BCLTA Governance Workbook: Trustee Orientation

Trustee orientation and ongoing learning and development is a shared responsibility between the trustee, the board chair, and the library director.

Each public library board is as unique as the community it serves, the library it governs, and the trustees themselves.

The BCLTA and the Association of BC Public Library Directors (ABCPLD) developed the Wise Practices: Trustee Orientation Checklist that can be tailored to support  the unique needs of individual trustee-onboarding experiences, regardless of the location, size, or type of their public library.

The checklist can be found here on the BCLTA website.

BCLTA Governance Workshops and the Workbook have been designed with the assumption that participants have already received an orientation from their board chair and library director, which would include the following about their board, library, and community:

  • organizational structure
  • library tour and high-level overview of services
  • trustee and board responsibilities
  • accountability to the Library Act and grant reporting to the Public Libraries Branch
  • strategic plan
    • assessment tools, reports, and indicators of success
  • role of the board chair
  • role of the library director
  • current policies and policy development
  • role of the board in the community and at the library
  • role of the library staff in the community
  • library partnerships and agreements
  • community demographics, goals, Official Community Plan
  • relationship with local government
  • relationship with other key stakeholders
  • funding sources and fund development
  • budget development and oversight
  • human resources
    • staffing overview
    • library-director contract, evaluation, and support
    • collective agreement