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Trustee Education: Home

WELCOME to RCLS Trustee Education

Effective 2023, New York State requires each library trustee to complete two (2) hours of Trustee Education annually as specified in Education Law 260-d, Chapter 468 of the Laws of 2021.  (Education Law 260-d added by Chapter 468 of the Laws of 2021) In addition to the Education hours, each Trustee must also complete Sexual Harassment Prevention training annually as mandated by the State of New York.

The purpose of this guide is to provide information and resources about Trustee Education, through which trustees may acquire or revisit important information in order to successfully govern a library board.   It is recommended that Trustees first review the 2023 Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State which may be accessed in PDF format via this link: Home - Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State (2023 Edition) - Resources at New York Education Department (  Print copies of the Handbook may be requested from Ramapo Catskill Library System by emailing RCLS Executive Director Grace Riario.   Review the contents and information within the Handbook as you complete your Trustee Education.

RCLS offers a variety of live Trustee Education sessions to augment the courses available from NYS approved providers listed in the box below as Additional Third-Party Provider Options.  A record of your attendance at all Trustee Education sessions hosted by RCLS will be maintained by Anita Baumann, RCLS Executive Assistant.  A summary of trustee attendance will be provided to each library director at intervals during the calendar year.  Certificates will not be provided except upon request.

Visit the RCLS calendar to register for real-time Trustee Education sessions presented by RCLS staff.  Additionally, some Continuing Education courses offered by RCLS for library staff will carry credit towards fulfilling the Trustee Education requirements.  Please check individual course descriptions for details concerning credit provisions for a particular course. RCLS calendar

Notices of upcoming RCLS Trustee Education calendar events are listed in the RCLS Trustee Chronicle e-publication (issued bi-monthly to all trustees), and via intermittent email communications.

Links to Trustee Education

RCLS maintains a catalog of on-demand, online, self-paced courses via NicheAcademy in the customized RCLS Staff Academy (Niche Academy).  The RCLS Staff Academy is a vetted selection for your use. Once logged on to NicheAcademy, select "Trustee Education" from the Categories dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the page for applicable courses.  {PLEASE NOTE: Do not type "NicheAcademy" directly into a browser search.  Doing so will take you to the main NicheAcademy website.  They have a vast catalog of courses, and not all of their offerings meet the criteria for Trustee Education credit. Credit hours for any particular NicheAcademy course are designated by NicheAcademy and may not correlate exactly to the actual time spent viewing their content.

Trustees must notify their library's record keeper independently of ANY education they complete in NicheAcademy. A Certificate of Completion should be offered at the end of any of their courses.  Download the Certificate and provide it to your library's record keeper.  RCLS does not maintain records for those programs.



Trustees should track their own attendance for any education provided by a third-party [i.e., Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS), Southeastern New York Library Council (SENYLRC), NYS DLD, NYLA, ALA, etc.]   RCLS does not maintain records for those programs. 

Trustees must notify their library's record keeper independently of ANY third-party education they complete.  Trustees may fill out a Self-Assurance Reporting Form for any training they complete.  (The Self-Assurance Form will serve in place of a certificate, should one not be obtained.)  Use the Self-Assurance Reporting Form found on the NYS Division of Library Development’s web site.

Trustees may access an Archive of Mid-Hudson Library System's recordings of their Trustee Handbook Book Club.  Those sessions carry Trustee Education credit and may be completed at your convenience.  Access the recordings & instructions here: Mid-Hudson Library System ( Non-MHLS Member Library Trustees will not be issued a MHLS Certificate of Attendance but can use the Self-Assurance Reporting Form found on the NYS Division of Library Development’s web site.

You may also opt to select courses from the following alternatives to complete your required 2 hours for the year.  The State Library has pre-approved the following trustee education providers:

Trustees may complete Self-Assurance Forms for any training from any provider. The Self-Assurance Form may be accessed here

Please refer to the FAQ's page of the New York State Library for additional information relating to Trustee Education Requirements. (Link: FAQ's page of the New York State Library)

RCLS Niche Academy information

New Users: The link to NicheAcademy in the box to the left will take you to the RCLS NicheAcademy login page. If you do not have an account, you can create one by clicking on the "Create a free account" text. See the example below:

While we try to grant access quickly, there may be a slight delay before RCLS Administrators are alerted and grant access to the academy. Please contact the RCLS ILS Department with questions regarding NicheAcademy.  Once your account has been established and you have succesfully logged in, select "Trustee Education" from the Categories dropdown menu in the upper right of the page for applicable courses.