Diversity is a major issue today for our country, communities and, of course our libraries.  As our service areas are changing and growing, inclusion of individuals from our various communities within our communities is vitally important.  Diversity should focus on race and ethnicity, but age, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, disability, experience, background & expertise,…

Read More

Most libraries have multiple boards. To be sure, the governing or funding boards are the most important as they determine the operations and future of the library, but support boards, such as the Friends and Foundation boards, can play a vital for the library as well. It is important to have clear roles and responsibilities…

Read More

For today’s libraries, addressing diversity and inclusion is more important than ever.  Representation of the cross-section of our communities is important throughout our organizations, including our library, foundation, and Friends boards.  An I.D.E.A. process to build board diversity includes Identifying/Informing, Developing, Energize/Empowering, and Activating steps. Step 1 – Identify diversity and inform your board and…

Read More

All library affiliated boards need to grow and develop on an annual basis. As individual members and as a group, they need regular training, review of policies and responsibilities, and additional perspectives for future planning and directions. Three keys can help you develop your board on a regular basis. Key 1: Board Orientation – Certainly…

Read More

Too often we think of our boards – Library, Friends, Foundation, and others – as units that operate as a whole. Yet we all know that boards are made up of diverse individuals with unique perspectives, talents, and interests. It is worthwhile to think often about the “people-side” of our boards, and nurture the needs…

Read More

When a Friends or Foundation board looks for new directors, it can be tempting to prioritize deep pockets over all else. It’s an understandable impulse. After all, fundraising is a major part of our “raison d’être.” Moreover, as we’ve said before, you should strive for a 100 percent Board donor rate. Even so, board donations…

Read More

Through our work, we see many different sizes of Boards of Directors for Library Friends and Foundations. Many people ask us if it really matters how big a Board is. We also frequently hear that it is getting more difficult to find and recruit good Board members. What we often find ourselves telling people is…

Read More

Public libraries often have a number of boards, including a Library Board, as well as a Foundation or Friends Board.  As professional bodies that can affect the performance of your library, it is important that each member of the board regularly participates in professional development activities. In this way, the board members become informed leaders,…

Read More

Professional development is not just for library staff. Library, foundation, and Friends boards also should engage in regular, annual professional development activities. Some key professional development activities include: Board Orientation – Certainly for all new members, but also may be valuable as refresher periodically for all board members. Annual Training Activities – All board members…

Read More

Most public libraries today are connected to multiple boards, including library, foundation, and Friends boards, as well as city councils, county commissions or something comparable. In general, these boards are good at following legal requirements, but more often run into difficulties around ethics or practices that are critical to an effective board. Here are eight…

Read More