2017 Regional Workshop: Trustees in the Know

Register Online Today! 

2017 Regional Workshop: Trustees in the Know
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Plainview-Old Bethpage Library,
999 Old Country Road, Plainview NY 11803

9:00 – 2:30 One-hour presentations with optional 15 minute Q&A

Program:

9:00 Registration and Coffee, Opening remarks at 9:45

10:00-11:00   Cybersecurity for Libraries – What must trustees do to ensure patron privacy and protection?

Presenter: Rob Caluori, Director of Information Technology, Westchester Library System

The Internet is fraught with threats to personal privacy from eavesdroppers, hackers, greedy vendors, and greedier advertisers. The presenter will define the online risks for library patrons and explore the library’s responsibility to protect personal information.  The presenter will clarify the issue of net neutrality and focus on the impact to libraries of the challenges and changes to net neutrality.

Rob Caluori is the Director of Information Technology at Westchester Library System.  He has a MS from Pace University in Information Systems, a CAS from Long Island University in Library Administration, and is currently a student at SUNY Albany, completing an MS in Information Science.

11:15-12:15 Due Diligence: Trustee Liability, Policy & Pitfalls

Presenter Joe Eisner, Retired library program director and chair of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library Board

Do trustees have adequate knowledge of existing laws, regulations and opinions to execute their responsibilities? How do newly enacted laws affect library operations and budgetary requirements? “Ask Joe” by submitting specific questions in advance to

Joe is a retired public library director and current chair of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library Board. He is the compiler of the Handbook of Library Laws and Regulations in New York State. Although not an attorney, Joe is considered an expert on the use of library facilities by outside groups, relations with municipal funding officials, personnel matters, and library policy. “Ask Joe” is a monthly feature of the LTA website.

12:30 : Lunch and Remarks

1:15 – 2:15 : Envisioning Library Spaces :Making Better Use of the Space You Already Have

Presenter: James D. Lothrop, AIA, FASID, Partner, Lothrop Associates LLP

What changes to existing facilities and furnishings will better serve existing patrons and encourage a greater number and more diverse population to use  library services. Visual examples will provide a backdrop of possibilities to respond to community expectations in developing library five-year plans and construction grant submissions.

Jim Lothrop is a Registered Architect and Certified Interior Designer.   With over forty years experience, Jim oversees and maintains quality design standards as Design Partner in Lothrop Associates. Jim is a Fellow with the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID). His leadership in design ranges across a wide variety of project types for library clients. He has served on the ASID National Board of Directors, was past president of the ASID New York Metro Chapter, and Co-Chair of the National Industry Advisory Council.

Check out the Vestal Public Library

320 Vestal Parkway East | Vestal, NY 13850 United States |+1-607-754-4243
Website

The Vestal Public Library, founded in 1947, serves an area of more than 26,000 residents. Our library has more than 156,000 items in its collection, over 19,800 registered borrowers, and an annual circulation of over 222,000. The library is a member of the Four County Library System and is located in Broome County near Binghamton, NY.

The library offers many activities for all ages:

  •  LEAP Toddler is their storytime for ages 2-3. LEAP stands for Learning Enrichment and Play. Storytimes involve several stories, with music and a craft at the end.
  • Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead is a new program at the Vestal Library. It is intended for ages 3-7, and involves a short lesson on concepts relating to the project. Each session will include a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design or Math element to it. The sessions are different from each other, so children can register for both.

  • Mother Goose – ages 0-24 months – uses a variety of activities, including rhymes and songs to foster speech development, motor coordination and more!

  • Join the Youth Services Department for their Family Game Days!  Play board games, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360.

  • Friends Yoga, chair yoga classes for adults

    .

 

 

Ask Joe Eisner: Is a library board required to permit public participation at its open meetings?

LTA Members:Get Questions Answered
Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?
Ask Joe Eisner (click to learn more)

As part of LTA’s expansion of service to aid and assist library trustees and directors, LTA offers members an opportunity to confer with Joe Eisner, free of charge.

Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 or by email at ltafaqjoe@librarytrustees.org. (Question are handled with discretion.)

For more information about Joe Eisner’s experience and background, please click on the “Ask Joe Eisner” tab under “Resources and Links” on LTA’s website.

Please note: The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained:


The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained.

Q. Is a library board required to permit public participation at its open meetings?

A. Both association and public libraries boards are required by Education Law s260-a to conduct their meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law (OML). However, “…although the Open Meetings Law provides the public with the right ‘to observe the performance of public officials and attend and listen to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy’ (see Open Meetings Law s100), the Law is silent with respect to public participation. Consequently, by means of example, if a public body… does not want to answer questions or permit the public to speak or otherwise participate at its meetings, we do not believe that it would be obliged to do so.  On the other hand, a public body may choose to answer questions and permit public participation, and many do so. When a public body does permit the public to speak, we believe that it should do so based upon reasonable rules that treat the members of the public equally…. [T]he presiding officer has the authority to limit remarks from the public that are ‘repetitive’ and ‘offensive’…. [W]e note federal court decisions indicating that if commentary is permitted within a certain subject area,, negative commentary in the same area cannot be prohibited…. [A]ssuming that the Board of Trustees…  [or] the presiding officer permit those who wish to speak to do so for a particular period of time, each person who wishes to do so must, in our opinion, be given an equal opportunity to do so Similarly, if the Board…  permit[s  positive comments concerning the operation… we believe that they must offer an equal opportunity to enable those in attendance to offer negative or critical comments.  It would not be unreasonable, in our opinion, to limit repetitive comments in support of opinions expressed previously, as well as those that would be offensive to reasonable people  of ordinary sensibilities….” (Op COG OML 5296, June 12, 2015).  “In the context of a meeting of a public body or a public hearing, we believe that a court would determine that a public body may limit the amount of time allotted to person who wishes to speak, so long as the limitation is reasonable” Op COG OML 4141, February 24, 2006).

Q. May a library board require that a members of the public who wish to speak during public participation at an open meeting of the board be limited to residents of the political jurisdiction served by the library?

A. Bearing in mind that the purpose of the Open Meetings Law is to encourage transparency in government,  depending if the meeting is an open meeting of the library board, to impose such a limitation might be politically imprudent as well as ill-advised. In the following Committee on Open Government opinion, counsel distinguished between a “community forum meeting”, a meeting of a public body, stating that both are different from a public hearing:

“From our perspective, a ‘community forum meeting’ is different from a meeting of a public body, and both are different from a public hearing. A meeting is generally a gathering of a quorum of a public body for the purpose of discussion, deliberation, and potentially taking action within the scope of its powers and duties. A hearing is generally held pursuant to law to provide members of the public with an opportunity to express their views concerning a particular subject, such as a proposed budget, a local law or a matter involving land use. It is likely that a ‘community forum meeting’ is similar to a public hearing, due to its purpose, but unlike a public hearing, is not prescribed by law. Public hearings are often required to be preceded by the publication of a legal notice. In contrast, §104(3) of the Open Meetings Law specifies that notice of a meeting must merely be ‘given’ to the news media and posted. We note, too, that a meeting of a public body held in accordance with the Open Meetings Law can only occur with the presence of a quorum. A hearing or a community forum, on the other hand, can be conducted without a quorum present.

The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained.

