The library board of trustees is a group of citizens to whom the oversight of the Art Circle Public Library is entrusted. In general, the library board of trustees have a role in determining the mission of the library, setting the policy that governs the library, hiring and evaluating a library director, and overseeing the general management of the library.
As members of the board, library trustees represent the library to the community and the community to the library. It is every trustee's obligation to work on providing and improving library services. A library board trustee acts on behalf of the community, and is "trusted" by the public to look after the public interest.
Working with this public trust means developing knowledge of legal duties and liabilities. It means actively participating in creating and reviewing library policies. It means working as part of a team - with the library director, staff members, Friends of the Library, volunteers, politicians, community leaders, and others - to develop the best possible library service. It means planning, funding, and evaluating that service. Finally, it means bringing the feelings and concerns of the community to library planning and bringing the "library message" to the community.
The Cumberland County Library Trustee Board was created by the Cumberland County Commissioners and consists of not less than seven nor more than eleven members. Not more than one Cumberland County Commissioner shall serve on this Board as defined by the State of Tennessee. The Library Board recommends to the county commissioners, for their approval, new trustees to fill vacancies on the board. The board tries to have members represent various areas of the county, and have the skills and qualities as outlined in the Tennessee Public Library Trustees Manual.
Terms of Office
All Board members serve for a three year staggered term. A Board member may serve two consecutive, three year terms and may be re-appointed after a minimum three-year break in service as defined by the State of Tennessee
Authority and Responsibilities
The members of the library board are governed by electing officers and adopting bylaws and regulations. The board has the authority to direct all the affairs of the library, including the authority to appoint a library administrator. The library administrator directs the internal affairs of the library, including hiring and directing such assistants or employees as may be necessary.
The board may make and enforce rules and regulations and establish branches of service at its discretion. The board may expend funds for the special training and formal education of library personnel; provided, that such personnel shall agree to work in the library for at least two years after completion of such training and education.
The board may receive donations, devises, and bequests to be used by it directly for library purposes. The board may hold realty and personal property and negotiate leases for and on behalf of the library. The board furnishes to the state library agency such statistics and information as may be required, and makes annual reports to the county legislative body as defined by the State of Tennessee.
The Library Director is appointed by the Board and is responsible to the Board. The Library Director is considered the executive officer of the library and has charge of the administration of the library and the archives under the direction and review of the Board and subject to the policies established by the Board. The Library Director acts as technical advisor to the Board. The director is invited to attend all meetings of the Board and committees, but has no vote.
Regional Library Members
Cumberland County is a member of the Falling Water River Region. Each county is represented by two members of the regional library board. The Library Board recommends to the county commissioners, for their approval, persons to fill the positions on the Regional Board for a three year term. Members are elected for no more than two successive terms and may be re-appointed after a minimum three-year break in service. A member of the regional library board who is not an active member of a county library board is designated an ex officio member of the county board.