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Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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September is right around the corner, which means it's Library Card Sign-Up Month, a fantastic opportunity to remind everyone about the world of information and entertainment accessible with a library card.


It's also a chance to celebrate our work, providing a wide range of information despite the recent onslaught of challenges to library materials. The ongoing attack on LGBTQIA+ and communities of color are taking a toll, with some librarians stepping down, libraries being defunded, and library staff on the front lines. Despite these challenges, librarians, patrons, and community members are fighting back, determined to ensure that people can read freely and access information to make educated, informed decisions about their lives.

Lifelong Learning

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Every trustee, beginning January 1, 2023 must complete a minimum of two hours of trustee education each year. (Education Law 260-d added by Chapter 468 of the Laws of 2021).


  • SALS and other public library systems are among the approved educational providers.


  • The trustee education may be done in-person or online.


  • The state has provided a Self-Assurance Form to help each trustee record attendance. Self-Assurance Form


· The trustee training will be tracked by each library and will be reported to the state via the Annual Report for Public and Association Libraries. A sample form is provided by the State Library to assist with reporting.


For more information regarding the new trustee education requirements, here is a link to the Frequently Asked Questions:


https://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/trustees/education.htm

NY State Aid for Library Construction

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The applications for NY State Aid for Library Construction are due to SALS by the end of August 2022. The SALS Board of Trustees will review the projects at the SALS September 20, 2022 Board Meeting.


Of special note:


Q: If a library/library system received construction aid funding in the past, is it eligible to apply again under the 2022-2026 State Aid for Library Construction?

A: Yes. A library/library system can submit a project application for funding in 2022-2026 even if a previously funded project remains open.


Please note, a library/library system cannot receive funding for the same project more than once. The project for which funding is being requested in 2022-2026 must be different from any project(s) funded previously.


For example, if the library replaced the roof using these funds in the past, the library can not request the funds to install a more energy efficient roof.

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The New York State Library has two paid internship opportunities for Graduate Students to directly support the State Librarian during the Fall 2022 semester and ideally through Fall 2023. This is a new internship focused solely on digital inclusion and digital equity, and an opportunity to be part of an important statewide initiative. New and current graduate students are encouraged to apply; technical experience in the field is not required.


The Digital Equity Intern will assist NYSED in facilitating the Intergovernmental Work Group on Digital Equity, a committee of state agencies advising on and implementing the Digital Equity Act and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program. The intern will work within the department and with external stakeholders and community anchor institutions across the state, including libraries, educational institutions, community-based organizations, state agencies, and more. The intern will also work closely with the ConnectAll Office as they develop the State Digital Equity Plan. This opportunity is part of a larger effort supporting greater statewide equity in libraries, schools, and the communities we serve.


Duties will include: working closely with State agencies currently engaged in digital equity work; helping to develop and implement a networking strategy for partner organizations; facilitating collaboration among diverse stakeholders and sectors; representing NYSED and the ConnectAll Office in discussions on digital fluency and equity; evaluating initiatives and making recommendations for opportunities within the statewide digital equity ecosystem; serving as a statewide resource for digital equity information, research, and best practices.


Skills needed include critical analysis, collaboration, communication, team orientation, and self-direction.


Minimum qualifications include enrollment in a graduate degree program, demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative setting, and preferably two (2) or more years of full-time professional work experience and experience with or knowledge of the state government environment. This position is open to matriculated graduate students at participating SUNY campuses. Preference may be given to students pursuing a Master’s or PhD in Library or Information Science; however, any student interested in public policy, planning, research and management, political science and government, communications and marketing, history, or education would find this position of interest.


This assignment may be remote, onsite, or hybrid. The pay rate for this position is $16.20/hour.


We are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our work and in our hiring.

Learn more about the position.


To Apply

Candidates should email a cover letter, resume, transcript (student copy is acceptable), and completed internship application to libops@nysed.gov as soon as possible. Please include the Assignment Number (OCE-FA22-5) in the subject line of your email to reference this assignment.

More Resources for Friends

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The Friends of Libraries Section (FLS) of the New York Library Association has a new segment of their webpage, “Resources for Friends Groups Supporting Small and Rural Libraries.” The resource page is the culmination of an FLS project undertaken to learn more about volunteers who support under-resourced libraries and how FLS could better meet the needs of its members.


