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British Columbia Library Trustees Association Handbook

Published by: British Columbia Library Trustees Association © 2003

We wish to acknowledge the following publications in providing ideas and materials for this book.

Alberta Library Trustees Association: The Handbook
American Library Trustees Association Bulletins
BCLTA: Board Development Workshop and Policy Making Workshop curriculum materials
The Effective Trustee Handbook, Canadian Library Association
Massachusetts Library Trustees Handbook
The Ontario Library Trustees Handbook

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead, Anthropologist.



Welcome. The time you spend as a library trustee will be challenging, demanding and satisfying!

Your library should have provided you with the following to complete the information you will need as a trustee:

  • · list of trustees including length of service occupation, address and telephone numbers
  • · by-laws establishing your library board
  • · terms of reference for board committees and officers of the board
  • · chief librarian's job description
  • · library overview based on the British Columbia Public Libraries Statistics
  • · your library mission statement
  • · most recent annual report
  • · organization chart and staff list
  • · service policies related to membership, collections and so on
  • · any recent studies, such as community surveys or planning documents


Dedicated library trustees have been instrumental in the development of public libraries in British Columbia, within a framework developed by provincial government legislation.

In 1836, the first travelling library in the province was initiated by Dr. John McLoughlin of Fort Vancouver; in 1859 a library was established in Fort Hope. The year 1864 brought the Cariboo Literary Institute and the Mechanics' Institute of Victoria Public Library, the forerunner of the present Greater Victoria Public Library.

These early undertakings established the pattern for B.C. public library development in the nineteenth century. Public libraries were founded by locally organized non-profit societies which were financed from voluntary contributions or from borrowers' fees. Free library service was the exception rather than the rule, in the days before public library support from tax revenues.

The British Columbia Free Libraries Act of 1891, modeled on the 1882 Free Libraries Act of Ontario, was passed to remedy this situation. This statute permitted communities to establish free public libraries, supported by a locally derived special tax, which was administered by a locally appointed board of trustees.

However, the provisions of the Free Libraries Act soon proved inadequate to meet the needs of British Columbians residing outside the cities of Vancouver and Victoria. To address this problem, in 1898 the province inaugurated a system of travelling libraries to serve the rural areas of British Columbia.

In 1919, in response to widespread popular pressure, a new Public Libraries Act was passed. This created a Public Library Commission whose function was the supervision of all public library services in the province. The Commission assumed responsibility for the travelling libraries, grants to municipal libraries and the promotion and extension of library service. In addition, it encouraged the formation of new public library associations throughout the province.

In 1927, the Public Library Commission sponsored a major province-wide survey of public library conditions and needs. One of its principal recommendations was the establishment of a rural library service, like the county library systems in the United States and the United Kingdom. A new structure, the union library district, was established. This resulted in the creation of the Fraser Valley Union Library in 1934 and the Okanagan Union Library and the Vancouver Island Union Library in 1936.

Throughout the 1970's larger units of service for public libraries were encouraged. In 1972, the Public Libraries Act was amended to permit the establishment of two new library organizations: federated public library systems and integrated public library systems. The Greater Vancouver Library Federation, a federated public library system established in 1975, and the Cariboo-Thompson Nicola Library System, an integrated public library system which began serving two regional districts in 1976, were until 1994 unique examples of their kind.

In 1987, the New Approaches Ministerial Task Force on Public Libraries was established, with a mandate to review the provision and delivery of public library service in British Columbia. Its attention was focused on five specific areas: funding, organization and regulation, the Library Services Branch, a provincial resource library, and continuing opportunities for joint development.

The resulting recommendations were summarized in the Task Force's final report, British Columbia's Public Libraries: A New Approach, issued in 1988. The thrust was to "encourage the development of a strong library in each community and a co-operative approach among all libraries. We believe that this can be achieved only through local commitment and initiative coupled with provincial support, leadership, and co-ordination."

A review of the Library Act was begun with a discussion paper in 1990. This was followed by Public Library Legislation: a White Paper for public Review, released for public comment in January, 1993.

