Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Public libraries are in the lifelong learning business -- the glorious, independent pursuit of knowledge to enhance our personal or professional lives. We do a great job of offering a wide variety of programs for our communities: Adult literacy, tech help & classes, Libraries Mean Business programs to support local small businesses and entrepreneurs, knitting, painting, exercise, nutrition -- you name it, and a library has offered it.

It's not enough for us to create learning opportunities for others -- as library professionals, we continue to challenge ourselves to learn each day. For some of us, like Michelle Duell at the Mechanicville District Public Library and Debra Flint at the Galway Public Library, it means completing their Master's of Library of Science degrees -- congratulations to you both! For others, it means taking part in ongoing professional development opportunities, like the Adult Program Swap, Trustee Orientation 101, the recent Budget Workshop or a myriad of webinars and other training opportunities offered (see the bottom of this newsletter for a listing of upcoming virtual training opportunities).

If you have new trustees, or trustees interested in learning more about how libraries fit into the education infrastructure of New York State, join Sara Dallas and myself for an upcoming Trustee Orientation Workshop -- we will be holding two more this fall, one from 6 - 9 pm Thursday, October 18 and the second from 10 am - 1 pm Saturday, October 20. Both will be held at SALS and will include a meal. Anyone interested in attending must register in advance. You'll leave even smarter than when you arrived!

Trustee Orientation

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A packed room of 25 Trustees and directors joined Sara Dallas and Erica Freudenberger for the first Trustee Orientation 101 session, an introduction to the role of public libraries in the educational infrastructure of New York State. Attendees asked loads of great questions and left knowing more than when they began. Thanks to all who made time to learn more about libraries! If you missed this workshop and would like to take part in the next, there's still time to register.

All About the Benjamins

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Bob Jeffords, the SALS Treasurer, and Dianne Winter, SALS's Administration and Finance Manager, led an engaging and informative workshop on the basics of creating and implementing a budget. Participants left with an understanding of how to read and build healthy budgets for their libraries. This dynamic duo will be following up with more finance-related workshops in the spring.

Etsy Success Workshops

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Leah LaFera led an Etsy Success Workshop at the Mechanicville District Public Library as part of the Libraries Mean Business initiative. She worked with participants to establish individual Etsy stores, providing information about how to market, the costs and labor involved, as well as helpful strategies to be successful. This is one of three workshops generously supported by New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program at no cost to member libraries. If you'd be interesting in hosting this, An Introduction to Wordpress, or Social Media & Marketing at your library, let me know.

Bond. James Bond.

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Think you know everything there is to know about James Bond, the infamous spy who serves Her Majesty's Secret Service? Hold onto your hat, because Crandall Library's own Frieda Toth is writing a new book, reflecting on her love of "The Spy Who Loved Me" and Ian Flemming's visits to the Adirondacks. She traces Ian Flemming's travels in our region -- to Cambridge, Lake George, and Saratoga for the races (natch).

Libraries Mean Business

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In 2016, SALS began its Libraries Mean Business initiative to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. We do this by providing funding for Notary Publics in each SALS's library, creating turn-key programs for member libraries on a variety of business-related topics, and developing a digital collection of 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 a second person take the training, now is the time to register for the next round.

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.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation—Face-to-Face classes are four hours long. The next in-person class will be from 12:30 to 4:30 pm Friday, October 26 on the Queensbury Campus or from 12:30 -4:30 pm Thursday, December 6 at the Wilton Center. The price of the class is $65.

  • All materials will be provided, and information about how to link to NYS Department of State licensing information, booklets and forms will be distributed.
  • The Notary Public exam will not be given during this workshop. There will be an 80-question practice exam.
  • Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Submit this with the paid bills to SALS for reimbursement.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation Course online, self-paced, notary course is offered from September 5 through December 12 using the Angel learning system.

The Notary Public exam will not be given during this workshop. Information about the exam schedule will be available in the class. Registration for this course closes on Wednesday, November 21. The cost is $75.

