Library Board Candidate Information Page

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This page is intended for community members who are interested in applying to sit on the 2022-2026 Library Board as a one-stop information center on what it means to be a BMPL Gallery, Library, Archives & Museum (GLAM) Board Member. All application submissions will be received by the TBM Clerk, as well as all announcements, but the Library CEO and Board are happy to offer any additional information for any questions you may.

Legacy Document 

The Blue Mountains Public Library Legacy Document is intended to be a hand-off document between the 2018-2022 Board and the incoming 2022-2026 Board. As an interested candidate, this document is helpful in determining if the priorities of the next four-year cycle are of interest to you.

This document is comprised of four areas:

  • Key Documents for Review
  • Key Advocacy Efforts
  • Legacy Discussions: An Environmental Scan

Strategic Plan 2022-2026

The BMPL Board has developed a number of documents which will inform the incoming Board’s activities. Primary of these is the Strategic Plan 2022-2026 which was developed over 14 months and based on extensive community consultation.

Falling out of that plan are the Annual Action Plans. The BMPL Board developed our 2022 Action Plan which includes the achievements to date. It has also developed a draft 2023 Action Plan to assist the incoming Board. These plans include the key areas of administration, operations and governance which the BMPL team, inclusive of the Board, believe are next steps on the road to achieving the strategic directions.

Memorandum of Understanding (2018)

In 2018, TBM (Town of the Blue Mountains) and the BMPL Board developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which outlines the roles and responsibilities of each body. It includes schedules for relationships and expectations between BMPL and the various TBM Departments in such areas as finance, HR, shared resources, IT, facility use and maintenance.

Funding Agreement (2022-2024)

Effective in 2022, the TBM Council approved a new funding agreement with BMPL. It provides 6% of the previous year’s TBM tax levy to fund the Board-approved budget and reserves. This agreement stands for three years with an automatic renewal option.

Building Conditions Report

In 2018, a study was completed by TBM of all of its facilities, including the L. E. Shore library (LES) in Thornbury and Craigleith Heritage Depot (CHD). This study focused on infrastructure needs and the resulting Building Conditions Report provided a basic maintenance and repair schedule to be completed over the next twenty years. The BMPL CEO identified additional needs which, if acted upon, would prevent major issues in the future. Some headway was made on the infrastructure issues, but the planned investments of 2020 and 2021 were delayed due to costs of the pandemic.

Updated Gap Analysis Feasibility Study

As discussed in the Building Conditions Report section, the ongoing maintenance, repair and renovations of our 28-year-old L.E. Shore facility and historic Craigleith Heritage Depot railway building is an ongoing process. The Updated Gap Analysis Feasibility Study is a compendium to the Building Conditions Report which addresses our usage of the spaces and needs to meet ongoing service model advancements. This document was originally presented in 2019 to Council but has been updated in 2022 for areas of needs which are outstanding.

Year in Review

After publishing a print Annual Report entitled the Year in Review, the Board moved to a video version for the 2020 fiscal. This format was widely accepted with great uptake. It was again completed for 2021. These are available on the BMPL website, on the YouTube channel and promoted in our many social media forums, newsletters, and through Council.

Advocacy is one of the pillars of focus for any strong Board, and the BMPL GLAM (Gallery, Library, Archives and Museum) Board is no different. Below are the four areas of advocacy that have been ongoing and will rollover into the 2023 year.

Key Supporter Initiative

The Board, realizing that advocacy is a community-wide initiative, moved away from being a board of seven people advocating alone, to begin to design a “brigade” of key supporters who could assist us in the mission to keep our GLAM strong and supported. At the May 2022 annual planning meeting, the Board began looking at how to develop Key Supporters. This information will be made available to this Board so you can begin this term with some of the research and considerations of the past four or more years.

Expansion of East End

Our community was clear that the Craigleith Heritage Depot, while fantastic as a museum, is not meeting needs as their community library branch. Council has heard this and the cry for improved services to the East end and is looking at a campus on County Road 19 which could include a library branch and other municipal services. While the campus project is in its infancy stage, much of the BMPL work on needs has been completed and is ready to be folded in. The BMPL Board will need to advocate for us to remain in that plan as the new Council sets directions for the East End Campus.

