MHLS Home Trustee Resources: Across the Board
A Trustee's Guide to the MHLS Web Site
Spring 2004

Across the Board | Spring 2004 | Topic: A Trustee's Guide to the MHLS Web Site
The Mid-Hudson Library System's Quarterly Newsletter for Public Library Trustees

Here’s a guide for making the most of your time on the Mid-Hudson Library System web site. The web site serves those trustees who are gathering information or trying to find answers to their own questions after regular business hours. When you click on you will see three distinct areas. The center section gives you instant access to new resources, endeavors and opportunities. Currently, you can apply for library card posters for your community and learn about the Letters to the Editor campaign going on now throughout the System to highlight the need for funding support for public libraries in New York State. The buttons to the left of the center (NEW) section take you to basic information about MHLS: the Online Public Library Catalog and a calendar of continuing education events, including events for trustees. You can register for events and view your personal schedule of events through this online calendar; basic contact information for the System and its member libraries; System Services is a great place to start if you need to brush up on the services your library receives from MHLS; The Bulletin, our weekly newsletter, is posted on the web site every Tuesday. (It is sent in print format to each library and each library’s Board president); a listing of member library web sites; information about the MHLS Board of Trustees; and a site index and search engine for the MHLS web site. The buttons on the right provide resources by categories developed over the past few years. These categories are based on questions frequently asked of us by library staff and trustees. Our philosophy is, “if one person asks, there are more wondering.” An explanation of these sections follows.

Are you looking for answers to these questions?
(Q) How can I compare my library to others in the Mid-Hudson Library System?
(A) Check out the Annual Report data and Demographic Snapshots.
(Q) We need to build a new library. Where do we start?
(A) Click on Construction.
(Q) We need help managing personnel issues.
(A) Scroll down to the human resources section for help with salary information, benefits, COBRA and more.
(Q) What money is available to my library from the Mid-Hudson Library System?
(A) Check out the MHLS Incentive Program for 2004.
(Q) What impact does the USA PATRIOT ACT have on my library?
(A) Scroll down to the Records & Confidentiality section for information about patron privacy, records retention and FAQS about the USA


Are you looking for answers to these questions?
(Q) How can I find a sustainable funding source for my library?
(A) Take a look at the opening paragraph of the main page, which explains the options for each type of library.
(Q) How do we build community support for our library?
(A) Click on “Marketing & PR” where you can learn how to listen to your community and plan services that they will appreciate.
(Q) Where can I find a list of the newspapers for my area?
(A) Under “Marketing & PR” you will find a “Media Contacts” section, broken down by county.
(Q) Are there any sample presentations or press releases we can use?
(A) “Marketing & PR.”
(Q) Where can I find a contact information for our local legislators?
(A) Click on “Advocacy.”
(Q) Where can I research grants for our local history collection?
(A) Visit the Fundraising page and click on “The Basics.” Also consider subscribing to the MHLS Fundraising Listserv for notification of grants for libraries.
(Q) How can we run our annual book sale more efficiently?
(A) Visit the “Book Sale” section of the Fundraising page.
(Q) We’ve lost our IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter. Where can I get another copy?
(A) On the Fundraising page, under “501(C)(3).”
(Q) Our Friends Group needs help. Does MHLS provide any resources for them?
(A) Have your Friends visit the Fundraising section—there are specific Friends Group resources under “The Basics.”
(Q) How can we reach out to new residents in our community?
(A) Visit the “Marketing & PR” Section for the “New Residents Resource Kit.”

