Spring 2002

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Trustee Institute: A Chance To Trustee Institute: A Chance To Learn

by Dr. William Taber, NYSALB Trustee

Spring 2002 issue of Trustee

Today's library trustees need to know more, to analyze more, and to do more than was required a generation or so ago. This change is not in the quality of trustees themselves but in the scope of the awareness that is required for their job; for it now extends, whether we like it or not, well beyond our immediate communities.

Public libraries are now far more interdependent with a greater number of forces that formerly were either in their infancy or did not exist at all. We can not avoid engaging with this interdependence whenever we must deal with the greater number of regulations and standards to which we are legally bound, or look at our co-dependencies with library systems, or suffer from the economic chaos of state budget support, or to understand state policy initiatives which may change the very structure of libraries and funding, or to struggle with the continuing revolutions of electronic and computer technologies that are changing the information services of libraries as well as the basic assumptions and expectations of the communities which we are trying to serve well. We must even be aware of potential disasters in a new light.

I chose the word, "interdependent", because these forces are on a two-way street, albeit most of the traffic comes at us rather than from us. However, only through education and increased awareness of what is going on can library trustees hope to keep up with these changes and to have a beneficial influence upon them. Every trustee nowadays, in order to do right by his or her public library, needs a frame of reference outside their immediate community.

NYSALB's annual TRUSTEE INSTITUTE is a chance for trustees, whether you are a newcomer or an old hand, to learn more about the realities and concerns and emerging problems and opportunities that will be faced by library trustees sooner or later. Just as in the military, a key element of realistic planning and of success is good intelligence, and the TRUSTEE INSTITUTE is your source for learning and sharing with other library trustees.

Here is the Trustee Institute's schedule for May 3 and 4 to be held at the Holiday Inn Turf, Albany, NY. It begins with an evening dinner and a night of trustee networking Friday, May 3. Saturday's (May 4) program (9 a.m.) offers trustee two choices: "How To Become A Public Library District" with DLD's Jim Farrell and NYSALB Trustee David Krogmann.  The second offering will be a "Trustee Marketing & Advocacy" program presented by the former Director of Development at the Connecticut State Library, Patricia Owens.

At 10:30 a.m., (May 4), two additional program choices will be available to attendees.  "Freedom of Information" presented by Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government Robert J. Freeman; and "Disaster Planning" presented by Barbara Lilley, State Library Development Specialist II.

The luncheon speaker for this year's Trustee Institute (May 4), 12 noon, will be Carey Hatch, the Assistant Provost for Library and Information Services. This department is responsible for the coordination technology services among the 64 SUNY campus libraries.

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