Please identify yourself as a SALS member when registering to obtain documentation of online course completion to submit with a copy of the paid bill to SALS for reimbursement.

To register and pay for the course call 518-743-2238, e-mail, or complete and submit the registration form.

Please note that you must complete all required components of the course and submit your paid bill and the course participation documentation to receive reimbursement from SALS. The deadline for submitting documentation for reimbursement to Erica is December 31, 2018. No reimbursements will be made after that date.

Support for this program comes from the New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program.

Free-Range Reading

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A new book documents the places people read, using anonymous found photographs.

Go Deeper

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As we acclimate to the digital age, we may be losing the ability to read in depth. Professors report that students experience "cognitive impatience," eschewing difficult texts, and like the rest of us, preferring to skim rather than read deeply.

Interplanetary Loan

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What do astronauts read while in space? A lot of science fiction, some history, mysteries, and everything else.

Call Me

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The Seattle Public Library has just installed free phones for the public to use.

Beyond the Wall

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I can't count the number of times I've worked on a project, needed to find supporting evidence and was unable to access what I needed because it was behind a paywall. Someone clever has figured out a way to connect people with information by creating tools that can search the web for an open copy of research articles.
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Wanted: Citizen Scientists

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NASA needs you!

Libraries and their patrons can help scientists by collecting data to create more detailed satellite-based global maps of land cover by sharing photos of the world around you by using the NASA Globe Observer, a free smartphone app.

This month the GLOBE Observer team launched the latest tool within the app called: "Land Cover Adopt a Pixel." This new feature lets you take part in a project to fill in details of the landscape that are too small for global land-mapping satellites to see. Land cover is critical to many different processes on Earth and contributes to a community's vulnerability to disasters like fire, floods or landslides.

Follow GLOBE Observer: Facebook @nasa.globeobserver or Twitter @NASAGO

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National Friends of Libraries Week will take place from October 21-27, 2018. The celebration offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends. Use the time to creatively promote your group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. This is also an excellent opportunity for your library and Board of Trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.

Join the celebration:

  • RSVP on Facebook.
  • Share the event on your group and library Facebook pages.
  • Share your ideas, tell us what you are doing, and network with other Friends groups and libraries in the National Friends of Libraries Week community in ALA Connect.
  • Apply for the National Friends of Libraries Week Awards (see below).
  • Statewide Group Members – download FREE "Friend Your Library" poster and bookmark files to customize for your library and/or Friends Group (see below).

National Friends of Libraries Week Awards

Two Friends groups will be awarded $250 each in honor of their celebrations during the week. . National Friends of Libraries Week Award applicants must provide a one- to two-page summary of all activities and efforts in conjunction with the celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. Applicants will be judged on creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff, Trustees, and/or advisory committee; recognition of Friends group, and promotion of Friends group to the community, school, students, and/or faculty. Applications due Dec. 4, 2018.

Friend Your Library Bookmark & Poster File

Downloadable bookmark and poster files are available for purchase from the ALA Store. These items recognize the importance of Friends groups and can be used to recruit new members. All PDFs feature space to type in your library's message using Adobe Reader or Acrobat software. Statewide Group Members in Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas have FREE access to both the bookmark and poster files. Please visit to learn how to log into ALA Connect to download the files and access all of your statewide group member benefits.

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The New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials provides $500,000 each year for preserving materials in the collections of libraries, archives, historical societies and similar agencies. The grant awards for 2019-2020 will be limited to a minimum of $2,500 and a maximum of $40,000.

The Conservation Preservation Discretionary online grant application for 2019-2020 is now available. If you do not currently have a user name and password to access the online application please go to

The due date for applications is 5 pm November 9, 2018.

Questions about the program should be addressed to:

Barbara Lilley

Conservation/Preservation Program Officer

New York State Library

Room 10B41, Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

(518) 486-4864

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ALA's Great Stories Club is a thematic reading and discussion program that engages underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs.

An expansion of ALA's longstanding Great Stories Club program model, the TRHT series will feature books that explore questions of race, equity, identity, and history, and support racial healing sessions with participating libraries, their community partners, and their teen readers.

