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Updated: December 22, 2008

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Rules of Order

Introduction to Robert's Rules of Order
A short, easy-to-read guide to the basics.

Survival Tips on Robert's Rules of Order
From the California State Associations of Parliamentarians and regularly updated, but you'll have to ignore the flawed design. Tips on topics from by-laws ("The best advice anyone can give you is to become familiar with the Bylaws and Constitution of your organization.") and agendas to the six steps in every motion and ways to amend a motion. Briefly stated tips that can keep your meeting in order.

Robert's Rules of Order Motions Chart
Charts describing the purpose of a motion, the wording you use, whether it requires a second, etc. The first table for main motions will probably be the most useful.

Cagle's Parliamentary Procedure
"The homepage provides basic instruction on important topics in Parliamentary Procedure, an opportunity to ask a real Parliamentarian questions, and a link to Questions & Answers I have received and given"--an excellent, clearly-presented resource. Includes advice on making meetings work and making committees work.

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Effective Meetings

Meeting Wizard: Your Meeting Planning Center
A site devoted to planning and holding good meetings from the makers of an online meeting tool. Some of the useful information you'll find here in addition to tips for effective meetings are sections on meeting agendas, taking minutes, and chairing meetings.

Effective Meetings
A series of exercises produced by The New England Regional Leadership Program that a group can do to evaluate and improve meetings and group work, including training. Some of the topics: Nominal Group Technique, General Assessment of Needs, The Facilitator's Role, Choosing the Best Training Activities to Meet an Objective, and Reaching Your Community. An unusual resource, elements of which can be used independently in a variety of contexts.

The Basics of Designing and Facilitating Meetings
From MIT, a nice guide to planning and facilitating meetings. Be sure to follow the links to get the most from this site. You might also want to explore the other Learning Topics that MIT provides.

Effective Library Board Meetings
Administrative Essentials #5 from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction provides information on preparing an agenda and conducting a meeting.  A sample agenda and links to additional resources are provided.

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Open Meetings

Wisconsin Open Meetings Law
An OPAL archive of a program held by Wisconsin Valley Library Service.

A Guide to Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law
A brief overview is given along with a link to the Open Meetings Law Compliance Guide.

Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law and Library Board Closed Sessions
This site describes the WI Open Meetings Law as it relates to library board meetings and closed sessions.  There are detailed instructions on the requirements for conducting a closed session meeting and links to relevant documents. 

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Taking Minutes

Write Minutes, not Hours
Several basic points to consider about the nature of minutes and minute-taking.

An Important Skill
What you need to do when you take minutes, organized around what you need to do before, during, and after the meeting. From about.com

Tips for Taking Minutes
From the Communications Committee of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

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Other Issues

Should Staff Attend Board Meetings?
Statements of opposing views. The context is non-profit boards. ED stands for Executive Director, incidentally.

Facilitating Meetings
A useful overview of the process of effectively facilitating a meeting: preparing for the meeting; determining your role as a facilitator; opening the meeting, running the middle of the meeting, and closing the meeting. Short, practical, and on target.

Group Dynamics: Basic Nature of Groups and How They Develop
Full of useful information on group dynamics and things you can do to improve meetings and group work, ranging from ice breakers and warm-up exercises to a discussion of informal group norms to meeting management to negotiating.

Borgess Navigation Center
Wow! This is a site about innovative and effective group process. It has an in-depth facilitation manual, and much more to look at, e.g., the knowledge worker manual and the MG Taylor Axioms.

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