Welcome to NYLTO: First Steps

Welcome to New York Trustees Online, a site designed specifically for public library trustees in New York. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a trustee as one who is trusted, or to whom something is entrusted; a person in whom confidence is put. Every public library in New York has a board of caring trustees who have been entrusted with ongoing support of the institution that many call “the heart of the community.” As a public library trustee, you devote your time and energy to overseeing the library budget, hiring and supporting the library director, adopting policies, and shaping the library vision and mission. This site will let you share ideas with other trustees around the state and provide you with easy access to information that you and your fellow trustees can use to make your libraries even more effective.

There are four sections in this Welcome topic. You can scroll down to see each section, or you can click on the links below to go directly to a specific section.

Section 3

  • What is NYLTO?   New York Library Trustees Online (NYLTO) was initially a joint project of nine of New York’s library systems; supported in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Today the project is available throughout New York State.
    NYLTO has been designed to provide library trustees in the participating systems with the tools and skills they need to meet the challenges facing public libraries today. NYLTO has several topics, each with a different focus.
  • New York Trustees Online Welcome to NYLTO: First Steps You are in this topic now, and as you can see, it includes information to help you navigate and participate in the NYLTO site. Take Ten Minutes: Tips and Tools for Busy Trustees This topic has been subdivided into a variety of sections of interest to public library trustees. Each section includes links to short articles, checklists, and other quick and easy resources that you and your fellow trustees can use right now. New sections may be added to this topic throughout the year. For Your Information: New York Public Library Trustee Resources This topic includes links to longer and more substantive resources than those found in Take Ten Minutes. Here you will find links to the New York State Library Laws, state and national public library statistics, strategic planning resources, budgeting tools, etc. Think of this as a reference collection created specifically for New York public library trustees. New sections may be added to this topic throughout the year. Hiring and Evaluating the Library Director This topic provides links to information that will help board members in two of their most important tasks: hiring a qualified library director and evaluating that director’s performance every year. This topic will help you to design a search process, write a job description, select interview questions, and make your final selection. It will also provide you with concrete guidelines for evaluating the library director and several sample evaluation instruments.
  • Library Policies Library Policy ABCs: Everything You Need to Know about Developing Library Policies Resources The NYLTO site includes tools and resources to help you and your colleagues to review and revise the five library policies listed below. This topic provides an introduction to the terms, concepts, and templates you will be using during the review process. Spotlight on Meeting Room Policies Spotlight on Privacy and Confidentiality of Records Spotlight on Unattended Children Spotlight on Customer Behavior Spotlight on Reconsideration of Library Materials Additional Policy Templates Creating Policies for Results: From Chaos to Clarity includes 36 policy templates. Each template includes a list of questions to consider when evaluating, developing, or revising the policy statement and regulations relating to a specific issue. Five of the 36 policy templates are available in the The Spotlight on … topics listed above.  A sixth template, Borrowing Materials by Staff, is available in the Library Policy ABCs: Everything You Need to Know about Developing Library Policies topic. The remaining 30 policy policy templates are available in this topic. They have been arranged in alphabetical order. 

Section 4

  • Where Can I Get Help? If you have any questions or need help with technical issues, please get in touch with your system support staff person. They will be happy to answer questions about the NYLTO content or help you with software challenges. You can click on the person’s name below or copy the person’s email address into your email program or send an email or call the number provided. If you are not sure what system you are in, please click here to open to the New York State Library’s Index of Library Systems in New York State by County.