Trustee Workshop: Building an Exceptional Board, presented by Tish Mogan, Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO)

Trustees and Library Directors from the Lebanon County Library District and surrounding counties gathered at Stone Ridge Poplar Run on June 22, 2019 for a presentation highlighting methods to increase the functionality of library boards.  Attendees learned how to implement aspects of PANO’s Standards for Excellence program.  Attendees received copies of the Leadership by Design* handout, along with several other professional development books and resources.

During the workshop, Ms. Mogan underscored the importance of having a Governance Committee in place to recruit and orient new trustees, in partnership with the Library Director.  The Governance Committee also follows-up with inactive trustees to determine whether a replacement on the library board is needed.  Attendees reviewed their library’s current by-laws during lunch and discussed components that should be revised or added.  Some of the components discussed included: attendance requirements, amendment processes, and removal clauses.  The Governance Committee assists trustees with understanding and abiding by the by-laws.

Ms. Mogan noted several distinctions between the role of a library board and the role of a Library Director.  A primary role of the library board is to ensure the library has the resources necessary to achieve its mission.  The Library Director must manage the daily operations of the library and share needs with the library board during regularly scheduled board meetings.  The library board must develop the budget and allocate funds according to the library’s strategic goals.

Attendees worked together in small groups to determine action steps they can implement to increase engagement, attract new trustees, and focus on strategic issues during board meetings.

This training is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.

*This Leadership by Design hyperlink has been updated and is not the one provided at the workshop. The update included citation corrections.


Submitted by: Stephanie Williams, District Consultant,
Lebanon County Library District