Are you looking for answers to these questions?
(Q) Is there a handbook for public library trustees?
(A) Yes. The New York State Association of Library Boards has published such a handbook. In fact the MHLS Trustee Resources section is organized around the content of that book.
(Q) Are there any NYS mandated standards for public libraries?
(A) Yes. Interspersed throughout this section of the web site you will find helpful information for meeting NYS Public Library Minimum Standards.
(Q) I’m on the Policy Committee. Are there any sample library policies we could use?
(A) Yes. Scroll down to Library Policies in the second row of this area.
(Q) What are the responsibilities of the Board, of the Library Director?
(A) Check out the resources under “Trustee Roles and Responsibilities.”
(Q) Does the Open Meetings Law apply to public libraries?
(A) Yes. Take a look at the “Library Board Organization” section for more information.
(Q) We have trouble getting new Board members. Where can I find help?
(A) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and start by reviewing the material under “Selection of Trustees.”
(Q) MHLS is offering $100 to libraries that complete a long-range plan this year. How do we get started?
(A) Start by looking under “Planning and Evaluation.” Here you will find some basic tools and guides to begin your community analysis and plan. You will also find tools from the 2022 Project— a long-range community analysis for the Hudson Valley and “Tools for Transition,” a document listing the potential actions your library can take in response to changes identified in the analysis.
(Q) My board needs help. Would MHLS come to one of our meetings and talk to us?
(A) Yes. Under “Orientation for New Trustees” you’ll find a link to the MHLS Consultations we can do for you.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, check the Web Site Index found on the left side of the home page—or give us a call.

Each year, MHLS provides an education series specifically for member library trustees. Many of those who have attended commented on how valuable it was to meet with and discuss library issues with trustees outside of their own library board. There is a $100 incentive grant to libraries if at least one of their trustees attends a Mid-Hudson Library System trustee training. The System will mail checks based on attendance.

Trustee Essential Education Sessions. Essential sessions are designed to provide public library trustees with educational opportunities in:

Thursday, May 13, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Mahopac Library
Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m.–noon, Morton Memorial Library (Rhinecliff)
Thursday, June 10, 5:30 –7:30 p.m., MHLS Auditorium
Saturday, October 9, 10 a.m.–noon, Kingston Library
Thursday, October 14, 5:30 –7:30 p.m., MHLS Auditorium

Advanced Trustee Education Sessions. Advanced sessions are designed to focus on issues benefiting and affecting libraries in our System. The topic is Managing the Future of Your Library.
Saturday, June 19, 10 a.m.–noon, Kingston Library
Tuesday, June 22, 5:30 –7:30 p.m., MHLS Auditorium
Thursday, October 28, 5:30 –7:30 p.m., MHLS Auditorium
Saturday, November 20, 10 a.m.–noon, Morton Memorial Library (Rhinecliff)
Putnam County date & time TBA

Register one of 3 ways for either session:
(1), then click on Calendar
(3) call 845-471-6060 x246

Grant Seekers Workshop
Researching Grant Opportunities through the Foundation Center and FC Search. For member library staff, trustees and volunteers. This program is designed for grantseekers who want to learn about the Foundation Center and its many resources including the CD-ROM database FC Search, the Foundation Center’s tool for providing comprehensive coverage of U. S. grantmakers and their associated grants. Included will be a quick tour of the Adriance Memorial Library Foundation Center collections. The program will be oriented to library-related resources and will offer hands-on experience. Registration is limited. Register for one of the following sessions:
Tuesday, May 25, 7:00–8:30 p.m. or Wednesday, July 28, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
The program will be held in the Adriance Memorial Library Computer Lab,
89 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. Register one of three ways:
(1), then click on Calendar
(3) Call 845.471.6060 ext. 46
Contact: Joy Matusiewicz, Foundation Center Librarian, 845.485.3445 ext. 3324.

Trustee Success Story Award
The MHLS Trustee Success Story Recognition Awards highlight efforts by library trustees that resulted in positive outcomes for their library. The award consists of $200 to the trustee's library and a certificate of recognition for the trustee. (One award to a library in each county served by the Mid-Hudson Library System.)

Entries will be judged on:

Application Procedure
Applications should be in the form of a letter, two pages maximum, to the Trustee Services Committee c/o Peggy Winn at MHLS (through the MHLS delivery or to 103 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601) stating:

June 30, 2004 (winners will be notified in early September). Awards will be presented at the 2004 MHLS Annual Meeting, being held November 19 at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park.


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