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Administrative Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Directors

Contents Page

Note: Administrative Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Directors is a resource developed and maintained by the Division for Libraries and Technology, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Links are provided below to individual chapters. As additional chapters are drafted, reviewed, and corrected, they will be posted and linked below. If you have questions or comments, please direct them to Shannon Schultz, Public Library Development, DPI, (608) 266-7270,




Administrative Essentials:

AE 1: The Mission of the Public Library
The public library's mission • The library in the community • Basic characteristics of a public library in Wisconsin • Brief history of public libraries in Wisconsin • Statutory basis of a public library in Wisconsin • Sources of additional information

AE 2: The Director's Job Description

AE 3: Who Runs the Library?
Responsibilities of the library director • Responsibilities of the library board • The division of labor between the library director and the board • Responsibilities of the municipal government • Sources of additional information

AE 4: Working with the Library Board
Administrative support for the library board • Leadership issues • Communication with the board • Director and board relationship • Recruitment of new board members • Continuing education for trustees • Orientation of new board members • Sample Trustee Orientation Checklist

AE 5: Effective Library Board Meetings
Preparation of the meeting agenda • Director's report • Legal requirements • Conduct of meetings • Effective decision-making • Continuing trustee education at meetings • Sources of additional information • Sample Board Meeting Agenda • Sample Annual Library Board Calendar

AE 6: Orientation of a New Library Director
Library Director Orientation Checklist for Library Boards and Systems

AE 7: Library Director Certification
Wisconsin's Public Library Director Certification Law • Your responsibilities • Summary of certification requirements • Recertification and Required continuing education • Sources of additional information

AE 8: Public Services
Library service philosophy • Library service to children • Library service to young adults • Library service to adults • Library service to people with special needs • Reference and information services • Public access computers • Measuring library service • Sources of additional information

AE 9: Accessible Library Services
Library services to people with disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act • Mobility impairments • Blindness and vision impairments • Deafness and hearing impairments • Developmental delays / brain injury / mental illness • Sources of additional information

AE 10: Technical Services
Technical services and library automation Selection and acquisition of materials • Organization and cataloging of library materials • Circulation of materials • Interlibrary loan • Delivery of materials • Processing and repair of library materials • Sources of additional information

AE 11: The Library as Employer
Role of the board and role of the director • Legal issues in hiring and employment • Lines of communication • Board meetings on personnel issues • Staff compensation • Promotions • Personnel policy • Library employee unions • Grievance procedures

AE 12: Managing the Staff
Staff selection • Staff training • Supervision and discipline • Evaluation • Personnel records • Continuing education for library staff • Volunteers

AE 13: Developing the Library Budget
The process of budget development • Sources of funding • Grant writing • Desirable budget characteristics • Terms and distinctions • Sample Format of a Minimal Library Budget

AE 14: Managing the Library's Money
Approval of library expenditures • Financial record-keeping/statements/reports • Gifts and donations • Sales tax • Annual report • Audit • Sample Trust/Gift Fund Report

AE 15: Policies and Procedures
Typical library policies • Policy development steps • Legally defensible policies • Policy versus procedure • Policies for Results • Policy Audit • Procedure and procedure manuals

AE 16: Planning for the Library's Future
The importance of planning • Planning basics • PLA's New Planning for Results • Wisconsin Library Standards • County library standards • Technology planning • A plan outline

AE 17: Membership in the Library System
Benefits of library system membership • History of Library Systems in Wisconsin • Membership requirements for libraries • Membership requirements for counties • Required system services • How to be a good system member

Administrative Essential: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Directors was prepared by the Division for Libraries and Technology. © Copyright 2008 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Duplication and distribution for not-for-profit purposes permitted with this copyright notice.