Spring 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.

President's Memo

Spring 2015 issue of Trustee

Importance of Library Trustee Training

Over 6,000 library trustees in New York State are responsible for governing 756 local public libraries with 1,100 facilities.  More than 10 percent are appointed or elected for the first time each year and are in need of basic training.  Library trustees are required by law to be good stewards of $1.3 billion in public and private annual income, $3.3 billion in library collections and several billion dollars in other critical public assets such as library buildings and equipment.  New York is a diverse State and the scope of this responsibility is wide ranging, from diverse urban libraries serving millions of people with budgets over $100 million to rural libraries serving small, geographically isolated communities with budgets of less than $10,000.  Regardless of the size of the community, size of the library or size of library’s  budget, library board members need basic training.

Public and association library trustees and board members are an essential element in providing oversight and guidance to help maintain the effective and efficient administration of a local library.  Library board members who are versed in the powers, functions and duties of their positions, including their fiduciary responsibilities, will be better able to effective oversight and help a library meet its mission and be accountable to the local community, thereby protecting the public interest.

There are no ongoing, comprehensive State-approved education or training programs for newly appointed  or elected library trustees in New York State to inform them as to their fiscal oversight and stewardship responsibilities and to provide them with the current information and tools necessary to successfully carry out this critical policy and fiscal oversight role.

The LTA together with The State Library continues to partner with others to enhance statewide trustee training.  The Regents recognize that trained library boards can save communities money by making informed policy decisions regarding fiscal matters, personnel issues,legal matters and contractual obligations.  Library governance grows increasingly more complex every year, and library board members need basic training during their first year of service in order to understand and effectively carry out their mandated duties and responsibilities.

Your LTA is committed to provide the necessary imputus to secure the training that is so essential.

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