Understanding Key Duties as Chair

Your role is broad with challenging goals to be achieved. You will be most successful if you handle the basics with confidence, freeing yourself to exercise the leadership you were elected to provide. Start by establishing good habits around your key duties.

  1. Before each meeting, prepare the proposed agenda with the Board Secretary and/or Library Manager. See Calling a meeting for a checklist when preparing agendas.
  2. Preside over meetings of the Board. Set an effective tone by:
    • Finding a balance between people, time and issues. If any one of these dominates, a meeting can, run overtime, create resentment, or undermine the democratic process.
    • Guiding the direction of the meeting, making sure all necessary items are covered and all members of the Board have the opportunity to share their ideas, concerns and expertise.
    • Being familiar with your Board’s rules of order and how to use them effectively. See Using Rules of Order and Handling motions
    • Anticipating trouble spots in the agenda, and thinking about how you will handle them
    • Preparing your opening remarks, an explanation of how agenda items will be handled in the meeting, and closing comments prior to the meeting.
  3. Ensure that Board records are kept in accordance with all requirements. See Keeping records for more information on how to ensure your Board’s records are in order.
  4. Orient new trustees to their important role, so they can quickly feel confident about participating in Board discussions and decision-making. Check this list of orientation topics.

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