Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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The headline "Libraries to the Rescue," for opinion piece by Tony Marx, the president of the New York Public Library, grabbed my attention. Marx makes the argument that at a time when our democracy is under threat, libraries are more important than ever. While much of the article details what NYPL has been doing in the past year, it also affirms the value of libraries and provides several easy, obtainable resolutions, including:

  • Get a library card.
  • Read books.
  • Bring your kids to the library.
  • Read to your kids.

Let's help our communities achieve these, and all other resolutions they've made.

One resolution I've made is to fight for the things that are important to me -- including net neutrality (the fight isn't over), inclusive, welcoming library spaces, and funding for libraries. If we're dedicated to creating democratic institutions, we must practice democracy in our own lives. Here's to being more awesome!

Adult Program Swap: Food & Drink

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Calling all adult services/programming librarians! Share your best programs at the next tri-system Adult Program Swap from 9:30 - 11:30 am Thursday, January 11, at the Mohawk Valley Library System (snow date Thursday, January 25). Share examples of your best cooking, drinking, food contests, lectures, etc.

Light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!

For inspiration, check out the Capital Region Adult Programming Blog by Leah LaFera.

Mohawk Valley Library System | 858 Duanesburg Road, Schenectady, NY 12306
(Carpooling is appreciated)

Download and edit the program information template:

Annual Report Party

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Groovy things are happening. SALS will be hosting an Annual Report Party from 9 am to 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 31st. Gather your stats and join us for a fun day of data input, lunch, games -- and get a first glimpse at the exciting new Annual Report tool we've developed. The snow date/back up date is February 7th. Sign up here.

Dominate Social Media

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Interested in dominating the world of social media? Join Dana Willbanks of Albany Public Library and Doug Bixler of Schenectady County Public Library to learn the what, how, and “whoa!” of social media management in this hands-on workshop that covers what works, what doesn’t, and the tools to make your library’s social media presence awesome.

Topics include learning your demographic, using social media insights, better practices for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, creating graphics and hashtags, using paid ads, responding to public comments, getting the word out about your social media platforms, and so much more.

This session will be a reprise of their super popular pre-conference CE at NYLA, 2017.

Title: Social MediAhhh!

Date: Wednesday, January 24th (Snow date: January 31st)

Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Location: UHLS | 28 Essex Street, Albany, NY 12206

Limit: 30
Contact Hours: 3

Registration is required. Please register here.

Read Them All

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This may just be the year of book clubs. Everyone and their deceased rock idol has a new book club out, and thanks to the magic of the Internet, you don't have to leave home to participate. If this is your year for world domination, there's a recommended reading list for that.

Don't Let the Pigeon Go to the Museum

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Mo Willems has an interactive exhibit at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. The pigeon, as well as Elephant and Piggie, are in attendance.

Opportunities Abound

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The American Library Association's Office for Research and Statistics is now accepting applications for the Loleta D. Fyan Grant, a grant for up to $5,000 for the improvement of public libraries and the services they provide. Loleta D. Fyan, ALA President 1951-1952, believed that every individual, regardless of residence, is equally entitled to high quality library service and that librarians must be adept in using the political process to acquire this "right of citizenship."

The grant, up to $5,000, is to be used for the development and improvement of public libraries and the services they provide. The project should:

  • result in the development and improvement of public libraries and the services they provide;
  • have the potential for broader impact and application beyond meeting a specific local need;
  • be designed to effect changes in public library services that are innovative and responsive to the future; and
  • be capable of completion within one year.

Applicants can include but are not limited to: local, regional or state libraries, associations or organizations, including units of the ALA; library schools; or individuals.

Deadline for submissions is January 12, 2018.

To learn more about the grant, how to submit proposals, and requirements go here.

We the People

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Public libraries are invited to apply for Revisiting the Founding Era, a nationwide project that will use historical documents to spark public conversations about the Founding Era’s enduring ideas and themes and how they continue to influence our lives today.

Up to 100 U.S. public libraries will be selected to host programs related to the American Revolution and the early years of the nation. Participating libraries will receive:

  • 10 copies of a 100-page reader containing selected documents from the lauded Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in U.S. history
  • $1,000 to help implement discussion groups and other public programs
  • Training, resources and support

Libraries, working in collaboration with scholars, local experts and others, will be asked to implement at least three public programs for adult and teen audiences. Topics may include the rights of citizens versus the rights of government; who is “we the people?”; and decision-making and taking action.

