Contemporary library boards in Ontario are mostly administrative entities, but this was not always the case. Local government today is very different from the pre-1945 era. Over the years, accountability has trumped representation (a political concept) in local government and provincial statutes controlling local agencies. The municipal government has overtaken many local bodies--clearly, elected local officials in larger government entities created after the 1960s in restructuring exercises now hold powerful positions in relation to other community agencies. But councils are by no means absolute. Local representative agencies, such as Ontario library boards, still possess interesting positions in local decision making and continue to exist through separate provincial legislation (for public libraries dating to 1882) and retain some influence over services.
The transformative period for Ontario library boards was no doubt framed by the remarkable growth and development of local government after 1945. By 1985, with the enactment of new library legislation, the issue of accountability for non-elective library boards was mostly resolved. Since that time, trustees and boards have accepted new roles and power relationships alongside municipal councils. But the original sense of community representation still remains a strong element in thinking about library operations and administration.
You can get a free preview for this book on Google. The contents and paging for the new version of Public Library Boards is as follows:
1. Introduction 1
2. Library Boards Prior to 1945 3
3. Political Representation and Responsibility 15
4. Influence, Power and Authority of Local Boards 30
5. Intergovernmental Planning for Public Libraries 50
6. Professionalism in Library Administration 81
7. Trusteeship, the Internet, and the Digital Library 95
8. Conclusion 128
If you are interested in having a copy, you can get a preview and request a copy for $15.00 by going to http://www.uoguelph.ca/~lbruce/onthistories.shtml