Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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The month of January felt like a whole year. Fortunately, the nation had a balm to soothe what ailed us: Bernie memes. For just a moment, we came together to appreciate a cranky, sensibly dressed old man. Bernie Sander's authenticity -- staying true to himself despite occasion or popular sentiment -- was the reminder we needed to connect with our common humanity. Many libraries jumped into the zeitgeist with both feet, imagining a world where Bernie brings his humble mittens to our doors.

While the Bernie memes were the feel-good moment we didn't realize we needed, we still have a lot of work to do. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted digital inequity. As many as one in three US households don't have broadband internet access (25Mbps down and 3Mbps up) which makes working from home and virtual learning challenging, to say the least. According to the Pew Research Center, only 56% of households with income under $30,000 have broadband. Part of the limitation is the high price of access -- the US pays much more on average to connect than other parts of the world -- twice as much as Europe, for less speed.

Despite claims that 98% of New York has access to broadband, many households in our service area remain unable to connect -- or can do so at great cost. We have a chance to let Governor Cuomo's office know about the importance of digital equity through a Digital Literacy Survey of public libraries throughout the state. The survey includes an opportunity for librarians to describe the current state of their digital literacy offerings, give feedback on new digital inclusion initiatives being developed at the state level, and submit recommendations to the State for what resources they would like to see libraries have in order to support digital inclusion and literacy in their broader communities.

The goal is to give the library community an opportunity to deliver their ideas for important digital inclusion resources to the State. Please take a moment to complete this brief five-minute survey by Sunday, February 7th. The results will be shared with Governor Cuomo's Reimagine New York Commission to develop ideas for how to build back better from COVID-19.

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Adult Program Swap

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Struggling to come up with your next great program idea? Or perhaps you're rocking the new world of make and takes, and virtual programming. If you're an adult programmer, and interested in sharing what you're doing, join us for the Tri-System Program Swap at 10 am Tuesday, February 2.

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (669) 224-3412

Access Code: 559-105-413

Annual Report Time!!!

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Are you ready to reflect on 2020? Gather your statistics and get ready -- the 2020 Annual Report for Public Library Systems software is unlocked and ready for use. The software is available at and may also be accessed at

The Division of Library Development will NOT be enforcing the hours open minimum standard for the calendar year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will NOT be requesting variances for those member libraries that did not meet the standard. When reporting 2020 minimum open hours on the Annual report, member libraries should answer NO, that they were not in compliance, and then indicate in the NOTES field that it was due to “COVID.” This will be included in the 2020 Annual Report Instructions.

If you'd like help with completing your report, please attend the Annual Report Party, where the intrepid Dianne Winter will walk you through the changes for 2020, and answer your questions. Please register here:

Digital Inclusion

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The Capital District Library Council will host a member forum to discuss digital inclusion efforts in the area at 10 am Wednesday, February 10.

Ahead of the forum, we are looking to informally gather information to help shape our discussion. If you are involved in DI work at your library, contact Andrew Ward: to answer the following questions:

  • What digital inclusion programs are you currently offering?
  • What digital inclusion programs were interrupted by the pandemic?
  • What digital inclusion programs would you like to offer? Are there specific ways CDLC can help?
  • What challenges are you facing with your DI programs?
  • What resources can you share with others? Programs about free/low-cost services/devices?
  • What information would you like to see aggregated/provided on the CDLC website?

Calling All Supermodels

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Watch out, Tyra Banks! Becky Fasulo, the Director of the Corinth Free Library, recently shared this lovely portrait on the library's Facebook. It's a great way to promote your library and the love of reading! Thanks for being the world's best supermodel, Becky!

Serving the World

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ALA’s subcommittee for Serving Refugees, Immigrants, and Displaced Persons (SRIPD) is updating the “How to Serve the World @ Your Library” toolkit, created in June 2008, to reflect current events and how your library to be involved with your immigrant and refugee community. They would love to hear about the types of programs, services, and community events that your library has had the pleasure to host to incorporate as part of the updated toolkit.