A new Library Act was adopted on June 30, 1994. The purpose of the Act was to encourage the extension and use of public library service throughout B.C. by providing for the establishment and operation of municipal libraries, regional library districts and library federations and allowing existing public library associations and integrated public library systems to continue to operate and to support improvements in public library service. Omitted from legislation was the means for the establishment of more Public Library Associations or Integrated Library Systems.

The new Library Act also establishes free basic library service by prohibiting library boards from charging for basic library service. Basic service is defined as admission to the library and use of materials on site and borrowing library materials that are normally lent. This right is limited to residents and electors of any area served by the library board.


Municipal Libraries
Municipal Libraries are established under Part 2 of the Library Act, following the passage of a municipal by-law. They are supported primarily by municipal revenues, as well as provincial grants. The board is made up of 5-13 members including one from municipal council, the remainder from people who are residents or electors of the municipality and who are not members of council or employees of the municipality or library board. The municipal councillor is appointed for one year, the remainder for terms of two years. No member shall hold an appointment for more than eight consecutive years. There are currently 24 municipal libraries in British Columbia.

Public Library Associations
Part 4 of the Library Act defines the operation of Public Library Associations. Existing PLAs are allowed to continue to provide library services to their respective areas but new PLAs may not be formed. They receive no direct tax support and operate on grants, municipal and provincial, and fund raising. Membership is extended to all residents of the area served, although no member under 18 years of age or employee of the library may vote or hold office on the board. The association may charge a membership fee but may not make use of the library subject to membership in the association. The board may consist of 5 to 9 members, elected by members of the association for a term of 2 years. Regional district boards and municipal councils, providing funding, may appoint a person to the board. There are currently 41 Public Library Associations in British Columbia.

Regional Library Districts
Established under Part 3 of the Library Act, Regional Library Districts to provide library service to a specific area. A board of management is made up of one representative form each municipality and regional district. Each representative serves on the library board for one year, but no more than 8 consecutive years. Voting on expenditures is weighted on a formula determined by population of the member's municipality or regional district. Regional Library Districts in British Columbia are Vancouver Island Regional Library District, Okanagan Regional Library District and Fraser Valley Regional Library District.

Integrated Public Library Systems
January 1, 1994 the Cariboo-Thompson Nicola Library System was split into separate systems: Cariboo Library Network and Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System. Each is an Integrated System. Under Part 6 of the Library Act, Integrated Public Library Systems that are in existence may continue to provide library services, however, no new ones may be formed. They are defined as the Regional District Board officially serving as the Library Board. Both Thompson-Nicola Regional District and Cariboo Regional District Library have 100% participation in their areas.

Under Part 5 of the Library Act two or more libraries may enter into an agreement to provide common services. A federated board is made up of representatives of participating library boards which retain responsibility for local services and support; the only federated system presently is InterLINK which represents 17 libraries in and adjacent to the Lower Mainland. InterLINK provides borrowing privileges to individuals of any of the member boards, at all member libraries. Library materials may be returned to any InterLINK member facility.

The library has traditionally preserved and maintained the history and intellectual expressions of human kind; to safeguard access to this expression, libraries adopt policies which protect our citizen's right to the "freedom to read." Trustees are often called upon to defend the library's right to carry materials some may find objectionable.

Statement of Intellectual Freedom
Adopted by the Canadian Library Association, Winnipeg, 1974. Amended Nov. 17, 1983 and Nov. 8, 1995.

“All persons in Canada have the fundamental right as embodied in the nation's Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity and to express their thoughts publicly. This right to intellectual freedom is essential to the health and development of Canadian society.

Libraries have a basic responsibility for the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom.

It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity, including those which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable. To this end, libraries shall acquire and make available the widest variety of materials.

It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee the right of free expression by making available all of the library's public facilities and services to all individuals and groups who need them. Libraries should resist all efforts to limit the right of criticism by individuals and groups.

Both employees and employers in libraries have a duty, in addition to their institutional responsibilities, to uphold these principles.”

Code of Ethics
Adopted by the Canadian Library Association, June 1976.

