What is the Board of Trustees?

The West Dennis Free Public Library is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the membership of the Association. The Board is comprised of citizens usually from the West Dennis area who are committed to a local library that is resourceful, convenient, and friendly.

The principal responsibility of the Board of Trustees is to provide the funds to support library operations and create the policies and strategic vision that ensures the Library’s role as a vibrant, relevant community resource. Shaping the future of the Library is an exciting challenge for the Board and a tremendous opportunity for community involvement. Active membership in the Association is one way to participate in these important efforts.

The Trustees elect officers from their membership. The Trustees meet once a month and are organized around a group of committees that support the tactical and strategic needs of the library and its patrons. The Trustee’s duties are distributed through committee assignments.

The members of the Board are expected to serve on these committees. Alternately if time or physical abilities restrict a Trustee’s active participation on committees, Trustees are expected to make financial commitments or solicit funds from others inside or outside the community who are in a position to support the Library’s operations and growth. In all cases, Trustees are responsible for actively advocating for the Library.

The Trustees are also responsible for the classic functions of board members, such as preparation and surveillance of operating and capital budgets, selecting and hiring a Director, creating policies to assist the Director in stocking, lending, and selling appropriate books and/or other educational materials to library members and the public at large.

The Board duties identified in the Massachusetts Public Library Trustees Handbook (by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) are extensive and budgets are always limited but the West Dennis Free Public Library, which opened its doors in 1920, has grown over the past 90 years through the dedicated support of Trustees, Library Directors, Staff, volunteers and community. Vigorous community engagement will ensure the Library’s success for the next 90 years. We welcome your support.