Trustees in the Know: Binghamton

A day to Learn, Participate and Renew for Library Trustees and Directors

Sponsored by the Four County Library System, the Southern Tier Library System, the Finger Lakes Library System and the Library Trustees Association

Hosted by the Four County Library System at the Broome County Public Library
185 Court Street, Binghamton, NY 13901
Saturday, May 6, 2017• 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

Registration Deadline – April 28, 2017
Sorry.  Registration has closed for this event.

If you have any questions, please contact Tim Gavin, Executive Director at or 518-445-9505

Join fellow trustees and library staff to get a better understanding of these important topics:

9:30 Registration and coffee


Presented by: Bob Costello, Corey Layton & Mick Lombardini of L2 Studios
For detailed bios of each of the presenters, please click here.

Bob Costello (L2 Studios)

Mick Lombardini (L2 Studios)

Corey Layton (L2 Studios)


Presented by: Duane Shoen, CPA

Duane Shoen, CPA from Ciaschi,

Dietershagen, Little & Michelson in Ithaca, covering budgets and what information library boards should receive in regular financial reports and any potential red flags.

Duane Shoen is a partner in the accounting firm of Insero & Co, CPAs, LLP. Duane and the firm provide services to many non-profit agencies and governments in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Central New York. Duane joined the firm in 1995, and has been a partner since 2000. Insero is the successor company to Ciaschi Dietershagen, Little and Mickelson

12:30 Lunch


Presented by: Carrie J. Pollak and Whitney Kummerow

Carrie J. Pollak is counsel in the Corporate, Real Estate, Tax and Health Care Practices. Her legal practice concentrates in the area of corporate governance. Ms. Pollak regularly advises long term health care providers, companies and other tax-exempt organizations on diverse legal issues, including formations, taxation and tax exempt issues, corporate governance, corporate restructurings, regulatory matters, and a variety of commercial ventures, contracts and transactions. She also regularly advises real estate developers on all stages of development, including contract negotiation and drafting, financing, leasing, buying and selling, real estate syndications, as well as wetlands mitigation, conservation and preservation.

She has represented clients before the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Fish and Wildlife Service; as well as the New York State Office of the Attorney General, Department of Taxation and Finance, Affordable Housing Corporation, and the Department of Environmental Protection. (Read Full Bio Here)

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.  

Ask Joe Eisner: Are municipal or school district public library boards solely responsible for arranging for insurance coverage on the library facility and its contents?

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 (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:


Q. Are municipal or school district public library boards solely responsible for arranging for insurance coverage on the library facility and its contents?

 A.  No. Regardless of type of  library, public library boards of trustees have a corporate entity entirely separate from  that of the municipality or, in the case of a school district public library, from the board of education.  Library trustees are public officers:

Public officers having by law the care and custody of the  public buildings and the other property of a municipal corporation, may insure the same at the expense of such corporation (General Municipal Law s79).

As such, they have the responsibility of exercising due diligence, particularly since it is well settled that they are independent entities.

The Comptroller has stated that General Municipal Law s79 is permissive: “It is simply authorization to contract for such insurance (59 St Dept Rep 363 (1938)… The Department believes that failure to obtain adequate fire insurance coverage… may be imprudent” (15 Op State Compt 49, 1969).Thus, public library trustees  have the responsibility of exercising due diligence.

In the case of a municipal public library, the library board should discuss with the municipal governing authority whether the municipality’s property and contents insurance cover the library. If not it would be incumbent on the library board to reach an agreement with the governing board as to whether the library should independently arrange for such coverage, at least on contents,  and whether the premium will be reflected in the library’s budget. The strategy outlined below in the Education Department’s Law Division’s and the Comptroller’s  opinions may have some application when  municipal public library boards discuss the issue of property and liability insurance coverage with the municipal governing authority.

Similarly, a school district public library (SDPL) board should consult with the board of education to determine whether the district’s property and contents insurance cover the library, and in what amounts. Where the SDPL is occupying a building whose construction or acquisition was funded by a school district bond issue, the Education Department’s Law Division has stated that where title to a library building lies with the school district, insurance should run to the school district as owner: “If the insurance in the building and contents is to be carried in one policy it would appear that noting… the board of education and the library  ‘as interest may appear’ would be proper to protect the interest of both parties” (ltr, June 30, 1954). “The cost of the insurance on the building would not technically be part of the library’s budget” (ltr, September 9, 1955).