“Members of the Canadian Library Association have the individual and collective responsibility to:

1. support and implement the principles and practices embodied in the current Canadian Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom;

2. make every effort to promote and maintain the highest possible range and standards of library service to all segments of Canadian society;

3. facilitate access to any or all sources of information which may be of assistance to library users;

4. protect the privacy and dignity of library users and staff.”


Trustees are guardians of a 'public trust' and have a legal and moral obligation to carry out duties in a responsible manner. As a library trustee, you help ensure that the public library provides relevant and efficient service to the community that supports it. To fulfil your responsibility:

  • · attend all meetings of the board
  • · before each meeting read all documents and review all minutes
  • · keep personal notes of the meetings
  • · get a written professional opinion when required
  • · insist on the minutes recording any conflict of interest disclosure
  • · be familiar with the Library Act and other relevant legislation
  • · be familiar with the library's policies and services
  • · speak positively, promote the library and be a library advocate
  • · commit yourself to being receptive to new ideas, stalwart in getting support and willing to learn

    Parliamentary procedures are used in meetings because they provide meetings with four fundamental principles:
    1. Justice and courtesy for all.
    2. Do only one thing at a time.
    3. The majority rules.
    4. The minority has a right to be heard.

    Making a Motion
    To propose a decision for the board's consideration, make a motion. Begin with "I move that ...," and make your motion as brief and concise as possible.

    Seconding a Motion
    Before a motion can be discussed, it must be seconded. Seconding a motion means only that you are also interested in bringing the matter before the group. You do not have to be in favour of discussing it. If a motion does not receive a second, it will die a natural death and should not be discussed or recorded in the minutes.

    Amending a Motion
    Any voting member can move to amend a motion by adding to, substituting, or subtracting words from the original motion. An amendment cannot, however, change the intent of the motion.

An amendment also requires a second. Following the second, discussion should be on the amendment only until a vote is taken on the amendment by itself.

Dividing the Question
When a motion has two or more parts it may be divided so that each part is considered separately. Board members can move and second that this be done, and the motion requires only a majority vote to pass.

A quorum in a board or committee is a majority of its members unless otherwise stated in the by-laws.

Consent Motion
The chair can approve the minutes or agenda without a specific motion by asking the group if there are any additions or corrections to the minutes. If no member speaks out, the chair assumes the group's agreement with the minutes or agenda as they now stand and states "the minutes are approved as read and circulated (or corrected)." This is called a consent motion because consent is assumed.

Reconsideration of a motion already voted on by the board can be done but only at the same meeting that the motion was voted on. In addition the motion to reconsider the vote may only be made by a person who voted in favour of the motion.

Tabling a Motion
A motion may be set aside with a motion to table. This will end immediate discussion of the matter. However, it can be brought up again by moving to "take it from the table" either at the same meeting or at the next meeting.

Previous Question
Sometimes a board member who wants to put an end to the discussion and get on with the vote will say "I move the previous question" or "move the question" or sometimes just "question." This does not mean that the chairperson must end the discussion and call for a vote. It only means that if the impatient board member makes a formal motion, then the chair will call for a vote on the motion, closing debate. This motion is not debated and requires a two-thirds vote to pass. If no formal motion is made to "move the previous question," the chair can let discussion continue or can ask if the group agrees to vote. In the absence of a formal motion, if even one person wants to continue the discussion, the chair must allow this to happen.

When calling for a voice or vote or a show of hands, the chair should always call for the opposition votes even if all present appear to have voted in favour of the motion. This is to give every opportunity to register dissent to even a minority of one.

Any member who doubts the chair's decision on a vote may call for the "division of the assembly." The vote must then be retaken as a standing vote and counted.

Unanimous Vote
A unanimous vote means that each vote has been cast on the same side. If even one person votes to the contrary, the vote cannot be considered unanimous.

Much of the work of the board is accomplished through committees.
A Standing Committee is:
· an on-going committee of the board
· set up in the board's by-laws.
A Sub Committee is:
· Set up and accountable to a standing committee
· Formed to assist a standing committee in accomplishing a specific task.
An Ad Hoc Committee is:
· In existence for a short term and is automatically dissolved when the task is complete or when it's final report is made.
· Set up by the board and accountable to the board
· Formed to assist the board in accomplishing a specific task.