Send your short, concise descriptions of successful programs or services that directly provide and celebrate their immigrant, refugee, and non-English speaking populations. Descriptions should include a brief background on the population and its need, a summary of the library’s program or service and how it meets that need, acknowledgment of any partner groups, organizations, or leaders, and a photo of the program or service in action with appropriate permissions to be published in the updated toolkit. Please send the contact information, including the name, email, and/or phone number, of the appropriate staff to contact to discuss the project.

They are also looking for quotes from patrons or staff on why serving new Americans, immigrants, refugees, and non-English speaking populations is important for libraries. Quotes should be no longer than 2-3 sentences in length with the speaker's name, the library they are from, and an affiliation title if appropriate (e.g., Librarian, Volunteer, Advocate, Patron, etc.).

Please send your descriptions, contact information, and quotes to Shayna Ross,, and Rachel Gut,, by March 31, 2021. We appreciate your willingness to share and will contact everyone who responds, whether we can use your content in the guide or not. Thank you for your consideration.

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The Friends of Libraries Section (FLS) of the New York Library Association (NYLA) is gathering information about Friends groups in New York State that support rural and small public libraries. The goal is to better assist these volunteer support organizations in their growth, development, and long-term success.

All Friends groups that respond to the survey will be entered into a drawing for a free one-year organizational membership in FLS/NYLA, a $50 value. (If the winning group is already a member, their organizational membership will be extended by one year.) In the event of multiple survey responses from a group, only a single entry will be placed in the drawing.

The survey link is posted on the FLS homepage ( or use this direct link.

The survey can be completed by a representative of the library or a representative of the library's Friends group. Survey respondents do not need to confer with other members of the organization. Multiple replies from various group members are acceptable and would be appreciated. Responses are being accepted through Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

FLS wants to gather information from groups that are distant from an urbanized area. Rather than "small" referring to Friends groups with a small number of volunteers on their roster, FLS defines "small" in relation to the population of the library's potential service area, generally less than 10,000 residents. However, FLS welcomes any library or Friends group that identifies their library as rural and/or small to complete the survey, whatever the population of the library's service area. FLS is interested to learn about specific challenges faced by Friends organizations that support these libraries.

FLS' mission is to create a network to connect and inspire Friends groups in all types of libraries to support the New York library community. Thank you for assisting us in our work by taking the time to participate in this survey!

Build America's Libraries Act Redux

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The Build America's Libraries Act (S. 127) by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), has been re-introduced. The legislation would provide $5 billion to support long-term improvements to library facilities, including addressing needs that have arisen due to COVID–19, to enable libraries to better serve rural, low-income and underserved areas, as well as people with disabilities and other vulnerable library users.

America's aging library infrastructure faces challenges ranging from broadband capacity, mold, and accessibility barriers to COVID-19 to natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. The average U.S. public library building is more than 40 years old. Inadequate capital funding has made it difficult for libraries to address building concerns. At the federal level, Congress has not provided dedicated funding for library facilities since 1997. Nationally, public libraries have billions of dollars in assessed facilities needs, including more than $1.5 billion of needs in New York.

The Build America's Library Act would begin to address decades of underinvestment by providing funds to repair and construct modern library facilities in underserved and disadvantaged communities. Specifically, funding could be used for:

  • Constructing, renovating, modernizing, or retrofitting library facilities, including by enhancing facilities to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and vulnerability to natural disasters. * Investing in library infrastructure projects to improve internet access and connectivity.
  • Reducing or eliminating the presence of potential hazards to library staff and patrons, including toxic substances, lead, mold, mildew, and unsafe drinking water. * Making library facilities more accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities.
  • Improving library facilities for the purposes of supporting place-based services or community-based partnerships that provide library patrons with access to educational, workforce, behavioral health, mental health, and social services.

ALA is asking library advocates to urge their Senators to join as cosponsors of the Build America's Libraries Act.

The Great Tater Caper

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Is it performance art? A protest against tubers? A call for more food in libraries? No one knows, but someone's been leaving baked potatoes on the lawn of the Wayland Library in Massachusetts.

Leadership Training for Small, Rural Libraries

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The Association of Rural and Small Libraries' (ARSL) pilot leadership institute, Outstanding In Their Field, is officially open! ARSL is looking for 30 outstanding people who are currently working in rural and small libraries to join this professional development opportunity.

