BCLTA Governance Workshops

We have changed the name of BCLTA workshops from the Trustee Orientation Program (TOP) to BCLTA Governance Workshops. The change in name acknowledges the changes that the program has undergone in the past 18 months to focus on governance development while still providing an overview of provincial and legislative context and board mechanics. It signals to our membership and the broader community that the workshops are not just for new trustees, they are for the entire board and library director.

The BCLTA appreciates that in 2019 the reach and effectiveness of TOP was made possible with a one-time grant from the Libraries Branch, BC Ministry of Education. We look forward to continuing our work with the Libraries Branch to deliver BCLTA Governance Workshops throughout BC in 2020.

We are offering three different types workshops for our members in 2020.

  1. BCLTA Governance Workshops 2020 Pilot Project
  2. BCLTA Governance Workshops: On Demand and Customized
  3. BCLTA Governance Leadership: Chairing and Leading

1. BCLTA Governance Workshops 2020 Pilot Project

This is a one year project that will require membership participation, workshop evaluation, outcomes assessment, and external funding for the association to continue the project beyond 2020. The BCLTA is able to fund one year of the pilot from board reserves.

The BCLTA Governance Workshop 2020 Pilot Project will:

  • Address the barriers of cost and access for attending a BCLTA Governance Workshop 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 Workshops: On Demand and Customized

BCLTA offers on demand and customized Governance Workshops that are based on the BCLTA Governance Workshop.

  • 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 Leadership: 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 execdir@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 execdir@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)
  • Jim Jenkinson (Invermere Public Library Trustee)
    • A bit about Jim.
  • Babs Kelly (BCLTA)

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

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