Dear Editor and Colleagues -
As I leave the board of trustees of the New City Library, I urge the 2013 trustees to take seriously the responsibilities of a not-for-profit board--setting policy, not administering the organization; adhering to bylaws and to not-for-profit ethical standards, not ignoring them or interpreting them opportunistically; ensuring that board members who represent varied perspectives are brought together rather than antagonized; and, to the extent that the board interacts with staff members, trying to bring staffers into harmony with each other.
A library is fundamentally a cultural institution. While there is no reason for people with political ambitions not to serve on a library board, they must act on behalf of the library in a way that does not mainly serve their personal, political or professional ambitions. Difficult as that sometimes may be, it's a prerequisite for not-for-profit citizenship.
Departing Trustee, New City Free Library