Massachusetts Public Library Trustees Handbook
Table of Contents
One of the most important responsibilities of a board of trustees is to hire the library director. Boards do not become involved in hiring other library personnel. Staff hiring responsibility belongs to the director. Before hiring a new library director, the board should make a realistic appraisal of the state of the library. Identify the professional skills which will be needed to address and correct whatever deficiencies are identified. Trustees should decide what qualifications the library requires in a library director and what the library has to offer the librarian. Offer the best salary possible to secure the services of a qualified person. Consider any added incentives or challenges offered by the job opportunity. Resources to assist trustees with the hiring process are available at the MBLC and regional library systems.
Begin with a hard look at the current status of the library. Address some fundamental questions, such as:
|What is the role of the library in the community today?|
|Have library needs changed? Has the library kept pace?|
|What do we really want or need in the next director?|
|What is the reason for the job opening? Are you losing someone upward bound or to retirement? Was the previous director dissatisfied? If so, why? An exit interview with the departing director is a useful tool to help answer these questions honestly.|
The answers to these questions will influence the development of the job description. The board may want to redefine the job, elevate the position, and revise qualifications and statements of the job responsibilities.