, offering training to trustees, and best practices for working with these groups.
Reaching Out to Elected Officials - Learn how you can influence the legislative process in this free one hour archived webinar offered by the American Library Association’s Washington Office.

Library Service Guidelines

Library Accessibility  Trustees help assure that the library meets the needs of users. “Library Accessibility –What Trustees Need to Know” covers access issues that include but are not limited to patrons who have cognitive, mental, or emotional illnesses; learning and/or developmental disabilities; physical disabilities; service animals; and patrons needing assistive technologies. The toolkit is provided by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA).

The Wisconsin Public Library Standards are based on the premise that all Wisconsin residents need and deserve at least a basic level of library service, and are intended to guide the budget and long-range planning efforts to provide the highest level of service possible.


Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends  Open to library trustees, friends and advocates interested in improving library service in Wisconsin. A division of the Wisconsin Library Association.

United for Libraries  An association of library trustees, advocates, friends and foundations, a division of the American Library Association (ALA) that unites the voices of citizens who support libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st Century.


Trustee Tale A Newsletter for trustees produced jointly by the Outagamie Waupaca Library System and the Winnefox Library System.

State Advocacy Resources - Wisconsin Library Association provides political campaigning guides and legislative alerts.

Wisconsin Legislature Includes legislation tracking and legislator contact information.

American Library Association: Includes public library advocacy resources and national library news and issues. 

  • Libraries and Federal Legislation Useful resources for tracking federal legislation, and tips for getting involved.
  • Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide A guide to developing strategies for promoting your library's value and generating financial support. Includes tools for ongoing politically astute promotion and public relations campaigns.