Legislation and governance of public libraries

Public libraries are established and governed by the Library Act and its Regulations. Library boards are responsible for the management of public libraries and are independent corporations (with the exception of integrated library systems).

The Library Act:

  • Provides the mechanism for the establishment and operation of municipal libraries, regional library districts, and library federations
  • Encourages the extension and use of public library service throughout British Columbia
  • Enables the delivery of public library service in the province
  • Supports improvements in public library service; and
  • Describes how to form local library boards and how to hire a chief librarian

Library boards set the strategic priorities and policies governing the services and operation of the library. They are responsible for managing the business of the library, including hiring a chief librarian, overseeing financial management, and establishing policies for staff and library facility use. As recipients of provincial funding, library boards are responsible for reviewing and submitting reports under the accountability framework for public libraries.

Other related legislation:

Financial Information Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Local Government Act

Community Charter