The Library Board oversees the operation of the Manhattan Public Library by adopting rules and regulations for the administration of the library, acquires books, magazines and other materials for the library, and employs a director to oversee the day to day operations of the library. The duties of the Board of Trustees are defined by K.S.A. 12-1225. Trustees approve library policy and serve on finance, building and grounds, legislative, and policy and planning committees.
The library is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Manhattan Public Library Board of Trustees consists of seven members. In addition to the appointed members, the mayor serves as an ex officio member of the board, which means that by virtue of the office or position, the mayor is a member. Trustees serve a four-year term and are eligible for one reappointment.