Q. Is a library board required to permit public participation at its open meetings?

A. Both association and public libraries boards are required by Education Law s260-a to conduct their meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law (OML). However, “…although the Open Meetings Law provides the public with the right ‘to observe the performance of public officials and attend and listen to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy’ (see Open Meetings Law s100), the Law is silent with respect to public participation. Consequently, by means of example, if a public body… does not want to answer questions or permit the public to speak or otherwise participate at its meetings, we do not believe that it would be obliged to do so.  On the other hand, a public body may choose to answer questions and permit public participation, and many do so. When a public body does permit the public to speak, we believe that it should do so based upon reasonable rules that treat the members of the public equally…. [T]he presiding officer has the authority to limit remarks from the public that are ‘repetitive’ and ‘offensive’…. [W]e note federal court decisions indicating that if commentary is permitted within a certain subject area,, negative commentary in the same area cannot be prohibited…. [A]ssuming that the Board of Trustees…  [or] the presiding officer permit those who wish to speak to do so for a particular period of time, each person who wishes to do so must, in our opinion, be given an equal opportunity to do so Similarly, if the Board…  permit[s  positive comments concerning the operation… we believe that they must offer an equal opportunity to enable those in attendance to offer negative or critical comments.  It would not be unreasonable, in our opinion, to limit repetitive comments in support of opinions expressed previously, as well as those that would be offensive to reasonable people  of ordinary sensibilities….” (Op COG OML 5296, June 12, 2015).  “In the context of a meeting of a public body or a public hearing, we believe that a court would determine that a public body may limit the amount of time allotted to person who wishes to speak, so long as the limitation is reasonable” Op COG OML 4141, February 24, 2006).

Q. May a library board require that a members of the public who wish to speak during public participation at an open meeting of the board be limited to residents of the political jurisdiction served by the library?

A. Bearing in mind that the purpose of the Open Meetings Law is to encourage transparency in government,  depending if the meeting is an open meeting of the library board, to impose such a limitation might be politically imprudent as well as ill-advised. In the following Committee on Open Government opinion, counsel distinguished between a “community forum meeting”, a meeting of a public body, stating that both are different from a public hearing:

“From our perspective, a ‘community forum meeting’ is different from a meeting of a public body, and both are different from a public hearing. A meeting is generally a gathering of a quorum of a public body for the purpose of discussion, deliberation, and potentially taking action within the scope of its powers and duties. A hearing is generally held pursuant to law to provide members of the public with an opportunity to express their views concerning a particular subject, such as a proposed budget, a local law or a matter involving land use. It is likely that a ‘community forum meeting’ is similar to a public hearing, due to its purpose, but unlike a public hearing, is not prescribed by law. Public hearings are often required to be preceded by the publication of a legal notice. In contrast, §104(3) of the Open Meetings Law specifies that notice of a meeting must merely be ‘given’ to the news media and posted. We note, too, that a meeting of a public body held in accordance with the Open Meetings Law can only occur with the presence of a quorum. A hearing or a community forum, on the other hand, can be conducted without a quorum present.

“While we know of no judicial decisions concerning the ability of those to speak at either meetings or hearings, when a public body does permit the public to speak, we believe that it should do so based upon reasonable rules that treat members of the public equally.

“Legal notices for public hearings normally include the following indication: “at such hearing any person may be heard.” Neither the notice nor the statute requiring that the hearing be held distinguishes among those who might want to express their views. That being so, we do not believe that a public body could validly require that those who attend or seek to attend a hearing identify themselves by name, residence or interest. In short, it is our view that any member of the public has an equal opportunity to partake in a public hearing, and that an effort to distinguish among attendees by residence or any other qualifier would be inconsistent with the law and, therefore, unreasonable.

“Moreover, people other than residents, particularly those who own property or operate businesses in a community, may have a substantial interest in attending and expressing their views at hearings held by school boards and other public bodies. Prohibiting those people from speaking, even though they may have a significant tax burden, while permitting residents to do so, would, in our view, be unjustifiable. Further, it may be that a non-resident serves, in essence, as a resident’s representative, and that precluding the non-resident from speaking would be equivalent to prohibiting a resident from speaking. In short, it is unlikely that a public body could validly prohibit a non-resident from speaking at a public forum based upon residency” (Op COG OML 4141, February 24, 2006).

Thus, prudence would dictate that a library board should seek advice from counsel regarding the appropriate procedure to follow in regard to receiving questions from members of the public who attend library board meetings at which only routine business is discussed, or as in the case of school district public library or an association library which receive voter approved tax support, a meeting held in advance of that vote at which either a quorum of the board will be present to vote on presenting the budget for voter approval, or at which a quorum will not be present.

