Resources for Library Boards

COVID-19 and Library Boards

Many library boards are making decisions about how to hold their board meetings going forward. OLBA has shared a resource to help boards understand some of the options available to them.

Library Board Recruitment

Learn more about what makes for an effective public library board and how to recruit new members.

  1. Choosing An Effective Public Library Board (OLBA)
  2. Public Library Board Recruitment: Guidelines and Templates (OLS – N)
  3. Checklist – Recruiting New Public Library Board Members (OLBA)
  4. Key competencies for library board trustees (SOLS)

About Ontario Public Libraries & Governance

Learn more about how Ontario’s Public Libraries are governed, the Public Libraries Act and the role of municipal council in public library governance.

  1. Spotlight on Ontario Public Libraries: What you need to know as a municipal councillor (SOLS)
  2. Understanding Ontario’s Public Libraries (MTCS) – English | Français
  3. Municipal Councillors Handbook (OLS – N)
  4. Cut to the Chase – Ontario’s Public Library Governance at a glance (OLA) – English | Français 

Governance Hub

Developed by Southern Ontario Library Service, this hub contains resources mapped to each of the four years of public library board governance. Find out more here.

Other Resources

Leadership by Design on LearnHQ is a free series of learning modules mapped to each year of the four year public library board cycle. Password access is required and details are available on the LearnHQ web site.

Year 1: Modules 1 – 2 contain learning resources about board member roles, responsibilities, learning about the community and the role of the library.

Year 2: Module 3 contains resources about board and community assessment, measurement strategies, and the CEO review process.

Year 3: Module 4 contains resources about strategic planning, advocacy and risk management.

Year 4: Module 5 contains resources about developing a board legacy and succession plan.

Navigating LearnHQ: LearnHQ is developed by Southern Ontario Library Service in partnership with OLA and is an extensive online learning resource developed for public library staff and board members in Ontario. After log-in, select ‘browse courses’, select ‘management/leadership’, and then select ‘board development’. After selecting ‘launch class’, browse the ‘lessons’ option to review each resource within each learning module.

Please contact info@accessola.com with any questions about this resource.

Cut to the Chase is a quick reference guide on public library governance in Ontario and the library board’s fundamental responsibilities for achieving effective leadership and sound governance. It serves as the foundation document in OLBA’s Leadership by Design – a primary resource for library trustees to find the information and make the connections they need to strengthen their capacity as key decision-makers in their communities.

Download – English | French

OLBA's One Place to Look Database

Size

  1. Public Libraries Act: Questions and Answers for Public Libraries, p. 42-49, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Three: Legal Responsibilities: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010).

Composition

  1. Officers, pp. 61-62, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Five – Meeting Management: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. Board Treasurer, pp. 71-72, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Six – Financial Control: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  3. Public Libraries Act: Questions and Answers for Public Libraries, p.42-49, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Three – Legal Responsibilities: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)

By-Laws

  1. Bylaws, pp.52-53 in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Four – The Role of the Board: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. Truste E-Talk #8 – Board Processes: Bylaws (Ontario Library Service – North, 2008)
  3. Bylaws Checklist (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2010)

Succession Management

  1. From Advertisement to Appointment: The Path to a Dynamic Library Board – Part III: Recruitment Kit (Ontario Library Association, 1994)
  2. Transition Means Documenting Your Legacy and Helping Your Municipality Recruit the Best, Ian Hunter, (InsideOLBA, Fall 2006)
  3. A Fresh Look at Diversity and Boards (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  4. Board Members Are Not Hypothetical Constructs (Kelly Kleima, Contributions Magazine, August 2011) 
  5. 10 Qualities to Look for in a Library Trustee: pp. 16-17 (Ian Hunter, ACCESSS, Winter 2010) 
  6. Whitby Public Library Board Succession Plan (Whitby Public Library, 2010) 
  7. Good Library Board Members Make A Difference, by Ian Hunter in ACCESS, Fall 2005, p.35
  8. Guide to Successful Board Recruitment, Dalhousie College of Continuing Education
  9. Your Board’s Recruitment Package, Dalhousie College of Continuing Education

