The Trustee Institute held in Plattsburgh May 6-7, 2016 presented us with several challenges: a seemingly remote location for some, use of City Hall (an historic building without many of the usual amenities for a conference), and lots of work behind the scenes to feed, house, and educate those attending. But Plattsburgh and the hard work paid off – what a wonderful conference! The weather was perfect, the food was excellent, and over a hundred Trustees agreed that the presentations and the networking was a great experience. Most of those attending represented rural libraries and found the Institute a great way to find out about resources they did not know of before, to be energized, to get new ideas, and to share information. There was plenty of time to talk with other trustees and with representatives of the sponsors.
Presentations by Terry Kirchner (Westchester Library System), Libby Post (Communication Services), and Krista Briggs, Karen Glass, and Dawn Myers (Canton, Keene Valley, Lowville Libraries) received positive comments on the Imagine. Engage. Succeed theme. And the keynote addresses by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Lisa Erickson and Grace Riario on the role of trustees and the new HATS program reinforced the importance of Trustees in the sustainability of public libraries. A panel of local authors, Mark Barie, Richard Frost, and Cynthia Neale was a new and entertaining event this year.
We were delighted to hear comments from Bernie Margolis, NY State Librarian, Regent Beverly Ouderkirk, Jim Calnon, Mayor of Plattsburgh, and of course from the recipients of the annual LTA Service Awards: George Bendler was Outstanding Trustee, Ann Choate was Outstanding Friend, and Sam Patton received the Velma K. Moore Award.
Our thanks to the sponsors: the North Country, Southern Adirondack and Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library Systems, NNYLN, NYLA, The Gallery Collection, Dignity Memorial, Cool Insuring, Krayon Kiosk, and Communication Services.
And a special thanks to the folks at City Hall, My Cup of Tea, and the Champlain Wine Company, the Plattsburgh Public Library, and the Board and Executive Director of the Library Trustees Association.
A final word from one of the attendees: What did you like most? Lots of positivity, energy and great ideas!