Keeping Governance on Track

Keeping Governance on Track presented by the United for Libraries Intellectual Freedom Task Force with financial support from a bequest from the late Jack Neal. This course is free and open to all libraries and boards.

Increasingly, library board meetings are facing disruptions, often making it difficult to conduct necessary board business. With the rise in challenges to library materials, programs, and access, boards are often affected internally (conflict/dissent among board members) and externally (public comment and disruptions from meeting observers). During this two-part series, parliamentarian Nancy Sylvester will share actions, training, and preparation that boards and library directors can take now to be ready for problems and issues, and tips and best practices for handling problems in board meetings. 

Part 1 focuses on “Steps to Be Prepared & How to Handle Problems.” Participants will learn what actions and preparation boards and library directors can take now to be ready for issues that may arise (including meeting disruptions by non-board members, a board member overstepping boundaries or pushing their personal agenda, etc.).

Part 2 features a “Mock Board Meeting,” with an enactment of a library board meeting and Sylvester providing “in-the-moment” tips to handle misbehavior, conflict, disruptions, etc.

Additional resources for library Trustees and relating to library boards can be found at “Trustee Resources for Program & Material Challenges,” including “ Terms and Definitions Related to Intellectual Freedom & Censorship" and “ Materials Challenges: Key Library Policies to Review and Revise”. 

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. To join, visit or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161.