Status and Governance of The London Library

The London Library is a registered charity (number 312175), incorporated by Royal Charter. It has its own Byelaws and the power to alter its own Rules. It has a Royal Patron as well as a President and Vice-Presidents appointed by the Trustees subject to confirmation by members at the AGM. The Patron, President and Vice-Presidents are vital and much-valued ambassadors for the Library but play no part in its formal management.

Read The London Library Rules here. 

The Library is governed by no fewer than twelve and no more than sixteen trustees, of whom all but the Chairman and Treasurer are elected by members from their number. The Trustees choose their own Chairman and Treasurer, both of whom hold office for four years but may be re-elected immediately for one further term. The Library complies with the Good Governance Code for the voluntary and community sector.

In accordance with the Charter, the Trustees have delegated certain powers to specialist committees under agreed terms of reference, and the membership of these may include non-trustees with appropriate skills and experience.

Trustees other than the Chairman and Treasurer serve for four years before retiring by rotation but are eligible for immediate re-election for a further four-year term. Each year, a Nominations Committee appointed by the Trustees reviews the balance of skills and experience amongst the Trustees and advertises the expertise required to the whole membership in the spring issue of the Library magazine and on the website. The Nominations Committee interviews candidates most closely matching the requirements before recommending them to the Trustees for election by members at the AGM. The Nominations Committee includes a non-trustee member of the Library with specialist skills and experience in the field of recruitment and governance.

The Trustees are responsible for the long-term well-being and effectiveness of the Library and make decisions on the application of its resources, the safeguarding of assets, and the determination of strategies and policies in keeping with its founding aims. The executive management of the Library is delegated to the Director who is appointed by the Trustees and takes decisions on matters such as the appointment of staff, the admission and regulation of members, the acquisition of books and other library materials and the financial management of the Library within budgets recommended by the Finance Committee and approved by the Trustees.

Full details of the Library's Royal Charter and Byelaws are available to download as a PDF document: Royal Charter and Byelaws