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NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF LIBRARY BOARDS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS' MEETING
NYSALB Board of Directors Meeting
Best Western Sovereign, Western Avenue
Saturday, September 9, 2005
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Attendees: Norm Jacknis, Francis Picart, Erin Apostol, Suzanne Stockman, Karen Achilles, Sam Patton, Dick Strauss, Joan Hurley, Bob Presutti
Excused: Nancy Simaitis, George Stamatiades, David Krogmann,
Absent: Jack Taylor, Larry Jorgensen
Guests: Carol Ann Desch, Russ Bancroft
Motion: Accept Minutes made by Dick Strauss, Seconded by Bob Presutti; all in favor
Treasurer Report – Dick Strauss
NYSALB is still solvent. The Trustee Institute held in Syracuse was very successful. Income for the Institute exceeded expenses by approximately $3,000. The budget for the Institute was $5,000 and we received $7,900. Approximately 140 people attended the Institute. People liked the location and the topics presented. Overall, membership in NYSALB is down a little, however, we usually get a little bounce in December.
Motion: Accept treasurer’s report made by Francis Picart.
Motion to Change to proposed budget: Dues would be $47,000
Motion made by Dick Strauss, Francis Picart second, all in favor, 2006 Budget accepted
Committees – Norm Jacknis
Norm Jacknis reviewed various board committees and asked that we all look at which committees we would feel comfortable serving on for the coming year.
Legislative – While having increased our efforts over the past few years with respect to understanding and keeping abreast of issues, little has been done with fostering legislation we would like to see advanced.
Francis Picart suggested that a program that might be considered as possible legislative item would be trustee training. He indicated that school board members receive state supported training. Why not pursue this same approach for library trustees.
Membership – This has been up and down and we need to look at addressing membership issues, gather more input from members and non-members and possibly increase membership. Bob Presutti indicated he visited different libraries to get them to join NYSALB. He mentioned that just sending the letter wasn’t enough. The personal touch is better. He wants to work with committee to make membership more personal.
Nominating – Not all that busy most of the year, efforts begin in earnest in January.
Newsletter – These are our public relations efforts. We have never done any news releases. In addition, Norm Jacknis has been maintaining the website for NYSALB on a solo basis and would be interested in help with this effort. Right now we put the Trustee on web in text files and there has been some interest in having PDF and text available.
Budget & Finance – Preliminary budget reflects what has traditionally been in place for the last few years. It is estimated that we will be $752 to the good. This budget presupposes that we receive the anticipated dues from member libraries. The primary source of income is from membership and the potential from Trustee Institute.
Norm Jacknis indicated that we should consider going back to the State Education Department to assist in funding the Trustee Institute. It was mentioned that State has given systems money for training and maybe Institute would qualify.
Dick Strauss indicated that state laws govern where we can obtain our funding stream. He suggested that fund raising efforts, if needed, for development of training videos.
Norm Jacknis indicated that New York Public and Mid-York are not typically members. Erin Apostol brought out that people from Mid-York attended Institute and we should consider tapping those folks to get libraries and systems to be members.
Education – Trustee Handbook
All of comments from Board Members have been greatly appreciated and Francis Picart tried to incorporate them with Mr. Nichols. It is thought that the state librarian had a lot of input into the document. It is felt that this document is a fine beginning with room to grow.
An idea was presented that we took sections of this document, presented them in the newsletter, and allowed trustees to provide input on the content (which areas that are over or under represented in the document) then we would be poised to modify it in the future. It was noted that the Suffolk Library system will have copies available at NYLA.
Francis Picart noted he is working with Bruce Massis to set up a more permanent presence of NYSALB in their facility for cooperative programming. Discussion has occurred about smaller regional data collection points and programming where NYSALB and SCLS are partners. At some point in the future, we would be able to use this format to present videos. Identify videos that are available for training for trustees. Training could also be centered on portions of the Trustee Manual. It is Francis Picart’ experience with ALTA that people tend not to want to pay for video training.
All NYSALB board members will get copies of the new Trustee Handbook in the near future. It was mentioned that this is also available on the web. Francis Picart worked closely with Jerry Nicols. If you have further comments, please send those with Francis Picart. In the near future, Francis Picart will begin to set up training with Suffolk.
It was noted that the Trustee Handbook had previously been printed in 1994 and most recently revised in 2000. A question about responsibility for writing and publishing arose and Norm Jacknis clarified that while we believe it is the responsibility of NYSALB to produce this document, we have never been directly involved in its writing.
Trustee Institute Discussion
Erin Apostol mentioned that the most popular session at the Trustee Institute was the session on educating trustees. A question arose as to whether or not we should offers a session for new trustees annually and offer a discount to attend the Institute.
Some members have had experience with individuals who are unaware of their responsibilities as board members and as a result try to walk in and take over. It was felt that the session at the Institute set many misconceptions straight. In particular, the various roles and responsibilities of trustees and library staff in terms of budget. The session set clear boundaries for trustees.
It was mentioned that Jerry Nichols, author of the current Handbook, is the Director of the Information Management at the Palmer School.
