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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.
In This Issue
- Check Your Sources
- Get Your Library Questions Answered!
- From the Editor's Desk
- System overview
- News from the State Librarian
- Trustees in the Know
- Advocacy Day 2017
Check Your Sources
Spring 2017 issue of TrusteeRebekkah Smith Aldrich, Coordinator for Library Sustainability for the Mid-Hudson Library System, Co-Author of the Handbook for Library Trustees in New York State and Mentor for the Helping All Trustee Succeed (HATS) ILEAD Team.
While most public library trustees are not lawyers, trustees are expected to follow the law of the land, whether that "land" be federal, state or in your very own library. When seeking answers and guidance it is important to understand which legal instruments have precedence over others.
A common example of confusion in this area is where you would find the answer to how many trustees serve on your board. You may think it is your bylaws, but actually it is your library's charter, issued by the New York State Board of Regents. If the two don't match you could be in some legal hot water if someone challenges a decision made by the board. Another example is library policy, it may not violate state or federal law.
Here are simple explanations of the various sources of law and guidance you may be using to make governance and policy decisions help you get a better understanding of "what trumps what":
- Provisional charter: newly established libraries are given a provisional charter that is valid for five years. There are usually stipulations that a library develop its organization in a specific way to demonstrate it is a viable library within those five years.
- Absolute charter: At the expiration of the provisional charter, the charter may either be made absolute or extended for an additional five years.