Committee Structure

  1. Committees, p. 62, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Five – Meeting Management: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. Governance Committee: Sample Terms of Reference (Nathan Garber & Associates, 2005)
  3. Boards Should Only Have Three Committees! (Board Cafe, David La Piana, 2009)
  4. Should we form a Board Committee? Dalhousie College of Continuing Education

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Ongoing Responsibilities of the Board, pp.. 3-4, Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – The Role of the Library Board: Ontario Library Association, 2001)
  2. A Board Member “Contract” (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  3. What to Do With Board Members Who Don’t Do Anything (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  4. All About Boards of Directors: For-Profit and Nonprofit (Carter McNamara, Authenticity Consulting)
  5. Critical Path for the Board (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  6. Primer for Directors for Not-for-Profit Corporations: Rights,Duties & Practices (Industry Canada, 2002, also available in French)
  7. Governance, p. 1, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Four – Role of the Board: Governance, pp. 50-51, (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  8. Board Challenge: Checklist of Good Governance Activities: pp. 18-19 (Randee Loucks, ACCESS, Summer 2006)
  9. A Board-Staff Agreement for Financial Accountability, by Jan Masaoka, Board Cafe, October 2010.
  10. A Nonprofit Dashboard and Signal Light for Boards, Board Cafe, By Jeanne Bell & Jan Masaoka • July 1, 2009
  11. THE LEGAL DUTIES OF DIRECTORS OF CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
  12. Good Governance in Meeting the Duties of Directors of Charities and Not-For-Profits, Carters and Associates, May 2003

Orientation and Smooth Transition from Old to New

  1. The Outstanding Library Trustee – Who Are you? pp. 6-7 (InsideOLBA, Spring 2008)
  2. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Being an Effective Board Member (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  3. Truste E-Talk #1 – Appointments to the Board (Ontario Library Service – North, 2007)
  4. Spotlight on Public Libraries: What You Need to Know as a Municipal Councillor (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  5. 10 Steps for an Enhanced Library Trustee Orientation: pp. 16-17 (Ian Hunter, ACCESS, Summer 2010)
  6. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section One – Board Orientation (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  7. Governance 101: In The Beginning (Jane Hilton, ACCESS, Summer 2011, pp.16-17).

Board Development

  1. Governance 101: Board Development: Raising the Bar, by Jane Hilton, ACCESS, Winter 2012, p. 14

Performance Assessment

  1. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Being an Effective Board Member: pp. 6 (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  2. Board Assessment – Why to Do It and How: pp. 6-7 (Catherine Dowd, InsideOLBA, Winter 2008)
  3. Accountability of the Board, pp. 56-57, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Four – Role of the Board: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  4. Board Self-evaluation Tool (MS Word), Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education
  5. Board Self-evaluation Tool – User Guidelines (MS Word), Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education
  6. Best Practices: Proessionalism and Board Evaluation Jane Hilton, in Inside OLBA, Spring 2012, pp.2-3.

Code of Conduct

  1. Decision-Making Process, pp.104-105, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Nine – Policy: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. What to Do with Board Members Who Don’t Do Anything (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  3. Truste E-Talk #11 – Board Relationships and Communication (Ontario Library Service – North, 2008)
  4. A Devil’s Advocate on the Board? (Board Cafe, Elizabeth C. Vibber, 2009)
  5. The Golden Rule of Board Resignations (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2010)
  6. What to Do When You Really, Really Disagree with a Board Decision (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2010)
  7. Code of Conduct, pp. 66-67, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Five – Meeting Management: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  8. Code of Conduct Sample Policy Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education
  9. Group Dynamics and Board Communications, pp. 88-89, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Seven – Key Relationships: The Board, the CEO and Municipal Council: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  10. Defensive Practices to Protect the Board, p. 38, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Three – Legal Responsibilities: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  11. What is the Procedure for Handling Confidential Matters? by Nathan Garber
  12. In camera board sessions: careful how you use them Sample Policies, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education

