ROLE OF THE BOARD
SOLS is governed by a twenty member volunteer board mostly drawn from the boards of our client libraries with five members recommended by the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. The Board serves without remuneration for a four year term. The current term runs from June 2008 until June 2012.
Role of the Board
SOLS Boards Governance Commitment states: The board, on behalf of the people of Ontario as represented by the Minister with jurisdiction for public libraries, will govern Southern Ontario Library Service with a strategic perspective through a continually improving capability to express values and vision. Individuals interested in sitting on the Board should be big picture thinkers who are forward thinking and open-minded, aware of library issues, focused on improving library service, tolerant of different styles, and self-disciplined. SOLS board operates under the Policy Governance Model developed by John Carver and candidates for the Board are expected to accept this model.
Board Job Description
The job of the board is to represent its ownership in determining and demanding appropriate organizational performance. To distinguish the board's own unique job from the jobs of its staff, the board will concentrate its efforts on the following job "products" or outputs:
The link between the organization and its ownership. Written governing policies which, at the broadest levels, address:Ends: Organizational products, impacts, benefits, outcomes, recipients, and their relative worth (what good for which needs at what cost). Executive Limitations: Constraints on executive authority which establish the prudence and ethics boundaries within which all executive activity and decisions must take place. Governance Process: Specification of how the board conceives, carries out and monitors its own task. Board-CEO Relationship: How power is delegated and its proper use monitored; the CEO role authority and accountability. The assurance of CEO performance (against policies in 2A and 2B). The assurance of funding through advocating for optimal funding from the provincial government.
There are three board meetings a year - October, February and June. Meetings are on Friday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and are held in SOLS office in Toronto (#1504 1 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M5E 1E5). Expenses are paid by SOLS. Overnight accommodation on Friday is covered for those traveling from out of town.
Board meetings are structured around the Boards job description:
Discussions under Linkage Development typically address plans for contacts with the Minister of
Tourism, Culture and Sport, MPPs, and our client libraries. The Board follows a cycle of policy review so that all four areas (Ends, Executive Limitations, Governance Process and Board-CEO Relationship) are addressed, at a minimum, once every four years. Assurance of funding focuses on the provincial government which is SOLS primary funder. The CEOs performance is assured through a cycle of monitoring reports which address compliance with the provisions of the Ends and Executive Limitations policies. The Board also evaluates its own performance an annual basis.
Work between meetings tends to focus on linkage development and assurance of funding. Typically, board members will be involved in advocacy with local MPPs and reporting at Trustee Council meetings.