Trustee Resources

To suggest additions, please email Anne Hamland at  

Dear Trustee,

Your new job has the potential to be exciting, challenging, and rewarding, but it will also require effort. You have obtained this position because the elected officials of your municipality believe you have the ability and dedication to contribute positively to the management of the public library—one of the most accessible and beneficial institutions in your community. Your three-year term gives you an opportunity to help your friends and neighbors take advantage of a wide array of services from the comfort and convenience of their local library.    (WI DPI, Trustee Essentials 2016, Introduction)

Trustee Resources

Please find a list of resources for Trustees including: WLTF, United for Libraries, Trustee Essentials and more.

WVLS Information

      Please see the About WVLS page to find information on the topics listed below:
  1. WVLS Mission and Purpose
  2. Hours & Staff Contact Information
  3. Map of Public Library Systems in Wisconsin
  4. WVLS Board of Trustees
  5. WVLS Organizational Chart
  6. WVLS System Fact Sheets
  7. 2017 System Plan
  8. WVLS 2016 and 2015 Statistics Booklets
  9. Membership in the Library System
Find information on the topics below:
  1. LeanWI Service Chart
  2. 2017 WVLS Calendar of Events
  3. Library Advisory Committee (LAC)
  4. WVLS Grants and Scholarships
    1. ARSL Conference Grant/About ARSL
    2. Innovation and Collaboration Grant
    3. ARSL Conference Grant
    4. ALA/PLA Conference Grant
    5. Wessler Scholarship
  5.  WVLS Courier Delivery/Courier Best Practices
  6. 2017 Glossary of Acronyms

WVLS Agreements

For specific agreements, please contact WVLS Director Marla Sepnafski at 715-261-7250 or by email at

WVLS Board Meeting Materials & Meeting Dates

WVLS Board of Trustee meeting materials including agendas, minutes, financial reports, and supporting documents can be found on the WVLS Board of Trustees/Committee webpage by clicking on “Board of Trustees Agenda and Exhibits.” 2017 Meeting Dates
  • November 18, 2017
  • September 16, 2017
  • August 19, 2017
  • May 20, 2017
  • March 18, 2017
  • January 21, 2017

WVLS Budget & Budget Resources

  • WVLS System Budget 2017
  • Please also see the WVLS Budget Resources page to find information on the topics listed below:
    • 2018 Budget Resources
      • Technology Budget Resources
      • WPLC Buying Pool Shares
      • V-Cat Budget member Shares
      • WVLS Grants to Libraries
    • 2017 Budget Resources

WVLS Committees (Agendas and Minutes)

Please see the WVLS Board of Trustees & Committees page for information on the topics listed below:
  • Library Advisory Committee (LAC)
  • V-Cat Steering Committee

WVLS Communications

  • WVLS Website
  • WVLS Digital Lites Blog
  • WVLS E-Newsletter
    • Includes blog posts, website updates,  news releases, and member library spotlights as appropriate.
  • Email Lists
    • WVLS maintains email lists for library staff working in youth services, technology, V-Cat representatives and more. Send an email to to have your email added to appropriate lists.
      • Youth Services
      • V-Cat Representatives
      • Technology
  • Google+ 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube Channel

WVLS Personnel Policy & Employee Handbook


Division for Libraries & technology (DLT) Resources

Professional Associations

    Wisconsin Library Trustees & Friends
  • A division of the Wisconsin Library Association.
  • Wisconsin Library Trustees & Friends Mission: “To foster improved abilities on the part of library trustees, Friends & advocates, in order to create better libraries and library services in Wisconsin.”
  • WLTF membership offers and opportunity to learn more about state library trends and services through publications from WLA, attendance at workshops and conferences, and a means of interaction with other trustees, advocates, and friends.
United For Libraries 
  • A division of the American Library Association.
  • The United for Libraries Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations Mission: “The mission of United for Libraries is to support citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for all types of libraries.”
  • United for Libraries will continue to build on the work and success of both ALTA and FOLUSA by helping Trustees and Friends work together at the local, state, and national levels to effectively promote and advocate for libraries, encouraging the development of library Foundations, and engaging corporate supporters to unite and strengthen voices in support of libraries.
  • The mission of United for Libraries is to support those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for all types of libraries.
  • “A Short History of United for Libraries”
  • The Trustee Zone and United for Libraries provides training in webinars and guides for trustees.
    • Courses to consider:
      • Short Takes for Trustees is a series of 10 short videos (8-10 minutes) that can be shown during trustee meetings to stimulate discussion about the important role that trustees play in the governance of their libraries. Subscription required.
      • Trustee Academy is a series of online courses to help trustees become proficient in their roles on behalf of their library. Requires registration.

