Chester County Library System Trustee Learning and Development

Welcome to the Chester County Library System Trustee Orientation Program!

You should have already received your Chester County Library System Trustee Welcome Packet and perhaps even attended the 3 hour in-person orientation session. We hope that you have taken time to read through the information in the packet as it will help you as you work your way through the online orientation materials. 

We believe you will find serving on your library’s Board of Trustees a rich and rewarding experience. As a Trustee, you and your fellow board members are responsible for the governance of your library. This involves establishing a strategic direction, ensuring compliance with all applicable legal requirements, and keeping the library financially healthy.
The online Trustee material is designed to help you understand your role as a Trustee so you can effectively carry out your responsibilities.

As with any job, people do best when they fully understand the scope and limitations of their roles and responsibilities. To this end, CCLS developed a substantive trustee orientation process to ensure a smooth transition for new trustees. The Trustee Essentials: new Online Learning Modules, and the Face-to-Face CCLS Trustee Orientation Session are components of this process.

Please work through the sections in any order. Each section starts with learning objectives and includes links to other materials and exercises for you to explore as you investigate the concepts.

Trustee Essentials:  Online Learning Modules

Trustee Governance Roles

Key Learning Objectives
Do you know what a Trustee is? More importantly, do you know what a Trustee does? View the videos to gain insight into the governance aspects of your role!
  1. Understand some of the laws relating to the governance of public libraries
  2. Know your fiduciary responsibilities
  3. Be familiar with key elements for successful meetings and board operations
Getting On Board: Orientation (YouTube Video 11 minutes)

Getting On Board: Board Basics (YouTube Video 12 minutes)

Getting On Board: Hiring and Managing Relationships (YouTube Video 12 minutes)

Getting On Board: Planning and Meetings (YouTube Video 14 minutes)

Getting On Board: Policies (YouTube Video 8 minutes)

Three Hats: Trustee roles and responsibilities (YouTube Video 4 minutes)

Caution: Knowing your roles and responsibilities (YouTube Video 8 minutes)


Title 15 - PA General Assembly

Publication 557 (01/2020), Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization | Internal Revenue Service

IRS Subsection Codes for Tax-Exempt Organizations

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002

Corporate Opportunity | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII / Legal Information Institute

OOR - Pennsylvania's Sunshine Act (Open Meetings Law)

Duty of Care | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII / Legal Information Institute

Duty of Loyalty | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII / Legal Information Institute

How Pennsylvania Libraries Are Organized and Funded

Key Learning Objectives
  1. Describe how Pennsylvania libraries are governed
  2. Define the role of the trustee and board
  3. Understand the structure and organization of the Chester County Library System
  4. Understanding the Funding Pathways in the Chester County Library System
Pennsylvania Code and Regulation

Fundraising & Development Planning for your Library

Key Learning Objectives
  1. Know your top fundraising responsibilities as a board member
  2. Be able to identify and evaluate your library’s diverse income sources
  3. Understand and develop a framework for your development plan

Library Advocacy

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Know the definition of advocacy and the difference between advocacy and lobbying
  2. Understand how to create and deliver a compelling message
  3. Know the basics and best practices for meeting with elected officials
In-Person CCLS Trustee Orientation Session

Generally these sessions are offered twice a year – once in the spring and then again in the fall. All new trustees and trustees who have not attended a session will be notified by email of the upcoming session and how to register. Experienced trustees are encouraged to attend the session every 3 or 4 years as a refresher.

Materials from In-Person Welcome Learning Session (2019)

Resource Material