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 hold an orientation for all new members, but annual or bi-annual orientations are also valuable as refreshers.
Key 2: Professional Development Activities – All board members should engage in this annually, but occasional group trainings or workshops are also important. Ideally board development is structured, scheduled, and an expected duty.
Key 3: Board Evaluation – Conduct an annual board evaluation process (usually a simple survey from the President) as part of a review of individual members performance but also the performance of the board as a whole.
Additional ideas that may help with board development or feed into the “3 Keys” include, regular presentations by professional staff on library trends and issues; having a structure to keep former board members attached (mentoring); and thinking outside the library to explore such issues as publishing, technology, change management, patron behavior, or community changes.