Over the past year, FLS has developed a variety of support materials to assist Friends by highlighting a set of best practices to not just survive but thrive in the areas of diversity and attracting younger members, leadership and succession planning, membership growth and involvement, raising public awareness of the Friends mission and purpose, encouraging current members to actively participate in a variety of roles, and fundraising.


Each division of the page has resource sheets for topic areas which address the challenges raised in the FLS 2021 survey of Friends groups supporting small and rural libraries. There are handouts developed by FLS members which relate to each subject, along with links to pertinent resources, templates, and work sheets.


Whether your library is thinking about starting a Friends group or working to sustain a current group long-term by planning succession strategies, the resources here will help staff and library civic volunteers reach their goals. Help guide new volunteers as they step into important roles for your group by carefully reviewing job descriptions or writing them for the first time using the examples and templates on the resource page.


We know that representation matters. The resources on diversity may encourage people to get involved in an organization where they can see themselves. It is vital to the ongoing viability of Friends groups to recruit diverse members who can share their experience and expertise. The tips from the popular “Membership in a Minute” subscription offered in 2021 were compiled into a handout on membership-raising.


And the ever-present need for fundraising is addressed with many suggestions of fundraisers, online resources, and archived articles from FLS newsletters. Included is a handout to encourage Friends groups to draft guidelines for using the funds they raise on behalf of the library. There is a section on programming and tips for becoming a “Library Champion” to support NYLA’s important funding initiatives and legislative goals.


A white paper explores the needs of Friends organizations that assist small and rural libraries and provides recommendations to sustain these volunteer groups. The report, “Beyond Younger Volunteers: White Paper on What Rural Friends Groups Need to Thrive,” is the result of the 2021 survey and outlines the services offered by FLS in response to the challenges identified in the study. The white paper can be accessed for free, along with the original 40-question survey and a summary of the data.


Authors Lisa C. Wemett and Erica Freudenberger first shared the survey results at a virtual session presented at the 2021 conference of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries in October. “We hope this white paper encourages discussion among staff and library civic leaders and advances their important work to support the needs of their local communities,” said Kerstin Cruger, FLS President.


The Friends of Libraries Section’s Executive Board wants to thank the FLS Task Force on Friends and Rural Libraries, chaired by FLS Secretary Lynne Madden, for their work over the past two years to develop the resource sheets and bring these materials together under one banner. Members included Erica Freudenberger, Outreach and Engagement Consultant at the Southern Adirondack Library System; Carole Kupelian, Friends of the Osceola Public Library; Karen Sperrazza, FLS Immediate Past President; Vince Sperrazza, Member At Large, NYLA’s Rural Library Roundtable; Betsy Sywetz, Friends of the Richfield Springs Public Library; and Lisa Wemett, FLS Coordinator for Professional Development. The Board also wants to acknowledge Web Editor Terry Mulee who made it all come together by designing the masthead for the resource sheets and publishing all the content on the FLS webpage, www.nyla.org/friends.

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Library workers with federal student loans should review their eligibility under the U.S. Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Library workers in all contexts—school, public, academic and others—with federal student aid may be eligible for the waiver, known as the Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF).


Under the existing PSLF program, federal student loan borrowers employed by government agencies, nonprofit organizations or other organizations that provide public library services or school library services, are eligible to have their federal student loan balance forgiven after making 10 years of qualifying loan payments. Many library workers meet the employer eligibility criteria for the program.


During the TEPSLF period, which ends on October 31, 2022, past payments that would not otherwise count toward PSLF will be made eligible and borrowers who previously would not have qualified for PSLF may now qualify. Borrowers must submit necessary paperwork by Oct. 31, 2022, when TEPSLF ends. The waiver can apply to borrowers with any number of relevant payments, including those who have not yet made 10 years of payments. Applicants can use the Department of Education’s PSLF Help Tool to search for a qualifying employer, learn what actions must be taken to become eligible for PSLF or TEPSLF, and generate the necessary form(s).


