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Policy on Selection of Board Members



Policy on Selection of Board Member

As a term on the Madison Public Library Board expires or as a vacancy occurs, the

Board of Trustees of the Madison Public Library shall follow the “By-laws of the

Madison Public Library Board” and the “Guidelines for Selection of Board Members.”

The “Guidelines” shall be established by an ad hoc committee of the Board, shall be distributed to Board members and to the public as needed and/or requested, and will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee every three years.


Each November, the Board of Trustees shall submit to the Madison Board of Education the name of a person it recommends for appointment to the Library Board for the seven-year term beginning the following January. The incumbent may serve on the Board up to two full terms, plus any partial term served if appointed mid-term. If the incumbent wishes to be reappointed, his/her name should be submitted. When a mid-term vacancy occurs, the Board of Trustees shall submit a recommendation to the Madison Board of Education in a timely manner so that the appointing authority may make an appointment no later than forty-five days after the vacancy occurs (ORC 3375.15 amended 4/90).

The recommendations of the Board will conform with Section 3375.15 Ohio Revised Code (…No one is eligible to membership on such board of library trustees who is or has been for a year previous to his appointment a member of a board of education making such appointment. A majority of such trustees shall be qualified electors of the school district, but a minority may be qualified electors of the county who reside outside the school district, and all shall be appointed by the board of education of the school district. Such trustees shall serve for a term of seven years and without compensation. All vacancies on such board of library trustees shall be filled by the board of education by appointment for the unexpired term.).

The Recruiting of candidates will be done using the following method and initiated no later than September 10 of each year:

  • news releases through various media announcing the process and inviting interested people to submit applications (forms available at library);
  • solicitation of referrals from current Board members and staff;
  • contact with various community agencies, boards and organizations.

The recommendation will be based on the following Criteria:

  • Nominees should have recognition of the library’s importance as a center of information, of community culture, recreation and continuing education.
  • Nominees should have an interest in the work of the public library, a commitment to its goals, the ability to work as a team member, and a willingness to ask questions, offer criticism and make suggestions. They should also have the courage to plan creatively, and to withstand pressures, prejudices and provincialism.
  • Consideration will be given to a diversity of interests, a balance of age, sex, ethnic background and socio-economic levels; and experience and/or knowledge in a variety of fields.
  • The composition of the Board should include members with: professional experience in law, education, accounting, personnel and labor relations; practical business experience, executive ability, management skills, building construction, technology, marketing and customer service. Political savvy and common sense are welcome attributes.
  • Because of the unique requirements of the Madison Public Library for general funding and support, consideration will be given to people who are active in community affairs.
  • A readiness to devote time and effort to carrying out the duties of trusteeship is necessary. This is a “working Board,” requiring every member to lend his/her time and talents, energy and enthusiasm. Attendance will be required at special meetings as well as regular meetings, long-range planning workshops, etc.
  • A commitment to intellectual freedom is essential.

The Process of Selection shall include:

  • appointment of a nominating committee by the President of the Board of Trustees by July 1 of each year, charged with recommending nominees for appointment to the Board;
  • distribution of “Madison Public Library Application for Appointment to The Board of Trustees” and “Responsibilities of Trustees”;
  • review of questionnaires by the nominating committee;
  • review of applications from previous two years;
  • personal interviews with the top three or four candidates by the nominating committee;
  • recommendation from the committee to the Board of the persons it believes meet the qualifications and/or special skills needed to balance those represented by the continuing Board members;
  • action by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the committee;
  • transmittal of that action to the Mentor Board of Education in a timely manner.

Preliminary Timeline


August            Prepare list of potential board candidates.

Mid-August    Nominating Committee discusses/sets timetable, including application deadline. Also discusses what type of trustee the Board needs (geographical representation, gender, professional background, etc.)

Late August    send out press releases.

Post information on Library’s Web site.

Make applications available at Circulation Desk.

Early Sept.      Mail letter and attachments including policy on selection process, responsibilities, and time commitment (not application) to potential candidates list, applicants from last two years (at Committee’s discretion), participants in focus groups and public meetings, and any referrals from trustees.

Mid-late          Receive applications.


