Massachusetts Public Library Trustees Handbook
The place where a great deal of change is formulated and forwarded to the board for consideration is in committee. The board's bylaws may outline committee structure. There are usually two types of committees in a library board structure. The first is standing committees, which deal with the ongoing and long-range plans of the board. The other type of committee is the ad hoc committee. This is a special one-task, short-term committee, which has a definite length of term. Sometimes, instead of forming an ad hoc committee, the board will feel that some of its business is close enough to the purpose of the standing committee that the committee can form a sub-committee. The number of committees will vary depending on the size of the board, but no board is too small for committee work. Some examples of board committees are:
Public Relations-Charged with interpreting the library's programs, services and mission to its community. A public relations committee sets specific and general public relations objectives such as themes to be communicated, target audiences, methods to be used and timetables for accomplishment. This committee is an excellent place to include interested volunteers, such as Friends of the Library representatives, who are not board members.
Nominating-Also known as a board development committee. Responsible for maintaining a current file of prospective board members. A current list enables the committee to bring a list of carefully selected nominees to the board whenever a vacancy occurs.
Personnel-Its primary charge is to ensure that the library's working environment is conducive to attracting and keeping quality personnel. Periodically reviews personnel policies. While the full board actually hires the library director, the personnel committee may recruit, screen, interview applicants and make a recommendation concerning top candidates.
Development-Responsible for recommending a philosophy of fundraising to the board. While the entire board is responsible for the library's fiscal health, this committee ensures that necessary supplemental funds are raised. Again, this committee is an excellent place to include non-board volunteers who exhibit interest in fundraising for the library.