Why join the Library Board?

library HZTTwo seats on the Saugerties Public Library Board of Trustees are coming up for election in September; both are five-year terms. Anyone who is a resident of the town of Saugerties is eligible to run. Candidate petitions (available at the library) must be signed by at least 25 town residents registered to vote in the town and returned to the library by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5. According to current board member Ken Goldberg, four people have picked up candidate petitions from the library so far.

So what does a member of the Library Board do?

“The board sets the priorities and deals with the direction the library should be going in consultation with the director, based on our own experience and what we hear from the public,” says Goldberg. Board members meet once a month, and each belongs to several committees devoted to specific efforts. “By becoming a member of the board, a person can have real influence on how the library will change and what it will become and what the priorities will be over the next five years,” Goldberg adds. “And that’s pretty important.”


Board members periodically attend workshops led by a representative from the Mid-Hudson Library System. “We spend the day talking about what we should change, what we should increase, how do we gauge the feelings of the public; all these things,” says Goldberg. “Based on that, the board and the director then map out a one-or-two, or five-year plan of where we’d like to see ourselves in that time.”

Goldberg says the board considers things as simple as whether or not to add weekend hours at the library to make it more accessible to the community to how best to take advantage of new developments in technology. “One of the things we decided as a board,” he says, “was to provide the e-readers for patrons to take out on loan.”

The lack of sufficient parking at the library is a continuing issue the board faces, says Goldberg. There has been talk of the possibility of purchasing some land behind the library, if it should become available, to build a bigger parking lot. “This is the type of thing the board decides; whether that’s important, if it’s a high priority, whether it’s worth it, how much it costs. Not the daily running of the library, which is the library director’s responsibility, but the bigger issues.”