Library boards and municipal councils both play vital but distinct roles in maintaining public library service to the community. Council’s role is limited to six important areas:
1. Passing a bylaw for the creation of a municipal library board
- The council of a municipality may, by bylaw, establish a municipal library board.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – RSA 2000 cL‑11 s3;2006 c5 s4)
2. Appointing the library board and dismissing board members
- A municipal board shall consist of not fewer than 5 and not more than 10 members appointed by council.
- A person who is an employee of the municipal board is not eligible to be a member of that board.
- Not more than 2 members of council may be members of the municipal board.
- A member of the municipal board is eligible to be reappointed for only 2 additional consecutive terms of office, unless at least 2/3 of the whole council passes a resolution stating that the member may be reappointed as a member for more than 3 consecutive terms.
- Subject to subsection (6), appointments to the municipal board shall be for a term of up to 3 years.
- When appointments are made in respect of a first municipal board, council shall, as nearly as may be possible, appoint 1/3 of the members for a term of one year, 1/3 of the members for a term of 2 years and the remaining members for a term of 3 years.
- Not with standing this section, the term of office of a member continues until a member is appointed in that member’s place.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – 1983 cL‑- 12.1 s10;1998 c19 s5)
- The appointments of the members of the municipal board shall be made on the date fixed by council.
- Any vacancy arising from any cause must be filled by council as soon as reasonably possible for council to do so.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – 1983 cL‑- 12.1 s11)
3. Providing funding for the library board
- The municipal board shall before December 1 in each year prepare a budget and an estimate of the money required during the ensuing fiscal year to operate and manage the municipal library.
- The budget and the estimate of money shall be forthwith submitted to the council of the municipality.
- Council may approve the estimate under subsection (1) in whole or in part.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – RSA 2000 cL‑- 11 s8;2006 c5 s5)
4. Approving the individual who annually reviews the library board’s financial accounts (audit)
- The municipal board shall
(a) keep accounts of its receipts, payments, credits and liabilities,
(b) have a person who is not a member of the municipal board and
whose qualifications are satisfactory to council review the accounts each calendar year and prepare a financial report in a form satisfactory to council, and
(c) submit the financial report to council immediately after its completion.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – RSA 2000 cL‑11 s9;2006 c5 s6)
5. Ratifying (or vetoing) the bylaws of the library board
- A municipal library board, on passing a bylaw under section 36, shall
forthwith forward a copy of the bylaw to the council of the municipality.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – RSA 2000 cL‑11 s37;2006 c5 s13)
- The council of a municipality may disallow a bylaw passed by a municipal board it has appointed.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – 1983 cL – 12.1s42)
6. Making the decision to join a regional library system
- A municipality, improvement district, special area, Métis settlement or school authority may, in accordance with the regulations, become a member of a library system by complying with the terms of the agreement referred to in section 13, becoming a party to the agreement and receiving the approval of the Minister.
(The Alberta Libraries Act – 1983 cL -12.1 s21;1998 c19 s8)