Applications will be accepted through February 24, 2021.

Participants, a.k.a. “Outfielders,” will undertake 18 months of online and in-person interactive sessions.

It’s a BIG commitment, and rewarding! Participants will gain:

  • skills and confidence as leaders
  • a network of colleagues throughout the country
  • experiences at two ARSL conferences

The ARSL Leadership Institute is for accidental library leaders: people who may not have a Masters in Library and Information Science and maybe not even a college degree. They work in a small and/or rural library who are now are ready to grow as leaders. These folks came into the library from various jobs: the cashier at the local Mini-Mart with good customer service skills, the cataloger who worked at the library for 12 years and just became the new library director, or the schoolteacher who ends up running the public library. They already are informal leaders and are ready for change.

All participant travel, materials, and instructional expenses (worth approximately $8,000) are covered by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). So while there are no monetary costs for participants, they will outlay their time, consistent engagement, and dedication to growing themselves and others as leaders.

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) seeks applicants representing a wide variety of communities and has a commitment to the representation of groups that have been historically marginalized or excluded due to ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, economic background, educational attainment, and age.

The More You Know

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Media Literacy in the Library: A Guide for Library Practitioners" contains information, program ideas and conversation starters on topics like misinformation and disinformation; architecture of the internet; civics; media landscape and economics; and media creation and engagement. The 30-page guide also explores ways to “meet patrons where they are” by integrating media literacy into reference interactions and existing programs. Download the guide for free here.

Starting in winter 2021, a series of one-hour webinars will explore concepts from the guide. Led by project advisors, the webinars are free for all library workers. View a full list of the free webinars and register now!

Big Opportunity for Small & Rural Libraries

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The American Library Association (ALA) has announced plans to award nearly $2 million to small and rural libraries in 2020 and 2021 to help them address issues of concern in their communities.

Through Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, up to 650 U.S. libraries in small and rural communities will receive $3,000 to tackle issues ranging from media literacy to COVID-19 safety to unemployment. The initiative is part of ALA’s longtime commitment to preparing library workers for the expanding role of libraries.

Library workers may apply online for grant funding until February 5, 2021, at Up to 650 grants will be distributed over two funding rounds. Read the full project guidelines.

The opportunity is open to libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defines small communities as those with a legal service area population of 25,000 or less and rural communities as those more than, or equal to, five miles from an urbanized area.

Selected libraries will develop their facilitation skills through online training, talk with community members (virtually or in-person) about local needs, and undertake a project that benefits their community. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, from hotspot purchases to personal protective equipment to staff time to undertake community engagement work.

Grant recipients will also receive a copy of “Ask, Listen, Empower: Grounding Your Library Work in Community Engagement,” edited by Mary Davis Fournier and Sarah Ostman (ALA Editions, 2020).

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Applications are now open for the Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services NY's Spring 2021 Planning & Assessment Services Round!

This is the first application round of DHPSNY's second five-year iteration and includes important COVID-19 safety precautions. Most significantly, these services will only be offered virtually to ensure personal safety. Applications are due Friday, March 26, 2021, for consideration in the spring application round.

Begin your application process by deciding which of our services is best for your program. To help you get started, we've outlined each of our services below with links to testimonials and application materials.

Our Planning & Assessment page also features helpful tools for navigating the application process, including sample applications and frequently asked questions.

If you're still unsure which service to apply for or whether your institution is ready, DHPSNY staff is here to help. For assistance, questions about eligibility, or additional information, contact DHPSNY Program Manager Anastasia Matijkiw at (215) 545-0613 extension 338 or

Adult Literacy Grant

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The American Library Association and Dollar General Literacy Foundation invite public libraries to apply for grants to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development. Up to 16 grants of $5,000 each will be awarded. Public libraries are eligible if they serve adult English language learners and are located within 20 miles of a Dollar General Store, distribution center, or corporate office. Visit the Dollar General Store Locator.

Read the project guidelines and apply online by Friday, January 29, 2021.

ALA has a recorded webinar about the grant.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative strives to develop tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult English language learners in their communities and across the country. American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies, and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. It is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office and Office for Diversity.

