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Seeking Library Board Members

The Library Board is looking for one or, possibly, two new board members. What is the commitment level to be on the Library Board?

  • Dependent on position, committee involvement, and whether there are any pressing issues, Library Board members may spend 5-10 hours a month to fulfill duties (meetings, email communication as needed, training, and committee involvement).
  • Meetings are typically once a month at a time that generally works for all Trustees, but it is common to not hold a December meeting or to skip another month if there isn’t much going on.
  • Library Board Trustees are required to complete 3 hours of training each year, most of which can be done online at home.
  • Library Board Trustees are not just advisory, but hold fiduciary responsibility. (See the law below.)
  • Library Board Trustees are appointed by the Stillwater County Commissioners.

If you’d like more information, please contact Jennifer at or at 406-322-5009.

If you’d like to apply, the application can be found here: Applications can be returned to the County Commissioners by mail or at the Clerk and Recorders office.

The law governing the details of Library Board Trustees follows:

Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Free Public Libraries

Public Library — Board Of Trustees

22-1-308. Public library — board of trustees. (1) Upon the establishment of a public library under the provisions of this part, the mayor, with the advice and consent of the city council or city commissioners, shall appoint a board of trustees for the city library and the presiding officer of the board of county commissioners, with the advice and consent of the board, shall appoint a board of trustees for the county library.

(2) The library board must consist of five trustees. Not more than one member of the governing body may be, at any one time, a member of the board.

(3) Trustees shall serve without compensation, but their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties may be paid from library funds.

(4) Trustees shall hold their office for 5 years from the date of appointment and until their successors are appointed. Initially, appointments must be made for 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-year terms. Annually thereafter, there must be appointed before July 1 of each year, in the same manner as the original appointments for a 5-year term, a trustee to take the place of the retiring trustee. Trustees may not serve more than two full terms in succession.

(5) Following the appointments, in July of each year, the trustees shall meet and elect a presiding officer and other officers that they consider necessary, for 1-year terms. Vacancies in the board of trustees must be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments.

Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Free Public Libraries

Trustees — Powers And Duties

22-1-309. Trustees — powers and duties. The library board of trustees shall have exclusive control of the expenditure of the public library fund, of construction or lease of library buildings, and of the operation and care of the library. The library board of trustees of every public library shall:

(1) adopt bylaws and rules for its own transaction of business and for the government of the library, not inconsistent with law;

(2) establish and locate a central public library and may establish branches thereof at such places as are deemed necessary;

(3) have the power to contract, including the right to contract with regions, counties, cities, school districts, educational institutions, the state library, and other libraries, to give and receive library service, through the boards of such regions, counties, and cities and the district school boards, and to pay out or receive funds to pay costs of such contracts;

(4) have the power to acquire, by purchase, devise, lease or otherwise, and to own and hold real and personal property in the name of the city or county or both, as the case may be, for the use and purposes of the library and to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of property real or personal, when no longer required by the library and to insure the real and personal property of the library;

(5) pay necessary expenses of members of the library staff when on business of the library;

(6) prepare an annual budget, indicating what support and maintenance of the public library will be required from public funds, for submission to the appropriate agency of the governing body. A separate budget request shall be submitted for new construction or for capital improvement of existing library property.

(7) make an annual report to the governing body of the city or county on the condition and operation of the library, including a financial statement. The trustees shall also provide for the keeping of such records as shall be required by the Montana state library in its request for an annual report from the public libraries and shall submit such an annual report to the state library.

(8) have the power to accept gifts, grants, donations, devises, or bequests of property, real or personal, from whatever source and to expend or hold, work, and improve the same for the specific purpose of the gift, grant, donation, devise, or bequest. These gifts, grants, donations, devises, and bequests shall be kept separate from regular library funds and are not subject to reversion at the end of the fiscal year.

(9) exercise such other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for the effective use and management of the library.

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