Spring 2011

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.

LTA Website Policy Development Update

By Tim Gavin

Spring 2011 issue of Trustee

On behalf of the LTA, I am proud to say that we now have thousands of policies in our database, contributed by hundreds of libraries — and the database is grow- ing every day. Thank you to all of the directors and trustees who have gone out of their way to share their policies and for helping to make this project such a success!
However, this project cannot be a complete success until every public library within the state has contributed policies. I will continue to contact libraries system by system until the policy database is as comprehensive as possible. And here’s why . . .
Why do we need policies from every library in the state? There are a few great policy resources available in NYS. However, the LTA collection is different because it is structured as a database, thereby making it searchable. This allows users to tailor results to libraries which closely match their own. Users can search by keyword, policy category, library type, pop- ulation, budget, system or all the above.    The more policies in the database, the more likely we will have samples that meet the specific information needs of the trustees who are trying to develop the best policies for their unique libraries.
What if my library’s policies are not ready to share? Many of the libraries that have already submitted poli- cies probably felt some hesitation when they submit- ted them. Sharing policies takes courage and an understanding that the most effective way to build a strong library community is to share information and allow the trustee community to learn directly from one another.
The LTA Policy Database is a community resource for trustees and directors. It is a judgment free zone.    Any policies that are posted are simply there as a resource; the more policies available, the better the resource. The more visible are your library’s policies, the stronger and more enforceable they will be. Are your policies easily accessible? If not, you’re not alone . . . so please let LTA help you however we can. That’s what we are here for.
If your library’s policies are not digitized, please fax/mail them and we will digitize them for you! That will make it much easier for you to make revisions, post them on your own website and to collect them into a policy manual.
There is a demand for more policies concerning FOIL, PUBLIC ACCESS TO RECORDS and RECORDS RETENTION. If you have policies on these subjects, kindly submit them. We would like to focus on these policy categories in the next newsletter.
Please check out the policy database and let us know what you think. If you feel that there are any topics for which you cannot find policies, please let me know.
Thanks again to all! For those I have not yet spoken with, I look forward to touching base with you!

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