Responsibilities of the Library Board and the Director

Policy Making

The Board

Determine the goals and objectives of the library,  as well as methods of evaluating progress towards them

Consider what policies are needed

Officially adopt policies

The Library Director

Provide assistance and direction to the board in setting goals and objectives and determining methods of evaluation

Recommend needed policies and advise board

Carry out policies and interpret them to staff and public

Administration of the Library

The Board

Employ director, adopt plans, policies and budget, which gives board indirect responsibility.

Keep in touch with library's progress via personal visits to the library, librarian's reports, and feedback from the public.

The Library Director

Has direct responsibility by administering the library within the framework of the board's plans, etc.

Report status, problems, etc. to the board either via board meetings or other methods.


The Board

Employ library director and confirm staff appointments

Develop personnel policies and make sure working conditions are acceptable.

Evaluate library director.

The Library Director

Employ and supervise staff.

Recommend needed improvements and/or new policies.

Suggest evaluation criteria and provide materials for board. Maintain records of personnel evaluations.


The Board

Scrutinize preliminary budget, make necessary changes, adopt official budget. Explore and consider ways of increasing library funding.

Authorize expenditures.

The Library Director

Prepare preliminary budget. Research and provide board with information relevant to the discussion.

Decide on use of money within budget, long range plan, etc.

Board Meetings

The Board

Attend and participate in all regular and special meetings.

Maintain "open meetings" as required by law.

Approve minutes.

The Library Director

Attend all regular and special meetings.

Give appropriate public notice.

Act as secretary to the board, prepare agenda and provide minutes.

Public Relations

The Board

Establish and participate in planned public relations program.

Serve as link between the library and the community.

Keep political fences mended.

The Library Director

Maintain an active program of public relations.

Interpret board policies to staff and public. Involve library in community activities.

Keep political fences mended.

Continuing Education

The Board

Read trustee materials and library related publications.

See that new trustees have orientation.

Attend Federation or trustee-related meetings.

Support continuing education for library staff.

The Library Director

Call significant materials to board's attention.

Organize new trustee orientation.

Inform trustees of important meeting dates.

Inform trustees of important continuing education opportunities and urge trustees to include travel money, etc. in budget.

Planning for the Library's Growth

The Board

Analyze the community and consider library's strengths and weaknesses.

Set goals and adopt short and long range plans for the library.

Set priorities and decide on course of action.

The Library Director

Suggest and provide materials for community analysis. Help analyze library's strengths and weaknesses.

Recommend plans and means for implementing.

Administer library in terms of plans adopted by board.

ASPeN: The New Library Directory

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