Effective Meetings

  1. Checklist to Evaluate Meetings, p.69, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Five – Meeting Management: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. How can Trustees Facilitate Better Meetings?, pp. 7-8, inOntario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Being an Effective Board Member: (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  3. Truste E-Talk #2 – Consent Agenda (Ontario Library Service – North, 2007)
  4. What is a “Consent Agenda” and how will it make our meetings go faster? by Nathan Garber
  5. Consent Agenda: Finding Time For Your Board to Discuss What Matters, by Hildy Gottlieb
  6. What Makes a Good Team Player: pp. 3 (Lynn Humfress-Trute, InsideOLBA, Fall 2009)
  7. 10 Quick Ways to Invigorate Board Meetings (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  8. Building a Better Board Agenda (Randee Loucks, ACCESS, Winter 2003)
  9. Three Instant Improvements for Board Agendas and Accountability, Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, April 24, 2011
  10. Ten Tips for Improving Your Board Meetings, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education Governance Guides
  11. How Boards Can Have Better Conversations, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education Governance Guides
  12. Managing Conflict: A Guide for Volunteer Boards, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education Governance Guides
  13. Board Governance and Running Effective Meetings E-learning Resource, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
  14. How to Have a Board Meeting By Telephone, Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, July 17, 2013

Effective Chairmanship

  1. Chairing Meetings, p.63, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Five – Meeting Management: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. The Role of the Board Chair (ACCESS, Fall 2000)
  3. Checklist for the Chairperson (Nathan Garber & Associates, 2003)
  4. Truste E-Talk #7 – The Role of the Chair (Ontario Library Service – North, 2007)
  5. Roberts Rules of Order,© 1997 Beverly Kennedy
  6. Chairing a Board Meeting, Governance Guides, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education.
  7. Board Chair Job Description Sample Policies, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education.

Mission, Vision, and Values

  1. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Eight – Planning (Southern Ontario Library Service)
  2. All About Strategic Planning – Developing/Updating a Vision Statement (Free Management Library)
  3. Trustee 20/20 #3 – The Board’s Role in the Planning Process: Vision, pp. 7-8 (Southern Ontario Library Service, 1996)
  4. Giving Boards What They Need to Lead, by Hildy Gottlieb

Community Needs Assessment

  1. Community Considerations: Conducting a GAP Analysis Part I, Trustee Talk, Volume 2, #4
  2. Community Considerations: Conducting a GAP Analysis Part II, Trustee Talk, Volume 2, #5
  3. Environmental Scan for Ontario Public Libraries Complied for SOLS by Kestrel Info Services, November 2011

Strategic Direction

  1. PLANNING: Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Eight (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. All About Strategic Planning – Setting Strategic Direction (Free Management Library)
  3. Critical Path for the Board, Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, July 5, 2009
  4. Strategic Planning: Failures and Alternatives, Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, February 19, 2011
  5. Alternatives to Strategic Planning, Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, March 14, 2011
  6. Creating the Future You’ve Imagined: A Guide to Essential Planning: Overview of the Essential Planning Process. © Southern Ontario Library Service, 2007.

Annual Budget

  1. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook Supplement – The Trustee’s Role in the Budget Process (Ontario Library Association, 1988)
  2. Budget Process in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Six – Financial Control: pp. 73-76 (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  3. The Dirty Little Secret of NonProfit Boards, by Hildy Gottlieb

CEO Selection

  1. How Much to Pay the Executive Director? (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2010)
  2. The Library Board’s Biggest Challenge: Selecting the CEO (Daryl Novak, SOLS, and Randee Loucks, CGS Consultants), February 2012.
  3. You’ve Chosen Your New CEO: Now What? (Daryl Novak, SOLS, and Randee Loucks, CGS Consultants), February 2012.

