A photo attached to a recent newspaper article depicts a high school student in a protest march waving a poster which says, “Stronger Students”. It seems odd, but when you read the article you discover that what the students really want are their voices to be heard and services to be available.

I don’t think we will ever see a sign for “Stronger Trustees” because trustees already have a strong voice and they have services. They are heard in several ways – they hire directors, they approve budgets, they create library policy to name a few. Wow, important responsibilities, so indeed, trustees are heard. Now comes the big question. Are you aware of and do you take part in the services available to help you do this important job?

Here are a few places to get you up to speed and keep you current. These work for the new trustee and for the seasoned trustee also. The library world is changing and keeping informed is necessary. So utilize these services to keep you strong:

LTA – the Trustee – Check, you’re reading this for news and information, good start. LTA – the website, librarytrustees.org, – has a multitude of opportunities, the policy database, monthly updates and navigation tabs to Resources and Links and many more. LTA – the Trustee Institute, annually bringing speakers and programs to trustees in different parts of the state. LTA – Regional Workshop – an evening event to bring trustees together to learn about a topic of interest in the location of the workshop.

The 2015 Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State. The newly expanded edition to be used both in print and online, also has links for additional information beyond the text.

The New York State Library Division of Library Development. Provides information on library issues and archives webinars designed for trustee’s information. (http://www.nysl.nysed.gov./libdev/)

The New York Library Association Conference. Annually presenting programs and presentations for all library interests, be it a professional librarian, a trustee, staff member, Friends of the Library or consultants.

A Library System program. Systems provide opportunities for trustees to become familiar with a specific topic. In addition to the presentation, networking with trustees in your system is always available.

Go to a national conference or read library publications. Being involved means more than knowing what your meeting packet contains. Trustees are responsible to their library and to their community. Keeping up and keeping current takes some time. The lazy, hazy days of summer are a good time to get stared. It’s time to pick up the stick and run with it. Trustees will continue to be heard, they have a voice. Trustees just need to stay fit. (No need for a “Stronger Trustee’s”poster).