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MHLS Trustee Resources: Planning & Evaluation

Do You Know?

Important points Public Library Trustees
need to know about Board Effectiveness:

  1. A truly effective library board is an organic whole with each individual board member playing a vital role. The dynamic combination of members, each with his or her own intentions, priorities and abilities, can create a board entity that increases exponentially in efficiency, expertise, and leadership.
  2. The president of a library board of trustees has special obligations and needs to possess special skills to carry out his or her role effectively. Chief among these skills are humility, integrity, empathy, organization, and an extraordinary work ethic.
  3. Meetings of the library board are its public face. They are the time when the library board is judged not only by the public and the library staff, but by each individual board member who wants to be part of an effective decision-making team. The meetings of the board need to be legal, efficient, relevant and artful. Work needs to be accomplished, board members need to be engaged, and success needs to be frequent.
  4. Conflicts are inevitable within any group of people who care passionately and think deeply about issues facing them. Library boards are no exception. Conflicts on a library board need to be welcomed for what they are and carefully managed so that they bring the board to greater clarity and effectiveness in carrying out its responsibilities. This needs to be accomplished without alienating any board members.

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