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AE 6: Orientation of a New Library Director

If you are a new library director you should expect to receive an orientation to your new job from one or more members of your library board and from a representative or representatives from the public library system to which the library belongs. The nature of your orientation will depend to a significant degree on your prior library experience and training and on your familiarity with the library and the community in which it is located. The library board president and/or other library board members have a responsibility for introducing you to the library staff, to key local officials, and to the library community in general if these are not already known to you. This handbook may be utilized by the library board and/or the public library system as a basis for your orientation. There will be overlap in the two orientations. In many libraries there will also be other library staff members who can assist in your orientation.

You should also be aware that some public library systems have much more substantive continuing education programs that provide training and orientation for new public library directors.

Since the quality and extent of your orientation will depend on others, you will need to be prepared to fill any gaps in the orientation through your own initiative.

Library Director Orientation Checklist for Library Boards (B) and Systems (S)

    Personnel and employment issues
B
 
Appointment letter and conditions of employment
B
 
Employment benefits
B, S
 
Public library administrator certification
B
 
Job description
B
 
Expectations and evaluation of the library director
B
 
Library and municipal (or county) relationship
B
 
Working with the library board and library board meetings
B
 
Personnel policies and procedures
    Financial issues
B
 
The library budget and financial situation
B, S
 
Financial procedures
    Planning issues
B
 
Mission of the library
B, S
 
The library's public service philosophy
B
 
The library's long range and/or strategic plan
B, S
 
Wisconsin Public Library Standards
B, S
 
Public library annual report
B, S
 
Library technology issues and planning
    Library policies
B, S
 
The library's collection development policy
B, S
 
Internet access, services and polices
B
 
Other policies and procedures
    Public library system and state library network issues
B, S
 
Public library system membership
S
 
Role of the public library system and the DLT
S
 
Compliance with public library system requirements
S
 
Benefits and services of the public library system
B, S
 
Public library system technology services
S
 
Shared automation
S
 
Interlibrary loan
S
 
Public library system delivery service
S
 
Public library system continuing education
    Legal issues
B, S
 
Chapter 43
B, S
 
Open meetings law
B, S
 
Public records law
B, S
 
Ethics and conflicts of interest
S
 
Copyright
B, S
 
Americans with Disabilities Act
    Other issues
B
 
Library facility issues and problems
B, S
 
Library advocacy and public relations
B
 
Friends of the Library and/or Library Foundation
B, S
 
Sources of additional assistance

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.