“Legal notices for public hearings normally include the following indication: “at such hearing any person may be heard.” Neither the notice nor the statute requiring that the hearing be held distinguishes among those who might want to express their views. That being so, we do not believe that a public body could validly require that those who attend or seek to attend a hearing identify themselves by name, residence or interest. In short, it is our view that any member of the public has an equal opportunity to partake in a public hearing, and that an effort to distinguish among attendees by residence or any other qualifier would be inconsistent with the law and, therefore, unreasonable.

“Moreover, people other than residents, particularly those who own property or operate businesses in a community, may have a substantial interest in attending and expressing their views at hearings held by school boards and other public bodies. Prohibiting those people from speaking, even though they may have a significant tax burden, while permitting residents to do so, would, in our view, be unjustifiable. Further, it may be that a non-resident serves, in essence, as a resident’s representative, and that precluding the non-resident from speaking would be equivalent to prohibiting a resident from speaking. In short, it is unlikely that a public body could validly prohibit a non-resident from speaking at a public forum based upon residency” (Op COG OML 4141, February 24, 2006).

Thus, prudence would dictate that a library board should seek advice from counsel regarding the appropriate procedure to follow in regard to receiving questions from members of the public who attend library board meetings at which only routine business is discussed, or as in the case of school district public library or an association library which receive voter approved tax support, a meeting held in advance of that vote at which either a quorum of the board will be present to vote on presenting the budget for voter approval, or at which a quorum will not be present.


Please note: If you have any additional questions about this topic, please contact Joe Eisner at the e-mail/phone above.

 

Helping All Trustees Succeed Curriculum Endorsed by Statewide Organizations

The Library Trustees Association of New York State, the New York Library Association and Public Library System Directors Promote Trustee Education

NEW YORK STATE, May 12, 2017– The Library Trustees Association of New York State (LTA) , the New York Library Association (NYLA) and the Public Library Systems Directors Organization of New York State (PULISDO) have all unanimously endorsed the use and promotion of the Helping All Trustees Succeed (HATS) Curriculum.

“Strong library boards build enduring libraries,” said Lauren Moore, PULISDO Chair. “ That’s why the public library systems of New York State have worked together to create a curriculum that will ensure that all library trustees have the skills they need to govern their libraries.”

The curriculum was developed by a team of Public Library System consultants with stakeholder input. Stakeholders included public library trustees, public library directors, the Library Trustees Association of New York State, the New York State Division of Library Development, the New York Library Association along with members of PULISDO. Thirteen percent of New York’s 6,000+ trustees responded to a survey to help shape the content of the curriculum.

“No one is born knowing how to be a public library trustee,” commented HATS Team Mentor and Mid-Hudson Library System’s Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, “and with responsibilities for the governance, finances, facilities and retention of the public’s good will we need to give these honorable volunteers a fighting chance to do the best they can for the communities they serve. Library service is too important to leave to chance.”

The curriculum includes five modules to help Public Library Systems provide relevant, up-to-date continuing education opportunities for public library trustees. The module topics include an orientation, legal issues, financial and fiduciary responsibilities, planning and advocacy and the most common habits of highly effective boards.

“The Library Trustees Association (LTA) is the only NYS regents chartered association for trustees, founded in 1949. Our mission is to represent, assist, honor and educate trustees as providers of universal library service. We are pleased to have worked with the HATS team on the curriculum and to have partnered with them on presentations and the sharing of information,” said Tim Gavin, Executive Director of the Library Trustees
Association. “We encourage trustees throughout the state to attend HATS programs and we look forward to continuing to partner with the HATS team in future endeavors and as they refine their curriculum. The more education that trustees receive, the easier their roles will be, the stronger and more vibrant their libraries and communities will become, and the more recognition NY will receive as role models for the rest of our nation.”