Action Item: Norm Jacknis asked that Francis Picart work towards gaining access to existing videos from SCLS.
Another popular part of the Institute was the Jim Farrell tape. It was felt that this was a wonderful ice breaker for getting discussion in sessions
Norm Jacknis again broached the subject of creating an index of the Trustee Newsletter. This would be helpful for trustees looking for information. It was mentioned that this would help to further organize the web information. It was also felt that an index for the Trustee Handbook would be appropriate as well.
Nancy indicated that a lot of the responsibility for training trustees remains with the Systems. Norm Jacknis noted that quality varies greatly from system to system, his own system being good in many ways. The individual libraries have some ownership in this topic as well.
Francis Picart indicated that systems can be caught between education trustees and manage the professional commitment to their own people. There is a need for outside organizations like NYSALB and library development to provide a place for all trustees to be educated on the basics and be touch point to evolve in local area training.
Suzanne suggested that NYSALB develop an outline which defines where training should take place as part of our responsibility to develop useful materials for trustees.
Bob Presutti indicated that trustee training in Nioga ranges from receiving a handbook and library tour to very intensive training that discusses the role of a trustee. Dick Strauss is going to present basic training in Nioga.
Dick Strauss asked - Handbook – copyright – will we run into problem – who owns the copyright to content – Francis Picart will pursue.
It was mentioned that the Trustee Institute videos are now available and we have had 12 orders total. We have also received the DVDs. The cost for videos is $10 for production and the DVD is $40 because it includes 4 discs. Norm Jacknis indicated that he would also like copies for the web.
Next year’s Trustee Institute will be held May 5, 2006 in the Albany area. The Holiday Inn on Wolf Road has been tentatively confirmed as the location. Erin Apostol mentioned there is a new Hampton Inn in downtown. This site would have some advantages because we could possibly incorporate a Friday afternoon tour of the governors mansion, state capital or state library archives.
Erin Apostol also mentioned the possibility of incorporate a duck tour. One boat costs $500 to rent and they hold 42 people which is approximately $20 per person. We can also arrange a meal at the governor’s mansion. We could consider the library tour and dinner at governor’s mansion. Karen Achilles mentioned that we could possibly get an underwriter for the duck tours. She inquired whether we would consider a corporate sponsor if we would allow them to set up a table at the Institute
It was mentioned that the Governor will be elected in 2006 and it would be good to the candidates to speak to trustees. Elliott Spitzer and possibly William Weld (author and current Republican choice).
The possibility of using the well at the state office building for dinner was mentioned as well. Everyone seemed to like the idea of dinner at the Governor’s mansion.
NYLA- Dick Strauss mentioned that we’re doing one panel and sponsoring two at NYLA. Saturday morning the topic is RF IDs. It is being represented by someone from Queens. It is all lined up and ready to go.
Discussion occurred about NYLA being very professionally orientated and not generally friendly to NYSALB. It was noted that NYLA adds to the knowledge of specific issues for directors and working with those individuals.
It was mentioned that NYLA helps trustees to understand the role of libraries and librarians and how those work. Sam Patton stated that walking around NYLA with a NYSALB trustee is good advertising for us.
Norm Jacknis indicated that we should pursue the certified trustee concept with Carol Ann.
In the past Norm Jacknis has testified at hearings focused on state funding and sponsorship of education, devoted stream of funding for libraries. This is something he continues to stress.
Action Item: Norm Jacknis will ask someone from Westchester Library to write something about public relations.
Suzanne inquired about attendees at the Trustee Institute. Which areas are generally well represented at the event? She indicated a willingness to go to different libraries to talk about going to the Institute.
Sam Patton mentioned that we should put a preliminary description of the Institute as a teaser in the Newsletter. It was also discussed that a photograph and bio of our newest trustees should also be included. Some discussion occurred surrounding the trustee of the year. Margaret commented that we have not yet had any inputs from the systems.
Sam Patton is meeting with Kristin Almquist about the design for the Trustee. Bob Presutti will also be involved. He is also looking to include an article about each section of the Handbook. Sam Patton has also invited Senator Clinton and others to write for the trustee but we haven’t received an article yet.
Nominating – nothing at this time.
Discussion occurred around this Award being normally given out at NYLA. Many trustees felt that presenting this award at our Trustee Institute would be more appropriate. Dick Strauss will be present NYLA if we continue the presentation there.
Some trustees would like to see us keep this award at NYLA. It was mentioned that this is one thing that we do to maintain our relationship with NYLA.
There are three nominations at present for this year and a few carry over names from last year.
Sam Patton, Karen Achilles, Suzanne, Bob Presutti, Nancy, Joan Hurley – Move to Institute
Francis Picart – keep at NYLA
Erin Apostol and Dick Strauss – no opinion
Sam Patton proposal to keep at NYLA this year – Sam Patton, Erin Apostol, Francis Picart
Motion to Award 2005 at NYLA made by Sam Patton. Seconded by Francis Picart. Motion withdrawn.
