Board Responsibilities

Our Board governs EPL, lobbies for library support and advocates for literacy and learning. Board members are our leaders, and they make sure EPL is always improving.

The Board is a corporation with full management powers over the Library. Its status and powers come from the Alberta Libraries Act.


The Board Chair controls the meeting agendas and approves items submitted for consideration by trustees and library administration. EPL administration is responsible for creating the agenda. Sometimes items that don’t make the agenda are still discussed and considered.

You can read meeting minutes online on our Board Meetings page.

How the Board Works

The Board controls library operations by setting its policies. Implementing policies is up to the EPL administration. Policies are set during Board meetings and result from issues raised by the trustees themselves, or in recommendations from the administration.

The budget is the key policy-making tool. Once our budget is established, the Board charts the library’s path. The extent and quality of EPL’s services to Edmonton relies on the Board's ability to optimize resources, especially financial.

Library Board/Staff Relationship

Trustees act as a collective Board and have no individual authority over Library staff. Individual trustees do not have the power to direct or discipline staff. Formal communication between the Board and staff is done through EPL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or a designate.

Working Relationship Agreement:
Library Board/Executive Team

(Board Approved November 1, 2011)

We will work effectively together by:

  1. Being accountable to each other, arriving well-prepared to meetings and being engaged in Board affairs.
  2. Communicating well by making statements and requests in a clear and direct manner, and listening generously to others.
  3. Fostering an environment where constructive dissent is welcomed, where people are encouraged to share their unique perspectives on issues and topics, and where “group think” is challenged respectfully and creatively.
  4. Respecting and acknowledging each other, and appreciating our individual contributions and the voluntary nature of this commitment.


Library Trustees may be paid an honorarium set by the Board for both Board and committee meetings. Expenses can be paid to Trustees travelling to or attending special functions on behalf of the Library or Library Board.

The current honoraria is $40 per Board and Committee meeting for Trustees. The Chair of the Board receives $60 for regular board meetings, and Chairs of Committees receive $60 for regular Committee meetings.

Library Board/City Relationship

The boundaries of authority between the Library and City Council may be subject to interpretation. However, it is clear our Board has statutory standing and considerable autonomy, if not independence, in conducting EPL affairs. On the other hand, the Library is still accountable to City Council. City Council's ultimate authority rests with its power to appoint trustees and to approve library estimates.

Buildings occupied by EPL are owned by the City, with the exception of those leased in shopping centres and the Strathcona Branch Library, which is owned by our Board. The Board, however, decides branch locations, when branches will be established and whether premises will be built or leased, subject to City Council's approval of the estimates.

Trustee Training

When new Trustees are appointed, the Library Board provides them with an orientation and training program, and a Trustee’s Handbook. This comprehensive handbook includes information on the Libraries Act and Regulations, the City Policy on Civic Agencies, Library Bylaws, Library Policies and other facts about EPL and our system.