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MHLS Trustee Newsletter
Spring 2010
In This Issue
7 Steps to Savvy Advocacy
Trustee Essentials Workshop
New Trustee Handbook Now Available
Check out the new 2010 edition of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State by Jerry Nichols
Upcoming Workshops
MHLS Trustee Essentials:

Tuesday, May 11, 6-8pm @Kingston Library (free)

Saturday, June 12, 10am-12pm @MHLS in Poughkeepsie (free)

Recruiting & Managing Volunteers Effectively
Friday, June 18, 10am-3:30pn @MHLS in Poughkeepsie($10 for member libraries)

Please register online for all MHLS events.
Quick Links

With this issue, MHLS is making the move to distribute Across the Board as an enewsletter to all member library trustees this year.

We feel this is a positive move, allowing not only a cost savings on our end but a more helpful interface for you, the local library trustee, as you will be able to immediately click on links to learn more, download samples and immediately register for trustee education opportunities.

The goal of this newsletter is to help all trustees feel more comfortable and confident in their role as a trustee, we think the enhancements achieved through the online version of this publication will further that goal.

Read on and let us know what you think!

Feature: 7 Steps to Savvy Advocacy
Let's Get Political!

Trustees may not be politicians but they do need to be political. Advocacy is one of the major trustee roles - speaking up for the library at the right time, in the right place with the right message. But how do you know what to say and who to say it to?

Has this ever happened to you? You're on the golf course and you spot your state Senator... You're at a local restaurant and your county legislator is at the next table over.... You notice a town councilmember in line behind you at the grocery store... What do you do? Do you ignore them because they probably don't know who you are? But maybe you've met them before, do you say "Hi, crazy weather we've been having." Or do you seize the opportunity to make an impression and remind them that you represent the library and can help them see how the library is an asset to their constituents.

If not you, then who? ....

Click here to read the full article and learn more about the "7 Steps to Savvy Advocacy":

  • Step 1: Know Thy Library
  • Step 2: Build Your Network
  • Step 3: Get on Their Radar
  • Step 4: Have Something to Say
  • Step 5: Stay in Touch
  • Step 6: Make the Ask
  • Optional - Step 7: Take it to the Next Level
Trustee Essentials Workshop - Spring Sessions
Essential Trustee Duties and Responsibilities Workshop:

This workshop is designed especially for new board members, but open to all. Library board members looking for essential, baseline information to increase their effectiveness in serving on a library board will benefit from attending this session.

Attendees will learn effective ways to carry out the nine essential library trustee duties and responsibilities (everything the library board does either falls within one of these duties or is done in support of them).

Register for one of the following sessions:

-Tuesday, May 11 from 6:00 - 8:00pm at the Kingston Library (55 Franklin Street, Kingston)

-Saturday, June 12 from 10:00am - 12:00pm at the MHLS Auditorium, Poughkeepsie

Please register online

Trustees are able to earn $200 for their libraries, through the 2010 MHLS Incentive Program Trustee Reimbursement, if every member of their board has attended MHLS Trustee Essential education within 2006-10, with at least one attendance occurring in 2010.

All attendees will receive a free Trustee Handbook (new 2010 edition).

Presented by Josh Cohen, MHLS Executive Director, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability and Merribeth Advocate, MHLS Outreach & Education Coordinator.

Comments from last year's attendees about MHLS Essential Trustee Duties and Responsibilities:

  • I expected this to be very dry & frankly a bit boring. Not so. It was absolutely enlightening. Enjoyed it & learned a lot. Thanks so much!
  • Excellent program that inspired action steps to introduce to my own library.
  • Overall very informative, great to hear questions from other libraries of things that haven't occurred to me but are very helpful to know. Knowledge is empowering.
  • My attitude towards the job of trustee has been jolted to a higher level. You made me aware of the responsibility associated with this job. I need to study this information and try to contribute to our meetings to elevate the level and enhance the library. Thank you so much.
  • Reinforced (review) of much information I have read but needed to hear again to help sink into my head.
  • Terrific job! Great pace! Well worth my time. Thank you!
  • Workshop is well executed as usual. Put in a way that is easy to understand and ask questions. Thank you very much!!
  • I wish all my trustees could have come to this program as new trustees. Hope NYS makes it mandatory.
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. We know how busy your life is and appreciate that you are taking the time to learn more about your role as a public library trustee.

MHLS is here to help you and your library. Please don't hesitate to call us! Check out the MHLS Problem Solving Service Directory or the On Demand Consultation List to connect with the MHLS staff person best able to help you. Don't see what you need? Just ask!

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich
Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability
Mid-Hudson Library System