The Board Meeting - General Information

  • The library director shall be present at all board meetings.  Elect a new chairperson and other officers annually.
  • Rotate leadership responsibilities to create a stronger board.  Each trustee should have the opportunity to hold office.
  • Plan meetings on a regular, annual schedule as listed in the bylaws.  Select specific dates, times, and places six to 12 months in advance.
  • Inform the chairperson when you are unable to attend and give reason.
  • Follow procedures for conducting business meetings as outlined in The American Institute of Parliamentarians Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure.  If this seems too formal, the chairperson should devise a specific order of business that maintains an orderly flow for the meetings.
  • Keep an archival file of board minutes in the library.  Individual board members should retain current minutes in their trustee notebooks.
  • Hold working board sessions and committee meetings prior to the formal board meetings where decisions are made.  This saves time and provides an opportunity for careful study of the issue.
  • Remember!  Committees issue recommendations to the board but do not make the decisions.  Written committee reports distributed before the board meetings are most effective.

Follow all the provisions of Idaho's Open Meetings Law, Idaho Code sections, 74-201 through 74-208.  See The Board Meeting - Idaho's Open Meetings Law

Two Pitfalls of Board Meetings

Although it is at board meetings where the most important work of the board is accomplished, board meetings are also the place where many good board members lose their enthusiasm for the job.

  1. The Wandering Board: A board meeting may wander from one topic to another with little or no action being taken, and with many irrelevant side issues being discussed. When board meetings are like this, members come away feeling that their time was wasted. When it occurs meeting after meeting, many good members will consider membership on the board a waste of their time.
  2. The Hurried Board: The second problem is the opposite of the first, but the result is the same. Here the board meeting is dominated by a desire to get done "on time." Important issues that deserve discussion are passed over in a cursory manner because members are not willing to give enough time to the meeting. Again, good board members may feel frustrated by this situation, because important decisions are made with little discussion or reflection.