Library boards are subject to the same requirements as other boards as required in the Iowa Code 69.16A: Gender balance.
1. All appointive boards, commissions, committees, and councils of the state established by the Code, if not otherwise provided by law, shall be gender balanced. No person shall be appointed or reappointed to any board, commission, committee, or council established by the Code if that appointment or reappointment would cause the number of members of the board, commission, committee, or council of one gender to be greater than one-half the membership of the board, commission, committee, or council plus one if the board, commission, committee, or council is composed of an odd number of members. If the board, commission, committee, or council is composed of an even number of members, not more than one-half of the membership shall be of one gender. If there are multiple appointing authorities for a board, commission, committee, or council, they shall consult each other to avoid a violation of this section.
2. All appointive boards, commissions, committees, and councils of a political subdivision of the state that are established by the Code, if not otherwise provided by law, shall be gender balanced as provided by subsection 1 unless the political subdivision has made a good faith effort to appoint a qualified person to fill a vacancy on a board, commission, committee, or council in compliance with subsection 1 for a period of three months but has been unable to make a compliant appointment. In complying with the requirements of this subsection, political subdivisions shall utilize a fair and unbiased method of selecting the best qualified applicants. This subsection shall not prohibit an individual whose term expires prior to January 1, 2012, from being reappointed even though the reappointment continues an inequity in gender balance.
Notice that the code allows an exemption if a "good faith effort" has been made for three months to fill a position properly. In order to defend any non-compliant appointments, it is recommended that cities document their failed efforts to recruit a qualified candidate of the desired gender. Furthermore, cities and counties are instructed to "utilize a fair and unbiased method of selecting the best qualified applicants." This means that being appointed to a library board no longer depends upon "who you know" or a particular citizen's relationship with the mayor. Instead, a standard protocol, application, or process should be used to determine qualifications. Such a process need not be complicated; in fact, the more transparent and simple it is, the better for recruitment. Utilize local clubs and organizations to get out the word about the skill set you require; parent-teacher associations, labor unions, community colleges, veterans' posts, churches, neighborhood groups, professional networks and social clubs are all comprised of volunteers active within their communities. Advertise.
In most Iowa cities, public library trustees are appointed by the mayors and approved by the city councils. Therefore, it is the legal responsibility of the mayor and the city council (and county boards of supervisors, if they appoint rural board members) to ensure that library boards are gender balanced. The library director and trustees can suggest names of potentially good candidates for the board, but the mayor and city council (and in some cities, the county board of supervisors) make the actual appointments.