Massachusetts Public Library Trustees Handbook
The vast majority of Massachusetts public libraries are governed by boards of trustees. Approximately half of all public library trustees in Massachusetts are elected to their position. However, different requirements exist for different types of public libraries. For example a public library which is governed by a private association may select its trustees by appointment by their executive board. Trustees serving city libraries, may be appointed by the mayor, and may act in an advisory capacity rather than as a governing board. Trustees are selected by one of the following methods:
|Appointed:||An appointed trustee is selected by a public official or group of municipal officials.|
|Elected||An elected trustee is selected by the registered voters of the municipality in a municipal election.|
|Ex-officio||An ex-officio trustee is selected by virtue of holding a specified public office or a specified political, committee, social or religious affiliation in the municipality. For example, the legal authorization for some boards of trustees may require that their membreshiop include the principal of the local high school, a member of the Board of Selectmen, a religious leader or a member of a prominent family.|
|Self-perpetuating:||A self-perpetuating trustee is selected by the members of the library corporation or association, usually from the corporation or association membership, but occasionally from the municipality at large.|
Libraries occasionally have trustees who are selected by a combination of methods, i.e., some appointed and some ex-officio. Municipalities which have more than one independent public library often have trustees who are selected by a combination of methods.