Join the Public Library Board

What is the Public Library Board?

The public library board is a governance board established by the Library Act and is responsible for providing library services and programs in Richmond. Library Trustees direct the policies, goals and objectives of the library and advocate for the library in the greater community. The day-to-day operation of the library is the responsibility of the Chief Librarian and senior staff.

How to Apply?

Complete the 2018 Application Form for Citizen Appointment to an Advisory Body, available on this page and in all branches of the Richmond Public Library. Return the application to the City Clerk’s Office by Friday, September 22, 2017.

» Click here to download 2018 Application Form.

Need more information?

Please contact Susan Walters, Chief Librarian, Richmond Public Library at (604) 231-6466 or Susan Koch, Library Board Chair at (778)-386-1457 or contact the City Clerk’s Office at Richmond City Hall.


Trustees do not work in the library. These are voluntary Board positions, with no pay or allowances. Your time commitment would be ten scheduled board meetings per year (5:30 - 8:00 pm) plus 5-6 additional meetings throughout the year and participation in library events.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Trustee

As a Richmond Public Library Trustee, you are a citizen whom the community has "Trusted" to care for its library. This appointment by Richmond City Council implies a challenge, an obligation and an opportunity. It is through the existence of you and your Board that an interchange of ideas between the public, the government and the library staff will be ensured. Your responsibility is to represent the public interest in libraries. To see that the Richmond Public Library offers comprehensive and efficient service to the community that supports it, you act with other Board members to fulfill a variety of responsibilities as a Trustee.

Trusteeship is not an honorary position. You will be asked to give freely of your time, talents and energy. It will involve establishing effective working relationships with local government, library staff and fellow trustees. It will require becoming part of a team. The demands are high but so are the rewards, for your contribution can make a difference to library service in both our community and province.


  • Develop and approve policies for the Library in such areas as finance, human resources, governance, advocacy and program.
  • Determine the goals and objectives of the Board and the Library.
  • Determine the Library’s role in satisfying the needs of the community.
  • Select and evaluate the Chief Librarian.
  • Present the Library’s budget to City Council.
  • Cooperate and consult with other community agencies, organizations, and libraries to develop various partnerships to meet the Library’s goals of providing service to the community.
  • Understand and fulfill your legal responsibilities.


  • Attend Board and Committee meetings with regularity and punctuality.
  • Before the meetings, read the Board or Committee material, which has been sent out ahead of time. Take time to make note of any comments or concerns you have about matters, which will be discussed at the meeting.
  • Participate in the discussions and decisions at the time they are taking place rather than waiting to state your opinions after action has been taken.
  • Ask questions or request additional information about any issue you do not understand. Chances are you are not the only one who does not understand; other trustees will be grateful to receive clarification. No Board member should vote without clearly understanding that which is being voted on.
  • Abide by decisions duly made by the Board.
  • Raise any library-related concerns which you have observed or which community members have brought to your attention.
  • Know and understand the mission and policies of the Library Board.
  • Be informed and knowledgeable about Richmond Public Library and commit yourself to learning and to the education of other Trustees.
  • Maintain an objective and unbiased approach free of conflict of interest.
  • Library trustees and members of the staff are encouraged to give talks and to participate in community activities.