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Trustee Certification Program: FAQ

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.

About the Program

Why do I want to participate in such a program?

You, as trustees, are the legal managers of the libraries in the Tennessee Regional Library System. You hold the “purse-strings” and lobby to fill the purse of your community’s library. There is a need for such a program to make sure all board members have the same information and the most current information that will enable them to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. Also, without the proper training, it is easy for a board to get off track and perhaps make a mistake in policy or budget that could result in a public outcry or even a lawsuit.

A good, solid education in how to be an effective trustee is made available to you in such a convenient manner. There will be an incentive for your library if you complete the certification program. We’ll keep you posted on this.

What is this program?

It is a program (series of classes/sessions) that will be offered to all trustees under the Tennessee Regional Library System. These sessions will strengthen your knowledge of the inner workings of a library board, thus making you an even better board member. Topics will include: Finance, Policies & By-laws, Planning, Personnel and Advocacy.

When does this opportunity take place?

Beginning fiscal year 2015-2016 or July 1, 2015

Where do I go to enroll and take the classes offered?

Most classes (sessions) are offered online. This is great as you can work at your own pace.

How does this benefit me as a library trustee? How does it benefit the library I serve?

Stronger knowledge of all areas of library operations, i.e. finance, policies & by-laws, etc. Knowledge gained in this program could keep trustees from making an error that would result in bad publicity or, at worst, a legal problem. Even seasoned board members may have missed changes in laws or library ethics, and need to have their knowledge refreshed.

Personal recognition after completion of the program – Listed in local newspaper, receive some type of certificate, etc.

After completion of this program, you can be an even stronger advocate when meeting with funding bodies. You will be prepared and feel ready for the task of making you library an even more vital, viable, and vivacious part of the community. You will also be prepared to lead a 21st century library.

Program Details

Who can participate in this program?

The training courses are open to anyone who creates a Versal account, but only current, active library trustees are able to register and eligible for certification.

Do I need to register?

Yes, every trustee who wishes to receive certification must first register for the Program.  This allows us to have all of your information on file.  To register, return to the LibGuide home page and find the Registration box in the upper right hand corner.

Can I take a course as part of a group?

Absolutely!  If you choose to participate in a course as part of a group (for example, watching a course before or after a board meeting or attending a group session at your Regional Library office), we require a Regional Director or other Regional representative to serve as a proctor.  This way, we can get an accurate report of everyone in attendance so that the course will count towards everyone's certification.

Is there a time limit for completing the program?

Trustees have 1 (one) year from the date they are fully registered (when they receive their welcome email) to complete the program.  Participants will receive a reminder one month from this due date of any outstanding training sessions needed to receive their certification.

How will I know when I've completed the program?

Once you have completed the program, you will receive a congratulatory email from the Program Contact, along with details on how you will receive your certificate.  We keep up with your progress on our end, but you can track your own course attendance by using our checklist.

Does my certification expire?  Is there a recertification process?

Your certification lasts for a period of 3 (three) years. After that, you can retake training courses (or take newer ones added to the course library!) to attain recertification.  More details about the recertification process will be given to participating trustees down the road.

Using Versal

What is Versal?

Versal is an online platform for interactive courses.  Clicking on a link to a course on the Tennessee Trustee Certification Program LibGuide home page will take you to a separate Versal page that contains that particular course.

How do I sign in to Versal?

When you click a link to one of our Certification courses, the first thing you may see is a Versal log-in screen.  Use the email address that you used to register and the password that was provided to you by the Program Contact (Matt Kirby) when you received your Welcome email.

How do I take a course?

First, click on the link to the course on this LibGuide's home page.  After you log in to Versal (if required--your computer may save your log-in information automatically), you'll be taken to the course page, where there are further instructions on how to complete the course.  You may start the webinar video at any time, review or download any handouts that accompany the class, then click Next to proceed to the quiz.  You will only receive credit for the course if you click the Next button that appears when you complete the quiz; this will take you to a page congratulating you for completing the course, where you will find the Finish button. Clicking Finish confirms to the system that you have completed the course.

What if I forget my password?

You can recover your password at any time by emailing the Program contact and asking for it to be resent.