How do I become a trustee?

This is an important position but not a highly demanding one. Meet for about an hour monthly to hear what’s happening, provide feedback, and give approval on library matters. We currently hold meetings that are jointly in-person and online: attend however is most convenient for you!


We are seeking:

Currently we have no vacancies. If you are a resident of Rhodes, rural Marshall county, or Melbourne, you can apply to be the first candidate for a relevant opening.

All levels of education and any sets of skill/experience are welcome. To fulfill a gender-balanced board, we wish to include at least one male or GNC person. You do not have to be a frequent library user to join.

Contact us to learn more and apply:

An application can be found below or a printable version with position information here. Fill out and return to, or ask questions at: 

Melbourne Public Library –, 641-482-3115

City Hall –, 641-482-3338


We need your voice to represent your neighbors and steer the future of the library. Connect with your community through easy volunteer work!


What does a trustee do?

Even though the board delegates the day-to-day management to the director, the board never gives up its responsibility to ensure that the library succeeds and prospers. In exercising that responsibility, Iowa’s public library boards have five primary roles:


Hiring the Library Director

The board hires a qualified person to manage the daily operations of the library, working with and in support of the director while mutually respecting each other’s roles.


Approving and Monitoring the Budget 

Library boards typically have a great deal of authority over the library budget, including approving expenditures, and moving funds between line items.


Developing and Adopting Policies

Library boards must be mindful that they adopt public policy for a public service. They should take care to avoid writing policies that are reactionary or punitive. Instead, policy development should keep community interests at the forefront. Once adopted by the board, library staff work to carry out the policies and communicate them to patrons.


Planning for the Library’s Future

Planning is another important function of the board and should be approached as a continuous process. Planning leads boards to explore possibilities and opportunities, basing decisions on community input and packaging service in response to community needs.


Evaluating Service and Advocating for Advancements

The community puts its faith in the library board to make sure the library is operating within the public trust. The board helps determine whether the community is satisfied with library programming and services. One of the most effective ways to gauge satisfaction with library service is by evaluating the library director’s job performance. Note that trustees can also evaluate their own performance! In exercising this evaluation and advocacy role, boards are pushing for adequate funding, seeking technology advancements, fostering community relationships, and supporting the library staff in terms of salaries, benefits, and working conditions.


Information from the most recent Trustee's Handbook.

Application for Trusteeship