Librarian's Report

  • WVLS Librarians Report 2017 – Part 1
    • The Librarian’s Report is a summary of WVLS staff members’ activities for the period of January-December 2016.
    • This report is to be considered in the context of the 2016 System Plan, i.e., staff members are reporting on their progress in meeting their assigned responsibilities within the annual plan.
    • Please feel free to ask questions.
  • WVLS Librarian’s Report 2017 – Part 2
    • Part 2 of the Librarian’s Report documents all
      • WVLS staff Field Visits
      • Workshops & Meetings
      • Other Staff Activities by month
      • Statistics-V-Cat/OverDrive/Databases/Wi-fi Usage

Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees

Prepared by the Division for Libraries and Technology with the assistance of the Wisconsin Public Library Trustee Handbook Revision Task Force, Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees outlines the “exciting, challenging, and rewarding” duties of Library Trustees and provides basic information needed to serve a library community.
  • Trustee Essentials – DPI Website
  • Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees
  • Trustee Essentials 1 – The Trustee Job Description
  • Trustee Tale “The Trustees’ Job Description”
  • Trustee Tale “Trustee Orientation: Building Effective Library Trustees”
  • Table of Contents- Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees
    • So you’re a trustee! How did that happen, and what is expected of you now?
    TE 1: The Trustee Job Description
    TE 2: Who Runs the Library
    • Responsibilities of the library board
    • Responsibilities of the library director
    • The division of labor between the library director and the board
    • Responsibilities of the municipal government
    TE 3: Bylaws—Organizing the Board for Effective Action
    • Why up-to-date bylaws are needed for effective library board operation
    • How your board can develop or update their bylaws
    TE 4: Effective Board Meetings and Trustee Participation
    • The keys to effective board meetings
    • How individual trustees can contribute to the board and the library
    TE 5: Hiring a Library Director
    • The basic legal parameters for the hiring of a library director
    • Recommended steps to follow when hiring
    TE 6: Evaluating the Director
    • Reasons for evaluating the director
    • Who should carry out the review
    • The basis and criteria for the review
    • Methods and questions to consider
    TE 7: The Library Board and Library Personnel
    • The roles of the board and the library director on personnel issues
    • How board decisions can affect the quality of library staff
    TE 8: Developing the Library Budget
    • Goals of budgeting
    • Steps in the budget development process
    • Sources of library funding
    • Budget terminology
    TE 9: Managing the Library’s Money
    • Responsibilities for library expenditures
    • Responsibilities for library financial health and financial reporting
    • Options for proper handling of gifts and donations
    TE 10: Developing Essential Library Policies
    • Who is responsible for developing and approving library policies?
    • How do you develop good (and legal) policies?
    • Who carries out policies?
    TE 11: Planning for the Library’s Future
    • The importance of planning
    • Planning essentials—getting started
    • A plan outline
    • Where to go for help
    TE 12: Library Standards
    • How your library might benefit from use of library standards
    • Different ways to use library standards
    • How standards relate to library planning
    TE 13: Library Advocacy
    • What are library advocates and why they are needed
    • How to establish priorities for advocacy
    • Ways to act as an advocate
    TE 14: The Library Board and the Open Meetings Law
    • The basics of compliance with Wisconsin’s open meetings law
    • When and how the board can legally conduct a closed session
    TE 15: The Library Board and the Public Records Law
    • Actions all boards must take to comply with the law—before and after receiving records requests
    • Records that must be available to the public—and records that are confidential
    TE 16: Ethics and Conflict of Interest Laws Applying to Trustees
    • Actions you must not take as a library trustee
    • Business and employment relationships with the library that are prohibited to the trustee
    TE 17: Membership in the Public Library System
    • The benefits of system membership
    • The requirements for system membership
    • How you and your library can help make your library system stronger
    TE 18: Library Board Appointments and Composition
    • Why citizen boards control public libraries in Wisconsin
    • The legally required procedures for appointment of library board members
    • The legally required composition
    TE 19: Library Director Certification
    • Requirements for certifying your library director
    • Continuing education to maintain certification
    TE 20: The Library Board and Building Accessibility
    • The role of the board and the library director in ensuring that the library building is accessible
    • How the library building can equitably accommodate all members of the community, including those with disabilities
    TE 21: The Library Board and Accessible Services
    • How to make your library services accessible to all members of the community
    • Your responsibility in regard to implementing ADA requirements for accessible services
    TE 22: Freedom of Expression and Inquiry
    • How the public library promotes freedom of expression and inquiry
    • Library board-approved policies that help protect intellectual freedom
    TE 23: Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials or Policies
    • The need to have a written policy to deal with challenges
    • Your responsibility as a trustee in a challenge
    TE 24: Library Friends and Library Foundations
    • The role of Friends of the Library groups and library foundations
    • How to develop a good relationship between the library board and support groups like the Friends of the Library or the library foundation
    • Financial support from the Friends of the Library or the library
    TE 25: Liability Issues
    • Basic issues concerning trustee and municipal liability
    • Actions you can take to limit liability
    TE 26: The Public Library System Board—the Broad Viewpoint
    • Background on the creation of public library systems
    • System services and accountability
    • Responsibilities of the library system board
    TE 27: Trustee Orientation and Continuing Education
    • The importance of new trustee orientation
    • Why continuing education is essential for all trustees
    • Opportunities for continuing education even for busy trustees
    TTA: Important State and Federal Laws Pertaining to Public Library Operation TTB: Library System Map and Contact Information TTC: Division for Libraries and Technology (DLT) Contact Information TTD: Glossary of Terms and Acronyms


Please see the V-Cat Resources page to find information on the topics listed below:
  1. V-Cat Council Membership/Representatives
  2. V-Cat Strategic Plan 2017-2018
  3. V-Cat Budget 2018
  4. V-Cat Participation Agreement
  5. V-Cat Bylaws April 4, 2014
  6. V-Cat Phone Chain List for V-Cat/Internet
  7. WVLS Decision Center (V-Cat Training and Guidelines)
The Demmer Memorial Library and City of Three Lakes presented Library Trustee Vicki Reuling with the Three Lakes Service Award in recognition for her service on the library board. Photo courtesy of Director Erica Brewster.

Wisconsin Valley Library Service
300 N 1st Street
Wausau, WI 54403