Nearly all of Iowa's more than 500 public libraries are governed by a library board, also known as a board of trustees. Most Iowa public library boards have the authority to hire and evaluate the library director; adopt library policies; shift budget funds from one line item to another; approve library expenditures and more.
Changing the make-up, manner of selection or authority of a library board must be done through a referendum (Iowa Code, Section 392.5), and state law also requires public library boards of trustees to be gender-balanced. More information about a public library's governance can be found in the city-library ordinance.
The State Library provides support and guidance to library boards, including board training as required by Iowa Public Library Standards.
Board Member Resources
Watch a series of six educational videos designed to give Iowa library trustees (or prospective trustees) an overview of the roles and responsibilities associated with serving on the board of an Iowa public library.
Answers to frequently asked "Open Meetings" questions are discussed by Charles Smithson of the Iowa Public Information Board and Mandy Easter, State Library Law Librarian in this archived webinar.
The Boardroom is a series of webinars offered by the State Library for Iowa library trustees to better understand and excel in their role. Watched archived webinars from this series and earn CE credit.
Stay Up to Date
The State Library offers options for library board members to stay up to date on issues related to Iowa libraries and State Library programs.
Library Board Email List
The State Library sends occasional updates and important information related to serving on library boards, including training opportunities. List members also receive the Monday Morning Eye-Opener, a weekly newsletter covering current topics related to the Iowa library community. Click the link below to sign up to receive updates.
Library Talk Forum
LibraryTalk is an online forum for the Iowa library community from the State Library. Discuss library industry news and information on topics of interest to library board members.