Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Fall always feels like a downhill season to me. We climb out of the winter doldrums to enjoy the three to five days that pass as spring and then trudge through the heat of summer so that we can relax and exhale during autumn's cool nights. The pace of life picks up as meetings and webinars fill our schedules, and we begin to prepare for the long, dark winter ahead.

Now is the perfect time to put a plan in place for National Voter Registration Day, celebrated on September 28. Help patrons play a role in our democracy by registering people to vote and encouraging them to participate in the upcoming election.

Speaking of government, Governor Hochul recently passed the NY HERO Act, recognizing COVID-19 as an airborne disease and mandating that all workplaces have a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan. To learn more about the new regulation, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC created an instructional video along with a PowerPoint. The plans incorporate several safety measures, including employee health screenings, masking, social distancing requirements, workplace hygiene stations, workplace cleaning protocol, quarantine protocol, and building airflow technology.

If you have questions, reach out!

Dream Big

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The Stillwater Public Library is flourishing -- so much so that they're bursting at the seams and need more space. Director Sara Kipp is leading the charge to move the library from its current location in a former church to a former textile mill, which would give the library three times the space it currently has. We can't wait to see what will happen when the bond resolution passes!

Green Library Project Award

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We're delighted to announce that the International Federation of Library Associations has named the Southern Adirondack System a runner-up for its Green Library Project Award 2021 for our Farm-2-Library initiative. The program has grown to include ten libraries this year and has already shared more than 15,000 pounds of fresh, local food with our communities. Thanks to our participating libraries and community partners, Comfort Food Community, and Capital Roots' Squash Hunger program.

The following libraries take part in the Farm-2-Library initiative:

Free For All

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The Schuylerville Public Library used $3,000 from the American Library Association's Libraries Transforming Communities grant to install WiFi in a local park. Excellent work on keeping your community connected!

Sign of the Times

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The Argyle Free Library recently made a splash in the local paper with its witty sandwich board sign.

Wandering Tale

On September 1, the Saratoga Springs Public Library launched its StoryWalk in collaboration with Pitney Meadows Community Farm in Saratoga Springs. The StoryWalk is placed on a 1/2 mile ADA compliant path on the Farm property. Currently, Cat's Colors by Airlie Anderson is featured and will remain in place until October 31. At the end of the walk, the library has installed a short survey that encourages patrons to leave comments.

Adult Program Swap

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The struggle is real. As we continue to navigate the pandemic while doing all the things, many of us are dealing with burnout and COVID fatigue. The next Adult Program Swap will take place at 11 am Wednesday, September 22, on GoToMeeting, where we'll have a chance to share self-care strategies and make plans for The Great Give Back, a day of opportunities for the patrons of the Public Libraries of New York State to participate in meaningful, service-oriented experiences.

Adult Literacy @ Your Library

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Interested in helping your patrons become better readers? Join SALS for a virtual information session about two new resources for adult learners – a subscription to the Newsela platform and an overview of services offered by the Tri-County Literacy Center, based at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls at 10 am Thursday, September 30. Roseann Anzelone, the director of the Tri-County Literacy Center, will share information about her efforts to increase the literacy skills of our adult neighbors in Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties. All of the services provided by the Tri-County Literacy Center are free of charge and learner-centered.

And finally, Mary Ann Rockwell, the literacy coordinator at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, will share how she structures their literacy program and uses Newsela to support adult learners.

Register for the virtual program here:

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Since 2016, SALS's Libraries Mean Business initiative has supported small businesses and entrepreneurs. We provide funding to train Notaries Public for SALS's member libraries and are building a digital collection of business-related e-books and e-audiobooks.

If your library has not yet taken part in the Notary Public Training program, or if you would like to have an additional person trained, there's good news!.

