Volunteer: Library Board

Term: Five years; shall not serve consecutive five-year terms.
Meeting frequency: once a month (Monday evenings); no August meeting.
Approximate meeting length: Two hours.
Establishment and charge: New York State Education Law, Title 1, Article 5, Part 2, and Bylaws

What does the Library Board do?

The Scarsdale Public Library is an independent corporate entity that is governed by state charter. However, members of the Scarsdale Library Board are appointed by the Village, which provides library funding. Library Board members are responsible for appointing the library director, managing the library’s finances and operations, and advocating for the library throughout the community. The Board also is charged with shaping and guiding the library’s general mission, with guidance from the director and staff.

What is expected of Board members?

Board members are expected to participate in various committees, which are appointed annually by the board president. Committees may include off-board members, library and village staff, and outside consultants, and will convene as necessary. Committee decisions and information typically will be presented to the entire Board at monthly business meetings for discussion/approval, and may be forwarded to the Scarsdale Board of Trustees for additional input. Library Board members also work closely with the Friends of the Scarsdale Library and foster engagement among a large group of library stakeholders.  In addition, they may function as liaisons to other community organizations or demographics. 

The roles of board president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary require additional time and commitment, depending upon the role. All board members should be willing to serve as an officer at some point during their tenure.

In preparing for each meeting, board members are expected to review relevant information provided by the library director, which typically takes one or two hours. Board members also are expected to attend additional sessions throughout the year, depending upon current issues, and may be asked to participate in village trustee meetings that focus on library matters (e.g., budget discussions).

What professional, volunteer, and/or personal experiences have been helpful to Board members?

Members are committed to lifelong learning in Scarsdale and regard the library as a place for free access to information, a fundamental component of a democratic society. The board has benefited from members with varied professional backgrounds, such as communications, law, finance, education, the arts, construction, technology, and community volunteerism.