Board-CEO Relationship

  1. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Board Relationships: pp. 4-9 (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  2. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Seven – Key Relationships: The Board, the CEO and Municipal Council: pp. 81-85 (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  3. The Nonprofit Board’s Role in HR (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  4. What Is Micromanagement and What Isn’t? (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2010)
  5. Who Is Responsible for the Board Doing a Good Job? (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2010)
  6. The Board Told Me I Had to Join Rotary, Feature Articles, Blue Avocado, Joan Dixon, July 30, 2010
  7. The Governance/Support Model for Nonprofit Boards, Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, September 19, 2011
  8. Governance 101 – Governance vs. Management: A Cautionary Tale, Jane Hilton, ACCESS, Fall 2011, Vol.17, No. 4, pp. 13-15.
  9. Ten Biggest Mistakes Boards and Executives Make, Board Cafe, JAN MASAOKA, JANUARY 26, 2013

Defined Board-CEO Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Sourcebook for Small Public Libraries – Administration 9 – The Role of the CEO (Southern Ontario Library Service, 1995)
  2. HR Toolkit (HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector, Government of Canada)
  3. Who Is Responsible for the Board Doing A Good Job? (Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, 2010)
  4. Cut to The Chase

Delegation of Authority

  1. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Board Relationships: Responsibility to Work at the Appropriate Level, pp. 5-9 (Randee Loucks, 2001)

CEO Performance Appraisal

  1. Our Executive Director Is Embezzling (Board Cafe, Vernon Waldren, 2009)
  2. Trustee 20/20 #4 – CEO Performance Appraisal (Southern Ontario Library Service, 1996)
  3. Evaluating the Executive Director, Board Cafe, Jan Masaoka, October 2011
  4. Governance 101: CEO Evaluation by Jane Hilton, ACCESS, Spring 2012, pp.24-25.
  5. Executive Director Evaluation Sample Policies, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education

CEO Succession

  1. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Board Relationships: pp. 4 (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  2. Succession Management: Strategic and Practical (Super Conference 2009, Session 408)
  3. Succession Planning for Nonprofits of All Sizes (Board Cafe, Tim Wolfred and Jan Masaoka, 2009)
  4. Succession Planning: The Elephant in the Room, by Hildy Gottlieb

Legislative Compliance

  1. Understanding Ontario’s Public Libraries Act: Some Key Aspects (Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, 2013)
  2. Public Library Legislation (Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture)
  3. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Three – Legal Responsibilities: Potential Legislative Liability, pp. 36-37 (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  4. Questions and Answers about the Municipal Act, 2001 (Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture)
  5. Ontario’s Public Library Act: Understanding and Compliance (Super Conference 2009, Session 1023)
  6. Development Charges By-Law: Fact Sheet for Public Libraries (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  7. The Legal Responsibilities of Boards, Dalhousie University Governance Guides

Commitment to Library Principles and Intellectual Freedom

  1. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Two – Public Libraries in Ontario: pp. 27-30 (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)

Board Commitment

  1. Standard of Care, pp. 31-35, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Three – Legal Responsibilities: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – The Changing Role of the Board Trustee (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  3. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Rules of the Game (Randee Loucks, 2001)

Sound Policy Framework

  1. Fundraising Training Kit – Section 3 – Preparing the Ground Work: Policies Related to Fundraising, pp. 2 (Southern Ontario Library Service)
  2. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Nine – Policy (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  3. The Policy Governance® Model (John and Miriam Carver, 2009)
  4. Trillium Public Library: Sample Policies (Southern Ontario Library Service)
  5. Policy Governance® Model – Source Document (International Policy Governance Association, 2005)
  6. Truste E-Talk #4 – Propose, Write, Review and Repeat: The Importance of Policy Review (Ontario Library Service – North, 2007)
  7. Best Practices: Policy Management, Jane Hilton in Inside OLBA, Spring 2013, pp.16-17
  8. Financial Management Policy Sample Policies, Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education