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The American Library Association invites library workers to apply for the inaugural Peggy Barber Tribute Grant, a programming grant named after the transformative ALA leader responsible for the creation of National Library Week and the Celebrity READ series.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant supports meaningful programs in libraries with limited programming budgets. Up to three grants of $2,500 will be awarded annually. Applications for the 2021 award will be accepted from December 1, 2020, to February 5, 2021. Read the grant guidelines and apply online.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant will support a different type of library programming each year. This year, libraries are invited to submit applications in support of humanities-based programming. The funding may be used to continue an existing program or create a new one.

All library types — including public, academic, K-12, tribal and special libraries — in the U.S. or U.S. territories are eligible. Applicants must have a personal or institutional membership with either the American Library Association OR the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Barber served as ALA's associate executive director of communications from 1970 to 2000. In that role, she established ALA’s Public Information Office, Public Programs Office and the ALA Graphics department. After leaving ALA, she was a principal consultant with Library Communication Strategies and served as co-president of Friends of Libraries USA, now known as United for Libraries. She passed away in August 2019.

The Peggy Barber Tribute Grant was created with donations from Barber’s friends and colleagues. To support the grant, make a contribution to the Peggy Barber tribute fund within ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund.

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Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture is a literacy program that reaches out to Asian American, Pacific Islander and American Indian families. Talk Story celebrates and explores Asian American, Pacific Islander, and American Indian stories through books, oral traditions, and cultural arts to provide an interactive and enriching experience. This grant provides financial support to libraries and community organizations who want to introduce a Talk Story program. 2021 Talk Story programs may be conducted in person or virtually.

Talk Story is a partnership between the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA) and the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and 2021 grant funding is available through the generous support of Toyota California Community Foundation.

Libraries and community organizations that serve Asian American, Pacific Islander, and/or American Indian children and their families are eligible to apply. We encourage libraries and community organizations to work together on a Talk Story program. With the exception of cross-border tribal organizations, all organizations must be based in the United States or U.S. territories.

Organizations who have previously been awarded two Talk Story grants are ineligible for additional awards.

Two grant winners for each organization (APALA and AILA) will receive $750 to fund a program that meets the criteria of the grant.

Applications are now being accepted for American Indian or Asian American & Pacific Islander programs.

Please submit a complete and detailed application including a Statement of Need, Narrative, and Proposed Budget. Please describe the program your library or community organization would do with the award and what types of programs highlighting Asian American, Pacific Islander, or American Indian cultures you are interested in planning for your community.

You may apply for either an APALA grant OR an AILA grant. You may not apply to both organizations.

Applications must be received by Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Awards will be announced by Saturday, May 1, 2021.

Past grant winners have included language programs, early childhood literacy, youth identity development, and a variety of arts programming including dance, music, and writing. “There is a lot of room for creativity in this grant,” said Angela Thornton, Co-Chair of the Talk Story program. “We want people to explore partnerships in their communities and see what they can create.”

Applications are due by April 1, 2021. Eligibility details and past winners can be found at

Learn All the Things!

News Media Literacy Master Class

Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, 10am

This is an online event.

Never before has the need for education on News Media Literacy been more urgent. As citizens of all ages and backgrounds are bombarded with a constant stream of misleading information, propaganda, hoaxes and rumors — that often masquerade as credible journalism — it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Purveyors of misinformation have helped give rise to troubling cultural trends and an erosion of trust in factual information.

Interactive in-person and virtual workshops are presented by Education Services Director Mary Hadigan Miller, who has more than 17 years of experience working with educators and Newspaper in Education professionals throughout New York State. A copy of her CV is available upon request.

Learn more about:

•Develop critical thinking skills regarding reporting of current events

•Become educated consumers of media to avoid being manipulated

•Understand what makes a source credible

•Create awareness of biases in media consumption

•Identify media creators’ opinions and perceptions

•Understand how media messages influence others

•The power of information

•What makes journalism different from other types of information?

•Where can trustworthy, factual information be found?

•How to tell what’s accurate

•How to apply news literacy concepts in real life

•Meeting the challenges of digital citizenship

Learn more about these key News Media Literacy questions:

•Who created this?

•Why did they create it?

•Whom is the message for?

