Trustee

Spring 2014

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.

System Overview

Spring 2014 issue of Trustee

System Overview

LTA has enjoyed excellent support and cooperation from three library systems in preparation for our 2014 Trustee Institute. We highlighted the Ramapo/Catskill Library System in our Winter 2014 Trustee with an article by Executive Director, Robert Hubsher. We welcome back Terry Kirchner (Terry authored our inaugural System Summary article) in this edition with a brief summary of Westchester Library System and welcome new Executive Director, Tom Sloan, from Mid-Hudson Library System. Due to limited space in this edition, these summaries will introduce you WLS and MHLS. To see the full content about both these systems, go to our website at www.librarytrustees.org.

 

Westchester Library System

Terry Kirchner, Executive Director

 

The Westchester Library System (WLS) is a cooperative public library system that supports its 38 member libraries – and by extension – all the people and businesses in Westchester County. WLS offers several unique programs and services to support member libraries’ community engagement efforts.

 

The WLS Learning Ambassador Program helps teens aged 14-16 to develop 21st century skills through work-based learning, training and mentoring in a public library. This program prepares teens for their first job, develops skills for future employment and encourages the teens to further their education.

 

WLS and its member libraries have actively engaged in creative aging programs over the past five years, helping libraries connect with their senior communities and promote lifelong learning. In 2014, WLS spearheaded a new Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant to extend the work of Creative Aging in New York State Public Libraries. Working with 22 public library systems across 12 states, this program expands arts education in public libraries and positions them as community cornerstones for positive aging.

 

Today’s job market requires that individuals think differently about how they develop their career path. To meet this need, WLS provides career and education counseling opportunities in member libraries by offering group seminars, workshops and individual counseling for people in career transition. This program, known as WEBS, has proven especially beneficial to individuals aged 50 and over who face the challenge of starting a new career.

 

Technology has fueled many changes within our communities and WLS works with member libraries to meet the expanding demands. In addition to providing support for public workstations and wireless networks at every member library, there is a strong professional development component as well. WLS technology staff offer learning opportunities for librarians.

 

WLS is excited to co-host the 2014 LTA Trustee Institute. There is much to see and do in Westchester County. If time allows, we hope you explore all Westchester has to offer.

 

Mid-Hudson Library System

Tom Sloan, Executive Director

 

The Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS), a cooperative system with sixty-six (66) member libraries, was formed in 1959 to insure the public’s right to free access, facilitate economical resource sharing, and promote professional library service while working in partnerships with the libraries in our service region which encompasses Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam & Ulster counties in the mid-Hudson Valley.

 

Our services for members fall into two categories:

 

Resource Sharing

All member libraries are automated and agree that all patrons may use all libraries and borrow just about anything from any library. This “patron first” attitude of our members ensures ease of access to library collections and services throughout our 3,000 square mile service area.We provide delivery services, facilitate interlibrary loans beyond our System borders, provide remote access to shared databases for all patrons, and manage the MHLS Digital Download Center (through OverDrive) to ensure patrons have access to e-books and downloadable audiobooks.

 

Library Development

System staff work to ensure member libraries have the support they need to optimize the

governance and management of their libraries. We also focus on assisting libraries address the need for flexible and responsive 21st century facilities and support their ability to obtain sustainable funding. This takes the form of consultations for trustees and directors, a robust continuing education program and a web site with resources.

 

 

The centerpiece of our success is the working relationship between the System and its member libraries. We promote a partnership approach to shaping services, developing resource sharing policies and to address identified trends and challenges. There is a monthly meeting of member library directors to provide input and four advisory committees made up of directors as well, focusing on resource sharing, continuing education / professional development, marketing, our Central Reference Library program and collection development.


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