Document 5

Report to/ Rapport au:




Submitted by/Soumis par:  Jan Harder, Chair/Présidente


Contact Person/Personne resource: Barbara, Clubb, City Librarian, Ottawa Public Library – Bibliothécaire municipal- Bibliothéque publique d’Ottawa

613-580-2424 ext./poste 32180,



City Wide/à l'échelle de la Ville

Ref N°:




2011-2014 OTTAWA PUBLIC LIBRARY board composition




la composition du c.a. DE LA BIBLIOTHÉQUE PUBLIQUE D’OTTAWA de 2011-2014




That the following elements be used as a guide in selecting the composition of the next OPL Board (2011-2014) , to be appointed by City Council following the swearing in of the new council on December 1, 2010:


§  Maintain the current Board size of 14 trustees.


§  Encourage a minimum of three (3) current citizen trustee Board Members to remain on the Board when the Board is appointed.


§  Recognize the Board’s commitment to provide library services in both official languages.


§  Conduct an interview process to make reasonable efforts to ensure that applications for board members are sought and considered from a diversity of:

-       Geographic areas of the municipality and its urban/rural make-up

-       Language and cultural groups representing the demographic nature of the municipality

-       Age distribution representing the demographic nature of the municipality including youth (under the age of 25)

-       Applicants showing a clear interest in public libraries and in public service

-       Applicants providing a mixture of professional and other skills related to the work of the library board or issues dealt with by the board

-       Applicants from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds representing the demographic nature of the municipality



§  Make reasonable efforts to ensure that candidates selected have one or more of the following competencies/skills:



-       Commitment to and strong interest in public libraries, commitment to group decision-making and listening to others



-       Independence of judgement, facilitator/consensus building, public issue campaigning, public consultation/involvement, public relations experience, visionary, conceptual thinker, ability to see the big picture and put minor considerations in perspective, ability to effectively engage in dialogue, and possess computer literacy including use of email and internet.



-       Background in policy development, technology, financial/business, government/public servant, library (professional or as a trustee) and community organizations, education, and real estate development and planning.



-       Knowledge of municipal affairs, fundraising, understanding of the budget development process, and previous board experience.




On June 10, 2009 the Ottawa City Council approved (Motion 68/1) that the Library Board report directly to Council and that the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board sit on the Selection Panel to appoint new members.,


In 2008 the Governance Audit report recommended a “staggered term” strategy to ensure that a minimum of three Board Members remain on the Board when the Board is appointed with each new term of Council. Therefore, the Ottawa Public Library Board strongly recommends that the Selection Committee re-appoint for a second term (should they choose to apply for a second term) a minimum of 3 citizen trustee members to ensure continuity for the board.


The Ottawa Public Library’s mission is to build a strong Ottawa community by supporting literacy, life-long learning, fostering inspiration and enjoyment and connection people to each other and the world. The Library’s Strategic Priorities 2008-2011 and statement of core values guide the implementation of the mission. Each year the Library Board provides a public accounting of the Library’s accomplishments.


The Ottawa Public Library Board serves the citizens of Ottawa to ensure they have the best possible library service within the available finances. Ottawa is a diverse city. It has strong geographic, linguistic, ethno-cultural, socio-economic and other differentiations. Trustees must reflect and understand this diversity in order to be an effective link to the entire community.


Special Consideration

The changing face of Ottawa should be reflected on the Board. As of the 2006 census, more than 200 different ethnic origins were reported. This diversity continues to be a prominent feature of Canada. Immigration is the most important component of Canada’s population growth, and changes in the origins were reported. This diversity continues to be a prominent feature of Canada. Immigration is the most important component of Canada’s population growth, and changes in the origins of new immigrants suggest that Canada will continue to be a diverse country. In 2006, nearly 2 million people, or 6.3% of the total population, were immigrants who had arrived during the previous 10 years. In Ottawa, immigrants make up 22% of the total population. The youth of Ottawa should also be represented on the Board. Ottawa is a young city, 45% of Ottawa’s population is under the age of 25 according to the 2006 census. [1]


Work Requirements

The Library Board also has a varied workload in governing the library and representing the Library to the community. As well as ensuring the smooth operation of the Board, the Chair and Vice-Chair must also represent the Board to the public, to Council and related committees, and at public events. Board trustees have ongoing work on policy development and strategic planning, developing links to related organizations, special projects (for example, the development of the West District Library), as well as ad-hoc work on specific issues.

In addition to attending monthly Board meetings,  trustees may be required to contribute to one or more  board ad-hoc or standing committees and organizations, these groups have varying workloads and generally meet once every two months.


Library Board trustees are also expected to contribute to one or more of the following:



Library board trustees have the responsibility:



For further information see:

[1] Statistics Canada, 2006 Census