· Promote adequate public library services to your local elected officials, your business community and the community at large.
· Follow local, provincial and federal laws
· Ensure that complete and accurate records are kept by the library.
· Assess the needs of the community
· Determine goals and objectives for the library and formulate a plan for meeting these goals
· Determine policies for library service
· Evaluate annually the library's programs, budget, library use, human resources and public relations.
· Ensure there is adequate funding for the library to provide the programs and services needed by the community
· Officially adopt budget
· Authorize expenditures within budget as approved.
Human resources
· Recruit and select chief librarian and undertake an annual performance appraisal
· Provide personnel policies
· Provide salary scales for all staff.


The board establishes written policies to govern and guide all phases of library operation, both internal and external.

Policy statements should reflect local conditions and needs and express a true commitment to service and leadership.

What is Policy?
A policy is a formal expression of opinion that clarifies the board's expectations of what is to be done. In the long and short term, a policy identifies the future outcomes which the board hopes to achieve.

Unwritten policies may exist through practice and precedent, but such policies are subject to various interpretations by board and staff. Written policies documented in a policy manual guide the future discretionary actions of the board, and staff in a consistent manner.

Benefits of Policy
· Supports the overall library plans, goals and objectives
· Guides the chief librarian and staff in implementation of board decisions
· Provides direction and consistency in day-to-day service to the community and library operations
· Reduces uninformed decision-making and crisis responses to problem situations
· Protects the rights and assures fair treatment of all clients and staff members.

Policy Development Includes
· A statement of the condition or problem, past or present, which requires policy consideration
· A statement telling how a policy will contribute to the accomplishment of the library's goals and objectives
· A statement of all existing policies related to or affected by the policy decisions
· A listing of policy options available, with an analysis of:

-Long and short range effects of enacting the new policy
-Potential side effects of passing a policy
-Costs involved
-Relevant legal ramifications

· A concisely worded statement documenting the policy decision.

Library boards continuously guide, shape and develop library services considering money, building, programs and staff. The challenge is to make these decisions based on a carefully considered written plan. Planning also involves anticipating both opportunities and problems in pursuit of the library's mission.

Planning involves five basic questions:
· Where are we now?
· Where do we want to go?
· How do we get there?
· What timetable will move us most effectively?
· How can progress be measured?

When the answer to the last question is reached, you have developed a plan, which typically covers a five-year period.

Planning requires time and careful organization. A series of planning meetings should allow ample time to explore, brainstorm and dream before making final decisions.

Boards can create advisory committees, sponsor public meetings, encourage open staff discussions, hire outside consultants and use public relations tools in the planning process. Participation leads to support and understanding of the plan developed. The chief librarian and board are partners in planning with the community, not just for the community.

Steps in Planning
Assess the library's present situation. Study the community including any projections for community development. Study the library services and resources in light of standards of service and the community's needs.

Determine goals that support the mission of the library.

Set objectives that will move the library toward the goals established. Examine as many alternative approaches as possible. Develop your action plans and tactics. Consider contingency plans and be realistic!

Divide the selected approach into steps and map out the time frame for accomplishment. Assign priorities for essential steps, desirable steps and optional steps. This ranking will dictate allocation of time, effort and funding.

Determine a basis for evaluating progress toward reaching the goals and objectives. Informally monitor your plan regularly. Review and revise your plan annually.

Benefits of Written Plans
· Establish priorities for programs and direct efforts towards tasks leading to the attainment of objectives
· Motivate staff and board
· Help to avoid oversights and poorly defined responsibilities; encourage co-ordination and accountability
· Give a clear measure for success
· Assure enough lead time to undertake project effectively
· Lead to steady development by encouraging yearly evaluation.


The selection of a competent chief librarian can be the most important single act undertaken by the board of trustees. In the process of selecting and hiring, trustees should be aware of current practices in the profession as well as competitive salaries and benefits.