Public library systems will each take the lead to customize the curriculum and offer regional workshops for local library trustees. PULISDO continues to create opportunities to support public library system staff in the implementation of the curriculum, ensuring that this curriculum continues to be relevant, accurate and a cornerstone for trustee education in New York State.

“NYLA is pleased to offer its endorsement of the HATS curriculum, and to support the goal of providing robust training opportunities to all those who serve as public library trustees across New York State, said Barbara Stripling, President of the New York Library Association, “The HATS program is a welcome positive step toward that goal.”

To learn more about upcoming trustee education offerings in your region please contact your public library system.

 

Team HATS:
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System (Team Mentor)
Lisa Erickson, Nioga Library System
Jennifer Ferriss, Southern Adirondack Library System
Ron Kirsop, Pioneer Library System
Grace Riario, Ramapo Catskill Library System
Amanda Travis, Onondaga County Public Library System

Team HATS got their start thanks to the ILEAD USA Program offered through The New York State Library.


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact:
Lauren Moore, Chair, PULISDO
585.394.8260
lmoore@pls-net.org.

Ask Joe Eisner: Does a library trustee have the right to examine library records?

LTA Members:Get Questions Answered
Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?
Ask Joe Eisner (click to learn more)

As part of LTA’s expansion of service to aid and assist library trustees and directors, LTA offers members an opportunity to confer with Joe Eisner, free of charge.

Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 or by email at ltafaqjoe@librarytrustees.org. (Question are handled with discretion.)

For more information about Joe Eisner’s experience and background, please click on the “Ask Joe Eisner” tab under “Resources and Links” on LTA’s website.

Please note: The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained:


The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained.

Q. Does a library trustee have the right to examine library records?

The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the service of counsel should be obtained.

 A. Prior to the enactment of the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL),  the New York State Supreme Court rendered the following decision:

Petitioner, a trustee of the Farmingdale Public Library, seeks in this article 78 proceeding to enjoin the Director of the Library and petitioner’s four co-trustees from denying petitioner direct access to the office files and records of the library and to annul and set aside a purported regulation adopted by the board which sets forth the procedure to be followed in examining such records. The petition is dismissed.

It is axiomatic that a trustee of a municipal corporation, having the ultimate responsibility over the affairs of the corporation (Education Law, § 260), has an absolute right to inspect the records maintained by that corporation. What Mr. Justice Christ stated with respect to a member of a board of education has equal application to a trustee of a public library. In Matter of King v. Ambellan (12 Misc. 2d 333, 334-335), he stated:

 ‘A member of a board of education has broad supervisory responsibility over the expenditure of district funds and the efficiency of the school system. He is elected to act upon behalf of the people and to do this he must have full information concerning the whole operation, in the absence of statute or rule of the Commissioner of Education to the contrary. He is presumed to be as trustworthy with information pertaining to the district and its work * * * as any teacher or district employee. All records, except any specifically restricted by statute or duly adopted rule of the Commissioner of Education, must be made open for inspection by a member of the board of education.

‘The court is of the opinion that the majority members of the board of education may not, by resolution or otherwise, restrict this right of every board member to be fully acquainted with the records and business of the district.’

The foregoing statement of fundamental law is in no way disputed by the respondents. On August 8, 1967, the Board of Trustees of the Farmingdale Library, petitioner being the sole dissenter, adopted a rule which provided that all trustees may see all files of the library. At the same time and by the same vote, the board adopted six other rules which in effect provided that the files were to be seen during the regular business hours of the business office of the library, which hours are from Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; that the interested trustee should indicate with reasonable particularity the file or files he desires to see; that the trustee be furnished with a list of all such files in order to enable him to determine which file or files he chooses to see; that the files are to be withdrawn and replaced by an employee of the library in charge of the files; that the files are to be reviewed and/or copied on the premises of the library and that the procedure is to take place in such a manner as not to unduly interrupt the normal business of the office.

