FOPL and OLA/OLBA/OPLA are proud to announce the full availability of the Leadership by Design on LearnHQ public library board development e-learning program on LearnHQ.  These developments were led by FOPL and OLA in cooperation with SOLS and OLS-North.

This communication is your invitation to review the resources and implement them in your library system’s board development activities.  All of these Leadership by Design courses are FREE.

What you can do:  We encourage library CEOs to share this information with their board chair and members.

We encourage the Board Chair and CEO to consider placing a small development activity as a regular item on every meeting agenda.

We’re here to help, so every two weeks (on Thursday) we will send you an e-mail highlighting a specific topic and task from this rich board learning resource.  Each will include some suggested pre-readings for Board members, a short agenda item on a topic for board discussion, and some suggested post-meeting activity.  These will be merely suggestions and provides you with a framework to integrate board development into your meetings and important work.  If your Board is dealing with a specific issue, it is likely that Leadership by Design has resources to help.

This week’s task: Encourage you board members to sign up for LearnHQ (if they haven’t already) and review the Leadership by Design links in this message.

This modern e-learning system is developed in cooperation with SOLS and their learning management system, LearnHQ.  LearnHQ was developed with a grant from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  The library board e-learning modules – under the rubric of OLBA’s Leadership by Design program – were funded with a grant from the Culture Development Fund.  We thank the Government of Ontario for this funding.

All courses in the Leadership by Design program are now available.

Leadership by Design will develop leadership skills for trustees and board members. The modules are designed to match the four years of a public library board term. By following through the modular learning units and completing the tasks with your board as a whole, you should have a more highly-effective team by the end of your four-year term.

Module 1: This course will develop trustees’ leadership skills and is designed to be taken in the first year of a board member’s term, and concurrently with Module 2.
Module 2: This module reviews what it means to be a library board member and outlines your responsibilities in the first year of your term.
Module 3: This module on Assessment reviews the skills necessary to assess performance of the Board, the CEO, and the strategic plan. It is designed to be taken in the second year of a board member’s term.
Module 4: The fourth module reviews the basics of strategic planning and explores how to successfully plan for your library’s future. Strategic Planning is designed to be taken in the third year of a board member’s term.
Module 5: In the last module of Leadership by Design program and in the final year of their board term, participants will learn the skills necessary to lay the framework for future terms.

You can view Learn HQ here:

You can easily set up a free account here:

Navigating LearnHQ: LearnHQ is developed by Southern Ontario Library Service in partnership with OLA and FOPL and is an extensive online learning resource developed for public library staff and board members in Ontario.  After log-in, select ‘browse courses’, select ‘management/leadership’, and then select ‘board development’. After selecting ‘launch class’, browse the ‘lessons’ option to review each resource within each learning module.

Please contact Mary O’Connor with any questions about this resource.

Direct access to the Board learning modules is here:

More about resources in Leadership by Design is here:

and here:


Stephen and Shelagh


Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLA
Executive Director, Federation of Ontario Public Libraries
Cel: 416-669-4855
FOPL: 416-395-0746
Shelagh Paterson
Executive Director, Ontario Library Association
416-363-3388 ext. 224