Chief Librarian/CEO Performance Appraisal Policy


One of the responsibilities of the Library Board is to employ a competent CEO/Chief Librarian (henceforth CEO). This Policy has been developed to ensure that the process is fair, is transparent to Board members, protects confidentiality and is focused on improving the CEO’s performance and adherence to Hamilton Public Library’s strategic priorities, the basis for the CEO’s goals.


  • The Library Board is responsible for the CEO’s Performance Appraisal (PA) process.

  • The CEO Performance Appraisal will be conducted consistent with Library Board mission, policies, values and strategic priorities.

  • The CEO goals will be the organizational goals that are approved every year as part of the business planning process.

Criteria for Evaluation 

  • The purpose of evaluation is to ensure alignment between the Library Board and the CEO and to ensure feedback systems are in place to support ongoing improvement. 

  • The Library Board will monitor the degree to which Board policies and strategic priorities are met. Monitoring of the CEO’s job performance will be solely against expected job outputs.  Data that does not do this will not be considered to be monitoring data.  

  • The Board may acquire monitoring data by one or more of three methods: 

    • Internal reports, in which the CEO discloses performance and compliance information to the Board. 

    • External reports, in which a disinterested, external third party selected by the Board, assesses compliance with Board policies. 

    • Direct Board inspection, in which a designated member or members of the Board assess compliance with the appropriate policy criteria. 

  • The standard for performance/compliance shall be a reasonable interpretation of the Board policy or priority being monitored. 

Frequency of Appraisals 

The standard period for evaluation will be annually. 

Schedule and Process 

Annually HPL submits a Multi-Year Business Plan to the City of Hamilton that is part of the City of Hamilton operating budget process. The goals for the upcoming year are contained in HPL’s business plan submission to the City. The schedule below may be adjusted based on special circumstances including the City requirements around the budget submission.

This schedule provides a checklist for the steps of the process.

  • Establishing Goals for the City Multi-year Business Plan: (October/November)

    • The organizational goals are the CEO’s goals and the CEO will draft goals for the coming year.  

    • The goals will follow the standard two-stage process, being received for comment at one meeting, then brought back the following month for approval. Once approved they are submitted to the City, along with the requested budget. (City Process)

  • Library Board Goals for Year: (January)

    • Using the multi-year business plan submission as a basis, a report on goals for the year will be developed. This allows a report to focus on the year ahead and to reflect changes that have happened since the business plan was developed. (Internal Library Board Process)

  • Library Board Goals- Mid-Year Prigress Report: (June)

    • The CEO presents to the Board a mid-year progress report that includes any needed adjustments to the goals for 2nd half of the year. (Internal Library Board Process)

  • Library Board Goals- Final Report for the year: December

    • The CEO works with the Board to complete the report on the year. Elements of this report may be included in the City Multi-Year Business Plan for the coming year, however, this report will provide an overview or the year for the Library Board. (Internal Library Board Process)

Board Discussions  

  • The establishment of the annual goals and the reports on their progress will normally be done in open sessions. 

  • During the process there may be questions or the need for a Board discussion about performance at any point during the year. Board members wishing such discussion should request that through the Board Chair.   

  • The item will appear under Private and Confidential as “HR Matter.” 

  • The CEO may remain for the 1st part of the in-camera discussion to make a statement or answer questions; however, the main Board discussion will happen with the CEO not present. The Director of Human Resources will remain in attendance to take notes and advise on process. 

  • The discussion with the CEO related to their performance appraisal will be done by the Chair and Vice-Chair. 

Publish Date

January 2024.