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MHLS Trustee Newsletter
Summer 2010
In This Issue
Feature Article: E-Books, E-Readers & Libraries
Funding Update
Upcoming Workshops
Trustee Essentials:

Thursday, Sept. 16
6:00 - 8:00pm
@MHLS Auditorium 

Saturday, Sept. 25  10:00am - 12:00pm
@ Germantown Library

Tuesday, Sept. 28  10:00am - 12:00pm @MHLS Auditorium

Workshop Notice [PDF]

Advanced Trustee:

Monday, October 18
6:00 - 8:00 pm
@ MHLS Auditorium

Saturday, October 23
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
@ Kingston Library
(55 Franklin Street, Kingston)

Save the Date!
Building Your Base Online: Tuesday, December 7th with New Jersey State Library Marketing Director, and author of "Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for Overworked Librarians, Nancy Dowd.

Please register online for all MHLS events.
The 51st Annual Meeting of the Mid-Hudson Library System will be held on Friday, October 1, 2010 at The Henry A. Wallace Center at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY.

Our keynote speaker will be Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Prior to the business meeting there will be a continuing education session: "Advocacy 101: the Five Keys to Effective Advocacy" presented by current NYLA President Kathy Miller and former NYLA President, Jennifer Morris.

Invitations will be arriving later this week in your inbox!

Trustee Handbook Now Available
Check out the 2010 edition of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State by Jerry Nichols
Quick Links
Feature: E-Books, E-Readers & Libraries

"Well, what is a book, really? Is it its body, or its soul?"
- Anna Quindlen

"The best defense against the future is to think about it, to imagine different scenarios, and try to avoid being taken by surprise."
- Stuart Candy, Futurist

"E-book Sales Surpass Hardcovers at Amazon" - this was the big headline flying around librarian blogs, Facebook pages and email lists around the country in July 2010. Is this it? Is this the death knell for the printed book? For reading as we know it? For libraries?

The buzz surrounding e-books and e-readers has been getting louder and louder, building since the 2007 release of Amazon's e-reader device the Kindle. In 2010 the buzz seems to be reaching frenzy status as librarians scramble to understand the many options and implications surrounding the e-book/e-reader issue and trustees field questions from the public about what happens next.

Should we be buying e-books? Should we be lending Kindles? Are we even allowed to lend e-readers? How much will it cost? How many of my patrons want this? Which vendor should I use? My staff can't keep up! - These are some of the questions, comments and fears we are hearing from libraries around the System.

So let's all take a breath, sit back and take stock. Click on "read more" to expand each of the three areas below.

1.       E-books are here to stay. [read more]

2.       No one has won the e-reader war...yet. [read more]

3.       The Times...They Are a 'Changin.' What's a trustee to do? [read more]

Funding Update
As we prepare this issue of Across the Board the Board and Staff of MHLS along with Member Libraries are strategizing how to move into the future together.

After a decade of flat funding, a series of cuts from NYS, service reductions and staff attrition combined with increasing usage of System services by member libraries, MHLS has been forced to explore a new funding model which calls for members to share the expense of System services more fully.

Input gathered from members through evaluation of System services and the 2009 Directors Retreat indicate that members are relying on System services to help run their library.

A System Funding Task Force, made up of member library directors from all five counties served by MHLS, representing libraries large and small, have been meeting since 2008 to develop a fair and equitable solution to the funding shortfalls.

MHLS has committed to notify member libraries a year in advance of an increase in fees. In the fall, your director will be talking to you about the proposed assessment for 2012. The passage of this fee will ensure that System services can continue, providing your library with the day-to-day support required to run a 21st century library.

If you have any questions about the proposed assessment or how MHLS benefits your library please talk to your director. They have the most up-to-date information from their attendance at Directors Association meetings and understand how MHLS supports your library daily.

Questions that your director cannot answer can be directed to Merribeth Advocate, MHLS Interim Director at or 845.471.6060 x217.

Trustee Essentials Workshop - Fall 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:

Thursday, September 16 from6:00 - 8:00pm @MHLS Auditorium 

Saturday, September 25  from 10:00am - 12:00pm @ Germantown Library

Tuesday, September 28  from 10:00am - 12:00pm @MHLS Auditorium

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 Merribeth Advocate, MHLS Interim Executive Director &  Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability.

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