Becoming a Public Library Trustee
Philosophy of Service
The Public Library is a place for everyone. Its collection of materials represents the broad spectrum of culture, history, and literature. It is the job of the Trustees to guide the Library's future, advocate for quality library service, and represent the library patrons and taxpayers.
The Library District
The Orcas Island Library is a junior taxing district established by popular vote in 1987. Community members support the library through property taxes while the non-profit Friends of Orcas Island Library organization raises funds to augment basic services. The Library is governed by a board of five individuals appointed by the San Juan County Council. By law, the Board must approve the budget, expenditures, and library policies.
How Are Library Trustees Chosen?
When a position is open, the Orcas Island members of the County Council form an independent nominating committee. This committee publicizes the opening and invites interested members of the community to submit a letter of interest and resume. The Library Director is available to share information about the Library District's history, basic budget, and current services. The nominating committee reviews the application, interviews the potential trustees, and creates a list appropriate for filling one or more vacancies. The committee makes a recommendation to the Orcas Councilors, who then vote with the entire County Council on the final appointment(s).
Term of Office
The term of office is five years. Two consecutive terms may be served by law, although not by current practice. The appointment year runs from January 1 to December 31.
Commitment of Time
The regular Board meeting takes place at the Library on the second Tuesday of each month at 9 AM. Generally meetings last 2-3 hours. Occasionally committee assignments require additional time or the Board may undertake special projects which require the Trustees' involvement.
New Library Trustee Guidelines
Public Library Trustee Summary Manual published by the Washington State Library
Chapter 27.12 Revised Code of Washington - Public Libraries
Trustee Tip Sheets published by the American Library Association