Circulate!

Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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The week between Christmas and New Year's tends to be quiet, a chance to reflect on the past year and begin thinking about the next. This year is ending strong. Right before the holidays, the Museum and Library Services Act passed by a wide margin, 331-28. This vote ensures funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and represents the power of advocacy.


The success on a national level mirrored the support we have in New York, where our representatives recognized the value of libraries by providing an increase in funding systems as well as the Public Library Construction Aid Program. Our member libraries tried new things -- some provided fruit and veggies through the Fresh Food Collective, the Galway Public Library broke ground on a new building, we began our long trek to the moon, and got to hang out with and learn new stuff with a bunch of library trustees.


The coming year will bring lots of new opportunities to dream big, think differently, and help our communities thrive. We're looking forward to continuing to do great work with our member libraries. May 2019 be as fabulous as you are!

Out of This World

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If you're trying to get in touch with the Corinth Free Library, it may take longer than usual. The library's name is on a chip on the InSight Mars Lander -- but they're not satisfied with just one planet. "We're also headed for the Sun on the Parker Solar Probe," reports Director Rebecca Fasulo. The Corinth Free Library is voyaging through the universe due to the passion of Michael Hadfield, the Youth Services staff of the library. Michael is a certified NASA Informal Educator, and a member of the NASA Museum Alliance, which offers free webinars and programs (like having the library visit Mars & the sun). He's excited about this year's summer reading program theme, A Universe of Stories, and encourages other libraries to go galactic.

Going Green

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The Saratoga Springs Public Library recently achieved green business certification from the Green Business Partnership (GBP) through NYLA’s Sustainable Library Certification Program (SLCP).


Getting buy-in from library staff and board was the first step to make this process a success. In 2017, the library’s Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan that included a commitment to operating sustainably maximizing current and future generations’ ability to live, work, and play in our shared environment. A Green Team was created with representation from all five departments in the building: Administration, Operations, Adult Services, Youth/Teen Services and Circulation/Technical Services. This Green Team helped with education, communication and to set priorities for the year. In short order, the library was able to set new environmental policies, measure emissions and implement strategies relating to energy, transportation, waste management, land use, and water.


In 2018 the Green Team was able to:

  • Create a centralized recycling and waste program for our patrons
  • Convert our vegetable gardens to grow food used by the Saratoga EOC soup kitchen
  • Create a low-maintenance pollinator garden.


The 2019 Green Team will be tackling centralized purchasing and carpooling during the winter and Track Season.


Saratoga Springs Public Library joins 38 other libraries in New York State who are members of the NYLA’s SLCP and is the second library to get certified.


A big thanks to Jennifer Ferriss for writing up the process used by Saratoga Springs Public Library!

Annual Report Party!!!

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Too soon? Never! Before you know it, the Division of Library Development will open the Annual Report portal and it will be time to let the world know what you've done in the past year. Sound overwhelming? Exhale. We've got you. SALS will be hosting our second Annual Report Party from 9 am to 1 pm Wednesday, January 30 at SALS. Keep an eye out for an e-mail about supporting documentation and other stuff to bring with you.

Ask a Lawyer

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In partnership with the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC), the Capital District Library Council (CDLC) has retained the services of an attorney to offer CDLC and its members timely input on intellectual property, digital rights management, vendor contracts, first amendment, civil rights, employment law, and other legal issues that can impact library operations.

To preserve confidentiality, questions sent to CDLC's "Ask the Lawyer" service are sent directly to CDLC, WNYLRC, and our counsel for review and answers. Answers might come in the form of:


  • Public commentary shared with the member who inquired and become part of a Legal RAQ - "Recently Asked Questions" on the WNYLRC website;
  • A training session (in person or webinar);
  • A confidential memo shared only with the inquiring library and the CDLC and WNYLRC liaison.


Ask the Lawyer maintains Recently Asked Questions (RAQs), which are available here.

Save the Date

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The next Adult Program Swap will take place at 9:30 am at the Upper Hudson Library System. Bring your best adult program to share with others!

Opportunities Abound: Grants, Awards & More

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Share the awesome work you're doing with your colleagues at next year's New York Library Association conference in Saratoga Springs! Submit a program proposal by Monday, December 31, 2018.

