The provincial legislation sets out the governance structure for public library service. It provides for the establishment of municipal and community library boards at the local level and system boards at the regional level. These autonomous boards cooperate through provincial networks and resource sharing agreements to give access to public library resources to all Albertans.
The Libraries Act defines the roles of the partners in library development and sets out parameters for public library structure. The Act recognizes the municipality as the foundation for public library service and the library boards as the major building blocks. The Act also allows for cooperation between municipalities and school authorities to provide equitable and enhanced service through library systems in large regional areas.