When seeking a chief librarian some boards will place more emphasis on imagination and energy, others on administrative experience, still others on education and scholarship. The library's size, staff and resources are all factors affecting the selection of the chief librarian

The search committee of the board should place ads in selected publications. Include a deadline for application, request a resume and references, and designate one trustee to receive applications.

Advertise a job opening to as many potential candidates as possible. Qualified staff members should be encouraged to apply and the board should stress that the goal is to select the best person for the job. All applicants should receive consideration and due process.

Interviewing and Selection of the Chief Librarian

After initial review of applications, respond to those candidates who will not be considered. Check references of candidates thoroughly using a standard form and procedure. Decide on the applicants to be interviewed, usually 3-5 people. Ask all candidates to respond to the same questions to provide an equal basis for evaluation (ask staff for suggestions)!

Allow adequate time for discussion since the interview is a mutual evaluation process. Allow time between interviews to complete standard evaluation sheets, while the members' reactions to candidates are still fresh. Select the best candidate through discussion, by ranking candidates based on interview evaluations and by obtaining the consensus of the committee.

Telephone the selected candidate to offer the position. Follow up with a letter or contract which includes details of appointment, duties, salary, benefits, evaluation and procedures and starting date. Include a second copy for the new chief librarian's signature and specify a return date.

Write other candidates interviewed, thanking them and informing them of your decision, only after acceptance of the job offer has been received. If the selected candidate declines or is unavailable, the board can contact the next candidate.
Evaluating the Chief Librarian
A formal, written evaluation is an essential management practice which serves as an important vehicle of communication between the chief librarian and the board. It enables the board to identify concerns so that appropriate action can be taken and demonstrates accountability to funding officials and the community.

Another useful evaluation process is the development of mutually agreed upon objectives, to be accomplished within a specific time frame. This provides an objective basis for evaluation by focusing on actual accomplishments.
Sample Evaluation Process
The board and chief librarian identify goals, long range plans and specific areas that need attention

· Chief librarian prepares a set of objectives with time line
· Board reviews objectives, suggests changes, if appropriate
· Periodic report by chief librarian to board on progress toward achieving objectives monthly and annually
· Copies of the committee's written evaluation should be sent to each board member with an opportunity for each to respond in writing to the committee
· The written evaluation should be given to the chief librarian by the board chair and an opportunity should be provided for the chief librarian to meet with the personnel committee or board to discuss
· The evaluation should be followed with a planning session to develop the basis for the next review

(Adapted from material prepared by Nancy Bolt for the American Library Trustee Association: Evaluating the chief librarian, American Library Association, 1983.)

Public library trustees are legally responsible for securing and supervising library finances. The trustees set the priorities for the expenditure of these funds, in consultation with the staff and the community.

Financial Responsibilities:
· Knowledge of the library's financial base and funding agencies
· Awareness of supplementary sources of revenue
· Understanding the financial needs of library operations
· Attaining funds needed for growth and expansion
· Understanding the legal regulations and reporting required for library funding
· Reviewing and officially adopting the budget
· Presenting the budget to funding authorities
· Authorizing expenditures within budget

Generally, the chief librarian prepares the draft budget request. The board of trustees is responsible for formal approval and adoption of the proposed budget. As with other areas of library planning, the budget preparation is a co-operative process involving trustees and chief librarian.

A budget presentation is actually a political negotiation to determine the exact scope of library programs and services to be offered. Library trustees must be thoroughly prepared to participate in presenting the budget and should actively seek support for adequate library funding.

While the trustees have the job of planning for the future and securing funds, the director and staff have the responsibility and opportunity to implement programs to meet the following practices:

· The trustees role is planning, budgeting and securing funds
· Trustees should not be involved in the day-to-day financial operations of the library
· Specific financial policies, procedures and responsibilities should be outlined in the library policy and procedure manuals, so that all trustees and staff understand the lines of authority.

