Information for Trustees

This page provides resources of value to MCFLS public library board members (trustees), as well as tools that can be used to support trustee training and trustee continuing education.


Primary  Resources

Wisconsin Library Trustee Resource Page The Division for Libraries and Technology  trustee page includes a wealth of important information for trustees.

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.  Glossary of Terms and Acronyms used in Trustee Essentials

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.

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.

MCFLS Fact Sheet: How does MCFLS Support Libraries in Milwaukee County?


Law and Legislation

Trustees should be familiar with a variety of state and federal laws affecting libraries.


Wisconsin library law Contains the text of Chapter 43, which governs public libraries in Wisconsin.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) The Great Lakes Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center offers information, technical assistance, training and it can answer questions about the ADA.

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) An FAQ on CIPA created by the Division for Libraries and Technology.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
The US Department of Labor offers compliance assistance for the Fair Labor Standards Act on its website.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The US Department of Labor website provides an overview of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Federal law permits states to pass laws providing more generous family and medical leave requirements to employees. The Department of Workforce Development website explains the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act and links to several good sources of information including this comparison between Wisconsin and federal Family Medical Leave Act requirements.

Patriot Act The American Library Association has a variety of information on complying with the Patriot Act and how the law affects libraries and their patrons.

Wisconsin Open Meetings Law A compliance guide written by the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office.

Wisconsin Public Records Law An FAQ written by the Division for Libraries and Technology.

WLA State Legislative Agenda Legislative priorities for legislative action. Maintained by the Wisconsin Library Association.

Milwaukee County Legislators  This page offers a search form to locate your local legislators.


Library Trustee Organizations and Advocacy Groups

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

Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF) United for Libraries is a national organization of library trustees and advocates. A division of the American Library Association.


Advocacy Tools

Report On The Economic Contribution Of Wisconsin Public Libraries To The Economy Of Wisconsin - Executive Summary Wisconsin public libraries contribute to the Wisconsin economy and are of growing importance to the citizens of the state. The total economic contribution of Wisconsin public libraries to the Wisconsin economy is 753,699,545. The return on investment in library services is $4.06 for each dollar of taxpayer investment. Read More ...  Full Report

The State of America's Libraries Report 2017

How Libraries Stack Up : 2010 is a report comparing libraries to similar services in the U.S. Did you know that more prople go libraries than all the professional and college basketball, football, baseball, and hockey games combined? This is worthwhile reading!