Role of a Board President -- text of slides

Role of a Board President (from Vimeo)

Text of slides

Slide #1

Hello! Thank you for joining us for this installment of the Helping All Trustees Succeed Mini-Webinar series on the Role of a Board President.

My name is Grace Riario. I am the Assistant Director of the Ramapo Catskill Library System.

Thank you to the New York State Library for partnering with us in providing this educational series of mini-webinars for trustees.

Please keep in mind that this is a mini-webinar, a 10 to 15 minute session. It is meant to give you a brief introduction to the topic of Board Leadership.

Please reach out to your Library System and refer to the Handbook for Library Trustee of New York State for further information.

Slide #2

The Helping All Trustees Succeed program, often referred to as “HATS,” was made possible thanks to the collaborative efforts of New York State Library, the Directors of Public Library Systems, the Library Trustee Association and the New York Library Association. In addition, hundreds of trustees from around the State helped shape the content and delivery of the HATS mini-webinar series.

This is another great example of how we are stronger together.

Slide #3

Congratulations! You have been elected as a Board President by your colleagues on the Library Board. Now what?

Building a strong partnership with your Library Director is one the most important steps any Board President should take. It will benefit the library and it will be crucial to the success of his/her term as Board President.

The role of a Board President comes with certain duties and responsibilities. You are elected by the other Trustees as Board President for a term as defined in your Bylaws. Best practice is to limit terms to no more than two (2) consecutive years. Term limits provide the opportunity for other Trustees to step up to a leadership role.

Slide #4

The Partnership with Library Director is the most important duty you have as the Board President. Building an open and honest relationship with your Library CEO is essential. After all, the Board President is the link between the Board of Trustees and the Library Director. Having open communication between the Board President and the Library Director will be essential to the success of your library and its future.

Slide #5

Once everyone congratulates you for being elected as the Board President, you start to think “Wait! What does the job entail?” Well, the good news is that the job is very rewarding, but it does come with a to-do list:

  • The Board President and Library Director come together once a month to develop the Board meeting’s agenda.
  • As a Board President you preside over Board meetings and set the tone of the meeting.
  • You also ensure that all Board members contribute in a positive and professional manner to the meeting and has the opportunity to participate.
  • It is important for a Board President to read the current library Bylaws and comply with them. The Board President has the authority to call for any special meetings when needed. The Board President also appoints Board members to Board committees and serves as an ex-officio voting member of committees.
  • In order to be an effective Board President, being informed about library matters is important. You can’t miss Board meetings.
  • You are the chief spokesperson for the Board.
  • And of course, keep an open line of communication with the Library Director.

I know! it reads like a resume but these duties are essential to the library and its governance.

Slide #6

One of the key responsibilities of the Board President, in partnership with the Library Director, is advocacy and communication. The Board President represents the library and the Board at community and organizational functions and gets to be the loudest advocate for the library. After all, you are the example every other Board member and advocate will follow.

How many of us would love to have the opportunity to be loud and proud about something we are so passionate about? As the Board President, you have this opportunity.

Slide #7

This great job is not permanent.

The best practices are to have term limits for the Board President of no more than two (2) years, so other Board members will have the opportunity to serve as Board President. Thank you to all of you who have served as Board President.

Slide #8

The best resource available to you in print and online is the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State. This resource is updated periodically especially when there are changes in law.

Slide #9

The other resource you have is your local Library System. If you are not familiar with your Public Library System, please go to the link provided. It will bring you to a map of New York State with the public systems listed by region. Click on your area and the contact information for your system will be shown.

Closing statement:

Thank you to all of you, who volunteer your time and support libraries by serving on a Board.

Last Updated: November 10, 2017 -- asm; for questions or comments, contact us