Bucks County Free Library is a seven-branch county library system with locations in:
The county system was founded in 1956 by a resolution of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners. An independent board of directors is accountable to the Commissioners for oversight. The majority of funding, more than 50%, is from General Fund tax dollars. Other funding includes state library aid, fines and fees, donations and endowments, and grants. The library system's annual budget ranges from about $10-12 million.
The primary mission of the county system and branches is to serve all county residents, above and beyond the municipalities in which branches are located. County branches are not funded or governed by local municipalities.
The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the library system. The Executive Director and board work together to ensure that the library's strategic priorities match community needs and that the library follows the highest possible standards for financial, administrative, and professional operations.
The Executive Director and board develop and enforce policies and procedures for the branch system. Managers in each location guide and oversee day-to-day staff and operations. The branch library system employs about 150 full- and part-time workers, including librarians, library clerks, and various support staff, such as custodians, computer technicians, and office workers.
Collection Management Office staff members respond to the reading, listening, and viewing habits of library users by selecting materials based on collection use, publishing trends, and feedback from library staff and users, according to the library materials policies. Facilities staff members conduct maintenance and improvement projects in library branches. Other Bucks County Free Library departments provide critical services to the branches and additional independent libraries throughout the Bucks County library district.
Each of the community public libraries is governed independently by its own board and funded by its own local municipality or other sponsor. The Bucks County Free Library and community public libraries share a catalog and library materials with one another and issue a library card that may be used at all locations.
Community libraries are located in:
The primary mission of each community public library is to serve its local community.
The chief executive officer of each community library is a Library Director. Community library directors and boards work together to ensure that the library's strategic priorities match community needs.
Library directors and their boards develop and enforce policies and procedures for their libraries. In addition, library directors in each location guide and oversee day-to-day staff and other operations. Library directors select books and other items and manage collections in their libraries.
Each community library is different in governance, budget, size, and work force. All endeavor to provide effective and targeted service to the communities they serve.
Bucks County Public Libraries and the Doylestown District operations are cooperative efforts of the Bucks County Free Library and community public libraries. Bucks County Free Library departments provide centralized services and operations to all the libraries in areas where sharing resources is cost effective. About $1.3 million in state library aid offsets these costs.
These operations include book ordering, processing, and delivery; computer and networked services for public and staff PCs; and inter-library delivery of items from location to location, among others. District services include county wide programs such as Summer Reading; borrowing and loaning materials to and from outside Bucks County; and board and staff training and development.
Centralized support and District offices are located in Doylestown. Policy and procedures for centralized support and District services are a collaborative effort among participating libraries. The District and Consortium Advisory Council is a group of library directors and board representatives that meets at least three times per year to determine budgets, strategic priorities, and policies in areas of shared operation. The most important policies and procedures that all Bucks County public libraries share are those regarding checkouts and sharing of items in library collections and computer use.