by Adria Ripka

Happy New Year, LTA members and supporters. Despite challenging weather, I hope your year has gotten off to a good start.

We’ve all had a month or more to recover from our busy holidays. I know many libraries have long had plans for upcoming school breaks with their youth programs. Your LTA and NYLA have been busy, too, with opportunities for you to be active in learning and representing your library.

First is LTA’s survey of members regarding our exploration of becoming a section of NYLA instead of remaining an independent trustee organization. You’ll find our survey in this edition and I can’t ask you passionately enough to please share your thoughts on this option. We are a member organization. That means your voice is important in how LTA proceeds. Besides responding using paper and pen, an online option is also available. The LTA Board of directors will be reviewing your responses at our March 23 board meeting in Albany.

Next is NYLA’s annual Library Advocacy Day on February 27. We hope this issue reminds you to be a part of the event in Albany. See more about that important date in this edition. Jeremy Johannesen provided an excellent article on NYLA’s legislative update in our December edition. If traveling isn’t in your plans, please take time to contact your local representatives on your own to keep library funding on their front burner. Use Jeremey’s guide to help you clarify the issues important to libraries across the state.

Also, on the front, the Department of Library Development has made the updated Minimum Standards available to you on their website. It can be accessed at
http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/helpful.htm. As it says on that page, “The current standards will expire on December 31, 2020, and all “new” updated standards will take effect as of January 1, 2021.” You’ll see amendments to existing standards and three new standards. There is plenty of time to review these details before the expiration date of the current requirements.

Another topic that will involve libraries is the upcoming 2020 US Census. Because this census will be an online census, libraries will have an important role in gathering information because many patrons do not have on-line access in their homes. Your director and staff will be getting clearer direction as the year progresses. LTA will keep you informed as we learn more.

Lastly, LTA is in the planning stages for a regional trustee workshop on April 27, 2019. We have held very successful regional workshops over the past two years in Batavia, Binghamton, Long Island, and Corning. We want to give our members and supporters in the eastern part of the state a chance to benefit from a session tentatively in the Utica area. More details will be available in March. If you have a topic you would like to see in one of the workshops, please let me know soon.

You will see more information in this issue on a variety of topics. As always, share your thoughts with us.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Adria