The Basis for the Review

Although your specific library situation will determine what you will consider when evaluating the director's performance, the starting point should always be the director's written job description. This document must be kept up to date so that it is a realistic statement of the work that the Board expects the director to do. A director should never be faulted for failing to do something that was not agreed upon at the time of hire or at a later Board meeting.

During the evaluation, the director and Board can agree on a list of objectives that can be used as a basis for evaluation the following year. The list should be closely related to the library's long-range plan (See Planning for the Future). It is important to remember that it might not be possible for the director to meet all of the objectives and that failing to do so does not necessarily indicate poor job performance. More important to consider when evaluating objectives are the progress, initiative and willingness of the director to expand the limits of his or her work and understanding.

Other important parts of the review are the success of the library in carrying out service programs and resource management. Monthly financial statements, statistical reports and other management documents offer a more reliable assessment of the library director's performance than do subjective comments from individuals.

As part of the performance evaluation, it can be helpful to have the library director fill out a copy of the evaluation form as a self-assessment. Comparison of the director's form and the committee or Board's completed form will establish areas of agreement and indicate work to be done in resolving differences. The Board can decide if the director's self-assessment is to be considered part of the permanent record. Either way, the director should have the opportunity to respond in writing to reviews if she or he chooses to do so. No performance review should ever be placed in a personnel file without the knowledge of the director.

All discussions of the director's job performance should be carried out in legally posted and conducted meetings. (See Montana Laws, for more information about the Open Meeting Law.)

Prevent Surprises During the Annual Performance Evaluation

Work with the director to resolve performance problems when they occur.

Be willing to discuss the issue and offer solutions.

Acknowledge good work and accomplishments.