Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

Big picture

Summertime and the living is busy. We journeyed into the stars for this year's Summer Reading Program, navigated the Hudson River in a cardboard boat, learned lots of new stuff, and managed to sneak in some vacation time. Refreshed, we're getting ready for the fall and the many opportunities it brings -- but not before gazing at the many trophies Captain Jack has won in the Cardboard Boat Race!

I'm looking forward to attending the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference in September, to hear about the great work being done by our colleagues across the country. September also brings the next Adult Program Swap, hosted by the Upper Hudson Library System, where self-directed programs will be the topic of conversation. And on October 10, Katherine Dillon from the US Census will discuss what we can expect, potential ways to partner, and the importance of counting everyone. We encourage all directors and youth services staff to attend since young children are historically undercounted.

We'll also have fun -- if you haven't yet registered for the annual NYLA Conference, you have until August 31 to take advantage of the early-bird registration. And if you're looking for a great read, our very own Annie Miller from Greenwich Free Library wrote about her passion for audiobooks.

Enjoy the final days of summer, and get ready for a fabulous fall!

Come Together

Big picture
The Hadley-Luzerne Public Library's book club provides a way to battle social isolation while enjoying great reads.

Mental Health First Aid

Big picture
The Saratoga Springs Public Library will be hosting an 8-hour Mental Health First Aid training certification course from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on Friday, September 27. Everyone is invited to attend. Click Here To Register
Big picture

The Caldwell-Lake George Library has immediate openings for 2 part-time library assistants who will report directly to the Library Director.


  • Provide quality customer service at the library circulation desk
  • Assist patrons in the use of library resources, including but not limited to the use of public computers
  • Manage petty cash
  • Maintain daily and monthly statistics, open and close library, assist with library programs, create promotional materials
  • Assist with cataloging and processing of library materials
  • Update and manage website and Facebook page
  • Other tasks as assigned.

The schedule includes one evening a week, and 4 hours on Saturdays (alternating between the 2 positions) Prior library experience preferred. Experience in Polaris a plus. The ideal candidates will be detail-oriented, tech-savvy, creative and able to work both independently and in collaboration.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • High School Diploma
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Proficient in technology
  • Proficient in the use of MS Word, Excel and Outlook is essential
  • Must have and maintain good interpersonal and communication skills to deal with the public
  • Must be physically active and able to lift boxes of books up to 20lbs.

Interested candidates will send a letter of interest and resume with 3 references to:

Caldwell-Lake George Library

Barb Durkish, Director

336 Canada St.

Lake George, NY 12845

Read Freely

Big picture

It's almost time for the annual celebration of the controversial! Banned Books Week, from September 22-28, is a time to revel in our freedom to read, think critically, and have access to a wide range of ideas. What are your plans to challenge censorship?

It's the Law

Big picture

New York State Public Officer's Law requires all public library trustees (not association library trustees) to take and file an oath of office within 30 days of beginning their term of office. Public library trustees are public officers and the oath of office is required to officially undertake and perform the duties of a public library trustee. If a public library trustee does not properly complete and file an oath of office, the trustee’s position may be deemed vacant.

For more information about how and why the oath of office is administered, and where to properly file an oath of office, please see the Oaths of Office FAQ on the New York State Library website.

Not sure whether your library is legally a public library or an association library? Library type information is listed for every public and association library in New York State on the library’s Annual Report and also on the “Find Your Public Library” web page.

Save the Date

Big picture

ALA International Games Week Registration is open for 2019!

Transform your library by participating in International Games Week. This event is an annual celebration of games, play, libraries, and learning that is free for libraries!

This event has only one requirement - you have to have some sort of game-related activity in or around your library, on or around the official dates, November 3rd through the 9th. That's it! The games can be videogames on a library console, tabletop games, social games, party games - whatever you think will work for your individual library and community.

To register, fill out the form at and tell us a bit about your library.

Big picture

Harlequin is excited to launch a mentorship initiative as part of our Romance Includes You programming, which aims to support increased diversity and inclusion in romance publishing.

Here is an overview of the details:

  • One winner will be chosen to receive a year-long mentorship program with a Harlequin editor, including an offer to publish their book, plus a $5000 (US) stipend.
  • The submission period begins September 1, 2019 – October 15, 2019.
  • The contest is open to aspiring romance writers living in North America from underrepresented communities
    • We want to work with authors from a wide range of backgrounds, communities and cultures, including [but not limited to] people of color, members of racial and ethnic minorities, LBGTQIA+ communities, Indigenous communities, people with disabilities and other diverse and own voices.
  • Interested aspiring romance authors will need to submit a story synopsis (maximum 2,500 words), a first chapter of the novel (maximum 7,500 words), and a personal statement on why they want to write a romance novel (maximum 500 words).
  • More information can be found at
  • Link to the press release:

If you have any questions, please contract Lisa Wray at

Big picture

Project MUSE, the massive online collection of scholarship administered by Johns Hopkins University Press and accessible primarily through university libraries, is providing free access to more than a dozen journal articles and books focused on understanding and preventing gun violence. The goal is to encourage the broadest possible engagement with current research and expertise on the topic as the latest round of gun policy debates and discussions continue in the wake of shootings in California, Texas, and Ohio. The collection, called “MUSE in Focus: Addressing Gun Violence,” is available at

The material was selected by the Project MUSE staff in consultation with publishers to provide a broad range of perspectives and expertise relevant to the policy debates that are inevitably renewed with each new incident of gun violence. The collection features titles such as Private Guns, Public Health, by David Hemenway, and After Gun Violence: Deliberation and Memory in an Age of Political Gridlock, by Craig Rood.

