Trustee

Spring 2016

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.

ILEAD New York: Helping All Trustees Succeed

Spring 2016 issue of Trustee

Helping all trustees succeed is something the Library Trustee Association of New York State (LTA) has a lot of experience with! No one is born knowing how to be a public library trustee. Public library trustees are expected to govern libraries in accordance with state and federal law and regulation. There is increasing regulatory oversight of libraries here in New York. There is a clear need to assist trustees with basic, introductory information delivered in a style that meets their lifestyle needs so they can do their best on behalf of the communities we serve and protect and grow public libraries to meet the needs of New Yorkers for years to come. 
The New York State Library offered the ILEAD USA program for the first time in 2015, a nationwide leadership immersion program utilizing web technologies, expanding library staff’s leadership skills and their ability to use participatory technology. Participants work in teams to address an identified community need and are assisted by Mentors/Instructors in developing a successful project. The Public Library System Directors Organization of New York State (PULSIDO) put together a team to work on the development of a standardized framework for trustee education curriculum to be deployed through the public library systems of New York. I stepped in as the “mentor” but truly co-lead the group with my teammates: Lisa Erickson (Nioga Library System), Jennifer Ferris (Southern Adirondack Library System), Ron Kirsop (Pioneer Library System), Grace Riario (Ramapo Catskill Library System) and Amanda Travis (Onondaga County Public Library).
We developed a survey that went out to all library trustees, directors and public library system staff. We had a goal to reach 5% of the 6,000+ trustees in the State and ended up with input from over 13%! This information helped us develop a model for how to break up content from the new 2015 edition of the Handbook for Library Trustees in New York State into useful curriculum modules and also directed how training would be designed and delivered. Amongst trustees, there was a clear preference for in-person, shorter (2-hour) educational opportunities from trustees. We have developed five modules that provide System staff with a structure to deliver information, suggested talking points, handouts and tips and resources for where they, as educators, can learn more about a topic so they are informed with the latest information on a particular topic:
 Orientation – the basics of what every trustee should know Legal Issues for Libraries Financial & Fiduciary Responsibilities Planning & Advocacy for Library Sustainability Seven Habits of Highly Effective Boards
To fine tune the curriculum we are currently working with PULISDO, the Library Trustee Association of New York State the New York State Library and the Public Library Section (PLS) New York Library Association (NYLA) - all of whom agreed to be partners in our project back in March 2015. Once input has been received the curriculum will be rolled out in Systems across the State, allowing a maximum number of local public library trustees to access this much needed information.

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