Applications will be accepted from Sept. 5—Nov. 16, 2018. Up to 70 libraries will be selected.

Participating libraries will work with small groups of approximately 10 teens; provide up to four theme-related books for each participant to keep as their own; convene opportunities for exploration and discussion of relevant humanities content among peers; and offer at least one interactive session for program conveners and participants led by a racial healing practitioner(s).

Applicants may choose to apply for one of the following themes: "Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present is a Conversation with the Past" and "Finding Your Voice."

Grantee benefits include 11 paperback copies of up to four books on the reading list; a programming grant of up to $1,200; travel and accommodation expenses paid for attendance at a two-day orientation workshop in Chicago; and additional resources, training, and support from ALA's Public Programs Office.

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The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with Citizen Film and the National Writing Project, invites public libraries to apply for programming grants to host community conversations centered around American Creed, a PBS documentary that invites audiences to consider what America’s ideals and identity ought to be.

Read the project guidelines and apply online by Nov. 19. Up to 50 public libraries will be selected.

Awardees will receive:

  • a DVD of the American Creed documentary for their circulating collections;
  • access to a high-quality, projection-ready download of the film, with public performance rights (PPR) included;
  • a $300 stipend to support speaker fees for an eligible public humanities scholar, or access to a representative from the National Writing Project to serve as program moderator;
  • a digital marketing and outreach kit with customizable printable postcards, posters and press releases and suggested social media posts with video clips for online promotion;
  • additional resources, training and support.

Grantees may choose to program the feature-length documentary and/or a suite of short films, including exclusive content not available on PBS.

Public libraries that receive the grant must implement three public programs between January and August 2019 that explore the themes and humanities questions featured in American Creed. Grantees are required to work with a public humanities scholar or representative from the National Writing Project to facilitate a conversation about the film, and to recruit a local partner for programming and marketing collaboration. Read the full project guidelines.

All libraries that submit a completed application — regardless of their grant award status — may receive access and permission to screen the film for a public audience, provided they agree to submit basic information about the screening to Citizen Film.

American Creed Community Conversations is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.

Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed?

Friday, Oct. 12th, 2pm

This is an online event.

"Fake news" has always been part of the communication landscape. The difference now is that we are inundated with social media that makes it possible to disseminate "fake news” quickly and easily. In the past "fake news" was used as propaganda to isolate individuals or groups of people, destabilize governments, and foment anarchy. "Fake news" may be inaccurate, dishonest, misleading, intentionally untrue, and even intended to damage the paradigm of factual information. But is it illegal? Is it protected by the First Amendment? Can "fake news" -- or suppressing it -- undermine our democratic way of life?

The Freedom to Read Foundation is excited to host this Intellectual Freedom Committee program that Moderator Emily Knox and other panelists offered at ALA’s Annual Meeting last summer.

Learning Outcomes:

· Participants will learn to define and engage in discussion on the topic of Fake News

· Attendees will gain deeper insight into the First Amendment and legal aspects of Fake News

· The webinar will encourage thoughtful dialogue around a prevalent topic in our current political and educational climate

How to Register:

FTRF Members: Free
Non FTRF Members: $25.00

Register here:

Supercharged Storytimes for All

Wednesday, Oct. 10th, 1:30pm

This is an online event.

The New York State Library and the Ready to Read at New York Libraries initiative will host the Supercharged Storytimes for All webinar from 1:30 – 2:30 pm Wednesday, October 10.

Saroj Ghoting, an expert in the field of early literacy, will share opportunities for enhancing storytime services to young children and families by making them interactive and focusing on pre-reading skills. The SSA program has proven to be very successful, and it will now be made available to youth services staff across New York State through a partnership with OCLC’s WebJunction.

This webinar will serve as an introduction to the SSA training modules and facilitated training available to youth services staff, as well as a chance to learn more about this program and how it can benefit storytime programming at YOUR library.

Questions? Contact Sharon Phillips, Ready to Read at New York Libraries Program Director at