Summer 2003

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.

Editorial: A New Name on the Masthead

By Sam Patton, NYSALB Trustee and Associate Editor TRUSTEE

Summer 2003 issue of Trustee

A new name on the Masthead!  Sam Patton, NYSALB Trustee and Associate Editor.  

This is new territory for me.  In all the years I have spent lecturing, teaching in academic and industrial environments, and in volunteer service and public office, most of my presentations have been oral and not written.  So if I were at a meeting with you, I'd undoubtedly be able to express myself verbally more easily than in writing.  

And as I take my first step in trying to follow Ed Field's hard work in keeping TRUSTEE going over the past 8 1/2 years, I'm already more appreciative of his efforts and attention to all the little details of putting together even a relatively small publication.  So, my first thought is to express my gratitude to all those who make it possible: Ed himself, all of you who have supported TRUSTEE by writing for us, giving of your time; all of the people who do the typing, layout, checking, preparation, printing and mailing so you can get your copies.

As library Trustees, you all find your plates overflowing, more so now than in the past.  From concerns over the Patriot Act, to problems with funding in an uncertain economy, and picking your way among the many thorny problems which the Internet, newer media, and growing demands from the patrons we serve, we may feel we are so busy firefighting that we don't have time for more reflective consideration of longer term issues.  I used to hear the expression "When you are up to your armpits in alligators, it's hard to remember that your job is to drain the swamp!" Or as Yogi Barra (I think) is reported to have said, "Life is what happens while you are planning something else!"

My hope for the next year or so is that you will all have a chance to put aside or delegate to competent staff some of the day to day or month to month concerns, and begin to try to look farther into the future.

What changes would you make in the basic structure of your library? How would you put into place a long-tem disaster-recovery plan?  What will your community demographics be in 5 years? In 10 years? How can we use the rapidly evolving communication technology to better serve our public?  How can we work more amicably with the political world that controls so much of our funding? I'm sure some of you have some ideas in these areas.  

Write to me -- we can all learn from the experience and ideas of our members who come from widely different areas, and much varied backgrounds.  And I will do my best to listen, and together we can keep TRUSTEE interesting, relevant, useful, and maybe even provocative!  I look forward to hearing from you!

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