Trustee

Winter 2013

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.

News from the State Librarian

From the Desk of Bernard A. Margolis, Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and State Librarian

Winter 2013 issue of Trustee

Congratulations for a successful end to an eventful 2012! With your help, public libraries persevered through some significant challenges and tough times, continuing to offer much needed library services to all New Yorkers.  Listed here are just a few key events that effected libraries in 2012 – events that I believe will continue to affect us as we move forward in 2013 and beyond.

The bad news is that Superstorm Sandy caused tremendous damage to public library buildings and collections in Brooklyn, Queens and in Long Island.  At last count, the estimated damage is over $20 million dollars. The good news is that libraries throughout New York City and Westchester rose to the challenges presented to their communities with courage, creativity and commitment, continuing to demonstrate that public libraries are deeply engaged in their communities.  Libraries delivered life-saving services to  victims even in communities that were literally flattened by the storm. The State Library provided comprehensive disaster response and recovery resources on its website (http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/12storms.htm.  State Library staff continue to partner with library systems to assist impacted libraries with FEMA and other issues.  Many other organizations are also supporting recovery efforts, such as Scholastic, which is donating 1 million books to libraries and schools in the tri-state area. For more information on how to participate, visit: http://www.kidsdonations.org/nre_nr/news_pr_111212.php

Superstorm Sandy was one of many topics discussed at the November 29 Assembly Hearing on Library Funding.  Library leaders from across the State testified to the Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, chaired by Assemblymember Bob Reilly.  The compelling message was the critical need to restore State funding for libraries and library systems to $102 million a year.  Assemblymember Reilly recognized the invaluable contributions of library trustees to the success of libraries.  I personally appreciate the fact that a representative of the Library Trustees Association and other system and library trustees were able to travel to testify at this important hearing.  Testimonies have been posted at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/testimony12/index.html.

Finally, 2012 was a banner year because New York’s new 2020 vision and statewide plan for library services, Creating the Future, was formally approved by the Board of Regents in April.  Implementation of the 60 recommendations in the new plan is now underway.  Discussions led by the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries during the NYLA Conference in Saratoga resulted in a list of fifteen priority recommendations. The prioritized list is posted at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/adviscns/rac/2020final/priorities.htm.   I encourage every library board to familiarize themselves with these recommendations, and to discuss what steps your library can take to make them a reality in your community.   I also encourage you to sign up for the Creating the Future blog at http://creatingthefuture2020.wordpress.com/ so you can keep up-to-date as implementation of the new plan progresses.

Thank you for all of your hard work in 2012.  I look forward to continued successes in the New Year as we work together to “create the future” of library services that benefit all New Yorkers.

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