September 25 – 27, 2015
The Lord Nelson Hotel
Halifax Central Library
Coping with the here and now tends to occupy much of the time of Nova Scotia’s chief librarians and our public library boards. Unpredictable municipal councils, flat-lined budgets, aging facilities and responding to online information access trends have a way of absorbing most of our collective energies. A provincial funding review does not always spell good news. Faced with these immediate, pressing issues, we tend to run on automatic pilot and postpone or perhaps neglect addressing more fundamental strategic or governance matters.
Good governance is more critical than ever to the viability of public libraries. We count upon the Library Boards of Nova Scotia, through their members, structure and processes, to advance the system’s mission, vision, and long-term sustainability. Today’s Library Boards are still called upon to carry out strategic and policy oversight as well as their fiduciary responsibilities.
Governance is now a dynamic, changing field. Since the appearance of Richard Chait, William Ryan, and Barbara Taylor’s Governance as Leadership (2004), the focus of good governance has been broadened from the traditional framework to encompass “generative thinking.” Governing boards have now ventured into new territory. Partnerships are the gateway to new possibilities. Current challenges to the sustainability of libraries open the door to more collaborative policy-making in the search for better, more cost-effective programming and innovative ways of serving the public.
The Board Chair-CEO partnership has never been more important as we move forward into uncharted seas. In this session, the Chair and CEO of Halifax Public Libraries will share their thoughts, views, and advice on guiding a Library system through major transformation and leadership renewal. Governance philosophy, leadership transition and the Board’s role in strategic renewal will form the focus for presentation and interactive discussion.