Cohoes Public Library – Governance and Operations (2015M-259)

Issued Date
April 01, 2016

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether the Board provided adequate oversight of the Library’s operations for the period January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.


The Cohoes Public Library is a municipal public library located in the City of Cohoes in Albany County. The Library, which serves approximately 16,000 residents, is governed by an appointed nine-member Board of Trustees. Budgeted appropriations for 2014 were approximately $242,000.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not governed and operated the Library in accordance with its charter, its bylaws and the City code.
  • The Board is unfamiliar with the Library’s charter and bylaws and the City code pertaining to the Library.
  • The Treasurer does not submit complete and adequate monthly financial reports to the Board.
  • The Board does not audit and approve claims prior to them being processed for payment by the City.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure the Library is operating in accordance with its bylaws, its charter and City code.
  • Periodically review and update the bylaws and charter.
  • Ensure that the Treasurer submits adequate monthly financial reports that include complete budget-to-actual information, cash balances and all budget lines, revenues and expenditures.
  • Audit and approve all claims before they are paid and ensure that Library staff provides the City with the Board-approved claims packets or abstracts signed by all Board members.