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.
Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees. This handbook comprises 27 issues of importance to library board members.
Wisconsin Trustee Training Modules
Other Trustee Training Resources
Pennsylvania's Bureau of Library Development offers a comprehensive trustee training manual, Getting on Board: Tools for Board Development and Assessment, which may be useful to 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. A series of accompanying videos can be found on the Bureau's YouTube channel, LibraryImprovement.
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
- Copyright Resources for Schools and Libraries
- Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law and Library Board Closed Sessions
- Wisconsin Attorney General's Open Meeting Law Compliance Guide (2018)
- 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, Funding, and Related Issues
- Sales Tax Issues for Wisconsin Public Libraries
- Frequently Asked Questions About Compliance With the Parental Access to Library Records Law
Wisconsin Libraries For Everyone Blog & Channel Weekly
Over the years the Division for Libraries and Technology has used a variety of methods to disseminate information to the Wisconsin library community. Our newest method of communicating is the Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog; we encourage trustees to follow this blog. The final issue of the Channel Weekly electronic newsletter was published on December 18, 2014. Channel Weekly archives will be available indefinitely on the DPI website.
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, Sixth Edition (2018)
- OWLS Public Library Standards webpage. Rick Krumwiede, former Director of the Outagamie Waupaca Library System (OWLS), 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)
- United for Libraries (formerly ALTAFF)
Wisconsin Public Library Statistics
- Wisconsin Public Library Service Data. 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 Information. This webpage also provides links to many resources in Wisconsin and beyond that may be of interest to trustees.
- Wisconsin Valley Library Service (WVLS) Trustee and Friends Portal. 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.