Legal Roles and Responsibilities

Working as a board of five, the responsibilities of trustees can be divided into four general categories:

  • Policy Development
  • Finance
  • Personnel
  • Community & Public Relations

It is critical that each trustee be aware of his/her full powers and duties per Idaho Code in order to fulfill his/her  governance role as a library board member.

Title 33, chapter 26 outlines some of the powers and duties of the boards of trustees of city libraries:
33-2607. POWERS AND DUTIES OF TRUSTEES. In addition to the powers elsewhere contained in this chapter and notwithstanding the provisions of title 50, Idaho Code, the board of trustees of each city library shall have the following powers and duties:  

  1. To establish bylaws for its own governance;
  2.  

  3. To establish policies and rules of use for the governance of the library or libraries under its control; to exclude from the use of the library any and all persons who violate such rules;
  4.  

  5. To establish, locate, maintain and have custody of libraries to serve the city, and to provide suitable rooms, structures, facilities, furniture, apparatus and appliances necessary for library service;
  6.  

  7. With the approval of the city:
    1. To acquire real property by purchase, gift, devise, lease or otherwise;
    2. To own and hold real and personal property and to construct buildings for the use and purposes of the library;
    3. To sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of real or personal property when no longer required by the library; and
    4. To insure the real and personal property of the library;
  8.  

  9. To control the expenditures of money budgeted for the library;
  10.  

  11. To accept or decline gifts of money or personal property, in accordance with library policy, and under such terms as may be a condition of the gift;
  12.  

  13. To hire, supervise and evaluate the library director;
  14.  

  15. To establish policies for the purchase and distribution of library materials;
  16. To attend all meetings of the board of trustees;
  17. To maintain legal records of all board business;
  18. To exercise such other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for the orderly and efficient management of the library.

https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title33/T33CH26/SECT33-2607/

 

Title 33, chapter 27 outlines some of the powers and duties of district library boards:
33-2720. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES.

  1. The board of trustees of each library district shall have the following powers and duties consistent with the laws of the state of Idaho:
    1. To establish bylaws for its own government;
    2. To establish policies for the administration, operation and use of the library or libraries under its control;
    3. To employ and evaluate a library director or library director team to administer the library;
    4. To create job descriptions, personnel policies, and compensation packages for library personnel;
    5. To establish an annual budget and to oversee the financial management of the library district;
    6. To establish and locate libraries, branch libraries or stations to serve the district and to provide suitable rooms, structures, facilities, furniture, apparatus and appliances necessary for the conduct thereof;
    7. To acquire by purchase, devise, lease, or otherwise, and to own and hold real and personal property and to construct buildings for the use and purposes of the library district, and to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of property real or personal, when no longer required by the district, and to insure the real and personal property of the district;
    8. To accept gifts of real or personal property for the use and purposes of the library district;
    9. To establish policies for the purchase and distribution of library materials;
    10. To issue warrants, if used, in the manner specified for the issuance of warrants by school districts;
    11. To invest any funds of the district in accordance with the public depository law and other applicable state and federal laws;
    12. To pay actual and necessary expenses of members of the library staff when on business of the district;
    13. To see to the proper conduct of library district elections;
    14. To maintain legal records of all board business;
    15. To exercise other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for the effective use and management of the library.

  2. Individual trustees shall have no authority to make decisions about the policies of the library except as specifically authorized by the board.
  3. It shall be the duty of each trustee to attend all board meetings and committee meetings for committees to which he or she has been assigned.

https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/Title33/T33CH27/SECT33-2720/

Previous: Roles and Governance           Next: Appointments and Elections

 

Resources

ICfL Area Field Consultants – http://libraries.idaho.gov/page/staff-contacts-topic-area 
WebJunction Trustee Resources – http://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/friends-trustees.html
Wyoming State Library's "Trustee Trouble" Videos – http://library.wyo.gov/services/ldo/trustees/