Also included is the contributed work, Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, edited by Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. Vernick, which JHU Press director Barbara Kline Pope decided to make available as an open access book in 2017 after the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

What's in a Gene?

Big picture
Wondering about your genetic background? You're not alone. The direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry is making billions of dollars by collecting, analyzing, and selling people's DNA to third parties. Most of the companies providing genetic testing services offer no guarantee of privacy or data protection.

An innocent swab of your cheek could be revealing loads of important -- and monetizable -- information about you. Although "... patients have historically come to expect their health information will be protected because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) governs most patient information. Given patients’ expectations of privacy under HIPAA, many consumers assume that this information is maintained and stored securely. Yet, HIPAA does not typically govern the activities of DTC genetic testing companies – leaving consumers to agree to privacy and security protections buried in click-through privacy policies. To protect patient genetic privacy, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has recommended that consumers withhold purchasing a kit until they have scrutinized the company’s website and privacy practices regarding how genomic data is used, stored and disclosed."

What can libraries do to help patrons from unwittingly giving away important genetic information? Provide information from trusted sources, host programs addressing the topic, and point patrons toward companies that provide privacy and protect consumer information.

Opportunities Abound: Grants, Awards & More

Big picture

The Yiddish Book Center’s “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries is a reading and discussion program to engage teens and adults in thinking about immigrants' experiences encountering America.

Using Yiddish literature as a portal, the program will feature Yiddish literature in translation that explores questions of identity, assimilation, language, cuisine, and generational change, presenting American identity as an ongoing conversation, a give-and-take between insiders and outsiders, and will compare these works written in the early 20th century to works by contemporary immigrant writers.

The goals of the program are:

  • to introduce libraries and the public to Yiddish literature in the context of the broader immigrant experience in coming to America.
  • to help prompt and inform discussions about American immigration experiences—a topic as relevant today as it was one hundred years ago.

Participating libraries will organize a reading group for adults and/or for teens aged 16-19, or for a combined group, to discuss three books of Yiddish literature in translation, as well as one book related to an immigrant community served by their library. Libraries will receive books for participants as well as discussion and resource guides. The reading group facilitator from each library will attend a workshop at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts to orient them to Yiddish literature in translation. All travel, lodging, and meal costs will be covered by the Yiddish Book Center for each library’s discussion facilitator.

Applicants may apply for an additional $500 grant to invite a guest speaker and present a public program related to the “Coming to America” theme. The Yiddish Book Center will provide downloadable discussion guides and reading resources for the reading groups, as well as advice and assistance engaging speakers.

The application deadline is August 16, 2019. Applicants will be notified of decisions by September 30, 2019.

Learn All the Things!

Trust: How to Build, Nurture and Repair

Tuesday, Aug. 20th, 1pm

This is an online event.

This webinar will give you practical language and approaches for building and rebuilding trust in the workplace—and that works in any relationship. You will get definitions, examples of how trust impedes workforce goals, approaches for nurturing trust within your team or organization, and practical steps for rebuilding trust.

If your role is:

  • senior leader
  • middle manager
  • supervisor
  • workforce equity, diversity and inclusion, or
  • communications, human resources, organizational development or planning specialist

then this webinar is for you. And it's free!

DeEtta Jones, Founder and Principal, DeEtta Jones and Associates. Read DeEtta's full bio here.

Understanding the Opioid Crisis: Where do I begin?

Tuesday, Aug. 20th, 1:30pm

This is an online event.

An estimated 1.9 million people in the U.S. have a prescription opioid use disorder, while another 586,000 have a heroin use disorder. This class will help you to understand what addiction and opioids are and where you can find authoritative information to understand this complex epidemic. The National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health provide resources for both the general public and health professionals to learn about opioid abuse and overdose prevention and treatment options. We will discuss many of these resources and explore ideas for their use in community outreach education and programs in your library or organization. This 1 hour, online class is appropriate for anyone providing health information to the general public including public and medical librarians, patient or community educators and healthcare professionals.


By the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Explain what addiction and opioids are
  • Locate both national and local statistics on opioid use
  • Identify authoritative information on opioid overuse, prevention and treatment
  • Create outreach programs using the resources discussed in the class

Library Technology Planning for Today and Tomorrow

Tuesday, Aug. 27th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Technology changes at a dizzying pace – so how do we plan for and implement these changes in libraries? A robust technology plan can help you create an environment that truly meets the needs of the community your library serves. The prospect of technology planning can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, especially in an already short-staffed library. This webinar will help libraries create a framework for their technology planning and introduce the tools and decisions that need to be incorporated into a working plan. Join us to learn how to successfully develop and implement a practical technology plan that can help move your library and community forward.

Presented by: Diana Silveira, librarian, president of Novare Library Services, and author of Library Technology Planning for Today and Tomorrow