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Checklist of Policies

Library boards need to adopt policies that speak to the operation of the board itself (task level governance), personnel policies for library staff, and operational policies that govern the operation of the library (management level governance). The following is a recommended - though not necessarily comprehensive - list of policies that every library board and every library should have, as appropriate to the local and organizational situation.

Library policies should contain at least three elements: a brief written statement that describes why the library does something; the specific written rules that further describe what must be done to support the policy; and procedures of how the staff will carry out the policy.  A fourth element, guidelines, can also describe suggestions for staff on the most efficient and effective ways to implement policies.  Library policies should be approved by the Governing Authority, which may be the Library Board of Trustees, the County Commission, or the City/Town Council. Management should be responsible for the development and implementation of procedures.

Board Policies

  • By-laws
    • Board organization
    • Board officers
    • Committees of the board
  • Director responsibilities and functions
  • Board meetings and records
  • Public participation and input
  • Library finance: purchasing, investments, financial development, long-range planning
  • Employment policies
  • Library facilities

Library Personnel Policies

  • Organizational authority and responsibility
  • Work week
  • Absenteeism and tardiness
  • Overtime
  • Salary / wage payment
  • Time cards
  • Employment procedure
  • Educational qualification
  • Equal opportunity
  • Conflict of interest
  • Promotions and raises
  • Staff benefits and privileges
  • Evaluation of staff
  • Grievance procedures
  • Termination of employment (resignation, dismissal, retirement, references)
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Extreme weather / emergency conditions
  • Holidays
  • Leave Time
    • Vacation leave
    • Sick leave
    • Bereavement leave
    • Parental leave
    • Educational leave
    • Leave without pay / family leave
    • Medical leave
  • Professional conduct / staff responsibilities
  • Drug-free workplace
  • Smoking
  • Sexual harassment
  • Development and training of staff
  • Americans with disabilities
  • Volunteers
  • Emergency notification

Library Operational Policies

  • Use of building and/or equipment
  • Use of meeting rooms, exhibits, displays, bulletin boards
  • Public access computers / Internet safety
  • Collection development: material selection, weeding
  • Reconsideration of library materials
  • Gifts, donations, and memorials
  • Borrower privileges
  • User conduct
  • Concealed weapons
  • Complaints
  • Political activity
  • Unattended children
  • Accident, disturbance, vandalism
  • Confidentiality of patron records and upholding intellectual freedom
  • Purchasing, selling, and retention of materials
  • Resource sharing and cooperation with other libraries
    • Schools
    • Interlibrary loan
    • Reciprocal borrowing

Have questions or want more information? Contact Sharon Morris: 720-576-9294,

Checklist reviewed February 2018