ALTA Trustee Handbook

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Appendix A: Board Job Description


Job descriptions for Board trustees and Board positions are an important component of Board self-governance. Use them in recruitment, orientation, and evaluation. The following representative samples will help you develop your own.


(Name of Municipality) Library Board

Board Trustee

Area of Authority

(Name of Municipality) Library Board is the legal authority for the (Name of Municipality) Public Library, and is collectively responsible for governing all aspects of library operation. A Board member is a volunteer on the library’s Board of trustees, representing the interests of the community, and is entrusted by the community to manage the library effectively. Each trustee is responsible for actively participating in discussion, policy development, and decision making.

Requirements for Membership

  • Belief in the importance of libraries and commitment to the vision and mission
  • Willingness to serve, and to sit on one or more Board committees. (Time commitment varies with number of meetings, conferences, etc., each month)
  • Skill or knowledge in one or more areas of Board governance: policy, program, personnel, finance, or advocacy


  • Become aware of and fully informed on library matters, issues, and legislation
  • Contribute to discussion and decision making and foster positive relations among Board members, committees, staff, and community
  • Accept responsibility for library affairs and governance
  • Develop, approve, monitor, review, and evaluate policy, bylaws, budget, and plan of service
  • Develop skills through attendance at workshops, conferences, trainings, etc.
  • Monitor Board and trustee effectiveness

Appointment to the Board is made by the Municipal Council for a term of three years and may be renewed, as set out in The Alberta Libraries Act.

Each trustee shall annually participate in an evaluation of his or her performance of Board duties and responsibilities, using a checklist and standards agreed upon by the Board. Self-evaluation after each meeting is encouraged.

Termination of trusteeship (as specified in The Libraries Act) may occur at the conclusion of the appointed term; after three consecutive missed Board meetings not pre-authorized by the Board; by a decision of Council; or by resignation.

This policy was approved on [date], and will be reviewed annually.