To help borrowers learn about the special opportunity for loan forgiveness under the limited waiver, ALA is hosting monthly free webinars with student loan experts hosted by the PSLF Coalition.

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Who Moved My Circ Desk?

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Proposed plans to renovate the Library of Congress and replace the central circulation and reference desk have upset preservationists.

Salman Rushdie Stabbed

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At a recent reading at the Chattauqua Institution, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed repeatedly. A fatwa was declared against Rushdie in 1989, after the publication of his book The Satanic Verses. PEN America, the National Coalition Against Censorship and others have published statements in support of Rushdie.
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Support for Small, Rural Libraries

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The American Library Association (ALA) announced that its Libraries Transforming Communities project will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services and programs to better serve people with disabilities.


Beginning in November 2022, ALA will accept applications for grants distributed over the next three years ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Participating libraries will first conduct community input-gathering sessions to assure that their work aligns with local needs. Libraries will be required to identify the primary audience they are hoping to reach (e.g., homebound seniors, children with autism, Deaf community members) and facilitate a community conversation with the impacted populations in order to guide improvement of the library’s services. Grantees will then use the funds to create services or improve their facilities based on the needs identified by their audience.


Additional information regarding Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, Grant Advisor RFP requirements and how to apply for grants is available at https://www.ala.org/tools/librariestransform/libraries-transforming-communities/access/rfp.

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Art Resources Transfer's Library Program provides free books on art and culture to public libraries, schools, and incarcerated readers nationwide.


The book catalog offers 300+ titles published by leading museums, galleries, and independent presses nationwide. Books are free and shipped free of charge. To get started, sign up through the website here.

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The NNLM All of Us Program Center Community Awards will provide funding to community-serving libraries and organizations to meet the following goals:


  • Further individual and communities’ knowledge of and/or skills related to health literacy, digital literacy, and/or understanding of clinical medical research.
  • Build and strengthen partnerships with communities who are underrepresented in biomedical research (Definitions (PDF, 29.3 KB))
  • Raise awareness of All of Us(link is external), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) precision medicine research program and interact with All of Us partner organizations.
  • Increase awareness and use of NNLM All of Us learning activities, National Library of Medicine(link is external) (NLM), and other trustworthy health information resources for individuals to make informed decisions about their health and wellness.

The NAPC Community Award will fund proposed projects from applicants that address the goals above. Projects may include activities such as programming, health fairs, loanable kits, technology acquisition and distribution, community science projects, and more.


More project ideas, grant-writing resources, example application materials, and NNLM, NLM, and All of Us resources can be found in the full Application Guide (PDF, 1.1 MB).


Award Details

  • Maximum award amount: $30,000
  • Number of awards available: up to 5

Who Loves You, Baby?

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Has a librarian made a difference in your life or gone above and beyond to serve your community? The I Love My Librarian Award invites library users like you to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. Each year, up to 10 librarians are honored at a ceremony held in their honor and receive a $5,000 cash award.


Nominations are open through Friday, September 30, 2022.

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Emerging Tech Trends for 2022 and Beyond

Tuesday, Aug. 30th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Technology has changed the face of libraries and is continuing to change how we work and how we deliver services to customers. In fact, the past few years have pushed us, and in some cases made us scramble, to discover and experiment with new technologies and tools, to train our staff and community, and to look for new ways of doing our core activities. This presentation introduces emerging technology trends and shows how those trends are reshaping library services. Examples are provided of how to incorporate and adapt these evolving trends into libraries. Learn what trends to look for, find out the difference between a technology trend and a fad, and get ideas on how your library can respond to technologies as they emerge.


Presented by: David Lee King, Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Speaker & Author at davidleeking.com

Strategies for Success: Grantseeking for Libraries

Thursday, Sep. 8th, 4pm

This is an online event.

Grant funding provides libraries with the opportunity to offer programs and services to the community that may not fit into the library’s regular budget. If the process of applying for and managing a grant feels overwhelming, join us for this webinar to discuss strategies for success that can benefit libraries of all sizes. Funders are often interested in a diverse set of applicants and communities to distribute funding to, and this session will help you feel more confident and empowered to pursue these opportunities for your library.

