Evaluating the Director

Trustees evaluate the director all of the time-by what they see in the library, what they hear from the public and what they perceive as the library's reputation in the community. But that informal consideration does not take the place of a formal review of the director's performance.

There are several good reasons for an annual evaluation. It:

Provides the director with a clear understanding of the Board's expectations and its perceptions of how those expectations are being met.

Identifies the Board's concerns and initiates a procedure for actions to be taken.

Creates an opportunity to review and acknowledge the director's accomplishments as well as to establish a record of unsatisfactory performance if there is ever cause to terminate employment.

Demonstrates sound management and accountability to community officials and the public.

Gives the director an idea of where to focus future efforts

Satisfies the director's desire to know how s/he is doing

Boards often delegate the task of developing a preliminary evaluation of the director to the personnel committee or a specially appointed committee especially if particular trustees have experience in human resource management. The key is to be consistent and decide ahead of time who will take part. Although a special committee can do the preliminary evaluation process, the entire Board should review, discuss and approve the final written evaluation.

To be effective, the evaluation process needs to match the specific local situation. The current trend in employee evaluations is toward clearly stated performance goals and measured outcomes. The clearer the expectations, the easier the process will be.