 To say that a trustee is entitled to investigate and peruse the records, however, is not to say that the library must remain open 24 hours a day seven days a week to accommodate this worthwhile purpose. Some reasonable regulation is not only proper, but indispensable. This is recognized in the area of stockholders’ rights to inspect the records of a business corporation (Matter of Steinway, 159 N. Y. 250; Matter of Schulman v. De Jonge & Co., 270 App. Div. 147); and also with respect to members of the public reviewing public records of municipal corporations (Matter of Sorley v. Lister, 33 Misc. 2d 471; Matter of Coughlan v. Cowan, 21 Misc. 2d 667). While it may be argued with some force that the status of a trustee of a municipal corporation is superior to that of a stockholder in a business corporation, or a member of the public at large, and that he may therefore have greater rights of inspection than those afforded to others, still some regulation is necessary. Records must be preserved. They should not be allowed off the premises. All trustees should have equal access thereto, and normal business hours should, insofar as possible, be observed.

 The difficulty with petitioner’s position in this case is simply that he cites the regulation and views with great alarm its consequences. He states that the resolution is calculated to dilute his effectiveness; that the board has exceeded its jurisdiction; that the resolution makes the servant the master and the master the servant; that it is calculated to harass the petitioner; and that it is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. Significantly, his papers are utterly devoid of any statement to the effect that he has been denied the right to inspect. Nowhere is it stated that he attended the library and requested files or that files were refused him, or that the employees were utilizing the regulation to delay or hinder his investigation. He has thus failed to present a justiciable controversy

.It is fundamental that the board of trustees has the right to adopt regulations (Education Law, § 226, subd. 10) and as long as such regulations do not impede, hinder or unduly delay an inspection of records by a trustee, they must be honored. No showing has been made that this regulation has resulted in any such adverse consequence [emphasis supplied]

It is fundamental that the board of trustees has the right to adopt regulations (Education Law, § 226, subd. 10) and as long as such regulations do not impede, hinder or unduly delay an inspection of records by a trustee, they must be honored. No showing has been made that this regulation has resulted in any such adverse consequence [emphasis supplied]” (Matter of Gorton v Dow, 282 N.Y.S.2d 841; 54 Misc. 2d 509  (August 22, 1967)).

 While the foregoing involved a public library, it would seem the principle espoused by the Court also applies to trustees of an association library whose institution as a member of the University of the State of New York, is also accorded the same right by Education Law s260(10) to adopt regulations. Prudence would dictate that if the governing board, whether of an association or public library, desires to make library records  and documents available to members of the board either without charge and/or requirement to file a written FOIL request, and/or at hours other than those designated for FOIL requests to be accepted from the public, a policy statement adopted in accordance with Education Law s260(10) should so state.

Further, it should be noted that Education Law s260-a also requires association library boards as well as public library boards to comply with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law in scheduling and convening board meetings. In accordance with opinions by Counsel to the Committee on Open Government (COG), minutes of such board meetings as well as any documents distributed or discussed at such meetings are FOILable by the public.


Please note: If you have any additional questions about this topic, please contact Joe Eisner at the e-mail/phone above.

 

Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate Award: Ed and Francine Rodger

The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library’s Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate Award was presented to Ed and Francine Rodger at a reception on December 10th, 2016.  The reception was also to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 475 Moe Road library building.

Background of Award

The Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate Award was established in 1999 to honor Stephen and Beatrice Vinciguerra for their generous donation of land on which the library was built.  The Award was intended to be bestowed on future individuals whose contribution to the library was above and beyond the normal expectations of a volunteer.  It has only been awarded to the Vinciguerras in 1999 and to Joe Conroy in 2007.

 

Ed & Francine Rodger-CPH Library Citizen Laureate Award 12-2016

Ed and Francine Rodger

In December 2016, the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening its current building on Moe Road in Clifton Park.  As part of the anniversary celebrations, long time library supporters and library trustees, Ed and Francine Rodger were presented with the library’s prestigious Vinciguerra Citizen Laureate award.  This award was established in 1999 and is bestowed on individuals whose contributions to the library are above and beyond the normal expectations of a volunteer.  It has only been awarded to two other people prior to the Rodgers.

