Activity 9: Establishing Policy

This activity is to prompt a greater awareness of the complexity of establishing policy. This activity may be done in small groups, followed by a larger group discussion.

In small groups review an issue that is commonly addressed by board policy and brainstorm the various complexities and factors that would need to be known and discussed prior to establishing a policy.

The following questions may be helpful for the discussion:

  1. What is the issue?
  2. How does this involve the board? The library director? The staff?
  3. What is the role of the board? The library director? The staff?
  4. How does this issue impact the community?
  5. Is there a specific community group or self-identified segment of the population that is significantly impacted by this issue?
  6. How are local government, schools, or other community groups reacting to this issue?
  7. What are the trends around this issue?
  8. What are the benefits and risks to the library in regards to this issue?
  9. What does the board need to know?

Common complex policy issues include

  • corporate sponsorship
  • space/meeting-room usage
  • gender-neutral washrooms