Understanding your role as Chair

The role of the Chair is intimately tied to the Board’s governance, strategic, monitoring and evaluation and fiduciary responsibilities. You were elected as Chair to:

  • Lead your Board in inspiring conversations about library services and the value of libraries in your community, and in self-evaluation.
  • Serve your Board by facilitating the work of the Board in an environment of democratic (majority-based) decision-making.
  • Focus the Board on the long-term, strategic direction of the library while creating an environment that encourages inquiry and conversation.
  • Grow your Board into an effective team with the desire to pursue their own learning and to be competent, confident, enthusiastic and inspired leaders. This includes orientation of new Board members and helping all members to understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensure that the Board refrains from doing the work of the staff. The board governs by setting policy. The library manager ensures that the policies are implemented. If you or your fellow trustees wish to work as a service volunteer, remember to take off your trustee hat and put on your service volunteer hat. See Knowing what your Board does and related documents.
  • Manage the decision-making function of your Board. This means planning, scheduling, and presiding over effective meetings and the business of the Board.
  • Monitor and evaluate the Library Manager. Although all members of the Board will participate in discussion with the Library Manager and have a say in matters affecting the Manager, you are the official liaison between the Board and the Library Manager.
  • Represent the Board. As the official representative of the Board you sign documents on behalf of the Board, make presentations, attend official meetings, and otherwise represent the Board to the public.
  • Gather feedback from time to time about how well you are serving the needs of your Board. See Growing into the role of Chair.

Video: Three Hats: Roles and Responsibilities


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