Library Board Recruitment

The Huntsville Public Library is currently seeking citizen appointments to the Huntsville Public Library Board, with membership to commence January 1, 2019 and last until the end of the Board’s tenure – December 31, 2022.  Applications will be accepted until January 4th at 4:00 p.m.

Apply online

Frequently asked questions

Where can I get more details about the rules and regulations that govern public libraries and library boards?
Like all Canadian organizations there are a number of Acts and Regulations with which public Libraries must comply, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Copyright Act, and Federal/Provincial Tax Acts.

In Ontario, the legal framework around libraries and library boards is contained within the Public Libraries Act (PLA) under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sport.

General information about Ontario’s public libraries can be found at: www.ontario.ca/libraries

A summary of the Public Libraries Act can be found here

Links to the actual legislation governing libraries, including the PLA, can be found at: http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/libraries/legislation.shtml

Are there particular skills or backgrounds that will be given preference?
No. The strength of the Library Board is based on having Board Trustees with a variety of skillsets and backgrounds that also reflect the community of Huntsville. In addition to having Board Trustees with the ability to guide and monitor the business aspects of the Library, it is important to have Board Trustees that also represent the community to ensure the services and products supplied by the Library meet the needs of the community.

The PLA outlines the eligibility requirements for Board Trustees. A person is qualified to be appointed as a member of a board who is a member of the appointing council; or

  • a Canadian citizen;
  • at least eighteen years old;
  • a resident of the municipality where the board is established; and,
  • not be employed by the board or by the municipality
How many people are on the Library Board?
The requirements for the Library Board’s composition can be found in the Public Libraries Act (PLA). The composition of a Library Board can vary within the boundaries of the PLA. Typically, the Huntsville Public Library Board has been made up of one councillor appointed by the Town of Huntsville and seven members of the public. The CEO/Chief Librarian also participates with the Library Board, but is the primary employee of the Library Board, not a member of the Library Board. The CEO typically serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Library Board.

At the end of Board’s term (see below), a recruitment is conducted for the seven members of the public. If a current Board member wishes to be considered for an additional term, they must re-apply.

How long is the term of a Library Board member?
Four years. The Library Board terms are aligned with the terms for Municipal Councils. Every four years there are Municipal elections in Ontario. Library Boards’ terms begin and end on the same cycle.

If a Board member becomes ineligible to be on the Library Board during their four year term, they must resign. An example would be a Board member that moves to another community. Additionally, a Board member may resign at any time for any reason. If a Board member resigns, a new Board member is generally recruited. The term for the new Board member will be a shortened term that ends at the same time as that of the other Board members.

What is the time commitment to be a Board member?
The Library Board holds 10 regular monthly meetings each year. The meetings are typically less than two hours long. In preparation for the meetings, Board members are expected to review the reports and materials to be discussed at the meeting. This typically requires one hour. Additionally, Board members are expected stay informed about the Huntsville Public Library’s services and programs as well as trends in the library industry by reading communications issued by the Huntsville Public Library and library organizations such as the Ontario Library Association (OLA). This typically requires less than two hours per month.

For a Board member that isn’t in a leadership role (eg. Board Chair) or on an active committee of the Board, typically about five hours per month are required for the activities outlined above.

Board members are encouraged to participate on committees of the Board. Some committees have a regular schedule of deliverables throughout the year, while others may only have one or two deliverables.

The Planning Committee is an example of a committee that has deliverables throughout the year. Over the course of a year, it may have three or four deliverables. The members of this committee may spend two to four hours on each deliverable.

The committee that conducts the annual performance appraisal for the Chief Librarian and Executive Officer (CEO) is an example of a committee that has a deliverable once per year. Members of this committee may spend three to five hours on their deliverable.

Board members are encouraged to represent the Library on external bodies and committees such as the Ontario Library Boards’ Association, Southern Ontario Library Services (SOLS) committees, etc. Time commitments vary for these committees.

