Fall 2000

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.

From The Desk Of The Committee Chair Assemblywoman Naomi C. Matusow

Fall 2000 issue of Trustee

You may already know that the New York State Library was recently selected to participate in an exciting model advocacy program called COMMUNITIES AND LIBRARIES: An Advocacy Training Program. The program, developed by Libraries for the Future, is designed to create a statewide framework for mobilizing community support and advocacy efforts. The New York State Library was one of nine state libraries selected for the program. It couldn't come at a better time. The key to increased library funding is effective advocacy.

As Chair of the New York State Assembly's Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, I am heartened by the additional $ 5 million in this year's budget. Allocation of this money did not come easily. Through the steadfast advocacy work of the library community in conjunction with letters and visits to elected officials, our voices are capturing and commanding attention.

With election season fast approaching, now is the time to step up your advocacy efforts and garner a commitment to the support of libraries from both incumbents and candidates for public office. Demand their attention.

Demonstrate the strength of your numbers. Remind legislators, the Governor, and candidates alike that library trustees, staff members and library cardholders make up a significant percentage of the voting public that cannot be ignored. Meet with the candidates. Convene, attend, and participate at candidate forums. Send letters, faxes and e-mails. Make it known that the needs of libraries must be addressed. Impress upon the candidates that those who commit to supporting libraries, financially and otherwise, will gain your support in return.

Ordinarily, libraries are associated with whispers, hushed tones, and the quiet enjoyment of all the resources they have to offer. Now is the time to make some noise! As the saying goes: "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Squeak, shout, yell, and roar! If we can mobilize our forces for the upcoming elections, and make our passion, power and influence known, our libraries will get that well-deserved "grease." Educate your candidates about the incalculable value to the community of the services provided. Regale them with your success stories. Once you've succeeded in inspiring them, confront them with the harsh reality of needs yet to be fulfilled. In spite of the inexcusable shortage of state funding, you have already achieved wondrous things and deserve unlimited praise. Remember, too, that there is still much work to be done.

In the nearly two years I have served as Chair of the Assembly's Libraries and Education Technology Committee, I have been privileged to meet many trustees and library staff from throughout New York State. I have enjoyed tours of many libraries, attended informative conferences, and conducted a successful hearing at the Brooklyn Public Library during which several authors testified on the importance of libraries. Many of you have contacted me in my Albany and district offices with questions, concerns, suggestions and ideas. I have been introduced to an array of exciting and successful programs that have been developed, implemented, and shared by New York's libraries. Above all, I am most impressed by your passion for libraries. You are devoted advocates for and champions of our public libraries.

In my dual role as legislator and Chair of the Assembly's Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, I thank you for your ongoing efforts. Working as partners, we will succeed in improving library facilities and services. I encourage you to call upon me whenever there is some way in which I can be of assistance in this very important work.

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