• What techniques are being used to make this message credible or believable?

•What details were left out and why?

•How did this message make you feel?

Who are we serving:

Our programming and resources are designed to enhance news media literacy skills for all ages and are designed to foster critical thinking about the accuracy of information about current events as presented across all media platforms. We believe communities are strengthened when citizens have the tools to evaluate the trustworthiness of news they encounter in their daily lives. We work with public and private schools, colleges, and libraries.

The organization’s mission/vision:

The New York Newspapers Foundation’s News Media Literacy Program provides educational workshops and resources to students, educators and the general public, focusing on navigating the 24/7 world of digital media. NYNF’s News Media Literacy program provides real life strategies to engage students in critical thinking about today’s media as well as helping to develop core proficiency skills in news media literacy, digital footprint and digital citizenship. Our work is strictly non-partisan and is neutral with respect to the types of media consumers' access.

For more information or to register for this informational session, contact Margaret McDermott at or call 518-449-1667 x 703

Self-Care During Stressful Times

Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, 12pm

This is an online event.

Self-care is more than bubble baths and coloring books. Let’s talk about the ethic of care and how it applies to ourselves, what boundary-setting looks like, as well as some tips and tricks to keep yourself centered and avoiding burnout (and yes, we’ll talk a little about bubble baths and coloring books too).

JJ Pionke is the Applied Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His award-winning research focuses on disability and accessibility in libraries for both patrons and employees.

Fostering Digital Citizenship in Your Library & Community

Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, 2pm

This is an online event.

Digital Citizenship is the ability to use technology in safe, ethical, and appropriate ways. What happens to all the things you post online? What practices endanger your online privacy? What is a positive digital footprint? Lauren Hays will explain how librarians, as facilitators of digital knowledge consumption and creation, have a unique role to play in fostering digital citizenship among their users. This webinar will target those serving K-12 youth but will cover positive online behavior for people of any age.

Here’s some of what you will learn:

  • Digital commerce—how to buy, sell and use money safely in the digital space
  • The importance of teaching online etiquette to the youngest of users
  • Information literacy, privacy, and cyberbullying – raising awareness for 21st-century digital citizens
  • Easy ways to increase digital fluency in users of all ages
  • Copyright, Creative Commons, and intellectual property – what you need to know
  • Designing easy to implement training materials for kids and parents to use at home

Equitable Hiring Practices and Retention of Diverse Library Employees

Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, 2pm

This is an online event.

Please join ACRL’s Science & Technology Section, in partnership with ACRL’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee, for a free webinar, Equity Starts Before Hire: A Look at Equitable Approaches Hiring & Retention. Presenters Twanna Hodge, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Librarian at the University of Florida, and Tarida Anantachai, Interim Head of the Department of Learning and Academic Engagement at Syracuse University Libraries, will join us for this interactive webinar. Registration is required. The presentation part of the webinar will be recorded and available for viewing. See the full webinar description below.

This interactive webinar will cover the importance of equitable hiring practices and how embedding inclusive approaches such as these at the recruitment stage can be crucial in laying the foundation for the retention of library workers in academic libraries. The speakers cover various strategies and approaches for equitable hiring and the core elements of retention of underrepresented library workers. In doing so, they will also consider how social, political, economic, and environmental factors affect the recruitment and hiring processes and foster a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture. This could include taking risks, experimentation, assessment, and evaluation, an ongoing critical examination of policies and procedures, addressing deauthentication, vocational awe, systematic racism, and more.

Please contact Laura Palumbo ( or Chapel Cowden ( with any questions you might have.

Moving Beyond User Satisfaction Surveys: Best Practices for Collecting User Feedback

Thursday, Feb. 4th, 1:30pm

This is an online event.

Professionals know that critical user feedback drives valuable innovation. However, most user feedback assessments fail to collect useful data. This class will provide an interactive overview of groundbreaking tools and best practices for collecting user feedback. The class's purpose is to learn how to design surveys in ways that gather actionable feedback about value delivered. In this 1 hour class, participants will also learn the best use cases for surveys and alternative assessment tools in the research process. The audience includes anyone collecting feedback to improve user experience, including healthcare instructors, organizational leaders, public and medical librarians, and patient educators.

