BCLTA Governance Workshops

We are now offering online workshops!

With a one-time grant from the Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education, we are able to offer these workshops to member trustees and library directors for a $25 registration fee. These workshops are best suited for a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 participants.

These workshops will be using Zoom and participants are asked, where possible, to use the video function and a device that has full screen and keyboard capabilities (not a phone).

Due to the high demand of these workshops if you register but don’t show up, we will still need to charge you the workshop fee.

1. Governance Big Picture: Overview of BC public library governance (a.k.a. I’m a trustee, now what?)

Two times to pick from!

  1. Monday, September 21st, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
    • Registration opens Tuesday, September 8th
  2. Saturday, October 3rd, 10am to noon
    • Registration opens Friday, September 18th
  • This workshop is a high level overview of public library governance including the provincial context, public library and governance trends and issues, the role of the board in strategic direction and oversight, and demystifying fiduciary responsibility and duty of care.  
  • Facilitated by Babs Kelly

2. Chairing and Leading: The mechanics

Monday, October 19th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

  • This workshop is for board chairs, those who want to be board chairs, and library directors
  • Workshop content includes transparent and accountable board communications, working with the library director, building agendas, rules of order, leading strategic and oversight discussions, and meeting follow-up.
  • Facilitated by Babs Kelly
  • Registration opens Monday, October 5th

3. Chairing and Leading: The art

Monday, October 26th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

  • This workshop is for board chairs, those who want to be board chairs, and library directors
  • Workshop content includes engaging and serving the board, building a trust-based team, leading generative discussions, and addressing challenges.
  • Facilitated by Babs Kelly
  • Registration opens Monday, October 5th

4. Governance Big Picture: The effective board and role clarity

Monday, November 9th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

  • Workshop content includes defining and supporting board and library director role clarity, the traits of a highly functioning governance team, and trust as the foundation for effective governance.
  • Facilitated by Babs Kelly
  • Registration opens Monday, October 26th

BCLTA Customized Workshops

We also offer online customized governance workshops. Babs Kelly will work with you to develop a workshop that builds on topics in our Governance Workbook and is specific to your governance needs. Online customized workshop fees start at $50 per participant for a 2 hour workshop.

Please email Babs Kelly with any questions about workshops or to start planning your customized workshop. 

We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Education.

Special Guests Workshops

BCLTA is working with experienced facilitators and subject experts to bring more workshops to our members. This fall Andy Ackerman, Principal, Myriad Consulting, through BCLTA, is offering two sessions that will be of interest to library board members and library directors. 

1. So You Want a New Library
This session will focus on recommended steps for moving towards a new library or significant renovations to your current library.  We will talk about what you need to prepare the business case for a new library or major renovations, who to involve, finding the money and how to create a plan to move forward. 

Date: Wednesday, September 16th
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Registration opens on August 17th

2. Changing the Status of your Library from a Public Library Association to a Municipal Library.
During this session, we will review the process of changing the status according to the Library Act and what the challenges can be. We will also talk about the time-lines, addressing the pros and cons, how to deal with your regional partners in the future, the role of the Board and Director, who decides at the end of day, resources available to you and some experiences we have had to date. 

Date: Wednesday, October 14th 
Time:  6:30pm to 8:30pm
Registration opens on September 14th

Andy has extensive experience in library governance, including being the past president of the BCLTA, and he is in his second term as Chair of the Fort St John Library Board. He is also currently involved in both of the above processes with his own library. 

At this time BCLTA facilitators are not travelling to deliver workshops. We look forward to visiting your communities in the near future. Subscribe to the BCLTA Bulletin to recieve updates on our online workshops and for when we return to your communities with the workshops below. 

1. BCLTA Governance Workshop: 2020 Pilot Project

This is a one year project that will require membership participation, workshop evaluation, outcomes assessment, and continued external funding for the association to continue the project beyond 2020.

The Pilot Project will:

  • Address the barriers of cost and access for attending a BCLTA Governance Workshop: Pilot Project by reducing the current fee of $125 per participant to $50 per participant
  • Be scheduled by BCLTA in consultation with libraries and library federations and the host library or federation will be responsible for the venue and catering.
  • Take place in centrally located and accessible venues. Exceptions will be made for geographically isolated boards
    • In locations where highway conditions are a concern, workshops will be scheduled late April through June and September through October

About the Governance Workshop

There are different types of public libraries in BC and this makes a difference to how trustees come to be on a board and to the funding relationship with local, regional, and the provincial government. Additionally, public library boards may have differing local priorities across the province depending on local demographics, economies, and community needs. As with all BCLTA work, the Governance Workshops will focus on areas of common concern and issues while acknowledging these differences. Facilitators will encourage workshop discussions informed by and rooted in local needs and situations.

The BCLTA Governance Workshop includes topics such as:
• Role and responsibilities of the board
• Role of the chair and the library director
• Strategic planning
• Policy development
• Financial responsibilities
• Board development and succession planning
• Relationship building and advocacy
• Friends groups and volunteers
• Effective meetings

By the end of the day participants will have strengthened their understanding of the role of BC public library boards as a governance team (trustees and the library director) and the ways in which trustees and boards can make a difference to public libraries and the communities they serve.

Register for a Governance Workshop

2. BCLTA Governance Workshop: Customized

BCLTA offers customized Governance Workshops that are based on the BCLTA Governance Workshop, but dive in deeper or differently to suit the needs of your board.

  • The workshops are available as is possible to schedule and deliver by BCLTA staff.
  • The fee for these workshops is $150 per participant with a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 15 participants.
  • The host library will be responsible for the venue and catering and BCLTA is responsible for the development and delivery of the workshop.
  • On demand and customized workshops registration is managed via email, not through the website.

3. BCLTA Governance Workshop: Chairing and Leading

BCLTA members asked BCLTA to develop and deliver a BCLTA chairing the board workshop for board chairs, incoming board chairs, and library directors. Huge thanks to all those who responded to our October Bulletin request for workshop ideas.

  • This is a four-hour workshop, developed and delivered by BCLTA staff for chairs, those interested in being chairs, and library directors
  • The fee is $75 and a minimum of 10 participants is ideal
  • The host library or library federation will provide the venue and refreshment

Request a BCLTA Workshop

  • If you are interested in hosting a pilot project workshop or a BCLTA Governance Leadership: Chairing and Leading workshop or in requesting an on-demand or customized workshop, please contact Babs at babs.kelly@bclta.ca.
  • For all workshops the host library or federation will be responsible for the venue and catering. The host library or federation may want to consider sharing the costs of catering with other participating libraries.
  • BCLTA will provide the facilitator and the workshop materials.
  • BCLTA workshops are a membership service. If you wish to register and are not a trustee or a library director, please contact Babs at babs.kelly@bclta.ca


BCLTA Governance Workbook  (January 2020)

Workshop Evaluation Form

The BCLTA facilitation team for the Governance Workshops 2020 Pilot Project includes:

  • Kyla Epstein (past Vancouver PL Board Chair)
  • Andy Ackerman (Fort St. John PL Board Chair)
  • Babs Kelly (BCLTA)

Subscribe to the BCLTA monthly Bulletin to stay up to date on BCLTA workshops and resources.

Contact Babs at babs.kelly@bclta.ca with any questions regarding BCLTA workshops.