SALS will cover the cost of one person from each member library to:

In exchange, participating libraries MUST:

  • Let Erica know they intend to participate
  • Register with SUNY Adirondack & identify as part of the SALS group
  • Pay for the class, registration, and license
  • Submit paperwork to be reimbursed -- including documentation indicating completion of the SUNY Adirondack class and Notary Public Exam and registration.
  • Libraries will only be reimbursed after the Notary Public Exam has been completed.

There are two options: An asynchronous, online course, or a four-hour in-person class.

Notary Public License Exam Preparation — Self-Paced, Online Course

Available Sept. 8 through Dec. 15

This online, self-paced course is offered through Blackboard and teaches you the essential information for the New York State Notary Exam. It prepares you to understand your duties and functions as a Notary Public Officer. You will gain insight into what a Notary Public’s key responsibilities and limitations are, as well as some best practices of a Notary Public Officer.

Topics include:

  • Notary concepts
  • Definition review
  • Sample forms
  • Notary law subsection review

The Notary Public exam will not be given during this workshop. To successfully complete this course and prepare for the exam, students will be required to complete the reading, discussion and quiz activities identified in the course syllabus.

For information about the NYS Notary Public Exam and licensing process, schedule and forms, please visit the NYS Division of Licensing Services website.

Registration for this course closes Tuesday, Nov. 23, to ensure participants have enough time to complete the course.

Notary Public License Exam Preparation — In-Person Course

12:30 - 4:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 7 @ SUNY Adirondack Saratoga

This interactive, in-person workshop prepares you for the New York State Notary Public exam and will provide a comprehensive view of the Notary Public Office.

Topics include avoiding conflicts of interest, maintaining professional ethics, charging proper fees, handling special situations, and when to defer to an attorney. All materials will be provided, and information about how to access the NYS Department of State licensing information, booklets, and forms will be distributed.

Please note: The Notary Public exam will not be administered during this workshop; however, an 80-question practice exam and answer key will be provided to complete at home. For information about the NYS Notary Public Exam and licensing process, exam schedule, and forms, please visit the NYS Division of Licensing Services website.

Registration for this class closes Thursday, Sept. 30, to ensure timely receipt of course materials; receipt of course materials will be delayed for individuals registering after that date. See the Continuing Education Registration page for our refund policy.

Second Chance: Emergency Connectivity Funds

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Because of outstanding demand and the recent spike in coronavirus cases, the FCC will open a second application filing window for schools and libraries to request funding from Emergency Connectivity Fund Program's $2 billion in program funds remaining for connected devices and broadband connections for off-campus use by students, school staff, and library patrons for the current 2021-22 school year. The second window will open on September 28 and run until October 13.

Eligible schools and libraries may apply for financial support to purchase eligible equipment and services for library patrons with unmet needs.

Bad Boys: The Literary Edition

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Back in 2004, four students tased a Transylvania University librarian in an attempt to steal more than $5 million worth of rare documents.

Plan for the Future

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What happens to a library that depends on a municipality for funding? In the case of many around the country, and this instance, New Orleans, budgets can be decimated with the stroke of a pen. One way to safeguard this from happening is to create a sustainable funding stream by having voters decide on the appropriate funding level for a library. If your library has never had a budget referendum and is interested in making a sustainable funding plan for the future, let us know!

Creating Inclusive Spaces

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What happens when libraries stop calling the police and start relying on social workers or other community-based solutions? For many, it creates a more welcoming library. The Abolitionist Library Association, founded by Alison Macrina, brings librarians interested in equitable approaches to dealing with disruptions together to imagine a new way forward.

Virtual Trustee Training Opportunity

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Join co-authors of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State Jerry Nichols and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich for this fun and informative series! Each month trustees are encouraged to read a chapter of the Trustee Handbook and send in questions that the authors will address at live events later this year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 from 5:00-6:30pm: Duties & Responsibilities | Register Here

Before the event:
1) Read the chapter: Duties & Responsibilities
2) Thoughts to consider before the program:

  • What is your purpose as a Library Trustee?
  • What do you believe is the mission of your library in the community?
  • Have you received a thorough orientation about the Library, its services, and how it functions?
  • How can the Board be most effective as the public body entrusted with the future of the community’s library?

