Library Board Trustee Position Description
The Public Library Act defines the governance of public libraries in Ontario. According to the Act, a person is qualified to be appointed as a member of a board who is:
- a member of the appointing council
- at least eighteen years old
- a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada)
- a resident of the municipality for which the board is established
- is not employed by the board or by the municipality or county
In accordance with the Public Libraries Act, s. 10 (2b), municipal council shall not appoint more of its own members to the board than is a bare majority of the board.
The Petawawa Public Library website contains information about the board, library policies, past minutes, and a link to the application form through the Town of Petawawa. The Library Strategic Plan is also available on the library website.
The Role of the Board
Public Library Boards are governing boards, legal corporations with the authority to make policy and to govern the library’s affairs under the Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990, c. P.44.
A board’s duty is to provide comprehensive, effective, and efficient public library service that reflects the community’s needs and builds community capacity.
The stakeholders of today’s libraries expect strong leadership. Consequently, modern governance must reach beyond ongoing budget oversight and a regular strategic planning exercise to embrace new ideas and forge strong relationships that will support the library in its Mission, Vision and Values.
Petawawa Library Mission Statement
The Petawawa Public Library exists to interact with the community and to provide services and programs that focus on the recreational, educational, informational and cultural needs of the community.
Petawawa Library Vision Statement
The Petawawa Public Library will be a key gathering place for the residents of Petawawa where superior customer service and equal access for all is upheld. The library will ensure that current technologies, resources and materials are made available to all residents of the Town of Petawawa through either on-site or web-based services.
Petawawa Library Values
- Access: We aim to eliminate barriers to access for our services and our collections will be barrier free.
- Community-Centred: We constantly strive to connect with and engage our entire community.
- Customer Service: We deliver exceptional service for our community.
- Diversity and Inclusion: We aim to create safe and welcoming spaces for our entire community, and embrace the differences in experiences and worldview.
- Curiosity: We embrace new solutions and encourage creative thinking.
- Integrity: We are honest in what we say and do, and follow through.
- Literacy and Lifelong Learning: We support all forms of literacy and learning for all ages.
Responsibilities of the Library Board
In accordance with the Public Libraries Act, s. 20, the Petawawa Public Library Board will:
- Set the vision, mission, and strategic direction for the Library through strategic planning techniques
- Make policies within the framework of legislation and regulations
- Oversee the library’s finances in accordance with public accounting principles and requirements and municipal budget policy and procedures
- Monitor overall effectiveness of the Library in meeting community needs in an efficient and responsive manner and evaluate progress on the strategic plan
- Hire and evaluate a qualified Chief Executive Officer to implement the strategic plan and to manage the daily operations of the library.
The Library Board has the authority to act on behalf of the library. Individual board members have no authority to act on their own. The board speaks with “one voice.”
Responsibilities of a Board Member
As a member of a library Board, a member must act honestly and in good faith and in the best interests of the library. This mean the interests of the library take precedence over personal interests or those of any group with which the member is associated and or may favour.
Board members must uphold and conduct him/herself in accordance with the Petawawa Workplace Human Rights Discrimination and Harassment Policy. The Library is committed to providing a working environment that promotes mutual respect, provides equal opportunities, and is free from harassment.
Along with the governance and fiscal roles, Library Board members are expected to support and participate in community engagement by:
- Sustaining the library as an essential community service
- Advocating the library’s role in the community
- Maintaining an open dialogue with the community
- Building strong relationships with municipal council
- Participating regularly in activities that build relationships with individuals and organizations that share interests with those of the Petawawa Public Library
- Developing strategic partnerships with community groups and leaders.
Each member must uphold the overall vision and mission of the Library while acting strategically in the best interests of the public good. Please refer to Governance Policies (GOV-1- GOV-20) for more details on duties and procedures.
Competencies & Qualifications
The core competencies and qualifications for a Petawawa Public Library Board Member are:
- Belief that the public Library provides a unique and essential service to all citizens
- Ability to seek and listen to input from all stakeholders
- Ability to approach people and problems with an open mind
- Ability to actively participate in discussion and deliberation and to attain positive outcomes; and
- Time and energy
The Library Board holds 10 regular monthly meetings a year. The time commitment includes preparation time to read and consider reports and other information on library systems and public trends. Board meetings are generally one to two hours in length.
Board members are encouraged to represent the library on external bodies and committees, such as the Ontario Library Services Board Assembly, if possible. Time commitments may vary.
Library Board Members are not compensated for activities.