Activity 6: Effective Board Meetings

This activity is for prompting discussion about effective board meetings.

Review this checklist and then in pairs or as a group discuss these questions.

  1. What are the ways in which your board is effective in meetings?
  2. What you would like to see more of, or different, in your board meetings?
  3. What are ways that you as a trustee can contribute to strengthening your board’s meetings?
Checklist for Effective Meetings
  • The chair (in some cases the board executive) and the library director work together on the agenda.
  • The agenda is brought to the board for additions and approval.
  • A consent agenda is used.
  • Board meetings are appropriate in length to the work that needs to be done.
  • The library director is the secretary of the board unless this role is seconded to another individual.
  • Board members are responsible for being prepared for the meeting.
  • Meeting packages are sent ahead of time to allow sufficient time to review and consider (a minimum of four days).
  • Meeting packages only contain material pertinent to the agenda.
  • Meeting materials are accurate, appropriate, and timely.
  • Meeting materials provide sufficient information for trustees to discuss and make informed decisions.
  • Minutes summarize issues and agreed actions clearly and accurately.
  • Meetings start and end on time and agendas are adhered to.
  • The agenda and meeting process can accommodate emergent issues and needs.
  • Discussions are concise and focused without shutting down voices or rushing decisions.
  • Trustees are encouraged to participate and the chair seeks input from everyone.
  • Conflict is dealt with constructively and respectfully.
  • Decisions are made with clear reference to the vision, mission, values, and strategic direction.
  • Fiduciary responsibility and duty of care are apparent in board discussions and decisions. (see Trustee Quick Guide for definitions)
  • Action items and responsibilities are clearly understood and recorded in the minutes.
  • The board refrains from stepping into the management of operations.