Summer 2010

The Trustee communicates issues affecting libraries and library services. Once a library and systems join LTA, all their trustees automatically receive this quarterly publication published by LTA. To learn more about membership in LTA, Click Here.

Marvelous Melville

Summer 2010 issue of Trustee

You could feel the energy and excitement at the Melville Marriott on April 30th and May 1st, and it wasn’t due just to the perfect weather! Warm sun and blue skies were merely the backdrop for the Library Trustees Association’s 14th Annual Trustee Institute. With 162 attendees for Friday’s activities and 200 attendees at Saturday’s sessions, the 2010 Trustee Institute was a real success.

The 14th Annual Institute was the first Institute to be held in the Nassau/Suffolk county area. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of LTA directors, Francis Picart (Suffolk) and Bola Mojekodunmi (Nassau), and their system libraries, location and attendance were excellent. Although the majority of attendees were from Downstate libraries and systems, twelve out of twenty-three systems in the State had participants present.

Friday evening’s welcome reception allowed for trustee networking and a chance to relax. Openings remarks by Mary Ellen O’Connor, president of LTA, and Roger Tilles, Regent and a welcome by Kevin Verbesey, Director of Suffolk County Cooperative Library System began the evening meal. Keynote Speaker, Carol Nersinger, Executive Director of Albany Public Library, broadened our horizons with a trip to Holland and a tour of the Delft Public Library (DOK) and the Openbare Biblioteek Amsterdam in Amsterdam. The audience truly enjoyed seeing the design, organization and methods used for solving similar issues we face on this side of the Atlantic.

The highlight of Friday evening was the presentation of awards. Two long-standing library-world notables, Gerald (Jerry) Nichols, Director of the Palmer School of Library and Information Science and Herbert Biblo, Director of the Long Island Library Resource Council each was presented with the 2010 Distinguished Service Award.

New to the recognition efforts of LTA is the Outstanding Friends Award and Outstanding Trustee award. The inaugural Outstanding Friends award was presented to Friends of the Montauk Library and accepted by Christine Langerfeld and Barbara Metzger.

The Outstanding Trustee award was presented to Edward Wendol who was introduced by Brandon Pantorno, Director of Comsewogue Public Library.

Saturday started with buffet breakfast and networking followed by the first institute session that included all attendees. Jerry Nichols’ topic, “Trustees’ Top Ten: the Best Practices of Successful Boards” was dynamic. Jerry provided food for thought for both new and seasoned trustees on key practices for library boards. Attendees received one copy of the newly revised Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State as part of their conference packet.

The second half of Saturday morning offered participants two sessions from which to choose, and the choice was a difficult one to make. It was standing room only for both the Effective Board Meetings session presented by Kevin Verbesey, Director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System, and the Positioning for Long Term Success with Strategic Planning session presented by Jon Allen, Management Consultant and Adjunct faculty member at Dowling College Graduate School of Business. Workshops were presented in a participatory style and questions were encouraged. Audience members were encouraged to describe their solutions to questions raised and both presenters received enthusiastic thanks for their information. You can hear/see both presentations by using the link on the Library Trustee Association website at

Saturday’s lunch program included exciting announcements, the presentation of two awards and another excellent speaker. Mary Ellen O’Connor, LTA President called the annual business meeting to order and described the exciting changes in store for LTA. Nominations for officers were presented and attendees voted to accept the slate as presented. Susan Stockman, chair of the Velma K Moore Award committee presented this year’s award to Jean M. Reidy. Keynote Speaker for the day was David M. Steiner, Commissioner, New York State Education Department and President of the University of the State of New York. Mr. Steiner shared his perspective on the value of reading. From childhood reading in Great Britain of Shakespeare, classic and modern novels to his present position, Mr. Steiner stressed the importance of reading in developing well-rounded individuals who benefit from and bring benefit to libraries and library services.

The Saturday Institute closed with a drawing for a Dell mini-laptop. Conference attendee, Margaret Garret, held the winning ticket. Feedback from attendees included comments such as “sessions were very useful”, and “as a new library trustee, the two days were extremely helpful in providing me with a clear idea of what my role is”.

Keep April 29th and 30th, 2011 open on your calendars. You won’t want to miss the next LTA Trustee Institute.

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