Orientation and Education

No business would expect a new employee to take on the responsibilities of a new job or be an asset to the company without extensive education, training, or experience-preferably in combination.

Through orientation, our board ensures that a new trustee has enough information about the mission, policy and goals of the library and sufficient understanding of responsibilities and duties to become an effective and contributing member.

Trustee Orientation is in place to:

  • make the new trustee feel welcome and needed
  • increase efficiency and save time
  • decrease frustration,
  • help the new trustee to fully utilize skills and explore interests
  • foster a sense of unified purpose
  • provide continuity

The orientation process includes:

  • prior to joining the board, attend a meeting to see what it is all about
  • a tour of the library and a review of the services offered
  • an explanation of library funding
  • an explanation of board operations, including meeting schedules, committee structure, and trustee roles and responsibilities
  • a review of the board manual
  • a review of committee responsibilities

After attending at least one meeting, a request for appointment form may be filled out and sent to council for approval of the potential board member. 

Trustee Education

Orientation is only the beginning of the education you need. Effective trustees will look for opportunities to enhance their skills.

  • Some of the ways to cultivate excellence include:
  • developing skills in policy making
  • learning to make effective presentations to councils, staff and the community
  • enlisting the expertise of the librarian
  • studying appropriate information: board manual, legislation, library resources
  • becoming involved in provincial, national and international trustee organizations
  • participating in library related conferences, workshops and meetings
  • becoming familiar with the needs of the community
  • taking advantage of any available opportunities for personal growth

Some examples of trustee education opportunities are:

  • The annual Alberta Library Conference in spring
  • Board Development workshops (sponsored by Alberta Community Development)
  • Trustee Orientation Workshops (sponsored by the Alberta Library Trustees Association)
  • Workshops presented by regional library systems
  • Online training through the Alberta Library Trustee Association
  • Alberta Library Trustees Association workshops on specific topics presented from time to time
  • Other library events, conferences and seminars
  • Personal growth courses (adult education, etc)

Good trustees continually qualify themselves for the job as they serve.