Motion to Postpone the VM award for 2005 to the Trustee Institute in 2006 and continue to award the VM award at the Trustee Institute. Motion made by Dick Strauss, Karen Achilles second – all in favor – Francis Picart opposed – motion carried.
Report from Carol Ann Desch
- Regents and state’s priorities same as last year
- $2.6 M bring libraries to full funding under education law and hold harmless libraries who loose funding due to census
- 14 Novel - Carol Ann pointed to the NOVEL electronic doorway library model
- NCL – 17M for libraries 30M annually for library construction
- Priorities in sync with NYLA
- Visiting legislative district offices while they are home
- Full focus on legislature in the spring
- NYLA legis day March 14
Co-sponsoring New Centuries Library program at NYLA – Regent Gardner from Buffalo, Sandy Galef, Friday – 8:15 to 9:00 program
Carol talked about the Love your Library license plate program, the tool kit for local libraries on the web site and the state wide summer reading program.
Another new tool is public library district how to web site. Dick Panz created this and is maintaining it for at least a year.
Carol mentioned the site also has information about the Recruitment Grant recipients, including their pictures and the amounts they have received. There 36 students on the site at present, 60% recruited for diversity.
Driver license access to NOVEL is working. Information has been sent to all public library directors. Press materials for NOVEL DMV access will be on web site also.
Norm Jacknis mentioned Westchester County has used NOVEL to do background checks on potential appointees.
The summer reading program, Books as Treasure is expected to have 1M participants.
Research library is looking for research library director, haven’t had permanent director for 6 or 7 years. They are hoping someone in place by November. This effort had been way laid because 9/11 happened.
Office has two new library development specialists. However, ¼ of the librarian positions are vacant.
NYLA – dormitory authority has done something about public library construction and it’s on the NYLA web site.
The LSTA grant to Nassau to fund trustee training got started late because they didn’t have any signed contract. Jackie and Susan will be getting with Norm Jacknis about training modules and concerns about how will be maintained after the funding is gone.
Norm Jacknis wanted to talk about moving Certified Trustees forward. Carol asked if we want it in law and/or legislation? At the present time it’s not a mandate. Some discussion of how this is envisioned arose.
Francis Picart mentioned that trustees might pass through levels of training. The options could be one local, one system, one state, one federal – each required before trustee becomes certified – concern right now that there is no definition about what is required for certification.
Questions about what other states do with regard to training and funding. Francis Picart mentioned that California requires training but that we need to be careful about unfunded mandates.
Norm Jacknis asked Carol if the state could help us in terms of funding the institute.
Erin Apostol inquired about tours of library for Trustee Institute. A tour of the archives would be great.
Action Item: Carol would talk to Mary Redmond and Janet Welch about it.
Margaret talked about the toll free number. Mentioned we typically get 6 to 15 calls on the regular line. For the Institute we may get between 45 to50.
Motion that we begin an 800 plan as recommend by Verizon through our current plan was made by Sam Patton. Norm Jacknis asked if we could limit it to New York State. Motion was seconded by ___. All voted in favor.
Discussion held on sending $100 to Piermont Library in to recognize Davis Crippen. Dick Strauss mentioned life time achievement award and plaque for the family.
Guest: Russ Bancroft from Morgan Stanley handles the accounts for our finances. Spoke about our current accounts and his opinions of them. The funds that we have currently are not bad, have S&P 500 funds, B share funds, Dreyfus and Hartford – if less than 7 years, probably wouldn’t make a change (according to Dick Strauss about 2 to 3 years for S&P), Calvert fund is an A share.
Russ thought that down the road we would go with mutual funds that automatically rebalance. Anytime there is a more than 4% deviation from the 50/50, would open up many more options in terms of funds. Now in all large cap and short term bonds. As interest rates go up, bond funds will lose some value. 50/50 isn’t bad place to start. He wouldn’t recommend change until we are out of any back end fee areas. Norm Jacknis asked – when would it be appropriate for us to make move. Most backend funds have 7 year time line. Russ Bancroft gave overview of funds and recommendation for NYSALB.
Motion to review the Morgan Stanley proposal for a vote in January made by Dick Strauss, seconded by Erin Apostol. Everyone in favor.
Board meeting dates were discussed. The proposed meeting dates for January, March, and May were agreed upon. Suggestions for a September date should be sent to Margaret. The fifth meeting date needs to be determined as well
Action Item: Margaret will look into a conference call surrounding the fifth meeting date.
New Yorkers for Better Libraries – www.nylibs-pac.net – political action group
Dick Strauss is becoming a member of this group. Mr. Borges from NYLA is currently against this.
Norm Jacknis met with PULISDO (Public Library System Director Organization) during one of their meetings. Quite willing to work with us. Norm Jacknis thought it was a good meeting.
Mention was made that Representative Maurice Hinchey is supporting a bill for library construction.
Erin Apostol brought up idea of supporting Libraries in New Orleans.
September 16 is Regent’s Advisory Council on Libraries.
Motion to Adjourn
Made by Bob Presutti, Seconded Erin Apostol
Meeting adjourned – at 2:33 p.m.
Joan Hurley, Secretary