The Trusted Trustee

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The Library Trustee coverThe Library Trustee: A Practical Guidebook
4th Edition

This book bubbled up from my library’s professional collection, having been tucked away in the Director’s office for a while (and by “a while” I mean a few decades.) It was probably a pretty handy book in its day. There is highlighting throughout, so someone clearly found it useful.

26 years later, it has snippets that are useful, but I would never give it to a trustee. It doesn’t point in the direction libraries are headed today at all, so it just gives trustees the wrong impression of their job (and our job).

You will see in the images below:
-Discussions of CD-ROM reference products
-That newfangled “computerized circulation control”
-Old funding statistics on what percentage of funding comes from local, state, and federal sources
-Communication techniques that are completely void of technology
-The idea that technology of the future might allow people to access the library catalog (*gasp!) FROM THEIR HOMES
-The idea that technology of the future  might also allow libraries to replace print materials with “microfilm or compact discs” (p.122)

Please, please give your trustees training materials that reflect your library’s true mission and goals. You want them to support your efforts, not try to get you to spend money on CD-ROMs and plan for the future of fax machines.


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The Library Trustee technology

The Library Trustee telecommunications

The Library Trustee grants and contracts


  1. “The recognization…of a Friends group” — !!?? Would have lost me right there if I hadn’t been forewarned.

  2. I knew Virginia Young — she was active in ALTA and the WHCLIST (White House Conference Task Force).
    The problem with her guidebook — not just being outdated — is that it is earnest and DULL. Fortunately there are newer, better, more interesting formats for trustee training.

  3. I LOL’ed on “The idea that technology of the future might also allow libraries to replace print materials with “microfilm or compact discs.”

    At my library a summer project will be weeding our microforms (any takers?).

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