Public Library Boards in Iowa
Library board roles
Public library boards have five primary roles:
1. Advocate for the library in the community and advocate for the community as a member of the library board.
Library advocates work for the betterment of library services in the community.
- obtaining adequate library funding
- meeting with community groups
- working with the mayor and city council
- making board decisions that meet the needs of the community
2. Plan for the future of the library.
The community entrusts the board with:
- planning the library's future
- planning to meet community needs
3. Monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the library to ensure the library is:
- fiscally responsible
- providing customer satisfaction
4. Set library policies and monitor the effectiveness of these policies. Policies are carefully designed, broadly stated, written guidelines for actions and decisions of the library.
Once adopted by the board, library staff carries out the policies on a day to day basis.
5. Hire and evaluate the library director. The board hires a qualified director to manage the day-to-day operations of the library and works with the director, carefully respecting each other’s roles. The board also regularly evaluates the director to make sure the library operates well and in the best interest of those the library serves.