Read the full project guidelines and apply online by January 31, 2018. Public libraries serving rural or underserved communities are especially encouraged to apply.

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Geek Squad Academy gives underserved youth opportunities to develop tech skills to inspire education and career choices. This program allows students to envision a future where they are creators, not consumers, of the technology that powers the world. Geek Squad Academy participants can explore various aspects of technology such as coding, programming, film production/photography, 3D design, digital music, and digital citizenship.

Eligible organizations may apply to host a Geek Squad Academy event. Applications are currently being accepted through February 1, 2018. Learn more about Geek Squad Academy here. Contact with questions.

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ALA invites libraries to apply for a pilot of the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Great Stories Club (GSC), a thematic reading and discussion program series that will engage underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs and racial healing work.

The TRHT GSC is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

An expansion of ALA’s long-standing GSC program model, the TRHT GSC will feature books that explore the coming-of-age experience for historically marginalized youth. The TRHT GSC is a part of the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts, a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

Visit the project guidelines and apply online by February 16, 2018. Potential applicants may register for a free Jan. 12 webinar to learn more about the pilot program and its requirements.

Up to 25 selected libraries will work with small groups of teens to read and discuss three titles --selected by librarians and humanities scholars to resonate with reluctant readers facing difficult challenges like detention, incarceration, addiction, academic probation, poverty, and homelessness -- on the theme “Growing Up Brave on the Margins.”

Participating libraries must host at least three book discussion programs and at least one interactive racial healing session, led by a racial healing practitioner familiar with the Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT framework and racial healing approach. Programming must take place between May and October 2018.

Participating libraries will receive:

  • 11 copies of each of the three selected titles (10 to gift to participants, one for the discussion leader/library collection)
  • A $300 programming stipend
  • Access to a racial healing practitioner who is engaged with the Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT framework and racial healing approach
  • Travel and accommodation expenses paid for one library staff member to attend a project orientation workshop, April 19-20, 2018, in Chicago; training will cover humanities content for the selected titles, best practices for leading discussion groups, an overview of the TRHT process, and an interactive session led by a racial healing practitioner
  • Additional training, resources and support

Applicant libraries must either be located within an organization that serves under-resourced, troubled or at-risk teens (e.g., alternative high schools, juvenile detention facilities) or work in partnership with an organization that serves that teenage population. For examples of acceptable partner organizations, visit the TRHT GSC Resources page.

Community Engagement and Fundraising

Friday, Jan. 12th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Libraries serve their communities above all else, and it’s crucial that librarians work not only with people in the community but also with institutions and businesses. Building positive and productive relationships with these organizations can be a challenge, but they can be tremendously beneficial to the library. They can lead to everything from content to marketing to funding as they further cement the library’s status as an indispensable member of the community.

Please join American Libraries for a panel discussion. We’ll bring in a variety of perspectives from communities of different types and different sizes and answer your questions about how you can form partnerships that help you achieve your goals.

Register here.

Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference

Tuesday, Jan. 23rd, 10am

This is an online event.

The Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference is a state-wide virtual conference developed by the Nicolet Federated Library System and supported by 15 other library systems in Wisconsin.

Several 60-minute web presentations, focusing on the needs of public libraries, will be given over three blustery days in January.

From Facilities to Trauma: Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency at Your Library

Tuesday, Jan. 30th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Recent catastrophes have highlighted the important role public libraries play in enhancing their community’s resiliency and post-disaster recovery efforts. Many community leaders now view libraries as ad hoc disaster recovery centers and recognize librarians as Information First Responders. This presentation will help you and your library embrace this new role as Information First Responders, who quickly enable people to get back to work, back to their lives, and ensure recovery of the community’s economic life. Learn what you need to prepare before disaster strikes, guided by New Jersey State Library’s Disaster Preparedness & Community Resiliency Toolkit, which has been emergency-tested by libraries. Your library can be at the forefront in providing that safe haven in times of crisis and helping your community return to normal life.

Growing Your Library's Role: Creating a Community Garden with Impact

Wednesday, March 14th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Join Pottsboro (Texas) Area Public Library for this 60-minute webinar, where the library's director will discuss how planting a community garden led to the development of unique partnerships and an influx of new users from diverse market segments. Learn how the rural library's programming horizons were broadened and how the library took on a new role in their small community.

This webinar will review the steps Pottsboro Area Public Library took to get their community garden started and where it is going.

Participants of this webinar will learn about:

  • Creating a community garden that is scalable for all budgets and spaces
  • Components and operation of community gardens
  • Potential community organizations for partnerships