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How to be a Library Trustee

How to

How toBecome a TrusteeThe library Board of Trustees is a ten-member board with seven members appointed by the mayor with consent of the city council. Those seven appointees must be residents of the city. Three members are appointed by the county commissioners and must be residents of the library district who reside outside the corporate limits of the city; and each trustee must reside in a different commissioner district. Members serve four-year terms. Members serve without compensation.

Trustees have six major responsibilities:

  • Advocate for the library in the community and advocate for the community as a member of the library board.
  • Plan for the future of the library.
  • Monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the library.
  • Set policies.
  • Hire and evaluate the CEO.
  • Approve budget, including setting the spending authority to support public library services.

The Library board meets on the third Thursday of each month, generally from 4-6 p.m. Trustees are also assigned to committees including nominating, audit, and bylaws, which meet as needed.

Trustees are expected to know a significant amount about library law, organization and governance, public funding, day-to-day library operations, local, state and national issues affecting libraries and the community served. Continuing education sessions are offered regularly, including an annual retreat.

Board of Trustee information and activities are posted on the library’s digital branch.

If you are interested in filling out an application to serve on the Board of Trustees, this link takes you to the City of Topeka’s website, where you may submit your application online.

If you would like more information, please contact Thad Hartman, Chief of Staff, at or call 580-4484.

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