What is a library district and how is it governed?

In Colorado, the Library Law (CRS 24-90-101) details what a library district is and how it is governed. The Library Laws, Policies, and Standards page of the State Library website says this of a library district:

"It is a political subdivision of the state, funded by a voter-approved property tax. Once the library district is approved by the voters, the appointed board of trustees has full governance powers and responsibilities, including mill levy certification, budget appropriation, and the authority to issue bonds."

This law designates two types of library boards of trustees: governing and advisory. Our library's current Library Commissioners are advisory.  The library district board of trustees is the governing type. It is their responsibility “to ensure that the public library’s policies support the mission and the community, and provide access and services to all community members.” 

This board of trustees “has fiscal and legal responsibility for the control and management of the library; has authority to make policy; hires/fires the library director; has all the powers enumerated in CRS 24-90-109.” Additionally, the board sets policies and compensation for the library district staff members, and typically leases the library district's buildings and is responsible for the maintenance, repairs, and insurance. 

With the formation of a Boulder Public Library district, trustees would be appointed jointly by the Boulder Country Commissioners and Boulder City Council through a process determined via an intergovernmental agreement (IGA). The Board would be comprised of 5 or 7 members, drawn from residents throughout the district. Current library Commissioners must be city residents, and decisions about the library are made by the City Council in the current governing structure.

For more details visit the Colorado State Library website or reach out to the Boulder Library Champions!


As we get into gear for Boulder library ballot measure 6C to secure a stable funding future for our Boulder libraries, we’ll use this space to cover some of the details on the library district proposal that might be of interest to the public as this campaign moves ahead. Ballot issue 6C to fund our libraries will ensure that Boulder Public Library has long-term funding via a library district. We can't keep our libraries underfunded and closed. It's time to fund our libraries. Learn more at https://www.boulderlibrarychampions.org/. Read ballot issue 6C language here here: https://www.boulderlibrarychampions.org/ballot_language