How You Can Serve on the Library’s Board of Trustees

In 2011 the Board of Trustees amended the Shelter Island Library’s By-Laws to open the election of its Board of Trustees to members of the Shelter Island Library Association and to increase the number of trustees to 13 from 11. Trustees had been elected through the library’s 130-year history by its sitting board. The election of trustees is held at the library’s annual meeting in January, this year on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 10am


What are the Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees?

The Board of Trustees develops the mission of the library, adopts policies governing the library, appoints and evaluates a Library Director, reviews programs and services, maintains the physical facility, sets personnel policy for the staff and exercises fiduciary responsibility for the use of all funds. Its members also serve as advocates for the library in every possible manner.

Who is eligible to serve as a trustee?

Residents of Shelter Island Town who hold a valid Shelter Island Public Library card are members of the Association. Members eighteen (18) years of age and over are voting members. Any member of the Association who is eighteen (18) years old or over and is not employed by the library or holds an elected office in town government is eligible for election to the Board of Trustees.


What are the terms of office?

The 13 members of the board serve staggered three-year (3-year) terms. A trustee may serve three (3) consecutive terms for a total of nine (9) years. Trustees shall be eligible for re-election at the end of each three-year (3-year) term and, following three three-year (3-year) terms, after one (1) year off the board.


How are trustees elected?

Trustees shall be elected by plurality vote of Association members in attendance at the Board’s annual meeting which will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Any Shelter Island resident, eighteen (18) years and older, with a valid library card, may vote on the slate of nominees.

Voting will be by paper ballot if there are more nominees than open seats. In the case of a single slate, voting will be done by a show of hands.


What are the qualifications for a board seat?

Members serve on the board as volunteers with no compensation.

The library’s small staff and tight budget make hands-on board support integral to its functioning. Members fill critical roles -- legal, financial management, long range planning, facilities maintenance, human resources, fund raising/donor relations/grant writing, communications/public relations -- so potential trustees must bring necessary and appropriate skill sets.

This year two of the current trustees will stand for re-election to three-year terms and two trustee positions are open.

What is the time commitment of a library trustee?

The full board meets once a month on the second Monday of each month and board meetings typically last two (2) hours. In addition, all trustees serve on one or more standing or ad hoc committees such as finance, human resources, long range planning, facilities and technology which meet more often. With committee meeting and special projects, a trustee time commitment is from three hours per month upwards.


How do I submit a name for nomination?

Send a written letter of intent to stand for election with information about your background and qualifications to the Nominating Committee c/o The Shelter Island Library (PO Box 2016, Shelter Island, NY 11964) or via email to Terry Lucas, Library Director () no later than the deadline for nominations, December 20, 2019. Letters may also be brought to or mailed to the library.

Please include email address and phone number(s) so we may contact you. All eligible candidates will be interviewed by one or more members of the committee. A final slate will be presented to the board early in January, published in the Shelter Island Reporter and posted at the Library prior to the annual meeting in January.


How is the slate determined?

After reviewing applicants’ letters and conducting interviews, the Nominating Committee will recommend a slate to the Board of Trustees, taking into account the pre-determined skills that the board needs. Depending upon the number of seats available and the number of qualified candidates, the slate may be either contested (more candidates than seats) or uncontested (equal number of candidates and seats.)

Current board members whose three-year terms have expired and are interested in serving again will run for election the same as other candidates. Two (2) currently sitting trustees will stand for re-election in January.

Questions on this should be addressed to President of the Board of Trustees Dave Roggie at .



The Shelter Island Public Library’s mission is to provide state-of-the art resources, services, and technologies to meet the current and evolving needs of the community. It is the town’s primary year-round information and cultural resource for both residents and visitors. The Library’s staff and Board of Trustees focus on providing materials, services, programs, events, activities and staffing that promote education, information access and usage, entertainment and the arts, for the benefit and enrichment of all segments of the community. Key audiences include adults, children of all ages, students, and seniors as well as patrons with special needs. Critical resources include space, excellent staff, facilities, free programs and open access to materials and media.




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