LTA 2018 Outstanding Trustee Award Presented to the Board of the North Merrick Public Library by Tom Witt, Library Director. North Merrick Public Library

At the Annual LTA Trustee Institute, which was held in April, 2018 at the Uniondale Marriott, on Long Island, an LTA Outstanding Trustee Award was presented to the entire board of the North Merrick Public Library.

The LTA almost exclusively bestows its annual Outstanding Trustee Award to a single, named individual.  But in 2018, the decision was made to take exception to this tradition, whereby an award was collectively presented to an entire five person library board, the members of the North Merrick Public Library Board of Trustees.  The trustees of the North Merrick Public Library who received the award are: Bill Pezzulo (president), Marion Schurade (vice president), Barbara Behrens, Mark David and Dick Smith.

Tim Gavin, former Executive Director of the LTA stated, “the annual award was presented to this group of individuals, not in recognition of one single, outstanding achievement, but it was instead given in recognition of the many ongoing best practices that show this board to be exemplary.”

Bill Pezzulo, president of the North Merrick Public Library Board of Trustees said, “each trustee brings their own background, temperament and expertise to the board meetings, and all of the achievements that are made by the board truly represent the efforts of all of the trustees collectively.”

Some “Best Practices” of the North Merrick Library Board

Community:

In addition to serving on the library board, members of this board have involved themselves with local schools, community organizations and places of worship.  The library annually participates in a community street fair, and in October, 2016, celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of opening its doors at its present location.  The board works cooperatively with the Fiends of The Library and with the Historical Society of the Merricks. As an expression of valuing the library staff, an annual Staff Recognition Breakfast is held with all staff members in attendance to recount the past year’s accomplishments, preview goals for the coming year, and to recognize staff members and trustees who have achieved special anniversaries of 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years in service to the community at the library.

Governance:

The trustees have for the past ten years reviewed an existing policy or a newly written policy at every board meeting, to keep policies current with changes in the community, in the law, and in technology.  A long range plan of service is kept current by the board.

Advocacy:

The trustees from the library attend advocacy workshops, communicate regularly with their elected officials, and participate in the annual New York State Advocacy Day effort in Albany.  The trustees subscribe to the Advocacy Alerts that are sent via email by NYLA.

Continuing Education:

The trustees have regularly attended the Annual LTA Trustee Institute and have participated in the continuing education workshops that are offered by the LTA and NLYA.  The trustees have also been represented at the NYLA, ALA and PLA conferences.

Fiscal Responsibility:  

The board has annually established a budget necessary to provide the services required by the community and has kept its spending within that budget.  In partnership with the library’s auditor, accounting practices and procedures have been put in practice to provide checks and balances regarding all financial transactions and to follow best practices. The library regularly applies for New York State Construction Aid to obtain financial assistance for capital projects necessary to providing the best possible facility for the community.

Vision:

The board supports the implementation of new initiatives and ideas.  These include: loaning museum passes, Amazon Fire Sticks, and Rokus; installing a fax machine and scanner for public use; providing a courtesy phone; providing free notary service; creating a space to display community artwork; providing a display case and bulletin board for use by the local historical society; participating as a collection point for food drives and school supply drives; hosting an annual end-of-school-year concert showcasing musicians from elementary school through high school; live streaming meet-the-candidate nights; holding school and general elections in the library; upgrading the Wi-Fi signal for use both indoors and outdoors.