Fall 2012

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.

President's Memo

Fall 2012 issue of Trustee



Library trustees have many responsibilities during their term of service on either their library or system board.  Since libraries are recognized as educational institutions it is vastly important that trustees, as the ultimate decision makers for these institutions, become fully educated in their position.  Why is this important?

Trustees are not professional librarians who have been educated in the science of libraries; and, that is a good thing.  Trustees bring a variety of other types of professional knowledge and skills to a board.  But, in order for the institution of the library to become fully whole in its mission, trustees must be educated in what to do and how to do it effectively and legally.  The education of trustees cannot be overemphasized or readily dismissed.  It is too critical.


In New York State there are 7,000 trustees who are responsible for governing 750 local and public libraries and 23 library systems.  Trustees are directly responsible for the fiscal oversight and stewardship of $1 billion each year in local, state and federal public funding and $1.3 billion in public and private funding.  Trustees have oversight of $3.3 billion in library collections and several billion dollars in buildings and equipment.  These numbers are staggering.


Wouldn’t you, a trustee, want to be educated in a body of knowledge that will give you empowering information to be a good library decision maker?  This question begs for an answer. What would your answer be? 


These are serious times and serious informed decisions need to be made for the future of libraries.  These decisions start at the local library board level and encompass library budget amounts; initiating policies that will protect your library and its patrons; hiring and evaluating the performance of your Library Director; ensuring that your technology is the best that your library can afford; and, advocating for state funding by writing to your representatives in government and attending Library Advocacy Day.  You can find out what education programs are being offered in your system by logging on to your system’s website.


LTA has designed a certified trustee education program to recognize trustees who make the effort to educate themselves by attending a trustee education program, workshop, NYLA Conference or LTA Trustee Institute.  The form to record your credits is on our website:  When you have completed the appropriate credits, you will receive an LTA Certified Trustee Recognition Certificate, a Certified Trustee Lapel Pin and your tuition will be paid for one LTA Trustee Institute.   

Hallmark’s famous slogan is “When you care enough to send the very best.”  As trustees, our slogan should read “When you care enough to BE the very best.”

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