Effective 2023, New York State requires each library trustee to complete two (2) hours of Trustee Education annually. [(Education Law 260-d added by Chapter 468 of the Laws of 2021)] In addition to these Education hours, each Trustee must complete Sexual Harassment Prevention training. This annual training is also mandated by the state of New York.
The purpose of this guide is to provide links to asynchronous Trustee Education through which trustees may learn or revisit important information in order to successfully govern a library board.
It is recommended that Trustees first review the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State which may be accessed online HERE. (Please note: this link is for the 2018 version of the Handbook; a 2023 revision has been published but is available only in print at this time. Print copies of the Handbook may be requested from Ramapo Catskill Library System by emailing Grace Riario. This link will be updated when a new online version is available.) Review the contents and information within this document as you complete your Trustee Education.
The tabbed Modules (Part 1. through 4.) across the top of this guide should be completed in order and are provided as further educational material to help with understanding your role as a trustee. Any questions that arise from the materials should first be addressed to the Director of your library and may then be posed to Grace Riario, Executive Director of Ramapo Catskill Library System.
RCLS offers Trustee Education to augment the offerings from NYS approved providers detailed below. 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 also carry credit towards fulfilling the Trustee Education requirements. Please check individual course descriptions for details concerning credit provisions for a particular course.
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.
NOTE: Trustees are encouraged to 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), Niche Academy [select "Trustee Education" from the Categories dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the page for applicable courses], NYLA, ALA, etc.). Trustees must notify their library's record keeper independently of any third-party education completed. RCLS does not maintain records for those programs.
The State Library has pre-approved the following trustee education providers:
Trustees may complete Self-Assurance Forms for any training (this form serves in place of a certificate, should one not be obtained). 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.
New Users: The link in the box above 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.
Providing support for member libraries is the primary responsibility of the System. The RCLS team offers a broad range of consulting services. In addition to traditional areas of library operations, areas of assistance have been expanded to include Advocacy, IT/Cybersecurity, Marketing, Sustainability, and EDI (Equity, Diversity & Inclusion). The System regularly provides programs and training and publishes and distributes electronic newsletters on current activities and emerging trends to library staff and trustees.
RCLS provides an Integrated Library System (ILS), a service that manages circulation, borrower registration, an online catalog, reserves, and interlibrary loans. In partnership with the RCLS Central Library (Newburgh Free Library), members are provided access to electronic databases and digital downloads of ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and music. RCLS operates a Delivery Service five days a week which transports library materials between and among member libraries, libraries within the Mid-Hudson Library System, and Correctional Facilities within its service area.
RCLS is a member of New York Library Association (NYLA), American Library Association (ALA), and Southeastern New York Library Resources Council (SENYLRC), a state-funded, multi-type library cooperative. The System’s website (www.rcls.org) provides access to a wide range of information about RCLS services and resources.
Read more about RCLS, and the services we provide, here.