Ed and Francine have been involved with the library for nearly 50 years.  As far back at the late 1960’s Francine was a volunteer, doing membership drives to help develop a library for the community.  The first library opened to the public in 1969, and soon after in 1972 Francine was appointed to the library board and served until 1985.  Ed has been on the library board since 1997 and his current term runs until the end of 2020.  Between Francine and Ed, there will have been a Rodger on the library board for 36 years of the library’s 50 year history.

During their terms, both Francine and Ed have each served as president, treasurer and vice-president of the board, and they have worked tirelessly to make sure  the library services that are provided are exemplary.

Several years ago in conjunction with the 40th anniversary celebrations, the Friends of the Library commissioned an artist to create renderings of the different locations of the library over the years.    And when we received the images, Ed noted that one was missing – an image of the very first purpose built library that opened 1981.

This particular library had a special significance for Ed and Francine.  Not only was Francine the president of the board and then treasurer  during door-to-door campaigns that raised a quarter of a million dollars for the construction, but the Rodgers, along with another local family, personally guaranteed the 250,000 dollar mortgage for the library building.

Francine continued to serve on the Board throughout the campaign to establish a tax district in 1985, which provided a sound financial footing for the future of the library. Francine resigned from the Board in 1985, but continued to be involved in committees and volunteering.

In 1997 Ed was appointed to the board to fill the term of a resigning trustee and has subsequently been elected four times, and is beginning his 21st consecutive year as a library trustee.  Ed has been the president of the board at two different times as well as the vice president and treasurer.

Current Board President, Jason DiGianni, on behalf of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library Board of Trustees, presented the Citizen Laureate Award to Ed and Francine Rodger on December 10, 2016.

In addition to the award, the Local History Room will be named in honor of Ed and Francine.  It will be the Ed and Francine Rodger Local History Room.  

State Education Department Proposes Public Library Construction Aid Regulation Changes to Expand Scope of Eligible Projects

45-Day Public Comment Period Begins April 12

Proposed amendments to the State Aid for Library Construction regulations expand and further define the types of public library construction projects that are eligible to receive State aid, the State Education Department announced today. A 45-day public comment period on the proposed amendments begins April 12.

“Public libraries are centers of communities,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “These regulation changes will enable public libraries to apply for State aid for a wider range of necessary projects that ultimately benefit children and adults.”

“We must continue to invest in public libraries that are vital educational centers and central gathering places for so many communities,” State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “With these regulation changes, libraries can receive aid for necessary technology projects, like broadband installation, and receive more funding for projects that serve economically disadvantaged communities.”

The proposed amendments align the Commissioner’s regulations with recent statutory changes the State Legislature made to Education Law §273-a. The proposed amendments include the following significant changes:

  • clarifies eligible costs, including the acquisition of vacant land and purchase and installation of assistive listening devices and systems for the deaf and hearing impaired;
  • makes the installation and infrastructure of broadband services an approved project cost; and
  • enables approved projects serving economically disadvantaged communities to be funded up to 75 percent of eligible project costs.

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on April 12, 2017 and public comment will be received until May 30, 2017. Following the public comment period, it is anticipated that the proposed rule will be presented for permanent adoption by the Board of Regents at the July 2017 meeting. If adopted, the proposed amendment would become effective on August 2, 2017.

The proposed regulation can be viewed here: http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/317audbfd2.pdf

For More Information, Contact:
Antonia Giuliano
(518) 474-1201
www.nysed.gov


New York State Board of Regents
MaryEllen Elia
Commissioner of Education
The State Education Department
The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications

A Visit to our May Regional Training site: Broome County Memorial Library

The Broome County Public Library opened in October 1904. Originally called the Binghamton Public Library, it was created with a gift of $75,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The building was designed to serve as both a public library and a community center. On the first floor was a collection of 14,000 books and the second floor housed the library’s auditorium, the Binghamton Museum of Fine Arts (now part of Roberson Museum) and the Broome County Historical Society

In 2000, the library opened in a modern building at its current location of 185 Court St.  The new building went back to its original roots as not only a library, but a community center, offering all types of classes and meeting room space.  Over 300,000 people visit the library each year to attend a meeting, check out a book or use a computer.

