Fall 2015

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.

Policy Spotlight - Long Range Planning - Simplified

Fall 2015 issue of Trustee

All public and association libraries in New York State must meet 11 minimum standards of service according to Section 90.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  Two of those standards are that a library:


·         has a board-approved, written long-range

·         plan of service (Requirement 2)

·         has board-approved written policies for the operation of the library (Requirement 4).


If a library has a well-structured, easy to understand long range plan, the mission and vision of the library will be clear.  This will make it easier for the library board and director to develop and implement well thought out policies which provide direction for the future of the library.


If your board and director do not have a clear understanding of what the mission and vision of the library is, policy development could be confusing and complicated.  The more your library knows where it is headed, the more consistent and meaningful the language of your policies.


One of LTA’s goals is to help provide better resources and tools to simplify the development of long range planning.  If your board has developed an extensive long range plan without clear assignments as to which tasks should fall to which people and without a built in way to measure progress — how likely is it that the plan will be understood, reviewed and implemented?


The perfect time to assess your policy manual is as you are developing a long range plan.  How current are the policies?  Are they in need of revision and updating?  Do the current policies reflect the mission and long term vision and values of the library? 


Whether your library has fallen behind in the development of policies, is in need of updating policies, or has a well written and current policy manual — a long range plan is the perfect opportunity to provide a structured, easy to follow pathway to help ensure sure that your library is on track.


The development of a long range plan can often seem overwhelming.  The plans do not need to be complicated.  They just need to be meaningful and measurable. LTA will continue to work on ways to simplify the process and to help trustees get past

the stress! 

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