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Trustee Certification Program: Home

The Tennessee Trustee Certification Program is designed to strengthen local library boards by giving instruction in such areas as finance; policies and bylaws; planning; personnel and advocacy. The program is provided by Tennessee Regional Library System.


PLEASE NOTE: We no longer have access to the Versal platform.  All trustees should use the Niche Academy link below to access the Certification courses.  If you need a password for Niche Academy or need to otherwise request access, please contact Matt Kirby.

Course Links

Click here to access the Tennessee Trustee Certification Program on Niche Academy.

The Tennessee Trustee Certification Program courses are hosted on Niche Academy. After using the link to the right to register for the program, you will be given access to the certification courses, which consist of 10 modules that can be completed at any time and in any order.  Please contact us if you have any difficulty accessing your courses.


Modules for Trustee Certification have been divided into five areas of trustee responsibility, with two courses in each section.  These include:


  • Types of Advocacy
  • Cultivating Your Commissioners


  • Budgeting
  • Monitoring Library Finances


  • Director Employment
  • Performance Management


  • Types of Planning
  • 21st Century Libraries

Policies & Bylaws

  • Internal Policies (Bylaws)
  • Public Library Policies



Helpful Links for Trustees

Tennessee Trustee Certification Program Intro

Welcome to the Tennessee Trustee Certification Program!  

We're so glad that you're considering becoming a certified Tennessee library trustee. To become certified, you will complete a series of 10 modules over the course of a year.  Once you have completed the certification process, you will be certified for a period of three years. 

To Register

Locate the Registration box to the right.  Use the links there to register online or download the printable brochure, fill out the registration form, and give it to your local Regional Director.

What Happens Next

After you register, you'll receive an email that includes your password for Niche Academy, the online platform for our interactive courses.  Use the list of courses to the left to navigate your way through our program, and use the provided password and your email address to log in to each course.

Keeping Track of Your Courses

Niche Academy tracks which courses you have completed and those that you have remaining.  We have a detailed view of this on the back end and keep track of trustee progress on a separate database, so just in case something goes wrong with Niche Academy's tracking, we have back up files to store our information.

Need Help?

See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for the answers to some common questions about the program.

Contact your Regional Director; you can find a list of Regional Directors, along with contact information, in the column to the right.  For questions about the program or this LibGuide webpage, see our Who to Contact page.  Or you can email the Program Contact, Matt Kirby, with questions about the Tennessee Trustee Certification Program. 

Statement of Creation and Participation

The Tennessee Trustee Certification Program, “Lighting the Way for Your Library”, is a service of the Tennessee Regional Library System, Tennessee State Library & Archives. The Certification program was created by regional library personnel, scripted and recorded by the regional library directors, funded with regional system funding, and will be monitored and certified by regional personnel. At this time, only library board members (trustees) of the public and regional libraries in the Tennessee Regional Library System are qualified to participate



We have 2 ways to register!

Regional Director Contact List

Regional Toll Free Number


Buffalo River

Marion Bryant

Clinch River

Matthew Jordan  

Falling Water River

Matt Kirby 

Hatchie River

Genny Carter       

Holston River

Amy Kimani       

Obion River

Mary Carpenter   

Ocoee River

Liz Schreck          

Red River

Cecilie Maynor       

Stones River

Betty Jo Jarvis