Summer 2006

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Trustee Institute, 2006 Where You There?

Sam Patton, Editor

Summer 2006 issue of Trustee

The tenth annual Trustee Institute was held in Albany May 5 and 6, 2006, at the Holiday Inn Turf on Wolf Road.  Attendees who arrived early in the afternoon had a chance to tour the State Library and got a behind the scenes look at the facilities there.

Welcoming remarks were given by Janet M. Welch, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, who told us of several initiatives, including the new NY State License plate celebrating libraries.

One of the highlights of the Institute was the presentation of the Velma Moore Awards.

The award, established in 1962, honors the memory of Velma Moore, who worked as a very effective library activist from 1947 until her death in 1961. Mrs. Moore was one of the chartered members of the Library Trustees Foundation of New York (predecessor of NYSALB). For two terms she was the organization’s president and also served as trustee, for 33 years, of the Kenmore Public Library (near Buffalo, NY). She was the wife of former NYS Lieutenant Governor Frank C. Moore.  The award carries a $750 stipend to be donated to the library or library service of the award winner’s choice. Since no award was given last year, NYSALB presented two awards this year, one for 2005, and one for 2006. The photo shows Merry Sparano, the 2005 Velma Moore Award winner, holding the trophy, presented by   NYSALB trustee Karen Achilles.   Merry has been an active member of the Guilderland Public Library Board of Trustees since 1980. She was instrumental in helping the Library grow from a small community library to the current busy suburban library it is today. She served as President of the Board during an especially crucial time in 2001/2002 when their director retired after 24 plus years leading the Library. 

The 2006 award went to Carol Gleason, shown accepting her award, with President Jacknis and Karen Achilles in the background. Carol has been with the Tully Free Library since 1998,  and has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the demanding variety of work needed by a smaller library, and has coordinated with the Onondaga County Library is staff training in computer systems.

After dinner, participants shared ‘success stories’ from their libraries.  Carol Raphael of Schenectady told us about a county wide reading program where patrons voted for their favorite book.  From January through April, twelve events were held.  Five people talked about building construction or renovation.  Sonja Olsen reported on several programs in Ballston called “Einstein’s Legacy,” linking technology with advances made by local industries.  Janet Welch told of the planned Summer Reading Program.  We heard that wireless access to the internet is growing in popularity at many libraries.  We also heard that Chemung County became the first County wide library district in the state.

On Saturday morning, people could attend one of two seminars offered in each of two time slots.  The first was “Basic Training for Trustees (Not Your Average Boot Camp),” presented by NYSALB Trustees Sam Patton and
Dick Strauss.  The alternate was “Becoming a Public Library: Best Practices, Lessons Learned,” presented by Richard Panz, a library consultant from Rochester, with Marc Chevalier and Catherine Way.  The second slot offered two more sessions. The first was “Fund Raising,” with Ann Beneditti, Betty Dodds, Maggie Herlihy, and Suzanne Smith Jablonski.  The second was “Library Makeover – Queens Library’s Experience in Implementing RFID,” presented by Maureen O’Connor, Director of Library Services, and Peter Magnani, Director of Capital and Facilities Management.

Lunch brought us Special Keynote Speaker, Paul Grondahl, the award-winning reporter for the Albany Times-Union and long time supporter and lover of libraries “as a patron, researcher and writer.

The attendees enjoyed both the informal and the formal presentations.  Please join us in Queens for the 2007 Institute.

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