On a regular basis, the Library hosts programs and community events and Board attendance is encouraged. Examples of these events include: the launch of the TD Summer Reading Club, Ontario Public Library Week, opening ceremonies for new initiatives or programs, partnership events with the Town of Huntsville, etc. Some of these events take place during the day during the week. Other events take place during evenings and weekends.

Compensation 

Library Board members are volunteers and are not compensated monetarily. They represent their community and ensure the products and services delivered by the Library reflect the needs of their community. They ensure tax dollars and other resources are directed to maximize the benefit to their community.

Library Board members are compensated for professional development sessions, mileage, meals, and other amenities when performing their duties in and out of the Library.

Does the Library Board deal with day-to-day management of the library?
No. The Library Board’s main role is to set strategic goals for the Library and to allocate resources and monitor the Library’s progress towards those goals. All of this occurs within a framework of policies the Board establishes that govern how the Library functions. This is referred to as “Board Governance.”

While the Library Board oversees all aspects of the Library and has the responsibility to investigate and understand any situations or issues where the Library may not be in compliance with the policy framework or legislation governing Libraries, the day-to-day management of the Library is the responsibility of the CEO/Chief Librarian and Library staff.

The CEO is the only employee of the Library Board. Library staff report to the CEO and the CEO reports to the Library Board. The Library Board acts “through” the CEO by putting the responsibility for the performance of the Library on the shoulders of the CEO. The CEO then decides how to structure their staff and how to meet the strategic goals set by the Library Board. In the event the Library is not meeting its strategic goals or is found to be non-compliant with the policy framework or legislative framework, then then Library Board addresses this with the CEO and decides if any disciplinary measures are necessary.

Can I get more specifics about what types of things the Library Board does?
The information above paints a broad picture of the Library Board’s responsibilities. Below is a list of examples of typical activities the Library Board performs:
  • Monthly Meetings – The majority of the Board’s work occurs at the monthly meetings. This may include reviewing reports that have been submitted by the CEO/Chief Librarian or by a Board committee. Additionally, the monthly meetings are an opportunity for Board education. The Library Board needs to be continually educating itself about initiatives at the Library, the needs of community groups, partnership opportunities, activities at various levels of government, etc. This can be accomplished by inviting members of the Library staff, the Library’s or Town’s advisory committees, representatives from community groups, and staff members from the Town of Huntsville or District of Muskoka to present information at the Library Board’s monthly meetings.
  • Setting Strategic Goals and Performance Targets – Every fall, a committee of the Board reviews the strategic goals and performance targets set by the Board. While the strategic goals typically don’t change annually, the performance of the Library and the CEO are reviewed and the performance targets are set for the following year. This committee reports their recommendations to the Board.
  • Reviewing the Performance of the CEO – Every year, a committee of the Board conducts a Performance Appraisal of the CEO. This committee reports their observations and recommendations to the Board.
  • Reviewing Board Policies – The individual policy statements that govern the Board and the Board’s relationship with the CEO and the Library are grouped into policy documents. There are five primary Board policy documents and they are reviewed in detail on a two-year schedule. A committee of the Board reviews the policy documents and reports their recommendations to the Board.
  • Library Budget – The CEO and Library management team determine their budget requirements each year. These budget requirements are brought to the Library Board for review before being submitted to the Town of Huntsville as part of the Municipal budgeting process. Depending on the level of budget approved by the Town of Huntsville, the CEO may report back to the Board with recommendations on how to best allocate the budget to meet the needs of the Library and make progress against the strategic goals set by the Library Board.
  • Community Events – In the past, the Library Board has hosted events in the community such as a debate series for the Municipal elections and a series of community sessions called Politicians Unplugged that allowed people to meet and ask questions of their elected representatives.
  • Library Events – On a regular basis, the Library hosts programs and community events and Board attendance is encouraged. Examples of these events include: the launch of the TD Summer Reading Club, Ontario Public Library Week, opening ceremonies for new initiatives or programs, partnership events with the Town of Huntsville, etc. Some of these events take place during the day during the week. Other events take place during evenings and weekends.
Further Questions?

We encourage you to contact the CEO/Chief Librarian and request that a Board member contact you to answer your questions.

View the Library Board Posting for more information.

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