Participants will learn to:

- Seek and evaluate grant opportunities
- Consider the alignment of the library and the funder’s missions
- Develop organizational support for a proposal
- Submit a strong application

Kendra Morgan is a Senior Program Manager with WebJunction, providing continuing education services to state and public libraries. She is particularly interested in the role libraries play in supporting healthy communities, including through opioid-related programming and services and the COVID-19 pandemic, and has successfully applied for and managed a number of grant-funded programs that address those issues. Kendra received her MLIS from the University of Hawai'i; and prior to joining OCLC in 2007, she provided training and technology support in hundreds of libraries as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Libraries Program, and served as a technology consultant at The Library of Virginia.

Please review the Code of Conduct, Statement on Viewpoints, and details on Interpreter Services here: https://metro.org/code-of-conduct

Sustainable Living Library Programs

Wednesday, Sep. 14th, 10am

This is an online event.

Learn just what it takes to plan, organize, and run sustainability programs for patrons in libraries, both rural and urban. Programs range from gardening topics to teaching pioneer crafts, to homesteading events, and to hosting preservation programs.


Ellyssa Valenti Kroski is the Director of Information Technology and Marketing at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 75 books.

Community-Led Planning for Equitable, Responsive Services

Thursday, Sep. 15th, 3pm

This is an online event.

You want to serve your community equitably and well, but you have endless possibilities and finite resources. How do you know which direction to go? Community-led planning is a strategy that invites community participation in service design and implementation by sharing power. Whether you’re creating a system-wide strategic plan, a single program, or anything in between, using community-led planning techniques can set you up for outstanding success.


Discover the results of new research into how libraries can become more equitably community led. Then learn how to apply these concepts to create highly relevant, inclusive services for—and, more importantly, with—your community.


In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What it means to be authentically community-led, and why this benefits your library and community
  • How to apply evidence-based strategies to build your capacity for community-led planning
  • Real-world examples of how libraries have used community-led planning for successful outcomes

Presented by: Dr. Audrey Barbakoff

Civil Legal Issues of Natural Disasters: Libraries Can Help

Thursday, Sep. 22nd, 3pm

This is an online event.

Natural disasters strike everywhere. In their wake, communities are left reeling and many people turn to their libraries for support and information. Your library may have plans to secure its facilities and collections in order to keep the doors open, but are you prepared to support patrons’ civil legal issues that arise? A host of urgent needs emerge around FEMA applications, landlord-tenant disputes, property issues, required documentation, and more.


Libraries can play a crucial role connecting people with civil legal issues to resources and information that can help. Join this webinar to learn how to apply reference skills to support community members through this civil legal turmoil and guide them toward positive outcomes. A legal aid attorney and a law librarian will share insights based on their personal disaster experiences to introduce library staff to civil legal issues that may arise during a variety of natural disasters.


Presented by: Kathy Grunewald, Disaster Coordinator Attorney, Legal Services of North Florida; Sara Pic, Head of Public Services, Law Library of Louisiana; and Brooke Doyle, Sr. Project Coordinator, WebJunction, OCLC.

Strategies for Success: Project Management for Libraries

Thursday, Sep. 22nd, 4pm

This is an online event.

Starting a new project for the library can be exciting and feel a bit daunting, particularly when the project is funded through a grant. A range of techniques around planning, communication, and execution can help ensure success on even the smallest projects. If you are new to project management or just want to explore how your library can prepare for a new opportunity, join us for a discussion that will include tracking activity, budgets, and evaluation requirements on projects.

Participants will learn to:

- Plan and execute a successful project start
- Implement techniques for managing the project and budget
- Consider communication needs for project stakeholders and team members

Kendra Morgan is a Senior Program Manager with WebJunction, providing continuing education services to state and public libraries. She is particularly interested in the role libraries play in supporting healthy communities, including through opioid-related programming and services and the COVID-19 pandemic, and has successfully applied for and managed a number of grant-funded programs that address those issues. Kendra received her MLIS from the University of Hawai'i; and prior to joining OCLC in 2007, she provided training and technology support in hundreds of libraries as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Libraries Program, and served as a technology consultant at The Library of Virginia.

Please review the Code of Conduct, Statement on Viewpoints, and details on Interpreter Services here: https://metro.org/code-of-conduct