Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Don't be swayed by the romance of the library world. Keep your eye on the prize, and prepare to request bullet aid from your representatives.

This funding can be used for specific purposes or projects to educational instructions, including libraries and library systems. This year, $23M in bullet aid is available.

  • $5M Senate
  • $8M Assembly
  • $10M Governor

If your library has not yet submitted a request for funding to your State Senator & Assemblymember, there's still time. In the past, project awards have ranged from as little as $500 to over $50K to support a range of projects, including programming, technology upgrades, and renewable energy and sustainability initiatives.

A baseline template for submitting a request is available on the NYLA Legislative Agenda subpage. Submit your requests as soon as possible – by May 12 at the latest.

Impact of Redistricting on Libraries

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After each decennial census, every state and local government electing legislators from single-member districts must redraw district boundaries to comply with federal, state, and local laws governing population equality, minority voting rights, and other criteria. Join Jeffrey Wice, an Adjunct Professor and Senior Fellow at New York Law School, where he directs the New York Census & Redistricting Institute, for a webinar about the impact of the Census on public libraries. He'll address the following questions:

  • Is your community ready for congressional & state legislative redistricting?
  • How will your congressional and state legislative districts change later this year?
  • Do your local governments redraw county, town, and city boundaries next year?
  • How can you get involved and make an impact before decisions are made?

Please join us at 10 am Thursday, May 13, for an informative webinar to find out about redistricting in the state and your communities offered by New York Law School. Register here: to receive a Zoom link for the webinar.

Jeffrey M. Wice is now working on his fifth redistricting cycle. He served as redistricting counsel to five State Assembly Speakers and four State Senate Democratic leaders in past years. He currently serves as counsel to the State Assembly’s redistricting chair. He is the co-editor/author of the National Conference of State Legislatures' recently published 2020 Redistricting Redbook, a comprehensive handbook on the census and redistricting processes. He also served as counsel to numerous state and local governments across New York and the nation.

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Ready, Set, Plan!

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The Division of Library Development has updated the minimum standards public libraries must meet to retain their charters. Public libraries have until December 2021 to have community-based strategic plans in place. To help our member libraries meet that requirement, SALS will be hosting a five-part Engaged Planning series.

The series will guide member libraries through each of the stages of strategic planning. We’ll begin with an overview of the planning process, discuss landscape reviews, facilitate community conversations, and create meaningful plans that resonate with your community. Each workshop will be several weeks apart, so participating libraries will have a chance to complete homework in between, resulting in a completed plan.

The first three workshops in the series have taken place. The following workshops will be virtual. Please save the following dates/times:

  • 10 am – 11:30 am Tuesday, May 25
  • 10 am – 11:30 am Tuesday, June 22

If you’re interested in taking part, please sign up here:

Byte by Bite

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Jack Scott is bringing back his popular Tech After Lunch series. Join Jack for a nosh and a deep dive into Onedrive at 1 pm Wednesday, May 5. In this 1-hour training session, Jack will teach everyone how to save documents to OneDrive, how to share documents with others, how to collaborate on a document, and why and when to use OneDrive.

This virtual training is for library staff only. To sign up please fill out this form:

Data Jamboree

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Find out how to best research census data when the NY Census Office hosts two webinars sharing Census Bureau Data for Librarians. The first will take place from 2 to 3:30 pm Tuesday, May 11.

If you miss the first webinar, save the date for the second workshop from 9 to 10:30 am Thursday, July 1.

ALA ReMember Fund

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The American Library Association (ALA) announced a new fund intended to help library workers face financial challenges.

The ReMember Fund, established with initial funding from ALA, will allow current members to ensure that their fellow library workers can retain membership and connection with vital resources and a vibrant and committed network during times of financial need. Unemployed library workers can apply to receive a one-time-only sponsorship to cover ALA basic membership dues for one year.

Seed funding will sponsor at least 100 regular memberships beginning in May. The sponsorship of additional memberships will be contingent on donations from members. Recipients will be limited to members who hold current regular, international, library support staff or non-salaried membership types and members whose memberships have lapsed within the last three years. Applicants must be furloughed or unemployed at the time of application and must continue working within library services. Applications for assistance are strictly confidential, as are the recipients’ identities.

Members are encouraged to donate to the fund.

Be Best

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Sponsored by the Social Responsibilities Group of NYLA's Developing Leaders Program, the Social Responsibility & Libraries series of panel discussions will explore how libraries of all types and sizes relate to the different facets of the ALA's core value: "Social Responsibility.”

Each session takes place on Mondays through May 10.

  • May 10 @ 11:00 am | Directors Decide: Public Statements After George Floyd’s Death

Register for a single session or the full series. All webinars are free. Each workshop is worth one CE credit.

Calling All Friends of the Library

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While the coronavirus pandemic interrupted many Friends events over the past year, visionary Friends approached their mission with resolve and determination. Friends needed to embrace a changing world, pivot, and rise to the challenge to remain resilient.

The Friends of Libraries Section provides Friends volunteers and staff an opportunity to talk with members of the FLS Executive Board about topics important to our organizations.

FLS Connections will take place at 10:30 am Wednesday, May 12. Please join us via Zoom for this discussion on Pivoting and Planning.

During this session, we will discuss:

  • How has your Friends group stayed active during the pandemic and library closures?
  • What changes have you made?
  • Did you move your Friends board meetings to Zoom?
  • Have you organized a successful virtual fundraiser, held a remote membership drive, or offered a pop-up book sale?

All current Friends of Libraries Section members are invited to participate and requested to register for this free event. The event is limited to 30 seats. Each Friends group may only register for two seats, with no more than two people per login. These sessions will not be archived.

