BCLTA Bulletin




You are receiving this Bulletin because you are either your library board chair or the chief librarian. BCLTA and your trustees rely on you to circulate the Bulletin to all of your trustees. Please forward it by email or print and include with your monthly board package correspondence. Thank you for your assistance in helping BCLTA serve all its members.



President's Message 

Dear Members,

Can you feel it? The excitement building? Our conference is getting close and we’re looking forward to meeting some of you there, and sharing in a lively and valuable conference. Our staff (Barb and Jan) are working hard tying up all the endless last minute details, and the board is preparing for its various roles during the conference.

Friday evening we’re going to have some fun, with live music, canapés, beverages, presentation of awards to awesome people, some lightning talks (that will be enlightening, we hope), and of course door prizes! Then it’s up early Saturday for the business part (our AGM) and then off we’ll go gathering new ideas and insights, and hanging out with interesting people.

While we’re celebrating our work and our libraries, we’ll also be thinking of the situation in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), where the government plans to close 54 library branches.  Many people and organizations are protesting this decision, and the BCLTA board has sent a letter to the appropriate minister, making the case for the importance of libraries, what good value they are, and asking for a rethink.

You can send your own thoughts across the country. This is the email for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dale Kirby: dalekirby@gov.nl.ca. Drop him a note. Or check out the NL library association for more information.

And here’s to all the great work you trustees are doing out there!!

Warm wishes,

Donna Macdonald,
President, BCLTA   


MAY 2016 













Executive Director's Message

I have just returned from a quick road trip through a small, but amazingly diverse (rain forest, desert, lakes, mountains) part of BC. In two days I saw less than 1/16th of this province – we are huge! This got me thinking about all of you and the communities you serve so that people throughout this province have access to public library service. As a community of library trustees you hold an amazingly diverse array of skills, knowledge and abilities; actually you hold, and oversee, an abundance of skills, knowledge and abilities, that daily makes a difference throughout this province.

I have been inspired by Denise Baker and Vantage Point to think about abundance in the context of organizational leadership and governance. Vantage Point has developed a program called the Year of Abundance and this is how they frame abundance:

Abundance is a culture of confidence and possibility infused with a belief that openness to new ideas and diverse resources will enable organizations to achieve transformational change. Abundance is not a destination or a management philosophy but a reflection of what we do in our organizations, and how we do it.

Trustees have a unique role and opportunity to lead a culture of abundance. Abundance is found in the potential of the people around us and is powered by connections. And by its very definition, that is what an association is all about, connecting members to make a difference.

BCLTA is committed to strengthening connections with trustees and I am looking forward to the conference and beyond for exploring how we can do this.

Please keep in touch, as the more I hear from you, the better I can serve the association.

Babs Kelly







2016 Conference

Libraries Connect!

May 13th and 14th

Sheraton Vancouver Airport, May 13th (evening) and 14th (all day), Westminster room.

Registration is closed, but please contact Barbara at execdir@bclta.ca if you have any questions about the conference (take a look at the program), including late registration.











Annual General Meeting

May 14th, 8:00 am - 9:15am    

Westminster Room, Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond 

The business of the association is the business of members and all members are encouraged to attend the AGM. Attending the AGM does not require conference registration. If it is possible to let us know ahead of time that you plan to only attend the AGM that would be helpful for catering purposes. Email execdir@bclta.ca with any questions or needs regarding the AGM.  

Nominations will be accepted from the floor until immediately prior to the election of Officers at the Annual General Meeting. Along with the position of President, there are up to five (5) Director positions open for nominations. Board nomination bios and photos can be found here.

Individual – Institutional Members, in good standing, will receive voting ballots at the AGM registration desk. All attendees will receive AGM and Conference Packages at the registration desk.

Proxy voting is permitted at the AGM.  Institutional Members who are unable to send a representative (or their full complement of voting representatives) to attend the AGM may appoint a representative from their own board or another BC library board in good standing with the Association who will be in attendance at the meeting to carry one or more votes (as applicable) by submitting the Proxy Voting Form which can be found attached as Appendix A to the BCLTA Constitution and Bylaws.