Speaker Bio:
Diana File holds a BA in Psychology from Yale University and an MA in Psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For the past 15 years, she has driven record-breaking results in analytics, research, and organizational improvement for dozens of global corporations, educational institutions, small businesses, and start-ups.

Black Health & Healing Summit

Friday, Feb. 5th, 8am

This is an online event.

The Queens Public Library and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association have partnered to host the Black Health & Healing Summit on February 5th, 2021. The National Library of Medicine has provided us with a grant to build a bridge between health professionals and Black communities. This 24-hour virtual health conference will pair entertainment with critical health information and strategies on healing from home.

This summit will spotlight top medical experts and entertainers who will discuss the most critical health topics.

These virtual panels, lectures, and interactive workshops will leave you with the inspiration, support, skills and knowledge to make immediate health improvements! You don’t want to miss this.

Resources for Wellbeing: Toolkit Tour for Rural & Small Libraries

Friday, Feb. 5th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Social wellbeing, individuals living the good life in a thriving community, is something public libraries can influence! Join these rural library directors for a tour of the most popular tools for helping libraries improve social wellbeing in their communities created from the Rural Library Service & Social Wellbeing Project research. Learn from library directors who leverage all available resources to create feelings of delight, power, cultural identity, and belonging for community residents with outstanding results. Participants will leave understanding key actions libraries can take to improve social wellbeing outcomes in their own communities, both immediately, and over the long haul.

From “Inclusive Leadership” to “Advancing Equity”

Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 3pm

This is an online event.

For several years in the library and information science profession, there has been momentum in shifting perspective, conversation, and analysis from a “diversity” frame to an “equity” frame. Although perhaps overstated, the global pandemic and an international movement for racial equity has forced many to rethink how and the degree to which we are personally and professionally accountable for creating a more just and equitable society. This presentation and discussion will challenge attendees to think about how managers and leaders can position themselves and engage strategies to initiate substantive change in the function and mission of the profession. Several models will be shared that can serve as tools for designing and assessing teaching and learning and other library programs that can advance social justice within our organizations and for the audiences served by libraries and archives.

The Rise of Streaming and Its Effect on Libraries

Thursday, Feb. 11th, 1pm

This is an online event.

It’s getting hard for information professionals to keep track of all the streaming services that are available! Well-established platforms like Netflix, recent startups like Peacock, and even failures like Quibi all have ever-changing content. For this RIO meeting, we’ll be discussing how the increase in streaming services have affected libraries including the circulation of traditional media like DVDs and CDs and the future of those collections, subscription streaming databases for libraries and their costs, streaming access and education, and the need for strong Internet access. Join us to discuss all things streaming!

Serving Library Users with Mental Illness: A Crash Course on Controlling Clashes

Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Patrons who show signs of mental illness can be confusing and upsetting to the toughest and most seasoned among us. What do you say to someone wandering around holding a loud and animated conversation with himself? How do you accommodate the child with autism who insists on rearranging your DVD collection, or the adult with obsessive-compulsive disorder who demands that you check out her books a certain way? What rights do the mentally-ill have with regard to public services, and what legal liabilities are associated with their presence in the library? This webinar increases your understanding of mental illness, teaches effective methods of communicating with mentally-ill patrons who are creating a disturbance in the library, helps you protect staff and patrons in rare instances of possible violence, and shows you how to locate resources you can lean on when necessary.

Mandy Easter, Law Librarian and Consultant, Iowa State Library
Mandy has been a Law Librarian with the State Library of Iowa for the last 20 years and also began working as a library law consultant five years ago. She's been a state agency librarian, an academic librarian, a public library director, a regional library employee, and has worked in different capacities at several public libraries. She really enjoys helping librarians, trustees and city government officials identify, understand and apply library-related law.

Envisioning Future Library Experiences: Service Design Techniques for Responsive Libraries

Thursday, Feb. 18th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Join us for part 2 of the webinar series with design experts from Margaret Sullivan Studio and Harmonic Design to pick-up techniques you can use to create meaningful future library services. After the first webinar, Who Are We Designing for and Why? Service Design Techniques for Responsive Libraries (recording available), the presenters met with three case study libraries: Altadena Library District, Pierce County Library System, and Prince George's County Memorial Library System. The case study participants will share how they took learned design techniques to brainstorm future services for their communities. The goal is to demonstrate concepts and relevant applications to help envision how you might improve your library’s capacity to bring joy, vibrancy, learning experiences, and innovative opportunities to the community!

