Continuing Education at Every Level of the Library Institution

Dear librarylanders,
We can’t continue to do the work of addressing the needs and facilitating the aspirations of those we serve, if we aren’t continually educating ourselves and building a culture of learning and professional development within our organizations. Learning is richest when we share our new ideas with others and hear their perspectives.
This isn’t a pitch to come to more stuff at the System – I promise. This is a pitch to talk to one another – trustees to trustees to directors to volunteers to friends to trustees. We have a broad and diverse geography that will be best served by well educated, well connected, and roundly inspired institutions.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, or made it but want to refresh and share with others, here is a brief recap of recent training opportunities for trustees and resources the presenters shared:
Library Design & Facilities Planning with Paul Mays
To quote one attendee: “Paul Mays’ gives one amazing presentation!!!”. Library architect Paul Mays did two distinct but linked sessions. The first was all about general library design and pitfalls to look out for. The second was filled with practical considerations for planning, as well as for funding, and engaging the community in the design process. Oh, not to make the folks that couldn’t attend feel terrible, but he then hung out and answered library specific questions for an hour. Really. Dang.
Content heavy slides he sent for your reference: Mays Recommendations from Presentation
Paul mentioned that your building should reflect the services and attitudes you have toward your community. His system developed this tool to help: Facilities WalkAbout exercise
What Am I Doing Here?!? Roles & Responsibilities for Boards & Directors
This workshop is offered quarterly and I schedule it to move around the System so that every region in STLS has an opportunity to attend. I think attending workshops like this has the upside of letting trustees and directors share experiences and questions with people from other libraries. That said, many libraries prefer that I role this into a Trustee Orientation recap kind of presentation and offer it to just their library’s board. Some trustees and directors are more comfortable asking questions and digging into issues specific to their organizations in that forum.
For those who would like a broad overview, here are the slides I use: What Am I Doing Here?!?
Get the Grant! with Eli Guinnee
As often as possible, I’m offering workshops multiple times in different locations around the system. Eli was gracious enough to perform this in both Belfast (on a Saturday!) and Bath. The big take away is that any grant is achievable if you remember a few basics: call ahead, follow ALL the directions, re-read for clear alignment with the purpose of the grant. Like all Eli Guinnee workshops, it was hands-on and practical. I’ve included all the tools he used below.
Trustee Book Club: The Future is Now (links corrected!) 
For more information on our next Trustee Book Club meeting scheduled for May 9th, please click here.
Conversation is always lively and worth the visit, if you can make it! Also, I’m open to suggestion on times and dates for future meet-ups. I hope you’ll join us! To register, click here.
Trustees in the Know Scholarship
The Library Trustees Association is an organization that many of our members take advantage of – either their Ask Joe column which answers trustee questions from around the state or their Sample Policy Database or their annual workshop offerings. This year they will be hosting a 9:30 am to 3:00 pm three session continuing education day for trustees at the Broome County Public Library (for more information, visit For those trustees from STLS member libraries interested in attending who are not already Library Trustees Association members, please contact me for STLS scholarship coverage.
Upcoming Events
04-05-2017 14:00:00 PM
Join us for our quarterly STLS Digital Library meeting. You can either participate in-person at STLS headquarter in Coopers Plains or remotely via GotoMeeing (meeting link will be sent via email prior to meeting). Location: STLS Headquarters…»
How can your library help breath new life into a strong, sustainable community?  In this workshop you will practice the full cycle of asking the right questions and using the feedback you receive to make effective and responsive library action steps.  Location: Cuba Circulating Library, Cuba…»
Please join us for an information session designed for library professionals who serve members of our immigrant community, or for those simply interested in understanding the naturalization process. For more information on the program, visit and click on “libraries.” Location: Fred & Harriett Taylor Memorial Library, Hammondsport…»
In this webinar, Margo will walk you through all the steps in applying for Construction Aid through STLS and any changes new to this year’s process. Location: Remote via GoToMeeting…»
The Library Trustees Association has organized Trustees in the Know at the Broome County Public Library. For those libraries interested in attending, please contact Margo for scholarship information. For more on the day, please visit
For all upcoming events, please visit the STLS program calendar.
As ever, please contact me with questions, concerns, and ideas.
In libraries and in learning,
Margo Gustina
Trustee Consultant