 The computer lab was repurposed as the Creation Station and houses computers with digital photography software.  There is also a sewing machine, a Cricut die cut machine.  Classes in knitting and beading/jewelry making can be found in the Creation Station as well as yoga and drawing.

 A library garden accentuates the property with an originally designed sculpture and gazebo as centerpieces.  This gives patrons and community members a quiet place to contemplate or read during nice weather.

  Broome County Public Library hosts poetry classes and beginning computer classes. These are taught by students and faculty from Binghamton University.  BCPL partnered with SUNY Broome to bring the BIG READ to the community in early 2017.  The featured book will be “The Things They Carried” by Timothy O’Brien.  Mr. O’Brien will be coming to Binghamton to discuss his book and the Vietnam experience in March.

 In 2012, Literacy Volunteers of Broome and Tioga Counties moved into the building to serve their students and teachers in a central location.  This is a perfect union of literacy training and libraries.  The group holds 3 classes per week in mathematics, reading and English conversation besides offering one-on-one tutoring for adult beginning readers.

The Friends of the Broome County Public Library hold 8 book sales a year and staff a Friends Gift Shop.  The Gift Shop is chock full of toys, like Gumby and Pokey, and higher quality used books.  The Friends are an integral part of the library and fund adult and children’s summer reading programs.  They also purchase a whole host of other library equipment, shelving, books and databases.

 Of course, none of this would be possible without a dedicated group of library trustees.  They keep the library on target and functioning, creating policies and supporting the community.  We are lucky to have such a great synergy with our partners, friends, community leaders and trustees.

New Collaboration Offers Leadership Opportunity for Public Libraries in New York State

The New York Library Association (NYLA), and Westchester Green Business have announced a new collaboration that will strengthen libraries and their communities for decades to come by providing a clear path forward toward environmental sustainability for participating libraries.

Through funding awarded through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) Program, Westchester Green Business has opened access to their groundbreaking program that has helped dozens of businesses, nonprofits and the award-winning Hendrick Hudson Free Library make operational decisions that result in more sustainable, resilient futures for themselves and their communities, to all public libraries in New York State. This collaboration helps bring to life the Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries unanimously passed in 2014 by the Council of the New York Library Association.

The CGC program is a statewide initiative, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), that encourages communities to incorporate sustainability goals and principles into local decision-making, and then form partnerships to transform markets, leading to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and generation of economic development benefits.

“Participation in the certification program not only provided us the opportunity to evaluate and enhance our sustainability efforts,” said Hendrick Hudson Free Library director Jill Davis, “but it allowed us to become part of a greater movement which has created unique partnerships and educational possibilities.”

The program, Green Business Certification, provides a turnkey system to successfully integrate sustainable practices into library operations. Library leaders will learn exactly where resources are being wasted and identify opportunities to increase efficiency and save money. Proprietary performance tools are used to calculate the economic and environmental impacts of energy, travel, waste, water and refrigerants in a library, while staff surveys gauge behavioral impacts.

Dani Glaser, Westchester Green Business Program Director commented, “It is an honor to have been selected by NYLA to provide the benchmarking platform for their Sustainability Initiative. Libraries are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact influencing patrons, communities, and libraries across the nation about the importance of sustainability.”


Check out this short video:https://youtu.be/5fQBqehRL6Y to learn more about the program and its benefits for libraries from Jill Davis, the director of the award-winning Hendrick Hudson Free Library, the first library in the state to become certified under this program. She is joined by Dani Glaser, Westchester Green Business Program Director who provides introductory information about the program.

Thanks to this collaboration any public library in New York State may join this program and benefit from the 10% discount for non-profit organizations.

Check out the 2017 Membership Rates and access the Membership form here: http://climatechange.westchestergov.com/green-business/westchester-green-business-certified