3) Submit your questions here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021, from 5:00-6:30 pm: Library Board Meetings | Register Here

Before the event:
1) Read the chapter: Library Board Meetings
2) Thoughts to consider before the program:

  • Are your meetings well organized with a standard agenda and materials distributed well in advance?
  • Do all Board members regularly attend and are well prepared?
  • Are you familiar with and faithfully follow the Open Meetings Law?
  • Do you review and approve all bills and personnel actions?
  • Are you fully apprised of all library activities from the various departments?

3) Submit your questions here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021, from 5:00-6:30 pm: Personnel | Register Here

Before the event:
1) Read the chapter: Personnel
2) Thoughts to consider before the program:

  • Do you abide by the Best Practices rubric: “Director selects; Board appoints”?
  • Do you approve all personnel actions (even retroactively), including salary increases, promotions, and terminations?
  • If applicable, do you understand your responsibilities under NYS Civil Service Law?
  • Does your Board treat the director as the CEO and avoid micromanagement?
  • Do you provide sufficient compensation to attract quality staff and a competent library director?
  • Do you avoid all appearances of nepotism in the hiring and promotional process?

3) Submit your questions here.

The live events will include a brief introduction to the chapter topic, tackle questions sent in advance by attendees, and address questions that come in live during the event.

Co-Moderators for the series:

  • Brian M. Hildreth, Executive Director, Southern Tier Library System
  • Ron Kirsop, Executive Director, Pioneer Library System.

Submit Your Questions Here

Foundational Planning Assistance

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DHPSNY is excited to announce a new addition to our Planning & Assessment Services—

Foundational Planning Assistance! Foundational Planning Assistance is geared towards organizations that may not feel they are ready for DHPSNY’s Archival Needs Assessment, Preservation Survey, or Strategic Planning Assistance processes.

Foundational Planning Assistance has been designed as an informal and accessible process that provides participating institutions with a framework for institutional advancement, with an emphasis on strengthening the organizational components needed for optimal levels of collections stewardship. The overarching goal of Foundational Planning Assistance is to strengthen an organization’s capacity and prepare them to engage in a comprehensive assessment within the next one to three years.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Foundational Planning Assistance is open to nonprofit cultural institutions in New York State that hold historical records and/or library research materials. It is desired that the organization operates a program to preserve these records and make them publicly accessible; however, organizations that require DHPSNY assistance in developing a program to provide access will be considered.

Application materials for Foundation Planning Assistance are accepted year-round and reviewed on a monthly basis. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis through November 2021.

For assistance, questions about eligibility, or additional information, contact us at or 215-545-0613 ext. 338.

Grants for Small & Rural Libraries

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ALA invites library workers to apply for round 3 of the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant.

Up to 100 libraries will be awarded in this round of grantmaking, part of ALA’s longtime community engagement initiative. Library workers may apply online for grant funding by September 16 at

Participating libraries will receive training in how to lead conversations, a skill vital to 21st-century librarianship. Library workers will complete a free ALA e-course on basic facilitation skills; host at least one conversation with community members on a chosen topic; and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time and collections, and technology purchases.

Libraries that previously were awarded LTC: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grants are eligible to apply for additional funding to expand their previously awarded projects.

The opportunity is open to libraries serving small and/or rural communities in the U.S. and U.S. territories. The Institute of 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.

Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is offered in partnership with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

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ALA has announced a new grant for libraries designed to spark conversations about American history and culture through an examination of the women's suffrage movement.

To qualify for this grant, the applying institution must be a library (public, tribal, school, academic, or special) residing in the U.S. or U.S. territories. Read the grant guidelines and frequently asked questions.

Through Let's Talk About It (LTAI): Women's Suffrage, participants will read a series of books curated by humanities scholars and discuss the people and events from this often under-taught part of U.S. history.

