Forbes Library, Northampton’s public library, seeks applications for the position of Trustee of Forbes Library to fill two vacancies. These vacancies were created when a change in the board’s bylaws was made to increase the number of seats from five to seven. The board sought this change to allow for broader representation from the community as well as to share the increased demands on library trustees and distribute the workload of the board. 

Candidates need to be a registered Northampton voter and should submit a statement explaining why they wish to serve as a trustee to the library director by Monday April 1, 2024. Statements should be up to 500 words and submitted by email to Accessibility accommodations are available upon request. Eligible candidates will be invited to an open public meeting on Wednesday, April 10 at 5:30 PM where they will be asked a series of questions. The board will vote at the conclusion of that meeting. The two new trustees will then be appointed to serve through the end of 2025.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body for Forbes Library. The Trustees are responsible for the hiring and evaluation of the director and the oversight of the library budget and policies. As an example, a few years ago Forbes Library eliminated fines after the Trustees voted on and approved this new policy. Trustees also fundraise and advocate for the library. These important roles are filled by seven people, who are elected by the residents of Northampton in the general election unless there are vacancies more than 4 months before the next general election. The next election for trustees will take place in November 2025 for a four year term starting in January 2026. The term of office is four years and these volunteer positions are open to any registered voter in Northampton. 

The trustees attend 11 monthly meetings a year and are asked to do committee work. “Every member of the board brings a unique perspective and skill set. Ideally, the board is a reflection of the community. In this way diverse backgrounds and lived experiences are one of the most important things a candidate can bring to the table along with a strong interest in libraries,” said Lisa Downing, Library Director. The library has often benefited from trustees who bring their professional and personal expertise to the Board. Past examples of this include those with non-profit experience including fundraising, grant writing and marketing, as well as lawyers, and those who have facilities and human resources backgrounds. 

Anyone interested in learning more about serving as a member of the Forbes Library Board of Trustees is encouraged to contact Library Director Lisa Downing ( or 413-587-1016) or any of the current Board of Trustees of the library. Individuals from historically underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply. More information is available on the library’s website at