Early Oct.        Distribute applications to Committee for review.

Obtain interview dates/times from Committee.

Phone selected applicants to schedule for interviews and send letters to selected applicants confirming details.

Mid-Oct.         Committee will interview selected applicants.

Prepare letters thanking applicants not being interviewed and have them signed by members of the Nominating Committee (try to have these letters ready for the Committee to sign when they are here for a Board or Committee meeting).

Oct/Nov.         Depending on progress, present names of candidates to Library Board of Trustees

Board Mtg. for approval at October or November Board meeting.

November       Committee Chair phones selected applicants to notify them their names are being forwarded to the School Board for final selection.

Prepare letters to interviewed applicants who are not being recommended to School

Board (try to have letters prepared for the Nominating Committee to sign when they are here -perhaps at the November Board meeting).

Mail thank-you letters to applicants interviewed but not recommended (see above).

Nov/Dec.         Make recommendation to School Board -must be put on School Board agenda.

December        Confirmation of appointment.

Must Attach Resume



Application for Appointment to the Board of Trustees






Telephone (Day) __________________________________ (Evening} ______________________________

Fax number ________________________________

E-mail Address_________________________________________________________________


Occupation ____________________________________________________________________________

How long have you lived in the Library’s district?  ___________________ Years.

Employment experience (firm and type of work) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Membership in community organizations (please list offices held, if applicable) as well as participation in civic activities ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Are you related to, or otherwise closely associated with anyone now employed by Madison Public Library or on the Board of Trustees? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

State briefly your reasons for wishing to serve on the Madison Public Library Board of Trustees.


Indicate what special skills, talents, interests, educational background or experiences qualify you to serve on the Library Board. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If chosen to serve on the Library Board, what would you want to accomplish during your seven-year term of office? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Please return this form with resume to:

DeeAnna Culbertson

Madison Public Library

6111 Middle Ridge Road

Madison, OH 44057


























Responsibilities of Trustees

The level of quality of a library reflects the level of quality

of the trustees who are and have been on its board.


Legal requirements


Since a public library belongs to the entire community, boards of trustees have been created by law to act as the governing body of the library. Library board members are holders of the public trust, so it is not surprising that there are some legal requirements regarding this appointed position. Trustee powers are set out in Section 3375.40 Ohio Revised Code, and are specifically assigned to the trustee acting within the board structure.


All authority resides in the board, meeting and taking action as a quorum. The board expresses its views in the policies which it adopts. A board member should voice his or her opinion and views openly, and each person’s opinion should be expressed and listened to carefully before board action is taken. Once the board has adopted a policy officially, it is the responsibility of each board member to accept and support that policy.


In addition to being a policy-setting group, the board is also an advocacy group, supporting the library before the budget commission, the state legislature, civic and cultural organizations, and the public at large.


Library Board Responsibilities


  1. Hire and/or dismiss the library director and the clerk-treasurer
  2. Approve the creation of any new staff positions or the elimination of any positions
  3. Review appointment of staff
  4. Establish written policies
  5. Secure funding and manage the money for the operation of the library
  6. Approve budget
  7. Provide and maintain:
  8. facilities
  9. resources
  10. services
  11. Develop short- and long-range goals of the library
  12. Tell the library’s story and set the direction of a library’s public relations
  13. Utilize opportunities for professional development


(Taken from the Ohio Library Trustee Handbook, Ohio Library Trustees Association, 1996)





6111 Middle Ridge Rd., Madison, OH 44057.  www.madison.lib.oh.us



Trustee Time Commitment


Regular meetings:     Monthly-generally scheduled for the third Monday of the month at Noon.

(The Board sets the schedule each year.)

Special meetings:       As needed, for a publicized purpose -these are not frequent.


Committee meetings: Four committees have three members each and meet on an as-needed basis.

The committees are:

  • Finance
  • Personnel
  • Building & Maintenance
  • By-laws


Liaison to the Friends of the Library: one Board member rotating

Attendance at library events throughout the year is encouraged –National Library Week activities, Friends of the Library activities, etc.


Attendance at trustee training programs -sponsored by Ohio Library Council and others