Please send a message to FLS Second Vice President Terry Mulee to indicate your interest in attending Put "May Connections" in the subject line. Please give your first and last name and the Friends group or library you represent in the message.

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with the Zoom access code. Registration will close on Monday, May 10, at 5 p.m.

To learn more about the Friends of Libraries Section of the New York Library Association, please visit

Plan Ahead: The Randall Enos Conference Scholarship

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Are you a community volunteer or library staff member who is currently and actively involved in a local Friends of the Library group? Would you like to attend the New York Library Association annual conference?

If so, consider applying for the Friends of the Library Section's Randall Enos Conference Scholarship, which covers up to $750 in expenses, including registration, travel, and accommodation.

The applicants must be members in good standing of NYLA and FLS. The deadline for submission of the application is 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Learn All the Things!

Training New Supervisors for Success: Don’t Start from Scratch

Tuesday, May 4th, 3pm

This is an online event.

New supervisors need timely training as they step into their new role. Not only do they need to learn how to manage people effectively, they need to learn specific procedures particular to their library. Trainers know that it takes a lot of time, up to a year, to develop this kind of training. What if there were some existing training that one could build upon without starting from scratch? There is!

The Learning Round Table of ALA developed three self-guided Supervisor Success modules—Performance Management, Managing Conflict, and Encouraging Motivation in the Workplace (available on WebJunction). Join us as we explore how the Indianapolis Public Library Training and HR staff used this ready-made self-paced learning, added some library-specific context and group discussions, and created a successful new learning process for their managers. Presenters will share their lessons learned to help you implement this kind of supervisor training at your library.

Trauma-Informed Librarianship – What Is It and What Can It Look Like?

Wednesday, May 5th, 4pm

This is an online event.

Trauma-informed care has been used more extensively in psychotherapy and social work settings, however, it can also have a practical application in any setting, personal or professional. This is especially relevant for libraries where we work with patrons and, at times, in large organizations with many moving parts. In this talk, we will define trauma and how it affects the nervous system, discuss some approaches to trauma-informed care, and imagine ways it can be applied to your library setting.

Designing for the Future: The Post-Pandemic Library

Thursday, May 13th, 10am

This is an online event.

What will patrons expect from their libraries after the pandemic? How will a year or more of social distancing and self-isolation impact the way people interact with - and within - their libraries? How should library leaders plan for renovations and modifications in the wake of the pandemic? How can designed flexibility help libraries adapt to a rapidly changing world? This free webinar addresses these important questions.

Topics covered:

  • Personal space post-pandemic
  • Curbside forever? - The crisis of rising expectations
  • Reengaging communities post-pandemic.
  • Flexibility as a design feature.
  • Libraries as a civic hub.

Join David Vinjamuri, an NYU Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing and author of "Library Space Planning: A PLA Guide," for an insightful discussion and Q&A session on the future of libraries and how you can prepare yourself and your staff for the changes ahead.

HR 101: Ask the HR Expert webinar

Monday, May 17th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Join Holly Nowak, the HR professional behind the Ask the HR Expert service, for a discussion of some basic human resources information that managers, supervisors, and directors need to know.

Covering some of the most commonly misunderstood and/or misapplied HR foundational concepts, topics we'll cover include best practice in: Job Descriptions, Worker Classification, Documentation and Record Keeping, Leaves (including recent changes in NYS); and other important information. This session includes a 30 minute Q & A as well, so please be sure to submit your questions!

Learning objectives:
Participants will leave the session recognizing the core HR area red flags and gain an understanding of how to ensure they are on track with foundational HR items.

We invite you to submit a question for Holly - there will be a place to do that during the registration process. The deadline to submit questions is May 7th.

Free to ESLN Members. Registration is required. This webinar will be recorded.

This session is sponsored by the Empire State Library Network. If you have any questions, contact Laura Osterhout (

Understanding the Role of Public Library Directors

Tuesday, May 18th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Public library directors fill a unique role in their organizations as leaders in both policy and culture. Yet, whether it is a single building rural library to a multi-location big-city system, all library directors face a series of similar problems as they strive to keep operations going. Between budgets, politics, policies, and staffing, no two days are the same.

In this panel discussion, experienced directors will share their stories about why they chose this career path, its challenges, and their thoughts on the profession's future. If you are interested in becoming a director, are already a director looking for some tips, or want to learn more about the role, this is the panel discussion for you.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role of the public library director;
  • Identify the skills sets that directors need to develop to succeed; and
  • Understand the challenges facing public library leadership today.

The webinar is free, but registration is required, and space is limited. Please do not register unless you are sincere about attending the live webinar. Again, space is limited, and signing up and not attending may deprive someone else of the opportunity.


Defend Yourself - Safer Libraries, Two-Part Series

Tuesday, June 8th, 10am

This is an online event.

Libraries and their employees face challenges in handling difficult or threatening situations while providing good service to their communities. Defend Yourself helps libraries address these challenges with a comprehensive training that covers de-escalation, active bystander skills, boundary setting, and empowerment self-defense.

This training is experiential, trauma-informed, and will help:

  • Promote a safe and respectful workplace for all staff,
  • Maintain good, productive relationships with patrons,
  • Create a shared toolbox of skills for dealing with difficult patrons and any harassment among staff,
  • Build relationships in which staff can rely on each other for help in dealing with harassment and other stressful situations, and
  • Address organizational challenges around safety, including communication and building design.

Over the course of the two-part series staff will learn the following skills:

  • Avoidance and prevention
  • Assertiveness, direct communication, and boundary-setting
  • De-escalation
  • Bystander intervention

Registrants are expected to attend both sessions. They will not be recorded.

Tuesday, June 8, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Online via Zoom