Trustee Development 03-02-17 Agenda & Minutes

Trustee Development 03-02-17 Agenda & Minutes

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Trustee Development Committee

Meeting Thursday, 3/2/17, 1 pm

Mahwah Public Library, 100 Ridge Road, Mahwah, NJ  07430

  • Welcome
  • Introductions
  • Approval of February Minutes
  • Discuss Training Agenda from John Chrastka
  • Update on Johnson Legislation Status from Pat Tumulty, the Executive Director of NJLA
  • Determine Next Meeting Date and Site



THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2017 – 1:00 PM


Attending:  Dave Cubie (co-chair and Director, West Orange) and Tom Madru (co-chair and Trustee, Park Ridge), Patty Durso (Executive Administrator, Allendale), Larry Bergmann (Trustee, Livingston), Peter Wendrychowicz (Trustee, Mahwah), Mike Banick (Director, Millburn), Lynn Kloss (Friends, Teaneck) and Darlene Swistock (Liaison, BCCLS).  Guest:  Pat Tumulty (Executive Director, NJLA).


Dave and Tom welcomed everyone to the second meeting of the Trustee Development Committee at 1:10 pm.


The 8 members of the committee, listed above, introduced themselves to our guest, Pat Tumulty, Executive Director, NJLA.


It was moved by Peter Wendrychowicz and seconded by Patty Durso to accept the minutes as written.  No further discussion.


Dave and Tom previously distributed the proposed training agenda from John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary. A discussion followed.  A preliminary meeting to provide information to all of our member libraries would be $3,300 including travel, for John and his partner, Patrick Sweeney.  If needed, a second meeting with the same agenda, would be $2,000 including travel.  After the big initial meeting with the libraries, consulting work with interested individual libraries would be done via phone and would be pro bono.  If any libraries wanted to move forward, it would be arranged on a library-by-library basis and would be pro bono plus travel. 


Pat Tumulty informed us the hope is the bill is passed in May and then it goes to the Governor’s desk for signature. She said the feeling is, it will be signed. The legislature ends its session on June 30th (it is an election year for the legislature and Governor), so the bill must be signed by then or it will have to wait until the next session starts in January, 2018.  Pat then talked about a statewide approach with consistent training.  There were concerns about removing the 1/3 mill formula and additional funding is now outside the cap at the local level.  It is voluntary and there is no increase in taxes unless voters chose to approve the referendum.  This is an option not an obligation.  Some libraries could not operate on 1/3 mill.  There is a sunset clause for this bill.  There is some concern that residents of towns in Northern New Jersey would not be supportive because they are overtaxed to begin with and this is a big undertaking.  We need to collaborate with other BCCLS’ committees:  Finance, PR, Friends and Government Relations & Public Policy as well as Friends’ groups as there is a lot of groundwork to be done. 

Pat advised that libraries will need to do their own campaigns and we should talk to other trustee groups regarding the message to be sent.  If Johnson Legislation passes it is agreed that trustees and directors will need training on how to conduct a referendum to increase tax support for their libraries since this is not something that New Jersey libraries have ever had the opportunity to do.   John Chrastka and Patrick Sweeney of Everylibrary are being considered as vendors to conduct advocacy training for trustees and directors in BCCLS.  Pat Tumulty noted that the state will probably want to take the lead on coordinating training on conducting a library referendum.  There was general agreement that BCCLS will coordinate with the state’s efforts in that case.  If the Johnson Legislation does not pass, the trustee development committee is in agreement that it would still be valuable to conduct advocacy training for their libraries within the scope of the law as it currently exists. 

Peter Wendrychowicz noted that there is a desire for training among board members.   He pointed out that although the Long-Range and Capital Planning event in December took place during torrential rain, 109 trustees still attended which demonstrated their interest in training.  Pat mentioned that this could be used as part of requirement of 7 hours of training per board.  She also suggested training for new trustees and we should not rely on directors to attend the referendum training and then report back to their boards

 Patrick Sweeney will be conducting training at the NJLA on April 23 and Pat suggested that we attend to get an idea of his training approach.  Pat advised that this is an “all in” community effort.  It was also noted that incorrect information can be inadvertently passed on, consistency is the key and we need to make it easy to get information (“you don’t know what you don’t know”).  It may be hard to move this along because the numbers are down for activity at libraries, but we could use this to show that libraries need the financial support to build up their collections and programming.  If there is no funding, libraries can’t offer programs to bring people in.  There was also talk about the impact of technology and does the public know what is available online.  Patty Durso talked about the newsletter that she mails to her patrons letting them know what Allendale is offering. 

If the Johnson Bill passes in June, Pat feels that 1 or 2 libraries may be the leaders and try for a referendum in November, but the majority of libraries will not do so.  There is a lot to do and we need to allow at least a year.  Dave will introduce this at System Council on March 9 to determine interest from the libraries.  If there is sufficient interest, a joint meeting with the above 4 committee chairs will be coordinated.  After that meeting, directors should encourage their trustees and Friends to contact their legislators. 

Pat also mentioned Advocacy Night, April 1-14 and the Construction Bill breakfast on 3/29-3/30 in Hasbrouck Heights.   (April 7th…

Patty Durso asked about personalizing the NJLA flier to send to our patrons via e-mail and Lynn Kloss commented that it would also be helpful for the general public.  Pat noted that the trustees would be excited to have training that is local. 

Peter asked if these efforts can be shared with other consortia like PalsPlus, LMXAC, MAIN. 


Friday, April 28 @ Livingston


It was moved by Patty Durso and seconded by Mike Banick to adjourn the meeting at 3:04 pm.

dms:  3/6/17