Library Governance At A Glance

Library Governance At A Glance
By Chris Jordan, West Linn City Manager & Diane Satchwell, West Linn Public Library Director

Have you grappled with the different roles that elected officials, staff, and volunteers take on a committee? Are you looking for a quick and easy way to explain how volunteers can assume responsibilities on city committees? The West Linn Public Library has created a document called "Library Governance At A Glance" to help explain these concepts in an easy-to-understand way.

Relying on the knowledge from "Boards That Make A Difference" by John Carver, the West Linn Public Library community uses this new publication that outlines library governance. It defines the roles and responsibilities of the:
• City Council;
• City Manager;
• City Library Director;
• Library Advisory Board;
• Friends of the Library; and,
• Library Foundation.

This publication was developed to assist the various interest groups who care about the Library in their roles as library advocates. Understanding roles and responsibilities is an important first step in ensuring that the policy officials, staff, volunteers, and funders are most successful in the work they do. The attractive columnar format of the publication makes it easy for everyone to understand their roles to attain optimal effectiveness.

This publication is easily adaptable to other cities and advisory groups, and is available in Word or PDF format.

While this document is designed for public libraries in a city, it is easy to adapt to your organization or advisory group by doing the following:
• Replace 'Library' with the name of your organization;
• Remove the 'Friends of the Library' column; and,
• Replace 'Foundation' with any fundraising entity.

The last page in "Library Governance At A Glance" is library-specific, but is still adaptable:
• Replace 'Library Legislation' with any legislation related to your organization;
• Update the 'Acronyms' section with those specific to your organization; and,
• Replace 'What Makes a Good Library' with details about your organization.

It is our hope that this publication can be as useful to your organization as it has been to the West Linn Public Library community. Our goal is to be professional and efficient in our service to the West Linn community, and the use of "Library Governance At A Glance" has helped us clearly define the roles of library advocates.