The case study libraries are applying service design techniques to create meaningful outdoor experiences, and integrating service design into staffing models. Whether you are a library with a small, medium, or large staff, through this session, you will learn how collaboration, creativity, and innovation can be integrated into your daily operations.

Presented by: Patrick Quattlebaum, CEO, Harmonic Design; Leah Berg, Service Designer, Harmonic Design; Margaret Sullivan, Principal, Margaret Sullivan Studio; and Lyna Vuong, Senior Designer, Margaret Sullivan Studio

Interrupting White Supremacy Culture

Thursday, Feb. 18th, 4pm

This is an online event.

From the attempted coup by white nationalists on January 6th to everyday interactions in our workplaces, white supremacy is threaded through our lives. A crucial piece of the work toward an anti-racist culture is the small moves each of us can make to bring
accountability and criticality to our daily interactions. In this session, we will name some of the elements of white supremacy culture and discuss a few strategies that white and BIPOC participants can learn to notice the effects of white supremacy upon us and then to interrupt it in our everyday lives.

Activate, Collaborate, and Educate: Health Outreach and Programming in Your Community

Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, 2pm

This is an online event.

This course will provide an overview of ideas to conduct health outreach and create health programs for libraries and community/faith-based organizations. Participants will learn how to integrate resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and other reputable agencies to introduce community members to NLM resources in fun and engaging ways. Examples of programs for children, teens, adults, and seniors using NLM and other National Institutes of Health center and office resources will be shared.

Additional Materials:

Health Outreach and Programming Class Guide


This presentation provides an overview of planning health programs for organizations incorporating resources from the National Library of Medicine. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Locate county-level information on health needs within their community
  • Locate relevant NLM consumer health resources for specific target populations
  • Identify organizations for health outreach partnerships
  • Outline a potential health outreach or health program for their organization

Supporting and Sustaining Anti-Racist Work

Thursday, March 4th, 4pm

This is an online event.

In our workshops, We Need 2 Talk educators always say, anti-racist work is a practice, not a destination. Some of us have been on our anti-racist journeys for many years, while for others, that journey began during the summer of 2020. How can we make this work sustainable in our libraries and communities? How can we hold the notion, in the context of a standards and achievement-obsessed culture, that anti-racism is a lifelong practice? How can we continue to show up in authentic ways to do this work? In this session, we will explore some strategies to sustain anti-racist work while modeling a few digital discussion formats that allow for multiple modes of participation.

FLS Focus on Friends Webinar Series: Friendly Partnerships Strengthen Communities

Thursday, March 11th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Friends are venturing outside the library, undertaking the vital work of networking and partnering with community groups to deliver the library’s message and services to residents. Children’s librarian Jason Poole started the summer “BookBox for Kids and Teens” initiative to bring books to readers unable to visit the library. This vital project has connected with underserved families and steadily grown community support from the library Friends, churches, schools, and grant-makers in Webster. In their community, Helen Rados, a member of the Friends of Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library, and youth librarian Cheryl Jones have built powerful partnerships and creative collaborations that have increased public awareness of the library, engaged volunteers, and increased Friends memberships.

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

1. Identify concrete examples of Friends activities that can be implemented in the participants’ Friends groups that will lead to community partnerships
2. Apply tips on how to cultivate effective working relationships
3. Formulate a plan for collaboration that will increase the number of advocates in their community

What we talk about when we talk about “equity”: from essential workers to George Floyd to Nice White Parents

Thursday, March 18th, 4pm

This is an online event.

2020 saw a huge uptick in colloquial usage of the word “equity.” However, in most corners of the information professions, from libraries to archives to usability, we’ve been having this conversation for a long time. During this interactive session, we unpack some of the ways equity has been used (and misused) during the pandemic and protests, and how this is impacting our workplaces and communities. Come prepared to discuss your experiences.