Fall 2008

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 Editor's Desk

Sam Patton, TRUSTEE Editor

Fall 2008 issue of Trustee

This has been an eventful summer, in many ways.  We have seen two races for nominations to the President’s office, and the financial melt down starting in the sub-prime mortgage area, and the fall out is still being discovered.  Local and state governments are all too aware that taxes collected in 2009 will be much less than anticipated.  Unfortunately for us in the library world, the  most likely victims of budget strains will include library funding.  This makes reading our President’s message even more compelling, so we get the attention of the law-makers in Albany to recognize that libraries are an even more important service in a declining economy.

One of our trips this summer was to Cape Cod.  I was impressed by the friendliness of the small library near us, and they have a wireless point that gives visitors internet access even when the library is closed.  This in turn gives us schedules for various events, including some excellent musical performances. 

We went to one concert held in an old church, remarkable in being one of the few churches whose clock chimes the ship’s bell times, and not the usual one through twelve chimes we landlubbers are used to.  During the intermission, I went exploring. In a large room under the sanctuary, I found what may be the world’s smallest library, a small, triangular “cubby-hole”  whose total area was about twenty square feet.  It was the first public library in Wellfleet, established around 1874. There was room for one chair at the window and shelves for books along all the walls.  I assume that browsing was not encouraged, and patrons had to know what to ask for. It would appear that the library remained there until about 1893, when they moved to rooms above the Wellfleet Savings Bank. I grabbed my camera and took several photos.  And that was when the gremlins stepped in.  I have owned about six cameras, ranging from a Kodak Brownie to a Contax and then a Nikon 35mm camera, and even had the use of a Speed Graphic cut film camera while in college.  I did my own black and white film developing and printing. Now I have a mid-range digital camera.  I managed to make many mistakes with any kind of camera - one of the most embarrasing is opening the camera before the film is properly shielded or rewound.  And this time I managed to make the electronic equivalent of the same mistake.  I erased the photo memory chip instead of transferring the images to my computer.  However, there was a booklet on the history of the Church, and this had in it a drawing, so you can see for yourselves just how small the library was.

As most of you who use computers fairly often know, Microsoft is trying to get their customers to move to their new operating system called Vista.  As more and more software is being ‘improved’ and moved to Vista, I have had to install Vista on one computer.  So now I am switching between computers and operating systems, and trying to keep my e-mail accounts straight.  There are moments when I miss the good old typewriter and real mail!

I hope that those of you who came to the Trustee Institute were pleased, and if you were not,  let us know what we can do to improve the meetings.  And finally, you will see an invitation to recommend good people to serve on our NYSALB board.

I am looking forward to seeing many friends and Trustees at NYLA in Saratoga, and hearing interesting stories about your library adventures so we can share them with our readers.

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