New Director Orientation
No question is too big or too small!
Click on the green HelpDesk button and we’ll make sure the right IFLS staff gets that message right away. Can’t find the green button? Use this email: email@example.com.
There’s no wrong door! IFLS staff are also available by email or phone. Visit the Staff Directory page for more information.
Welcome & Introduction
Congratulations on being a library director at an IFLS Library! IFLS staff are committed to your success, so please reach out to us with questions, large or small! This page will give you an introduction to our system and walk you through the orientation process.
IFLS is one of the 15 public library systems in the state of Wisconsin. IFLS serves 53 libraries in west-central Wisconsin across a 10-county area, Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Rusk, and St. Croix. IFLS Staff and our partner libraries collaborate to provide outstanding, engaged and inclusive services that contribute to informed, connected and literate communities.
What does this mean for you and your library?
IFLS provides a wide variety of services and collaborative offerings for you and your library. Most libraries in our system utilize a shared catalog and circulation system, there is a system-wide courier service, IT support and assistance, and knowledgeable staff members ready to help you acclimate to your new role as a library director. Please contact IFLS staff for any question you may have – there is no wrong door! The most efficient way to reach us is to submit a HelpDesk ticket (the green button on the bottom left of this screen).
This orientation page is to help you absorb all this new information in manageable bits. The information is broken out into three categories: Essential, Important, and Desirable.We recommend that you:
- go through the essential category within the first six months of hire;
- go through the important category within the first year;
- and the desirable category after that.
Your timeline may vary depending on the needs of your library and community.
You also received a welcome email from the IFLS System Director when you started and will meet with several IFLS staff in your first few months as director. These visits will cover the information on this page in more depth, and may cover additional topics and resources not provided below. The entire orientation process is easily adaptable to your and we’ll work with you at your pace.
Note: The links on this page direct you to portions of the IFLS website, external websites, PDFs, and presentations.
We recommend you go through this information in your first six months.
- View this PowerPoint developed by John Thompson (Updated 2023)
- Administrative Essentials (AE)
- Effective Library Board Meetings (from ALA United for Libraries)
- See Administrative Essential 5 for more on Effective Board Meetings
- Trustee Essentials (TE)
Circulation and collections tools
- Circulation Statistics Dashboard
- Electronic Resources
- MORE shared catalog
- WISCAT/Interlibrary Loan
IFLS Staff & Communications
- IFLS Staff Directory
- Internal Member Library Contact List (Send in a HelpDesk ticket if you need the password) note: this list is maintained by you, the librarians. Take a moment to go in and update your name and contact informations, and your library’s information when there’s a staffing change.
- Peer Mentoring Program
- Technology Services
- Website Assistance
- All directors must apply for either Regular or Temporary Certification with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction within three (3) months of starting.
- Certification Requirements and How to Apply
- Chapter 43: Wisconsin Library Law
- Article “An Overview of Municipal Library Boards” by League of Wisconsin Municipalities
- Open Meetings Law
- Public Records Law
Note: For further reading on open government, visit UW-Madison’s Local Government Education site.
- Annual Report
- Annual Timeline
- Budget Development
- View the “Budgeting Overview” presentation by John Thompson (2019)
- Challenge Support & Intellectual Freedom Resources
- Public Comment (Board Meetings)
- WI Public Library Standards
IFLS maintains a resource page for continuing educations, including new resources, quick link to past webinars, best practices information, IFLS staff direct link and a statewide calendar.
Department of Public Instruction (DPI)
The DPI webpage for public libraries gives you access to information from that state leve.
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Chapter PI 6: Administrative Rules for Wisconsin Public Libraries
- Records Retention
- Sales Tax
Accessibility and inclusion
A pdf list of professional Library Organizations.
Space Needs Assessment
- Space Needs Assessment Introduction pdf document
- Webinar: Are You Ready for a Building Project? Assessing Space Needs and Community Readiness
- Planning & Evaluation from WI DPI
Can’t find what you’re looking for here? Use this search box to search the IFLS Article Index.