Twenty-five libraries will be selected to receive a $1,000 stipend to support programming costs, ten copies of five themed books, access to programming guides and support materials, virtual training on the LTAI model, a suite of online resources and more.

Applications will be accepted from September 1 to December 1, 2021. Library workers can apply online at

Please reach out to with any questions.

I Love My Librarian Award

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We all have a special librarian in our lives. Now we have a chance to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. Each year, up to ten librarians are selected to receive a $5,000 cash award and a $750 travel stipend to attend a ceremony in their honor. This year's I Love My Librarian Award Ceremony will be held on January 22, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas at the inaugural LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience event.

Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or a library at an accredited K-12 school, or have been working at one of these institutions as of March 1, 2021.

Nominations close on September 27, 2021. Questions? Email

Learn All the Things!

Trust & Leadership: Ask the HR Expert

Monday, Sep. 20th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Join Holly Nowak, the HR professional behind the Ask the HR Expert service, for a discussion of building and improving workplace relationships and teams.

Participants of this session will explore traits that ‘followers’ seek in their leaders, understand that the definition of great leadership and communication are somewhat universal, and the overarching importance of trust in building effective workplace relationships.

Participants will leave this session with a top-of-mind focus on building and improving their workplace relationships for more productive and collaborative teams.

There will be a place to submit questions during the registration process. The deadline to submit questions is September 10.

Mental Health & Wellness 101 in the Workplace

Thursday, Sep. 23rd, 12pm

This is an online event.

Mental Health & Wellness 101 in the Workplace is a 1-hour training that offers a basic understanding of mental health and reframes the conversation about mental health – teaching that we ALL have mental health; it’s not just about the presence or absence of an illness. The training will help participants understand mental health as an integral part of overall health, prevalence of mental illness, risk, and protective factors, to reduce stigma and to promote wellness and recovery in the workplace.

Programming Revolution – There Is No Box, So Now What?

Monday, Oct. 4th, 3pm

This is an online event.

In our increasingly changeable world, it can be a struggle for your library’s programming to keep up with your patrons’ needs. You can no longer just think outside of the box because the box has disappeared. Whether virtual, in person, or a hybrid mix, whatever type of programming you are striving to achieve and whatever type of library system you work for this webinar can provide concrete unique solutions for you. Library size, budget, even staffing, will all be addressed and there will be solutions to accommodate every situation. Every library is unique so you will find the steps that will uniquely benefit you and your patrons the most. How is this possible? Because you will be given the tools to come up with fresh creative programming and you know your library best!

This webinar will be recorded and a recording will be shared with all registrants afterward.

Basics of facilitating and leading a meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 13th, 2:30pm

This is an online event.

No matter what your role at work, being able to confidently lead a meeting is a useful skill. Once you are comfortable with the basics of planning and preparing to facilitate a group discussion, you can confidently volunteer to take more active roles in committees, boards, and special interest group meetings. Peyton Powell, Lara Sibley, and Clarisa Rosario-DeGroate will lead an interactive discussion to help you gain insight into how to run meetings successfully.

Participants in this workshop will learn how to:

* understand the role of the meeting facilitator
* use techniques for encouraging balanced participation among attendees
* facilitate through conflict or difficult discussions
* start and end meetings fluidly

This event is free for all Southeastern members and affiliate members.

Leading Performance: Ask the HR Expert

Monday, Oct. 18th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Join Holly Nowak, the HR professional behind the Ask the HR Expert service, to discuss effective and objective performance evaluations.

In this session, participants will understand the importance of timely, objective, and documented feedback on work performance. The session will also explore effective frameworks for ensuring our mindset is in the right place and how to utilize frameworks to prepare, leading to more effective and objective performance conversations. Participants of this session will feel more confident with accountability conversations and understand the importance of not avoiding difficult conversations.

Participants may submit questions for Holly during the registration process. The deadline to submit questions is October 8.