Review Criteria

The following review questions can be adapted to your library situation and your director's written job description. It gives you some points to consider in creating an evaluation process as well as a starting point for a list of objectives for the coming year.

The board may wish to choose 2-3 of these areas each year as a primary focus. The key is for the board and director to agree on which areas will be the main focus before the annual evaluation. The director needs to know what areas s/he will be evaluated on in the coming year. For example if the library is going through a long range planning process the board might identify that area as one to evaluate at the end of the year.

These review criteria can be turned into a form with either yes/no responses or something more subtle like does not meet, meets, or exceeds expectations. The board may also wish to review what other libraries use for an evaluation form, and it may also be helpful to look at local evaluation forms.

Preparing and managing the budget

Is all the necessary staff work completed in a timely manner prior to presentation to the Board?

Does the budget cover all necessary expenses?

Are funds allocated or reserved for unanticipated contingencies?

Are the funds effectively allocated?

Are midcourse corrections minimized?

Managing the staff

Are positive management/staff relations maintained?

Are fair and equitable policies proposed for Board adoption and then fairly administered?

Have grievances been filed? If so, what is their nature?

Professional state-of-the-art awareness

Are innovative methods of service delivery, technical processes, etc., studied thoroughly; implemented only after they fit the needs of the institution and are proven to be cost effective?

Does the director maintain an adequate knowledge of the current state-of-the-art?

Is the staff encouraged and assisted in maintaining an awareness of technological advances in the profession?

Conversely, how prone is the director to adopting change for change's sake?

Collection management

How adequate is the library's program of determining user needs/wants and translating these into acquisitions and services?

Have adequate criteria been established to enable the library to react systematically to materials budget cuts?

Implementation of Board decisions

Are Board decisions implemented on a timely basis?

Once a decision has been made, does the director fully and enthusiastically back Board decisions or are they sometimes presented to staff in an apologetic or deprecatory manner?

Use of the library

How effectively are library services communicated to the public?

Is a realistic balance established between promotion of services and budget constraints?

Are circulation trends and in-house use adequately analyzed and are there appropriate reactions to the results of such analyses?

How well is information on new services communicated to the public?

Development of staff

Are potential managers encouraged to develop career goals?

Are internal candidates for promotion competitive with outside candidates for management positions?

Does the director adequately justify the need for, actively campaign and adequately account for staff development funds?

Is cross-training leveraged to provide service to the public?

Utilization of staff

Is there a clear separation of professional and clerical tasks for staff guidance?

Have peak service hours been identified and staff deployed accordingly?

Are functions analyzed periodically with the objective of combining, eliminating and/or creating new positions?

Community development

How active is the director in the community?

Is the director "visible" to large segments of the population?

Is the director available for speaking engagements in the community?

Activity in professional organizations

Does the director actively participate in MLA, ALA, PNLA, etc.?

Does the director hold office in professional organizations?

Policy recommendations to Board

Is adequate staff work completed prior to presentation to the Board?

Are reasonable alternatives recommended?

Are policy recommendations generally proactive rather than reactive?

Are policy recommendations usually necessary and appropriate to the efficient operation of the library?

Friends of the Library

Has the director actively promoted the formation and/or maintenance of a Friends group?

Does the director provide adequate support to the organization?

Has the director helped define the role of the Friends group?

Maintenance and construction of physical plants

Within the imposed budgetary constraints are the buildings and grounds adequately maintained?

If applicable does the director provide adequate information on the need for new and/or remodeled facilities?

Establishing priorities

Are the director's recommended priorities in concert with the library's mission as defined by the Board?

Do these priorities appropriately reflect community needs?

Are priorities established proactively or reactively?

Staff selection

Is staff selection accomplished at appropriate supervisory levels and with adequate use of staff resources?

Is adequate emphasis placed on equal opportunity employer/affirmative action and is the director's commitment to these principles communicated to the staff?

Is the selection process designed to ensure the selection of the best person for the job?

Short- and long-range planning

Do the director's short- and long-range plans reflect Board priorities?

Are the short- and long-range plans updated on a continuous basis to reflect changing circumstances?

Are the director's accomplishments in sync with the short- and long-range plans?

Are the short- and long-range plans flexible enough to allow for changing circumstances?

Does the director provide adequate information to the Board on the implementation, revision, etc., of short- and long-range planning?

Miscellaneous rating factors

Are "hard decisions" made and implemented or are they deferred or ignored?

Does the director display adequate initiative or rather merely react to necessities?

Is the director objective in making the necessary decision or do personal prejudices intrude too often?

Is the director consistent in decisions that affect the staff and/or public?

Is the director open with the Board or does a "hidden" agenda intrude too often in the relationship?

Does the director set an example for the staff through professional conduct, high principles, business-like approach, good work habits, etc.?