For more information on trustees, please visit the North Country Library System’s Trustee page and Trustee Guide.

For New Trustees

Trustee Training

Beginning January 1, 2023, each trustee, elected or appointed, of a public library, association library or Indian Library will be required to complete a minimum of two hours of trustee education annually (Education Law 260-d added by Chapter 468 of the Laws of 2021).

To help all trustees understand and meet the new trustee education requirements, Lauren Moore, Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and State Librarian established a joint New York State Library (NYSL) and Public Library System Director’s Organization (PULISDO) Trustee Education Committee. She asked the Committee to create a Frequently Asked Questions document and other supporting materials to help trustees and library directors understand the new law and the new requirements. 

Duties and Responsibilities for Trustees

“Trustee/board members owe allegiance to the institution and must act in good faith with the best interest of the institution in mind. The conduct of a trustee/board member must, at all times, further the institution’s goals…”

-Statement on the Governance Role of a Trustee or Board Member, NYS Board of Regents

Board Meetings:

From the Handbook for Library Trustees, pg 27, 2018 ed.:

Library board meetings are conducted under the rules set forth in the library’s bylaws, which must comply with the library’s charter, state and federal law and regulation. In order for all trustees to be properly prepared for the meeting, a packet should be mailed or e-mailed to them no less than one week before the meeting date. The packet should include the meeting agenda, minutes of the previous meeting, financial reports, the library director’s report, the schedule of bills to be paid, proposed personnel actions and committee reports. Background information on the issues before the board should be distributed as well as any other documents that pertain to the business of the meeting. All trustees are expected to come prepared to participate fully in meeting discussions and actions and to be familiar with the activities of the committees to which they are assigned. Using the talents and skills of every board member creates a more cooperative, congenial and productive board.

Regular attendance at board meetings is essential. The Board President should be notified in advance if attendance is not possible. A trustee who misses meetings frequently may not completely understand the issues at hand and valuable meeting time can be lost bringing that trustee back up to speed.