Monday, November 12, 2012

Online Resources for Board Development

As you all know, there are a number of continuing education opportunities for library trustees to attend throughout the year including the Alberta Library Conference, the Southern Alberta Library Conference and all-day workshops hosted by the Public Library Services Branch.  However, there are a multitude of great resources available to trustees throughout the year online.  These are a great supplement to in person training and can be accessed anytime.  Why not include some board development at each board meeting? 

The Alberta Library Trustees Association website -
You can request in person workshops from ALTA as well, but they have some great learning modules right on their website that are specific for library trustees.  The 3 modules on their website include: Grow as a Trustee, Grow as a Chair, and Grow as a Board (*note* the Grow as a Board link does not seem to be working at this time).  Each module presents a variety of relevant topics in small, bite-size chunks.  Listed below are the topics specific to the first 2 modules:

Grow as a Trustee: this module is intended to help individual trustees understand and grow in their roles as board members. 
  • Understanding Your Role
  • Being an Effective Board Member
  • Knowing your Local Library
  • Understanding who Does What
  • Knowing what your Board Does
  • Knowing What to Expect at Meetings
  • Talking up Your Library
  • Learning Financial Basics
  • Exploring the Larger Library Community
  • Growing Into Trusteeship
Grow as a Chair: this module is specific to Board chairs, and provides lots of helpful information in fulfilling that role successfully.
  • Understanding Your Role as Chair
  • Understanding Key Duties of the Chair
  • Assigning Roles and Responsibilities
  • Working with the Library Manager
  • Leading Effective Meetings
    • Calling a Meeting
    • Handling Motions
    • Using Rules of Order
    • Going in camera
    • Keeping Records
  • Establishing Committees
  • Setting the Calendar for the Year
  • Meeting Policy and Bylaw Requirements
  • Representing your Board
  • Growing into the Role of Chair
In addition, the 'Branching Out' section of this website, provides you with links to resources in a variety of topical areas including: Roles, Responsibilities & Relationships, Policy and Planning, Effective Meetings, and Board Effectiveness.  ALTA will be presenting a session on 'Grow as a Chair' at the Southern Alberta Library Conference 2013.

There are other sites that Boards can also use for Board Development as well, if you've exhausted what is available on the ALTA site.

The provincial Board Development Program ( also provides workshops free of charge to all types of not-for-profit boards around the province. As such, they also have a lot of free resources available on their website that is applicable to all boards. 
  • You can access their online Roles & Responsibilities course right online
  • Go to their 'Resources' page to access some great print materials
    • Information bulletins are short explanations on a variety of board development topics, that provide you with accurate and authoritative information that can be downloaded in PDF format. Topics include: advocacy, developing policy, meetings that work, writing a grant proposal
    • There are also 5 workbooks available on the site that can be downloaded in PDF format and used right in a board meeting to help you through one of the topics: Developing Job Descriptions for Board Members of Nonprofit Organizations, Drafting and Revising Bylaws, Board Building: Recruiting and Developing Effective Board Members for Not-for-Profit Organizations, Hiring and Performance Appraisal of the Executive Director, Financial Responsibilities of Not-For-Profit Boards
The Board Development program will also be providing a session at the Southern Alberta Library Conference 2013 on Recruiting and Succession Planning for Library Boards.

Knowledge Connector ( is a website that lists learning opportunities for the not-for-profit sector across Alberta. You can find in person workshops or filter the results to eLearning and Webinars so that you can find opportunities that are available online for your Board to access.

The website of the Public Library Services Branch of the Government of Alberta ( also contains a lot of great resources for Boards. 
  • Check out their video section for excerpts from recents conferences;
  • the Policy section of the website provides resources for updating your library policies and bylaws, including lots of examples
  • the Plan of Service section provides resources for creating your Plan of Service, including a toolkit, and samples of real-life Plans of Service
  • Want to know how your library compares to others across the province? Find statistics in the Statistics section of the website.
  • The Standards section of the site provides the Standards and Best Practices for Public Libraries in Alberta document, created to provide a point of self-evaluation for libaries in Alberta and to encourage excellence in library service.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great thing for Trustees... Need to direct a few more folks in this direction for some helps.. Thanks so much....
    Doug Cooper