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North Dakota Library Law: Annual Report to Governing Body


North Dakota public libraries are required in Century Code §40-38-09 to submit an annual report to their governing body (either the city and/or county commission). This is different from the Public Library Survey that is submitted to the North Dakota State Library.

NDCC §40-38-09 reads:

Annual report of board of directors - Contents - To whom made.
The board of directors shall make a report by July first of each year to the governing body of the city or board of county commissioners, as the case may be, stating:

  1. The condition of the library and property.
  2. The various sums of money received from all sources.
  3. How much money has been expended and for what purpose.
  4. The number of library materials on hand.
  5. The number of library materials added,withdrawn, or lost and number of materials loaned out.
  6. The type of library materials contained in the library.
  7. Such other statistics, information, and suggestions as the board may deem of general interest or as may be required by the state library.

Copies of the report shall be filed with the governing body of the political subdivision and with the state library.

What to Include

The items required by §40-38-09 are not the only information the library should include in this report. Consider including the following items as well as any other exciting information that shows the library is an important part of the community and local culture:

  • Contact information
  • Unique items the library circulates
  • Library services and fun facts
  • Highlights from the past year
  • Photographs
  • Future goals and projects

The way all of this information is incorporated into the report is completely up to the individual library. Most annual reports are several pages that are both digital and physical. Remember to make sure it is written so that a non-library-user would understand the library's importance and impact. This may take a bit of time, but tools like Microsoft Word, Publisher, Google Docs, and Canva all will help create a dynamic, interesting, and eye-catching report. When in doubt, remember to go simple and stay focused.

This report can also serve another purpose: advocacy. Never miss an opportunity to advocate for the library. The governing body should be able to review the report and visualize the impact the library is making in the community. Find more information about advocacy on this LibGuide.

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.