Library Boards Crash Course: How to Create and Maintain Successful Board Relationships

Impact your community and staff by building lasting relationships with your board. 




Course Description 

Guest speaker sessions via Zoom:
Tuesday,  Jan. 31 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm ET (recordings available)

Continuity and successful relationships between library leaders and boards are more important than ever. This crash course will help you learn tangible skills to build and maintain successful relationships with your board. You will learn how to navigate board dynamics and expectations without sacrificing the support of staff, particularly your frontline folks. This crash course will discuss tactics for embodying the bridge between sometimes competing interests or expectations, and how to do so equitably.


The live sessions run on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 from approximately 2:00-4:00 pm ET (recorded for on-demand viewing). Don’t miss this opportunity!




Learning Outcomes

When you sign up early, you’ll have immediate access to our Early Access On Demand Resources—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich, supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace.

When you attend this interactive online course, you’ll gain the tools to:  
  • Establish clear structure for your board meetings and communications 

  • Create clear roles, responsibilities, and expectations for your board members and communicate them effectively

  • Anticipate, mitigate, and respond to challenges that arise from or with your board

  • Engage your board in your advocacy and DEI efforts

  • Employ tactics for communicating and engaging with your board that find alignment in shared goals

Who should take this course 

Current and aspiring library leaders who want to gain understanding of and strategies for successful relationships with your board.

Live sessions are also available on demand 

Can’t make a live session? All guest speaker sessions are recorded and available on demand following the initial broadcast. Asynchronous workshops allow you to complete assignments and receive feedback from experts.

Certificate of completion provided 

2 professional development credit hours

For support with online courses, please contact


All guest speaker sessions feature live captioning and are made available on demand after the initial broadcast. Please email upon registration if you require any special accommodations and we will make our best efforts to facilitate them.


Group Rates

Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Discounted registration fees are available for groups of 3 or more. When you register your team for our online courses, they will be placed in the same small workshop group, where discussions and project-based assignments receive feedback from an experienced librarian.

Send us a request for a quote.

If your group prefers to work separately, just let us know.


Course Curriculum Advisor

Valerie Kocin, Former Director of Cuyahoga Falls Library (OH); Former Executive Director of Collier County Public Library (FL)

Valerie Kocin has 25 years experience in working with and serving on non-profit, private, public, governing and advisory Boards.  From 2015 to 2022 Valerie worked as Director of Collier County Library in Florida and later Cuyahoga Falls Library in Ohio. Prior to joining Cuyahoga County Public Library in 2002 Valerie worked in fundraising for Cleveland Clinic and owned and operated an international wellness organization. Valerie is a dynamic business executive with broad public and private sector experience in Board development, strategic planning, leadership, organizational transformation, community engagement, grant writing, and public relations.  She is a collaborative, consensus building leader adept in innovation and risk management.  




By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

For support with online courses, please contact





Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Session 1 | 2:00-2:40 pm ET

Roles, Expectations, and Boundaries: How to Cultivate Relationships with Your Board

Understanding and establishing clear structures and responsibilities with your Board is key in cultivating sustainable, productive relationships. This session will discuss tangible strategies for effective communication and defining and setting roles and expectations with your Board. You will also learn tips for how to anticipate, mitigate, and respond to challenges. 


Valerie Kocin, Former Director of Cuyahoga Falls Library (OH); Former Executive Director of Collier County Public Library (FL)


Session 2 | 2:40-2:50 pm ET

Informational Session about LJ/SLJ Professional Development

Interested in what’s next or how to go even deeper? This session will provide more information about our spring courses, including our 3-week course, Equity-Centered Library Leadership, which will pair well with what you learned here. Take this opportunity to ask questions about our full roster of courses, gain transparency into our process, and give your feedback about what you’d like us to do next.


Break | 2:50-3:00 pm ET


Session 3 | 3:00-3:40 pm ET

How to Engage Your Board in Your Advocacy and EDI Efforts 

Part of cultivating sustainable relationships with your board is helping them understand their role in library advocacy as well as your equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts. This session will discuss tactics for connecting the board's work to your advocacy and EDI work, and will help you define your board’s role in these efforts.


Melanie Huggins,  (she, her) Executive Director, Richland Library in Columbia (SC); Immediate Past President, PLA


Session 4 | 3:40-4:00 pm ET

Apply Your Learning: Live, Interactive Working Session

This live, moderated discussion will give you an immediate opportunity to process and apply the skills you’ve learned in the previous sessions. You will have the opportunity to join on camera and audio to discuss ideas, ask questions, and hear from other participants in class. 


Melanie Huggins,  (she, her) Executive Director, Richland Library in Columbia (SC); Immediate Past President, PLA







Online Course Preview

A preview of how we build your library skills and bring inspiration to your projects with our online learning experience.

Course Format


Inspiring Live Guest Speakers 



Live session with Andrea Blackman and Tasneem Ansariyah Grace

Live Guest Speakers Each Week

  • Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats


Online Course Features


Recordings of guest speakers

Recordings Available After The Live Session

  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live video stream (with recordings available afterward)



Early Access On Demand Resources

Early Access and Ongoing Resources To Support Learning

  • Supporting resources (articles, videos, worksheets) in the online classroom to provide a foundation for your work
  • Access all course content for six months after the course ends
  • Bonus: Register early and get immediate access to archival video recordings from related courses and other bonus content




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