Renovation of Craigleith Heritage Depot

Many of the CHD needs are being addressed in 2022. The primary need remaining with the current structure will be the implementation of a museum-quality HVAC and hermetic system. However, if the East End Campus does not occur, the CHD facility will need to be further evaluated to determine how best to provide library services to the area.

Retrofit of L.E. Shore

While we are advocating for the East End hub or campus, we must also remember that LES is one of the main community centres of the West End of the municipality. The 28-year-old building, while an award-winning facility in 1995, is becoming dated and in need of ongoing renovations and repairs. These are the responsibility of the TBM, as it is their facility. Interior furnishings can be requested of Council via taxation or be included in our own budgets, when funds are available.

The Board believes the following are the major achievements, challenges, strengths and weaknesses of the outgoing Board. Key Lessons Learned and Board Recommendations are also highlighted here. These are provided as an environmental scan of the situation in which the incoming Board will enter.

What are the Board’s Major Achievements?

What are the Board’s Major Challenges?

Funding Model

  • 6% tax levy established
  • Rollover and reserves established
  • Pay equity & pay grid in alignment with TBM

Governance

  • By-laws regularly reviewed and updated
  • Board recruitment
  • Committees aligned with our Strategic Plan Pillars
  • Annual Board Evaluation

Communications

  • Board meetings online and increased community uptake
  • Ongoing Communication (e.g. Town Halls, mailed newsletters, Key Messages)
  • Council communications
  • One-to-One meetings by Board members with Mayor and Council members
  • Video Year in Review annual report

Cited by Libraries as Good Models

  • Strategic Plan
  • Action Plan
  • Funding Model 6% tax levy
  • Implementation of the MOU

With the Town

  • Being included in the TBM official documents and studies
  • Presentation of expansion plans to a new Council without early discussions
  • Achieving the Building Conditions Report needed repairs and maintenance schedules

Serving our Entire Community

  • Serving our increase of population
  • Serving rural communities (where they live)
  • Service model for the east end and size limitations of museum

Pandemic & Continuity of service

  • Policy revision for pandemic operations
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Pandemic Plan
  • Board meetings being moved to a virtual environment while still meeting “Open” status.

What are the Board’s Major Strengths?

What are the Board’s Major Weaknesses?

Governance

  • Board evaluation annually
  • Relationship with Mayor and Council
  • Livestreamed/YouTube available Board Meetings
  • Srategic Plan and Action Plan to guide the Board discussions
  • Town Halls

With Town

  • Defined roles and links with TBM
  • Budget model at 6% of tax levy agreement
  • MOU as a guide for addressing roles and responsibilities
  • Supportive and engaged Councilors on our Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advocacy

  • Overcoming the preconceived notions of what libraries are and do
  • Getting “GLAM” understood by our community
  • Knowing who our key supporters are and how to connect to them
  • Slow to establish communication ongoing with Mayor and Councilors

Board Complement

  • More diverse Board
  • Board with younger members
  • Engaging new residents to join the Board
  • Board members having a diverse social network within the community
  • Board members who bring interest in Gallery and Museum

Pandemic Impacts

  • Online format restricted board discussions

What key lessons have we learned?

Recommendations to the new Board

  • Need to consider the process to bring a long-term project (like a building) to success within the context of four-year Council terms
  • Previous Council does not represent new Council interests
  • Nurture Council relationships through personal connection and appearances at Council meetings.
  • Need to demonstrate to Council the value of the library to community
  • Supporting Town initiatives shows we are a good partner for them

 

[Relationship with Council [Councilor & Mayor]

  • Chair/Mayor regular meetings are essential
  • Continue to make regular information deputations to Council
  • Meet individually with Council members and nurture those relationships

 

Many community members want to know what governance involves. A Board member is responsible to work under the job description, as well as the Public Libraries Act. The following documents help to further define some responsibilities, but this topic will be further discussed during the orientation process.

  1. POL-BLG.2022.05 BMPL Board Job Description
  2. Information Sheet for Prospective Board Members
  3. Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990
  4. Understanding the PLA [MTCS]
  5. Cut to the Chase [model for distinction of roles Library/Museum]

Join us November 8th for an evening with the Library CEO and Board Chair. This is an opportunity for interested candidates to hear key expectations and information potential candidates should be aware of prior to deciding to apply to Council for appointment. Attendance is not mandatory for consideration of candidacy.

Interested in Applying?