March 17, 2011 - 10:10am — lauralee
The Alberta Library Trustees Association (ALTA) is the collective voice for Alberta library trustees and, through them, represents the interests of patrons and supporters of public libraries. The ALTA website has some excellent trustee development tools such as their Handbook as well as four learning pathways: Grow as a Trustee, Grow as a Chair, Grow as a Board, and Branching Out.
For additional resources on library board roles and responsibilities, effective board governance, and library advocacy, visit the British Columbia Library Trustees Association Trustee Orientation Program Online or the Leadership by Design pages of the Ontario Library Association.
The Board Development Program provides not-for-profit organizations in Alberta, such as public libraries, with governance assistance through consulting, workshops, and resource materials. Information bulletins and workbooks are also available on their website. Workbook topics include developing job descriptions, recruiting board members, and drafting and revising bylaws. Please note that these resources are for non-profits in general and are not specific to libraries.
Parkland Regional Library provides trustee education that includes trustee roles and responsibilities, an overview of the Alberta Libraries Act and Regulations, library funding and grants, how to conduct community needs assessment and create plans of service. Parkland's professional librarians provide this training upon request from library boards.
The Government of Alberta through Municipal Affairs provides information on library funding in the province. The Government of Alberta requires that libraries have certain policies and bylaws in place for each institution. More information about required library policies as well as policy templates are on the Policy Templates page.
Trustees usually receive a binder of documents when they are appointed to the library board. These documents provide background and information for libraries in Alberta in general and for the local library in particular. The binder should include:
- Libraries Act and Regulations
- Bylaws and policies
- Current budget, most recent finanical statement for current year,and last audited/approved financial statement as of December 31
- Current Plan of Service
- Annual Report and Survey from past year
- Minutes from past several meetings
- Recent advocacy and informational brochures/handouts from the library
(as well as from the regional library)
- Service Responses key messages based on needs assessment and Plan
of Service for advocacy purposes
- Contact list of board members and library manager including email addresses and emergency numbers