Governance Overview


The library is an efficiently managed community resource that provides high-value services through the effective stewardship of public funds.


Public libraries in Colorado are established by a municipal or county government or as a library district under Colorado Library Law. The Library Governing Authority adopts and provides oversight of budgets, supervises the library director, adopts policy, and sets strategic direction. The Library Governing Authority can be the library district governing board, city council, town manager, or other civic leadership.governance

Colorado recognizes two types of library boards, governing (in library districts) or advisory (in most city, county, municipal, and joint jurisdictions). The responsibilities of a library governing board are clearly defined in the Colorado Library Law. Conversely, a library advisory board gets direction from the Library Governing Authority and represents the community by advising the library director.

The library advisory board’s responsibilities will vary from city to city and county to county; however, both library governing and advisory boards have the responsibility to advocate for the library, to identify community priorities, to follow state and national laws applicable to libraries, and to plan for the future of the library. In order to stay current and informed, both the library director and the library governing or advisory Board participate in activities sponsored by state and national library organizations.

The library director and staff apply practical and acceptable management practices and standards to the daily operations of the library. These practices are clearly defined in a set of policies adopted by the Library Governing Authority, which are made available to the public. Hiring and evaluating a library director is one of the Library Governing Authority’s most important duties. To prevent all-too-common conflicts resulting from the confusion between governing and managing, a library governing board needs a policy stating that human resource administration—including hiring, supervision, evaluation, and termination of all library staff—is delegated to the library director. The library director provides a regular report as a part of the board meetings to the city, county, or district, which is the legal employer, acting by and through the Library Governing Authority.

The library director is responsible for creating and updating a procedures manual to carry out all policies. The library director manages the library on a daily basis by planning, organizing, and directing services for all people in the community. The library director measures and evaluates the effectiveness of library services in relation to the changing needs of the community. The Library Governing Authority and director seek to serve library users and improve library services through continuous communication with their communities.

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