Where a school district board of education and the public library trustees contemplated entering into an agreement to allow the public library use of a district-owned building, the Comptroller stated: “…[A]s a practical matter, since the school district would stand to lose if the library building were destroyed, it would be in the best interest of the school district to pay the property insurance premiums out of the school district budget. However, if the school district were that its interests would be properly protected if the premiums were paid by the library, we found no legal barrier to such an arrangement. It is our opinion that the same conclusion would apply to the manner in which liability insurance premiums were handled. Therefore, an agreement which places responsibility for liability and property insurance upon the library would be proper if the school district felt its interests would be properly protected….” (Op State Compt 77-823, 1977 (unreported)).

Despite the independence  of both types of public libraries, there appears to be a joint responsibility on the part of both the municipal governing body, the school district board of education, and the applicable type of library to determine that each board is acting in a manner which, in case of a loss,  will protect the interest of the taxpayers who support each type of library. It would also be prudent to come to an agreement whereby at regular intervals (perhaps every two years) a mechanism exists where the coverages are reviewed by both boards and necessary adjustments are made in the then existing coverage amounts.

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


Trustee Recognition: New STAR Program Begins

PURPOSE: LTA recognizes trustees who make the effort to educate themselves about libraries, library issues, and the responsibilities associated with the position of library trustee.

ELIGILBILITY: All LTA members are eligible for STAR. You will accrue credits as you

Participate, Advocate, Learn, and Serve. Earn credits though your involvement.

 ADMINISTRATION: Trustees are encouraged to maintain a personal record of all continuing education activities and service. As credits are submitted, LTA will maintain a record for each participant and review credits annually. STAR participants can record credits for the calendar year beginning January 2016.








LTA Annual Institute


Attend Advocacy Day


 LTA Regional institute


Maintain regular contacts w/ Local & State Legislators


 NYLA Conference


Testify at Library Hearings


Library System Workshop











Library Webinar


Library Board Officer


Online Library Course


Library System

 Board Member




Speaker/Panelist at Local/County

 Library Event



Speaker/panelist at State/Nat’l Library Event







LTA STAR Recognition

LTA Trustee Recognition Certificate 100 credits
STAR Lapel Pin 200credits
STAR Medallion 300 credits

Trustee Name: _________________________________________________________

Street Address:_________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip:___________________________________ Phone:_______________________________________

Email: __________________________________________
Library System Name____________________________

Library Name:___________________________________
Library Director Email: ___________________________


Submit credits to
or mail form to LTA, Box 11048, Albany, NY 12211

Download PDF Form

Have You Renewed Your Membership for 2017?

Whether your library is a small town soprano, a basso in the burbs, or a metropolitan mezzo, LTA serves as your choir, singing the praises of public libraries to legislators and locals alike. With your membership, our choir can get louder, reaching from the vaulted halls of Albany to every corner of the State. We need your support to do even more and to provide more services in 2016 so we can connect trustees throughout the state with the resources they need.

Please Renew Your Membership for 2017 Today!

If you have not received an invoice yet, please click on the links below, or contact Tim Gavin, Executive Director at tgavin@librarytrustees.

Thank you to all of you who renewed in 2016!  Your support made a huge difference.  But we need everyone’s help.  

Every new year is more important than the last for New York State Libraries, because now is the only time we can all do something to strengthen them. The 756 libraries and 23 systems in our state need your best efforts as trustees to succeed as one of the linchpins of our communities.

LTA is the only organization dedicated to supporting the work of library trustees. Through education, support materials, resources provided through our website, and opportunities to speak peer to peer,  LTA enables your community to be better served..

Connecting:. . . .

LTA brings trustees together from all around the state to our events, from Suffolk to St. Lawrence, and Columbia to Chautauqua, where we discuss the concerns of the smallest association libraries to the largest municipals.  We also connect with other organizations, legislators, and educational providers and try to do the same for you and your local libraries.


  • Unifies the voices of all NYS libraries into a powerful call to action to our state legislators

  • Strengthens local advocacy efforts within your own communities


  • Highlights the work of exceptional trustees and friends of our libraries

  • Showcases systems and libraries around the state


  • provides new trustees with opportunities for free seminars

  • educates seasoned trustees with monthly emails updates and resources

  • supports resources like our regularly updated website and policy database


That is our mission: connecting through advocacy, recognition, and education, and part of how we C.A.R.E.

Although we had tremendous momentum this year, with you we can accomplish even more. Our goal is to reach  475 member libraries in 2017, which is just 30 more libraries than were members in 2016.

Today we invite you to please consider joining your library in LTA. Considering the guidance needed in addressing library concerns, there may not be a more significant time for your participation to allow for the united effort of LTA.