LTA Members:Get Questions Answered
Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?
Ask Joe Eisner (click to learn more)

As part of LTA’s expansion of service to aid and assist library trustees and directors, LTA offers members an opportunity to confer with Joe Eisner, free of charge.

Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 or by email at (Question are handled with discretion.)

For more information about Joe Eisner’s experience and background, please click on the “Ask Joe Eisner” tab under “Resources and Links” on LTA’s website.

Please note: The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained:

Q. Who has the authority to appoint library employees, the library board or the library director?

A. The library board. This is the case regardless of whether appointment of an employee is to a position in either an association or public library:


  1. Board authority- the Library Board is the appointing authority.
    1. The Board may delegate to the Director or any other managerial employee, the task of seeking  a qualified person to  fill the position and then recommending to the Board the appointment of a qualified person, including salary or  salary range and fringe benefits for that position.

If the Board has authorized the creation of a new position, or the replacement of an employee due to retirement, resignation or death, regardless of whether the position is full-time or part-time, or involves the recruitment of a person not currently a library employee:

i)                    an association library board  may stipulate the method to be used to recruit candidates. This may be by  advertising the position in local media having coverage in the library’s service area, and  is entirely within the Board’s discretion;

ii)                   a public library,  cannot improperly contravene  local Civil Service Commission Rules by utilizing such a procedure. By law, the local Civil Service Commission is the recruiting agency for employees of public libraries within its jurisdiction. Thus, before resorting to other means of recruitment such as advertising a position,  the local Commission should be consulted to determine if a current List of Eligibles exists from which appointments can be made.

Regardless of type of library, a board should also determine if there exists a  provision in a board’s current written agreement with a staff bargaining agent, containing a clause requiring that any vacancy or new position be posted in order to provide current employees having the requisite qualifications as listed in the notification,  the opportunity to apply and be considered for appointment, or given first preference in consideration.

It is the sole prerogative of the library board, not the library director nor any other employee, to appoint any person or persons to be  library employees.

  1. Director’s responsibility-  to carry out those duties assigned  to him/her by the library board, including recommendations to that board for employment of personnel where  those positions and salary and benefits therefor have been approved by the board. When authorized or requested by the board, the director may recommend to the board appropriate salary and fringe benefits for library staff. When adopted by the library board, these should be noted in the minutes of the meeting where such action(s) took place.


Please note: If you have any additional questions about this topic, please contact Joe Eisner at the e-mail/phone above.