Summer 2014

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2014 LTA Trustee Institute Was a Success

Summer 2014 issue of Trustee

Keeping to our goal of rotating Institute locations around New York State, library trustees gathered in Tarrytown the first weekend in May for the 2015 Trustee Institute. The Westchester Marriott offered a convenient location and excellent venue. This Institute was hosted by the Mid-Hudson, Ramapo-Catskill, and Westchester Library Systems.

The two day conference got off to a lively start with a tour of Greenburgh Public Library. Library Director, John Sexton, shared information about the library and the many programs available to patrons. At 6 pm, institute attendees had a chance to mingle and explore new things during the cocktail reception. New this year was a “Features & Futures Fair”. Hosting library systems and vendors had a chance to display product and information in a comfortable, intimate setting. Displays on gaming, 3-D printing and new website advances at the systems were available alongside information provided by this year’s sponsors (see sidebar). The dinner period  included opening remarks by LTA President Bob Presutti and the host system directors (Terry Kirchner, WLS; Robert Hubsher, RCLS and Tom Sloan, MHLS). Bernard Margolis, Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and NY State Librarian shared his insights. The highlight of Friday’s dinner was the presentation of LTA’s annual regional awards for Outstanding Trustee and Outstanding Friend, and a Distinguished Service award.

Saturday offered a full schedule for attendees. After registration and breakfast, participants had the hard choice to make of which breakout session to attend. Each session offered insights on three topics that related to the Institute’s overall theme of “Challenging the Past to Create the Future.” This year, the small group sessions were conducted in a “round table” plan allowing small groups to interact and discuss the topic being facilitated by a library professional. Rethinking the Budget, with Jerry Nichols; Responding to Emerging Technologies, with Norm Jacknis; and Rediscovering Your Community, with Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, were all well-attended and thought-provoking. After the mid-morning break, the general session offered a moderated panel focused on the topic of Trustee Responsibility for Intellectual Freedom. Moderated by RCLS Executive Director, Robert Hubsher, the panelists were Scott Jarzombeck, North Castle PL Director, and  Chris Hansen, ACLU Attorney, retired and WLS trustee.

Keynote speaker for the afternoon session was Dr. Renee Hobbs, Professor & Founding Director, Harrington School of Communication & Media at the University of Rhode Island, whose talk on Digital & Media Literacy in Libraries reinforced how important literacy in new technology is for all of us.

As always, the highlight of our Saturday at the Institute was the presentation of the Velma K. Moore award. This year’s recipient is Merle Newberry, long -time supporter of the George F. Johnson Library in Endicott, NY.  For over thirty years Merle Newberry was a library advocate with an abundance of energy and willingness to take on any task. It was with great sadness that LTA learned of Mr. Newberry’s death several weeks before the Institute. We were delighted to have the VKM award accepted by his daughters Shirley Evans and Carolyn Mead.

See more about the 2014 Institute on our website at  and on Flickr, tag LTA2014.

2014 Award Winners

Regional Awards

Nominations for the 2014 Outstanding Trustee and Outstanding Friend were accepted from the three hosting library systems: Mid-Hudson, Ramapo Catskill and Westchester. This year’s recipients are:

The Outstanding Trustee Award was presented to Mark Williams of the Stanford Free Library. As Board President he has shown dedication and expertise. The community has raised funds for its Capital Campaign to build an updated and much needed facility. Mark’s leadership has been both inspirational and motivating for his Board and his community.

The Outstanding Friend of the Library Award was presented to Frank Campagna of the Red Hook Public Library. Frank’s efforts as a Friend to help raise the funds for the development of a new Children’s Library and Learning Center, secure grants, design and build floats for the annual parade and passionately advocate for library programs are part of his many contributions.

Distinguished Service Award

This award is presented periodically to an individual whose effort on behalf of libraries has had a wide-reaching effect.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Joshua Cohen, former Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System. During his ten years as Executive Director he created nationally recognized services and programs. These programs include: the Shape of the Library Services Project, The Public Library Vote Toolbox and the Building Your Base toolkit. He also helped to develop strong educational programs for trustees that are still in use today.

LTA is grateful to the following groups for supporting the 2014 Trustee Institute:

Platinum Sponsors:


Innovative Interfaces

Dignity Memorial

Communication Services

Silver Sponsors:

Ramapo Catskill Library System

Westchester Library System

Metropolitan New York Library Council

Mid-Hudson Library System


Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna, LLP

Prudent Publishers


Library Ideas

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