2016 Trustee Handbook

2016 Trustee Handbook

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For Printed Copies

of the 2015 edition of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State please contact your regional public library system.

Individual copies are also available for sale from the Suffolk Cooperative Library System. The cost of the Handbook is $5.00 per copy including shipping. Please send your orders to:

Suffolk Cooperative Library System
627 N. Sunrise Service Rd.
P.O. Box 9000
Bellport, New York 11713
Attn: Roger Reyes
(631) 286-1600

Poughkeepsie Public Library Branch Renovation

The Poughkeepsie Public Library District embarked on a three-phased facilities plan in 2005.  The first phase was the expansion of the parking lot at Adriance Memorial Library, the Library District’s main library.

 In 2007, the second phase began with a two year expansion and renovation project of Adriance Memorial Library from a 20,000 SF inaccessible Beaux Arts building to a 42,000 SF fully accessible public space that respected the traditional Beaux Arts architecture while providing modern spaces with all of its accoutrements.

The third and final phase of the plan was begun in 2012 with the purchase of an old IBM power plant as a replacement for our branch library.  The branch had been situated in an office building that was located in a commercial corridor, along with its three lanes of arterial traffic.  The new branch is in a more suburban setting on six acres and designed with potential expansion in mind.

Every project provides its challenges for a variety of reasons.  Whether it be municipal planning, zoning, or permitting or the default of a contractor, it seems like the first two phases of our plan went relatively smoothly only to hit us full-force in the third and final phase.  Eventually, all of the issues were worked out to everyone’s satisfaction without lingering animus but it is interesting to note that the project with the apparent easiest site issues proved to be the most complicated to complete.

The Library District’s facilities plan has been funded primarily with voter-authorized borrowing.  All three projects had public referenda on General Election Day.  In total, the voters approved nearly $22.5 million dollars for the plan over four separate votes, including a vote for $700,000 authorizing funding for all of the pre-referendum planning expenses.  The balance was financed with New York State construction grants, naming opportunity gifts, and $500,000 from the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District.

The new branch, the Boardman Road Branch Library, was celebrated with a family concert by Tom Chapin and Friends on Sunday, April 12.  Over 650 people attended the event on the first beautiful spring day after a long, hard winter.

It’s been a long, nine-year journey but it has been worth it.


Sullivan County, N.Y. Teens & Tweens Battle . . of the Books!

The Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) has conducted a Regional Battle of the Books each year since 2008 spearheaded by our terrific Youth Services consultant, Randy Enos. If you search ‘Battle of the Books’ on the Web the results list includes many public library websites. ‘Battles’ challenge youth to read specific books, do their best to remember the details of them and then compete against teams from other libraries that have also read the same books in a Family Feud type setting where team members buzz in to provide the answers.

RCLS serves 47 chartered public libraries spread out over almost 2,500 miles. Two years ago one of the library directors in Sullivan County sought to introduce a Battle at the County level. The first Sullivan County Battle was held in April of 2013 and three teams participated. That initial County Battle went so well that in 2014 four additional teams participated – with more looking to participate in 2015. There are only 9 libraries in Sullivan County plus two branch buildings – so the excitement that has been built up around the Battles is clearly contagious. Some middle and high school librarians have partnered with the public libraries to help coach teams – leading to some libraries having so many kids interested that multiple teams per library have formed.

Book Battles gives tweens and teens that love to read an opportunity to do so in a fun, competitive, social environment where their love of reading is valued. Often loving a great book is a private pleasure; here they discuss these books – their plot lines, character development, what they understand and don’t about what they are reading, and what they like and don’t like about them, in a way that does not involve an assignment or a grade. Youth participate for lots of reasons – they like reading, they like spending time with others that like reading, they like to compete, and who wouldn’t like winning a trophy and/or prizes for doing so? In our case there is a banner to be waved by the winning library plus a cash prize that participating teams contribute toward when they register – and every participant wins books from a pool of titles that each library donates toward.

Book Battles are inexpensive and do not require you – as a trustee or library staff person – to do a lot in creating one from scratch. Here is a link to the RCLS Battle of the Books information: http://ow.ly/zvWXsto get you started. Forming a committee is advisable as you begin the process of creating a Book Battle in your region.

Submitted by,

Mary Paige Lang-Clouse

Director, Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library, Monticello, N.Y. (Battle Team: ‘The Novel Bunch’)

Trustee, Sunshine Hall Free Library, Eldred, N.Y. (Battle Team: ‘Team Eldred”)

Draft 2014 NYLA Legislative Agenda

Issues and Priorities for the Library community to become familiar with during this Legislative season


Fully fund NYS libraries at $102M as stipulated in Education Law
Provide desperately needed funding to maintain NYS’s critical information infrastructure; enabling libraries to continue delivering education and enrichment services, by addressing critical technology needs.

Maintenance of Effort Waivers (2013 ‐ passed Senate)
Allows libraries to apply for maintenance of effort waivers to be granted by the NYS Commissioner of Education for a period of up to three years (proposed amended language).

Taxpayer Access to Publicly‐Funded Research (returning)
Requires publicly‐funded research that has been submitted for publication in peer‐reviewed journals to be made available online.

Local Government Efficiency Grants (returning; Assemblyman Otis sponsor, need Senate sponsor) Includes public library systems as entities that are eligible to apply for local government efficiency grants.
SED Library Study (2013 – passed Assembly)
Directs SED to develop a plan and issue a report for increasing access to and lending of electronic books in public libraries and library systems.

EDC Study (2013 – passed Assembly)
Commissions study of the economic impact of public libraries and library systems in NYS.

Digital Literacy (returning)
Substitutes the term “digital literacy” for the dated term “internet safety” in Education Law to better prepare students to effectively use technology.

Library Construction Aid Matching Provisions
Makes permanent current program guidelines on matching requirements to ensure libraries in economically disadvantaged areas are able to make needed capital improvements. 


American Library Association Discussions

Check out the following announcement for the next episode of American Libraries Live from the American Library Association.

ALA Store

Free, interactive, streaming video broadcasts
discussing trends and exploring industry issues

European Librarians Discuss Their Institutions and Programs

Thursday October 10, 2013
2:00pm Eastern | 1:00pm Central | 12:00pm Mountain | 11:00am Pacific

On the next episode of AL Live, we’ll take a trip overseas. Our panel of international experts will discuss how some of Europe’s top libraries currently see the role of the library and the librarian.
This 60-minute episode will take place on Thursday, October 10th at 2pm Eastern. You can pre-register at http://goo.gl/ZeSRX2(pre-registration is not required to attend).Among the topics we’ll be discussing:

  • What are the ways you engage visitors and drive the continued relevance of the library as a cultural institution?
  • How does the library interact or interface with other public institutions?
  • How does the library market its services to the public?
  • What types of technologies do European libraries use to enhance the user experience?
  • What type of online interfaces do European libraries offer?

Joining us for this discussion are:

  • Hans van Velzen from the Amsterdam Public Library
  • Paola Manoni from the Vatican Library
  • Frédérique Manning from the City of Paris Library Network
  • Eric Conderaerts from Infor