The District is governed by a Board of Library Trustees, which derives its authority from the Education Code. The Board of Library Trustees consists of five members elected at large from the District and who serve without pay for four-year staggered terms and may be re-elected. Elections are held biennially in odd numbered years on the same day as state general elections, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Pursuant to Education Code Section 19700, Trustees take office the first Friday in December succeeding their election.
The Board meets the fourth Monday each month at the Main Library in the Community Room to conduct its business. As an elected, administrative body, the Board of Library Trustees holds the authority and accountability for providing library services to the residents of Altadena. The Board holds the authority and accountability as a body, not as individuals. The Board understands the needs of the community and transforms them into the policies that govern the District. The Board creates long and short term plans to ensure that the Library District thrives, and oversees progress toward their implementation. It approves and monitors the annual budget, and as stewards for the library’s present and future, ensures adequate funding for district operations. It hires, supports and evaluates a qualified library director. The Board works to maintain unity of purpose among its members. It delegates authority and accountability to the District Director who operates under policies set by the board.
Although the District is politically independent of the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County, the County does collect property tax revenues on behalf of the District and provides selected services for a fee, such as conducting elections.
The District believes in planning and evaluation of its services. In 2008, the Board adopted a new mission statement:
The Altadena Library District is dedicated to providing free and equal access to information, ideas, technology and the joy of reading to educate and empower our diverse community.