Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Next week the Fresh Food Collective, a farm to library program distributing fresh produce will begin its pilot year, and we're delighted to have Comfort Food Community as a partner. Three of our member libraries (Pember Library & Museum, Schuylerville Public Library, and Whitehall Free Library), have stepped forward to test our idea -- that for libraries to be able to change lives, we need to help people meet basic needs and have healthier lifestyles.

It may seem counterintuitive that a region with farms could be a food desert, but transportation and low income result in limited access to fresh, affordable food. At the same time, many farms have surplus product. In the US, as much as 40% of the food produced each year is wasted. The Comfort Food Community mobilizes volunteers to glean local farms, making fresh, local produce available through its food pantry, mobile distribution, and now through our libraries.

The idea behind the Fresh Food Collective is simple: Reduce food waste while connecting people to fresh, local fruits and vegetables at member libraries, building healthier communities and opportunities for new voices to enter our collective conversations. For libraries, the payoff is huge -- new people will come to libraries, allowing us to build relationships with new families, introducing them to the range of services we provide. Stay tuned to learn more about this project!

All the Things!

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As libraries adapt to changing community needs, they have offered new and varied services and materials. Many libraries now loan everything from Fishing Poles, to Board Games, to Cake Pans, to Prom Dresses. If you are looking for some firsthand accounts of how processing and loaning these types of materials might work, or not work, head to the Town of Ballston Community Library at 10 am on Wednesday, September 5, for discussion, examples, and suggestions about making special collections work in your Library!

Libraries Mean Business

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The Libraries Mean Business initiative, funded by a grant from the New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program, has three parts:

  1. Public programs in member libraries to support small businesses and entrepreneurs
  2. Notary Public training for library staff to provide notary services at SALS member libraries
  3. Robust digital business collection on Overdrive

If you haven't had a chance to check out the 80 titles purchased in the past 13 months, take a look. So far, patrons have borrowed them more than 1,200 times! Get in touch if you'd like to learn more about, or take part in Libraries Mean Business.

The 5 Ws of Rural Librarianship

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Head to Canandaigua, NY, for the New York Library Association's Rural Library Round Table Summer Symposium from 9:30 am to 3 pm on Wednesday, August 8, at the Pioneer Library System in Canandaigua, NY.

The day will begin with a Keynote Conversation, facilitated by Adrienne Pettinelli, director of the Henrietta Public Library where we'll be inspired and rejuvenated as we hear from community members about their library story and what the library means to them. In the afternoon, we'll dig a bit deeper and have conversations about how we can do what we do - even better!

Register Now! Registration Closes July 31st!

Democratizing Entrepreneurship

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Libraries as business incubators, with coworking spaces, internet access, tech, and other resources helping small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed.

Defending Democracy

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Mid-term elections will take place this November, and public libraries have an important role to play in registering voters and educating them on the issues. Partner with the League of Women Voters, provide information about what matters to your community and register people to vote. Democracy depends on you!
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Applications are being accepted for the Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award and will be due on August 1, 2018. The 2018 Award Committee members are Colleen Sadowski (Chair), Emily Eich and Juan Rivera.

The Award will recognize a New York State library or library consortium that has taken significant steps to improve the quality of library service to its users. As in past years, an award of $1,000, graciously donated by the Friends of the New York State Library, will be given to the winner along with a plaque at the annual New York Library Association conference in the Fall.

Projects nominated for the Award should document measurable progress in identifying user needs, taking steps to meet those needs, and evaluating the results. All types of libraries are eligible to apply (academic, public, school and special).

Previous applicants are encouraged to apply, and previous winners of the Award may apply after 3 years.

For more information about the Shubert Award and the application form, please go to or contact Paula Paolucci in the State Librarian’s office at (518) 474-5930 or via e-mail at

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The 3rd National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color "Gathering all Peoples: Embracing Culture & Community” will take place September 26-30, 2018, at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.

ALA is pleased to invite you to apply for a great opportunity -- the ALA ODLOS Travel JCLC Travel grants!

The grants provide $1,000 for travel, housing and registration for the 2018 JCLC. Two individuals will be chosen to receive travel grants. For more information on the conference, visit

Application instructions are below. JCLC brings together a diverse group of librarians, library staff, library supporters, and community participants to explore issues of diversity in libraries and how they affect the ethnic communities who use our services. JCLC is a unique and unparalleled opportunity for participants to share successes, opportunities, and challenges while networking and attending cutting-edge programs on pressing issues affecting both librarians and communities of color. JCLC strives to deepen connections across constituencies, create spaces for dialogue, promote the telling and celebrating of one’s stories, and encourage the transformation of libraries into more democratic and diverse organizations.

Selection is based upon the quality of the submitted essays. Recipients will be selected by the ODLOS Staff. Please keep the following in mind:

  • Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • Individuals who have already registered for the conference are eligible.
  • Recipients of other travel grants to JCLC are not encouraged to apply.

Recipients will receive a check by September 1 for $1,000 and are responsible for registering, and making travel and housing arrangements. Registration rates increase after August 31st.

Applications are due on August 13, 2018. Winners will be announced/notified on or before August 20. For more information contact Amber Hayes (

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The New York State Library is seeking recommendations for membership on the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries by August 1.

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries advises the New York State Board of Regents regarding the New York State Library, library development programs, library aid programs and other matters related to the operations of libraries and library systems in New York. The Council works with the officers of the State Education Department in developing a comprehensive statewide library and information plan and makes recommendations to the Regents concerning the implementation of the program of library service.

The New York State Board of Regents will appoint five (5) Regents Advisory Council members to serve five-year terms from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2023.

The Council meets a minimum of four times a year: January (by conference call), April (Board of Regents meeting in Albany), September (by conference call) and December (in person). Members of the Regents Advisory Council are leaders in a wide variety of endeavors across the State, including business, human services, education, and libraries. For more information, see

Please send nominations, along with a resume, for the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries by August 1st to: Paula Paolucci, Office of the State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, New York State Library, 10C34 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230; e-mail to

Making Sense of Numbers; Understanding Risks and Benefits

Tuesday, July 31st, 1pm

This is an online event.

Numeracy literacy is not only a problem for individuals receiving health information but also for those providing information that contains numbers. This class is a basic introduction for anyone who wants to understand how to communicate health information that involves numeracy. This is 1.5 hour MLA CE class.