Director Performance Appraisal

Boards of trustees are evaluating their library director all the time: by instinct, what they see in the library, hear from the public, as well as the "feel" and reputation of the library. The performance appraisal of the director is closely tied to the success of the annual library plan. A formal, written performance appraisal is an essential management practice. The evaluation of the library director should be the foundation in the evaluation process for the library as a whole.

Purposes of the Performance Appraisal

  • To provide the director with clear understanding of the board's expectations
  • To ensure the director is aware of how well the expectations are being met
  • To serve as a formal vehicle of communication between the board and director
  • To identify and give credit for a job well done
  • To identify the board's actual concerns so that appropriate action can be taken
  • To review annual accomplishments of the library and ensure the continued effectiveness of the director
  • To demonstrate sound management practices and accountability to community stakeholders

Factors in Reviewing the Performance of Directors

Directors are accountable to varied and sometimes conflicting constituencies. The board and the director must recognize these groups and agree on the priority of the demands of each.

  • Elected officials and the appointed governing officer who supervises other municipal department heads.
  • The library staff members who have diverse personal expectations for their director.
  • Public pressure groups that exert pressure on the director to respond to their concerns.
  • Individual members of the board of trustees who have personal priorities for the library and the director.

Good communication, public relations, a written plan and clear policies will all help the board and director to deal with any conflicting expectations. The performance appraisal method and process can be designed to include input from all these groups, but the final responsibility rests with the board.

The following are some factors that could be considered in the performance appraisal of the library director. They are not all-inclusive, nor are they all necessary. There are in all probability several factors that each of you could add and some factors included that you may consider irrelevant. These factors are a reference point for you to develop the type of evaluation that is best for your institution and your situation.

  • Board Relationship
  • Strategic Planning
  • Preparing and Managing the Budget
  • Personnel Administration
  • Professional Knowledge and Awareness of Best Practices and Trends
  • Implementation of Board Decisions
  • Collection Development
  • Staff Development
  • Library Service
  • Activity in Professional Organizations
  • Policy Recommendations to Board
  • Working Relations with Friends, Foundation, Community, etc.
  • Maintenance and Development of Facilities and Vehicles
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