Big Opportunities for Small Libraries

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IMLS has announced a new discretionary grant program, Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries (APP). This is a special initiative of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program, and the goal is to support projects that strengthen the ability of small and rural libraries and archives to serve their communities. IMLS invites applications that focus on the following topics:


Three categories of APP grants are available to applicants:


  • Transforming School Library Practice: School libraries support learning and the development of critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills. IMLS is interested in furthering how school library professionals can serve as integral instructional partners to classroom teachers. Grant projects could include programs and services that prepare students for success in college, career, and life, or foster early, digital, information, health, financial, media, civic, and other types of literacies.
  • Community Memory: Libraries and archives not only serve as stewards of our nation’s knowledge and collections, but also as trusted spaces for community engagement and dialogue. This project category centers on engaging local communities in the collection, documentation, and preservation of their local histories, experiences, and identities. Proposals could include events and programs to digitize materials related to community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, or texts, or oral history projects that involve community members in the documentation and preservation of local histories.
  • Digital Inclusion: Libraries have an important role in promoting digital inclusion and increasing access to information, ideas, and networks. This category focuses on projects that support the role libraries play in promoting digital literacy, providing internet access, and enabling community engagement through civic data and civic technology. Grant proposals could include programs supporting broadband access and wireless networks to address the homework gap, increase small business development and entrepreneurship, or plan for emergency preparedness.

Cohort Learning and Evaluation
Grantees in this initiative will participate in communities of practice based on their project category. Three third-party mentor organizations will lead these cohorts, providing expert guidance and facilitating communication between grantees.


The deadline to submit an application is February 25, 2019.
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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest have opened the application process for the September 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 NEA Big Read program. This grant program annually supports approximately 75 dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read selection. Organizations selected to participate in NEA Big Read receive a grant, access to online training resources and opportunities, digital resources, and promotional materials designed to support widespread community involvement.


NEA Big Read applicants submit proposals to host a series of community events presented at a variety of locations over the course of one month or longer. Events use the same NEA Big Read book as a point of departure and encourage participants to engage both with the book and fellow community members. Each NEA Big Read program includes: a kick-off event, often attended by high-profile leaders and other local luminaries; major events inspired by the content and themes from the book (e.g., panel discussions and author readings); artistic events related to the book (e.g., art/writing contests, film screenings, and theatrical performances); and book discussions in diverse locations involving a wide range of audiences.


Deadline: Thursday, January 24, 2019.

Learn All the Things!

Health Literacy Begins at Your Library

Tuesday, Jan. 8th 2019 at 3pm

This is an online event.

Your library can play a central role in promoting the health and wellness of its community through fostering higher health literacy. This means increasing people’s capacity to obtain and understand basic health information that leads to appropriate health decisions and connection with services. Library programs directed toward children, teens, adults, and families deliver credible health information and activities that boost wellness.


The Oklahoma Department of Libraries has fostered health literacy throughout the state, forging partnerships at state and local levels. Learn how one library in Miami, Oklahoma, made health literacy a central part of its operations, offering everything from diabetes prevention to yoga classes, as well healthy cooking demonstrations and even a community garden. Get ideas for simple (but powerful) health literacy programs you can offer at your library regardless of your size or budget.

Implicit Bias in the Library Workplace

Tuesday, Jan. 15th 2019 at 3pm

This is an online event.

How do library administrators and managers foster a healthy, inclusive work environment so all employees can succeed? Unfortunately, individuals with diverse backgrounds and uniqueness are being subjected to subtle and overt bias in the library workplace due to the divisive climate in which we live. We have each been a part of the process; on either end of the bias whether we know it or not.


In this webinar, presenter Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran will share examples of implicit bias within the library workplace and discuss best practices for addressing and minimizing implicit bias in recruitment, hiring and retention. Attendees will have access to a reference list of articles and videos on implicit bias including ones the presenter has authored and instructions for taking a free implicit bias test.


At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will:

  • Increase awareness of situations involving biases.
  • Identify different types of implicit bias challenges.
  • Develop an understanding of how to approach implicit biases.
  • Describe strategies and solutions to foster an inclusive work environment that may be applied within library workplace.
  • Apply best practices within library workplace to reduce implicit bias in recruiting, hiring and retention.

This webinar will be of interest to: Library administration, managers, staff, and human resource professionals who want to learn more about implicit bias to foster a healthy, inclusive work environment for all.

Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community for Public Libraries

Monday, Feb. 4th 2019 at 7:45am

This is an online event.

This 4-week 12 CE online course (from February 4 - March 3, 2019) is designed to provide public library staff with the foundation (or a refresher) of health and wellness reference, programming, and outreach for their communities. New content is released each Monday. Each week will involve some reading, discussions with your classmates, and a short (2-pages or less!) assignment.


This class is intended to be completed as a cohort that involves discussion with your fellow students. There are no set hours to be online each week, but it is important that you complete the discussion and assignment for each week in a timely fashion. New content will be released each Monday.


  • Week 1: Introduction to Consumer Health for Public Libraries
  • Week 2: Health Reference in a public library environment
  • Week 3 Health Resources
  • Week 4 Health and Wellness Programming and Outreach for Public Libraries


Participants will earn 12 Continuing Education Credits.


This class provides all five competence and all 12 CE credits needed for the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) Level 1, a continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.