The chief librarian is responsible for keeping the trustees informed of budget implementation. Trustees should review monthly financial reports and annual reports should be prepared for the board, the public and various funding sources.
Some Final Comments…..
The budget is a blueprint for future action, drawn up sometimes as much as eighteen months before the actual expenditures will be made. The budget should be considered as a guideline and not a precise chart to be followed rigidly regardless of new situations that may arise as the year unfolds.



To develop and support library trustees to advance public library service in British Columbia.

The British Columbia Library Trustees Association (BCLTA) represents more that 700 public library trustees in British Columbia.

The Association acts on behalf of all library boards in B.C.

The Association promotes and fosters the effectiveness of all public library boards in British Columbia through advocacy, education and leadership for the advancement of library service throughout the province.

The Board is comprised of a President, Past President and seven Directors. Each Director has a specific area of responsibility, including but not limited to:

· Education
· Advocacy
· Awards
· Conference
· Secretary-Treasurer
· Communications
· Human Resources

A part-time Administrative Assistant provides administrative management support to the Association.

Advocacy Committee
· Identifies opportunities to advance the Association's mandate and mission with government and other organizations.
Education Committee
· Develops policy to manage the direction and administration of trustee education
· Provides and annual conference for trustees
· Provides communications about library issues through the Open Door and other publications.
Finance Committee
· Plans and oversees the financial development and allocation of the Association's funds
· Prepares an annual budget and ensures an annual audit takes place.
Human Resources Committee
· Provides orientation to new board members
· Hires and undertakes the performance appraisal of the Administrative Assistant.

Annual Conference for Library Trustees
An annual conference is usually held in April or May.

With the assistance of the Public Library Services Branch, Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services, BCLTA has a number of workshops developed specifically for library trustees. Trustees can participate individually at regionally held workshops or by request from individual library boards. Workshops on other topics may be arranged on request to the Education Committee Chair.

· Trustee Orientation Program
· Board Development Workshop
· Policy Making Workshop
· Conflict Resolution Workshop
· Meeting Management
· Advocacy

There are two trustee awards given annually by the BCLTA to recognize outstanding contributions to libraries throughout the province.

Nancy Bennett Merit Award

This award recognizes a trustee who has contributed to library service provincially or regionally. It is given to a trustee who has been active within the past two years. The Nancy Bennett Merit Award is presented at the BCLTA annual conference.

Super Trustee Award

Three awards will recognize three who have made a major contribution to their libraries. Each award is an engraved plaque and will be presented at the BCLTA annual conference or at a presentation arranged by the trustee's library.

BCLTA Library Advocate Award

Many individuals and organizations contribute in many ways to our libraries. This award, a certificate suitable for framing, will be provided by BCLTA to the nominating library. The library will recognize the contribution of the nominee at a local presentation.

Open Door, the newsletter of the BCLTA, is published three times a year and distributed free to library trustees.

Other Publications

Two publications are currently available: this booklet (the Trustees Handbook) and the Promotion and Operation of Small Libraries in British Columbia.


The Public Library Services Branch is the provincial agency responsible for administering the Library Act and promoting the improvement and extension of public library services throughout British Columbia. The Branch distributes operating grants to British Columbia public library boards, facilitates the sharing of information among the province's public libraries and provides leadership at the provincial and national level on issues affecting public libraries. The branch has two offices, located in Victoria and Burnaby.

Victoria (Director's Office):
PO Box 9490 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9N7
Phone: (250) 356-1791
Or 1-800-663-7051 (toll free in B.C.)
Fax: (250) 953-3225

3rd floor 590 West 8th Ave
Vancouver BC V5Z1C5
Phone: (604) 660-7343
Or 1-800-663-2165 (toll free in B.C.)
Fax: (604) 660-0435
Community Librarian Training Program

This distance education program for public library and Indian Band library staff includes courses on topics such as Reference and Information Services, Services to children and Young Adults and Internet Use in Libraries.

Consulting Services

A staff of five professional librarians provide consulting services to public library boards and staff on request.

