Summer 2008

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President's Memo

By Richard Strauss, NYSALB Board President

Summer 2008 issue of Trustee

First of all, let me bring you up to date a bit.  NYSALB held an excellent Trustee Institute in Saratoga Springs.  The “crowd” (attendance) was nearly 100.  A lot of credit goes to Suzanne Stockman our 2nd Vice President and Margaret Malicki our association manager.  Between Suzanne putting together the programs and Margaret putting together the accommodations the event really comes together.  But truly the individuals who make it happen are the Trustees who attend.  You take the time (and often the expense) to become better-informed trustees.  Congratulations to you!!!

The visit to the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public library, a new “green” library, was a memorable part of the weekend for me.  I congratulate their Board for having the courage to go back to the voters to secure funding for their new library.  I’m sure you are proud of your beautiful facility and the enlarged services you are able to provide your community.
Congratulations to our most recent Velma Moore award winner, Claudia Radin.  Here is an example of an individual who gives it her all to make libraries a better place to be.  We all are very proud of you and your accomplishments.

I’d like to welcome Rita Reissig, a member of the Geneva Public Library Board, who joins the NYSALB Board representing the Pioneer Library System.

Speaking of the NYSALB Board,  we are looking for dedicated library trustees who would like to serve libraries at the state level.  The commitment in time and energy is “small.”  The rewards for the library community are large.  Let me know, “UNCLE SAM needs you!”

Thank you to Karen Achilles and Patty Dohrwend who are leaving the NYSALB Board, for their contributions to NYSALB.  I’d like especially to thank Karen for her work chairing the Velma Moore Committee.  Good Job!!!
Let me bring you up to date on our legislative initiative, i.e. mandatory trustee training.

Senator Hugh Farley and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin introduced “same as” bills (S07131 and A10277) in their respective Houses.  They seem to be progressing about as far as they will go this year.  The economy and the state resources being what they are, there is little chance for them to pass this year.  By the time this goes to print this year’s legislative cycle will have ended.

I highly encourage you as trustees to contact your local legislators to support this legislation.  We as trustees in general remain woefully uninformed as to our basic duties.

One issue has come up in relation to this legislation.  The question was asked:
“Would requiring new trustees to attend mandatory training be a deterrent to them joining a library board?”

Perhaps it should be stated a different way:
“Would requiring someone to learn how to swim be a deterrent to them joining the navy?”

For me, the answer is simple.  Requiring mandatory trustee training would be an incentive to prospective trustees.  We really should provide training to individuals prior to them joining a library board.  Once a person knows what the expectations are they may want to reconsider joining.

Regardless, we sincerely want your opinion.  What is your response to this question?
“Would requiring new trustees to attend mandatory training be a deterrent to them joining a library board?”
Please email your response to

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