2.2 Advisory committees

An advisory committee representing users of the resource centre can help to ensure that the resource centre meets users’ needs. A small, hospital-based resource centre could draw on hospital staff; a community-based resource centre has more varied sets of users to represent.

It is advisable to establish a committee with about five to ten people. The people should volunteer their time, but should be offered reimbursement of any travelling expenses.

The committee needs clear roles and responsibilities (see Section 2.2.1).

2.2.1 Sample responsibilities of a resource centre advisory committee


The committee should:

  • advise resource centre staff how to implement the resource centre’s aims and objectives
  • ensure that the needs of the resource centre and its intended users are being met
  • advise and participate in planning activities
  • assist with the selection of staff
  • participate in developing a collection policy and selecting new materials
  • decide the opening hours
  • advise whether to lend materials and which ones
  • participate in setting budgets
  • encourage the use of the resource centre
  • ensure that mechanisms are in place for monitoring and evaluating the resource centre.

Committee membership
The committee shall have five members.

Committee membership
The committee shall have five members.

Length of membership
Members shall be elected to serve on the committee for two years. They may be re-elected. A chairperson and secretary must be appointed. Other members may be co-opted as felt necessary by the committee.

Any member who fails to attend three meetings in a row without good reason should no longer be a member. Another person should be elected in their place.

Official meetings
At least three members must attend a meeting to make the meeting official. If this is not possible the meeting must be postponed.

Number of meetings
The committee should meet every three months. Meetings should be planned at the beginning of the year. Additional meetings may be held when necessary, as decided by the chairperson.

Decisions of committee
Decisions will be passed when more than half the members in attendance agree by a show of hands.

The committee can be dissolved if felt appropriate by the majority of members.