Interlibrary Loan Program

The Branch co-ordinates an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) network for public libraries, setting the policy and procedures used by participants, and provides funding for an electronic "union" catalogue which contains catalogue records for materials held in all BC public, college and institute libraries. This union catalogue, called OutLook Online, is available on the Internet at http://bcuc-iol2.auto-graphics.com/


The Branch provides annual funding to InterLINK, a co-operative federation of seventeen autonomous public libraries in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sea to Sky, and Sunshine Coast regions. InterLINK's reciprocal service agreement allows users anywhere in the region to use the services of participating libraries at no charge.

Operating Grants to Public Libraries

The Branch distributes annual per capita operating grants to public library boards. These grants are based on population served and are provided to all libraries established under the provincial Library Act. The grants may be used to offset any operating costs related to the provision of library service.

British Columbia Public Libraries Statistics

The Branch compiles statistical and financial data summarizing the activities of British Columbia's public libraries. These data are collected using an Internet-based survey and published annually in print form as British Columbia Public Libraries Statistics, which is sent to each public library, municipality and regional district in British Columbia. The data published in British Columbia Public Libraries Statistics are also available on the World Wide Web in Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Excel 97 file formats.

Resource Sharing Grants

Compensation for participation in the Interlibrary Loan network is provided to public libraries on the basis of the number of items loaned to other libraries and for records submitted to the Outlook Online database.

Secondment Program

The Public Library Secondment Program subsidizes the cost of sharing skilled public library staff, on a short-term basis, with libraries in other communities. Libraries seeking to second an employee of another library board are responsible for completing the grant application. Information and applications are available on the Branch Web site.

Special Projects

The Branch co-operates with other government agencies and library associations to promote and foster library services for all British Columbians. Examples of projects sponsored or supported by the Branch include:

· Media Awareness Network
· Youth@BC Program
· Industry Canada Community Access Program
· Industry Canada Library Net
· Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Libraries Program

Summer Reading Club

The Branch provides annual funding in support of the British Columbia Library Association's annual provincial Summer Reading Club, which promotes literacy among children.

Support for Provincial Library Associations

The Branch co-operates with and provides support to three provincial library associations: British Columbia Library Trustees Association (BCLTA); British Columbia Library Association (BCLA); and Association of B.C. Public Library Directors (ABCPLD).

Writers In Libraries

This program assists public libraries in hosting readings or workshops with BC authors. To be eligible for the program, a writer or illustrator must be a BC resident who has at least one book published. Libraries submitting a joint application are eligible for 100% reimbursement of a writer's travel and accommodation costs. Information and applications are available on the Branch Web site.


Assessing your community for library planning (1987). Ontario: Ministry of Culture and Communications.

Paquet, Marion A. (1993). A handbook for cultural trustees: a guide to the role, responsibilities and functions in Canada. Waterloo, Ontario: University of Waterloo Press.

Planning and role setting for public libraries (1987). Chicago: American Library Association

Swan, James. (1992). Working together: a how-to-do-it manual for trustees and librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman.

Williams, Lorraine M. (1987). The library trustee and the public librarian: partners in service. Ottawa: Canadian Library Association.

Woodland, Alan & Heaney, Ellen, Eds. 91986). British Columbia libraries: historical profiles. Vancouver: British Columbia Library Association.

American Libraries
The Bottom Line: A Financial Magazine for Librarians
Computers in Libraries
Feliciter (Canadian Library Association)
Library Journal
Open Door (B.C. Library Trustees Association)
BCLA Reporter

UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, 1989

Library trustees: meeting the challenge. (1988).
Chicago: American Library Association. (This video provides an overview of the responsibilities of the library trustee with regard to policy, planning and advocacy.


· Alberta Library Association: The Handbook
· American Library Trustees Association Bulletins
· BCLTA: Board Development Workshop and Policy-Making Workshop curriculum materials
· The Effective Trustee Handbook, Canadian Library Association
· Massachusetts Library Trustees Handbook
· The Ontario Library Trustees Handbook

British Columbia Library Trustees Association
PO Box 4334, Station Terminal
Vancouver BC V6B 3Z7
Tel: (604) 913-1424 Fax: (604) 913-1413
Email:bclta @ bclta.org
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