TOP and Chairing the Board

Upcoming sessions:

  • May 13, 2016 at the Richmond Public Library
  • May 28, 2016 at the Prince George Public Library
  • June 4, 2016 in Houston
  • June 25, 2016 at the Salmo Public Library

Upcoming Chairing the Board sessions:

  • May 13, 2016 at Richmond Public Library
  • June 5, 2016 in Houston

And don’t forget to check out the TOP workbook and webinars available in the Member section of the website!

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development.

To find out more about TOP training and to register, please visit here.  If you would like a TOP session in your area, please click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, our Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed. It’s affordable! It’s enjoyable! It’s valuable!











Annual Survey

The 2016 Annual Survey will be coming your way in early June. The 2016 survey is on Governance and Planning. Previous survey reports, including the 2013 Governance and Planning survey, can be found under the Member Services section of the BCLTA. 









Trustee Learning and Development Framework

Trustees have asked for greater support in their role and in developing their boards. In response, and with project funding support from the Libraries Branch, the BCLTA is developing a Trustee Learning and Development Framework. The purpose of the project is to build a province wide approach to learning and development opportunities for trustees. The results of this project will be improved access to trustee learning opportunities and an evidence-strengthened and outcomes-based delivery of TOP.

Over the next few months, trustees, library directors, federation staff, Libraries Branch staff, and partner organizations (BCLC, BCLA and ABCPLD) will all have the opportunity to contribute to the framework development through quick surveys, focus groups and one-on-one interviews. Stakeholders, such as local government, will also have the opportunity to let us know what is important to them about trustee and board development and how they might support this development.

The final report is due in December 2016 and will be shared with the membership in early 2017.

Your questions and input into this project are very welcome! Don’t wait for us to ask you, let Barbara know at execdir@bclta.ca if you have something to say about trustee learning and development.









Linking with your Library World

Summer Reading Club

While library staff members are getting ready to launch SRC, trustees can get ready to make it part of your library’s story when talking with community members, partners and local government.

Public Library Advocacy: An Evidence-Based Perspective on Sustainable Funding

This article by Cheryl Stenstrom and Ken Haycock was published last year (September 14, 2015) and is useful for generating board discussion on advocacy, influence and funding.

And Cheryl is the keynote speaker at the BCLTA conference next week!

BC Libraries Cooperative 101

What do they do at the Co-op? This quick (a little over a minute) video is a high-level introduction to the BC Libraries Cooperative

Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries

As you read in Donna’s message the library community is responding to the budget cuts to, and closures of, public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador. You can read more from the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association, including the letters from the Canadian Library Association and the BC Library Association. The April 14th provincial government news release, Restoring Fiscal Confidence and Accountability Through Budget can be found here

Reports and Plans

We all want to know what other library sector boards are up to and so each month we will bring you a few select links. BC is large, diverse, and has over 700 trustees – we have much to learn from each other!

West Vancouver Memorial Library, 2016 - 2020 Strategic Plan

Also check out the document Our 21st Century Library for WVML’s key research findings regarding value to the community, demographic shifts, learning trends, and technological developments. 

Prince George Public Library Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020

Nelson Public Library, Report to the Community

We will be watching to see if “Report to the Community” trends in 2016!

Board Development Resources

We will regularly share a few resources to support your trustee and board development.

Surrey Libraries

Having information before applying to join the Board is a strong first step in board development and Surrey Libraries offers the following on their website:

Role of the Board
Becoming a Board Member
Board Trustee Responsibilities

Institute on Governance

Helpful discussion points for when someone asks, “what is governance”?”. . 











Final Words and Thank you

There are over 700 public library trustees in BC committing their time and energy to public library governance. This is evidence of the importance of public libraries and suggests a powerful abundance of skills, knowledge and abilities for the trustee community. 

Thank you for reading this, sharing it, and getting back to us on what matters to you in your world of public library trusteeship.  

Kind regards and miigwetch,

Barbara Kelly

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to the Around BC news, please contact us at bulletin@bclta.ca.









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