Risk Management

  1. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Six – Financial Control: Financial Monitoring, pp. 75-78; Audit, pp. 77-78 (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. Legal Risk Management Checklist for Charities Carters, www.carters.ca
  3. Due Diligence in Avoiding Risks for Directors of Charities and Not-for-Profits Carters, www.carters.ca
  4. IT Governance: What Library Boards Need to Know Now (Super Conference 2009, Session 406)
  5. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Three – Legal Responsibilities: Director’s Liability, pp. 33-35; Indemnification and Insurance, pp. 39 (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  6. Risk Management (Volunteer Alberta)
  7. If You Wanted to Know…What Are the Privacy Responsibilities of Public Libraries? (Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, 2002)

Monitoring Policy Compliance

  1. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Nine – Policy (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)

Reciprocal Dialogue with Community Members

  1. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Ten – Library Board in the Community (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. Community Development: The Keystone to Public Libraries’ Relevance (Super Conference 2009, Session 418)
  3. 10 Ways to Promote the Library Board’s Work on Its Website, Ian Hunter, Access, Fall 2010, pp. 16-17.

Board-Council Relationship

  1. The Board and the Municipal Council, pp. 86-87, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Seven – Key Relationships: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. The Board and the Community, pp.60-62 in Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – Board Relationships: pp. 10-14 (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  3. 10 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Tell Municipal Council: pp. 16-17 (Ian Hunter, ACCESS, Summer 2009)
  4. 10 Qualities to Look for in a Library Trustee (Ian Hunter, ACCESS, Winter 2010)
  5. Roles and Key Responsibilities, Mississauga Public Library Board, Revised February, 2008
  6. Some Counsel from a Councillor Greg Burns, in Inside OLBA, Fall, 2012, pp. 1-2.
  7. Understanding Each Other’s Role: PL Board and Municipal Councils Julie deVries, in Inside OLBA, Spring 2013, pp. 13-15.

Participation in Community-Wide Planning Processes

  1. Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – The Role of the Library Board: pp. 10 (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  2. Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Ten – Library Board in the Community (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)

Advocacy

  1. Ministry of Culture, Libraries, Statistics: Annual Statistics (Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture)
  2. Advocacy is Critical to Working with Council, pp. 87- 88, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Seven – Key Relationships: The Board, the CEO and Municipal Council: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  3. Lobbying Plan (Ontario Library Boards’ Association, 1996)
  4. Lobbying Plan Supplements: Includes 10 Basic Rules for Meeting Your MPP, How to Write an Effective Letter, Handling Hostile Questions (Ontario Library Boards’ Association, 1996)
  5. Advocacy, pp. 42-43, in Ontario Library Trustee’s Handbook – The Role of the Library Board: (Randee Loucks, 2001)
  6. The Value of Libraries (Greta Thompson, 2004)
  7. Truste E-Talk #12 – Advocating for a Sound Budget (Ontario Library Service – North, 2008)
  8. Advocate for Public Library Service, P.56, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Four – Role of the Board: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  9. Annual Report of Public Libraries 2010 (Federation of Ontario Public Libraries, 2010)
  10. Library Board Trustees Can Make the Difference for Your Friends by Dorothy McNaughton, FOCL, INSIDE OLBA, Fall 2011, p.5

Demonstration of the Library’s Value to the Community

  1. The Library’s Contribution To Your Community, pp. 97- 98, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Eight – Planning (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)
  2. One Step, Endless Possibilities – Sault Ste. Marie Public Library

Connections with Broader Library Community

  1. The Board and the Broader Library Community, p. 120, in Library Board Development Kit – 2010 – Section Ten – Library Board in the Community: (Southern Ontario Library Service, 2010)