Policies – Essential Documents

Essential Documents

The library boards’ ultimate responsibility is to ensure and protect the reputation of the institution – best realized through the adoption of clearly written library policies. Written policies provide consistency for patrons and staff, help to resolve misunderstandings, reduce incidents of conflict and help to protect from litigation.

The MHLS Public Library Policies Development Tips & Samples is divided into four key parts:

Policy Basics | Internal Policies | External Policies | Essential Documents

Essential Documents:

Development Questions:

  • Name of the library and its Charter date.
  • What is the business/financial year of the library? (January 1 – December 31, June 1 – May 31, etc. )
  • Who is eligible to be a Library Board member?
  • Number of Board Members required.
  • How are Board members selected (election, appointment, etc.)?
  • Meeting Procedures & policies
  • Open Meetings Law
  • Board Committees
  • Role of the library Director in relation to the Board & its meetings – Is he or she required to make a report?
  • Indemnification Clause
  • The process for Amending the Board Bylaws
  • The process of Amending the Personnel Policies Manual

Sample Policies:

Long Range Plan
Facility Plan
Development Questions:

  • Use of meeting room and other library spaces
  • Guidelines for displays, bulletin boards, and exhibits
  • Plans in case of emergency

Sample Policies:

Technology Plan
Annual Report to the Community
Library Bill of Rights

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