Spring 2013

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.

From the Editor's Desk

Spring 2013 issue of Trustee

Spring Into Action
No one person or organization can be all things to all people. Yet, more and more, our libraries are expected to do just that — meet the needs of a diverse community of library patrons while facing funding constraints. And while it isn’t the role of a library trustee to “run the library”, we do need to keep abreast of trends and user needs while filling our role of properly overseeing public funds used to provide library services.

A recent email update from the American Library Association contained brief summaries of two books that might be of help in understanding one group
of patrons.

1. 50+ Library Services by Diantha Dow Schull, “Discusses issues such as creativity, health, financial literacy, life planning, and inter-generational activities from the 50+ perspective.”
2. Boomers and Beyond, Reconsidering the Role of Libraries, edited by Schull and Pauline Rothstein, offers “a roadmap to the trends and perspectives on the library’s role in meeting the needs of our aging population.”

Neither title sounds exciting, yet the Boomer generation is likely the largest segment of the population in our communities. With many of our own trustee ranks in this same generation, we should be aware of the way
libraries need to be funded to be the place to go for information, materials and programming.

Don’t feel like reading? Then take the time to observe at your own library. At my home library, a new five-week series on basic PC usage is booked well into the future. The people I see in those classes are all Boomers. I know from working in a One-Stop Career Center that learning basic computer use skills is a must in today’s world. An investment in technology at the library was an absolute necessity to meet that need.

Our library directors are aware of trends and needs. They will share their knowledge with their trustees. However, we trustees need to make the effort to be informed. We will need to make some tough decisions about policies, funding and future growth.

One way to keep up with all this is to do your own reading, network with others and stay in touch with the Library Trustees Association via our website. You’ll see the program for the 2013 Library Trustees Institute in this edition. I encourage you to attend. You, like all LTA members, are a library lover. Come and get energized at the Institute so 2013 will be your best year yet as a library trustee.

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