Library Director Hiring Guide

Your library director has just announced they’re leaving. Now what? You’ve never done this before,where do you start?

Hiring a library director is one of the most important and challenging duties of library boards in Wisconsin. Trustees have to figure out what kind of leadership the library needs, find a candidate withthe skills to meet those needs and then foster the new director’s success.

Every library is unique, and each hiring process is different, too. It can be a complicated and overwhelming task.

The IFLS Library System can help, with step-by-step navigation throughout the process or targetedguidance as needed.

Trustee Resources

Information about issues important to public library board members.

2019 Trustee Training Week Archives

Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees

Open Meeting and Public Records Information

Staying Informed

Looking for ways to stay informed about libraries and library issues? The following resources are some good places to start:

Library Advocacy

Education, public relations, advocacy, and lobbying are often confused and sometimes used interchangeably. However, there are differences in their meaning and purpose and in what may be allowable for public employees and officials. Teg Wegner, of the American Library Association’s Washington office, and Stephanie Vance, the “advocacy guru” recently teamed up to produce a webinar that clarifies the distinctions between different forms of public communication, titled “Education, Advocacy and Lobbying – Oh My!: What’s Allowed (and What’s Not) When Reaching out to Elected Officials.” Find out more about what library officials and supporters can and can’t do in this free archived webinar (one hour in length) offered by the American Library Association’s Washington Office. For more information and links to the video and related slides, see this District Dispatch article (shortened URL):

Library Director Evaluation

Evaluating the Libray Director can be a difficult task for library boards but it is important tool for the board in evaluating library service and the performance of the director.  DPI’s Trustee Essential #6 provides a good overview of the process as well as a sample evaluation form.  Mid-Hudson Library System (New York) has additional resources for evaluating the director on their Evaluating the State of the Library – Director Evaluation page.

Library Director Hiring

 Trustee Essential #5 Hiring a Library Director (Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)

Library Policies

One of the main responsiblities of a Library Board is to establish policies that govern the use of the library.  Those policies must be legal and appropriate for the community.  The Library Director should recommend new policies and review and recommended changes to an existing policy.  The Library Board should review and approve any new or revised policy.  The Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning has developed a Wisconsin Public Library Policy Resources website that contains links to policies from other libraries and other resources that can aid in the development of library policies.


For more information on Trustee issues, contact John Thompson, IFLS Director