Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

Big picture

Good news: The US Senate Appropriations Committee has approved Library Services and Technology Act funding for the 2019 fiscal year.

Closer to home, the New York Library Association is gearing up for 2019, and has identified three legislative priorities:

  1. Ensure Access to School Libraries and School Librarians - A.6023 Solages Requires every elementary and secondary school in NYS to provide students with a school library staffed by a certified School Library Media Specialist.
  2. Equitable Access to Public Library Construction Aid Program - S.8289B Ritchie/A.10836B Barrett Amends the Public Library Construction Aid law to provide awards of up to 90% of total approved costs for capital projects of libraries located in economically distressed communities; current law provides awards of up to 75% for such projects. This legislation would also make permanent the 75/25 match language and give a 2025 sunset date for the 90/10 match provision.
  3. Taxpayer Access to Publicly-Funded Research (TAPR) – S.8731 Ritchie Requires any New York State-funded research that is published in peer‐reviewed journals to be made publicly available online after one year. This bill would align with federal standards employed by the National Institute of Health and California.

NYLA is also monitoring legislation that will impact libraries, including:

  1. Centralized Procurement System for Materials & ServicesS.6424A Ritchie / A.7265A Abinanti This would authorize the NYS Office of General Services (OGS), in consultation with the State Library, to establish a comprehensive, centralized system to coordinate procurement of books, non-print library materials, and related ancillary services. The legislation explicitly permits SUNY & CUNY to make purchases through the system as an alternative to institutions individually contracting with vendors for print and nonprint materials. This legislation passed both houses; it will now head to the Governor.
  2. Application of Net Neutrality Principles to ISPsA.8882C Fahy / S.7183C Carlucci This provides the NYS Public Service Commission (PSC) with authority to monitor the practices of ISPs, restricting state and municipal entities – including public and association libraries - from contracting for broadband internet service with ISPs which have not been certified by the PSC as being in compliance with Net Neutrality principles. This legislation passed the Assembly but failed to make it out of committee in the Senate. Governor Cuomo issued a related Executive Order in January, though it does not extend to libraries.
  3. Prohibits Smoking Within 100ft of Library Entrances/ExitsS.169B Rivera / A.330B Dinowitz This prohibits smoking (including “vaping” & “e-cigarettes”) within 100 feet of the entrances, exits or outdoor areas of any public or association library, and requires the posting of signage to that effect. This bill passed both houses and heads to the Governor; it will take effect 180 days after signing.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Lions & Tigers & Bears!

Big picture
If you haven't had a chance to go to the Pember Library & Museum, it's worth a visit. When Carnegie wanted to build a library in Granville, Franklin Pember declined, and built his own library -- complete with a second floor workshop for his taxidermy. That space now houses the Pember Museum, a collection of flora, fauna, sea shells and other curiosities amassed by the avid Victorian collector. In the main floor library, Director Ardyce is helped by a crackerjack team and Lucy, the library cat.

Spreading Out in Salem

Bancroft Public Library Director Susan Getty keeps things hopping in Salem. The library has recently reclaimed space in the building to create a reading room, a teen space, and has plans to create a community room. With an active schedule of programming, the picture above is the only time Susan has sat down in the last two years. Swing by and check it out!
Big picture
The Schuylerville, Stillwater, and Galway libraries are working with Captain to provide free summer meals to kids at their libraries. If your library offers free summer meals, please let me know.

Cool Addition

Big picture
The Town of Lake Pleasant Library unveiled its new gazebo -- now complete with a picnic table and electric power so people can use all of their devices. We now know where the coolest kids will be hanging in Lake Pleasant!

Group PC & Equipment Order

Big picture

It's time for the 2018 Mid-Year Group PC and Equipment Order. The deadline for this order is Friday, July 20, 2018.

  1. Please make the order deadline!
  2. All order forms should be e-mailed as an attachment to The subject should contain your library’s three letter code (E.g., “XYZ - 2018 MID -Year Group Order”).
  3. Once your order has been received and processed, we will send you an e-mail confirmation.
  4. If your monitor(s) are ten years old or more, please contact us so we can assist you in finding the correct adapter(s). The port types have changed on the newer computers and may require an adapter to connect to old monitors.

The full ordering schedule is available on the JA Project web site… Check your e-mail to complete the Excel order form and return it to as an e-mail attachment.

Order Details:

These PCs, both public and staff, will be coming with Windows 10 and Office 2016.

  • Staff PC w a monitor: $751 (Includes software)
  • Public PC w a monitor: $772 (Includes software and customized lockdown if public, unless running Cassie*)
  • Staff PC without a monitor: $572 (Includes software)
  • Public PC without a monitor: $593 (Includes software and customized lockdown if public, unless running Cassie*)
  • Staff Laptop $796 (Includes software and accidental damage warranty)
  • Public Laptop $806 (Includes software and accidental damage warranty)
  • Staff All-In-One PC $901 (Includes software)
  • Public All-In-One PC $922 (Includes software and customized lockdown if public, unless running Cassie*)

* If you are purchasing public PCs for use with Cassie please indicate the number on the order form, and contact JA for pricing.

ALL PCs will be configured at SALS, then sent to you in the delivery.

Sharing a Story

Big picture
Urban Libraries Unite held a story time during New York City's Families Belong Together march & rally. Librarian Christian Zabriskie said story time at the gathering was "America at its best."

Personal Reference

Big picture
When the reference questions you answer involve your family -- the tale of a New York Public Library librarian.

Books for All

Big picture
Prison libraries matter to inmates, jailers and society.
Big picture

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

Opportunities for Walkability in Rural Communities and Small Towns

Wednesday, July 11th, 2pm

This is an online event.

America Walks believes that all communities of all shapes and sizes have the potential to be walkable communities. Inspiring work is being done across the US to promote physical activity and improve walkability in small towns and rural communities. This webinar will explore some of that work and the trends of walkability in rural communities.

Attendees of this webinar will:

  • Learn about programs, policies, and projects that support walkability in rural communities and small towns
  • Hear inspiring stories of communities on the walking path
  • Explore resources that can help you in your work to create walkable communities

The Prescription Drug and Heroin Epidemic: A Public Health Response

Thursday, July 12th, 2pm

This is an online event.

This presentation will briefly examine the history behind the US opiate crisis as well as current epidemiology including variations by region and state. The second half of the presentation will describe some of the evidence-based efforts available for treating opiate use disorders as well as efforts being implemented to prevent future use. The presentation concludes with promising examples being implemented in other countries and a discussion of some of the barriers associated with implementing similar approaches in the US.

Laying Out the Welcome Mat: Asset Mapping to Better Serve the Immigrant Community

Tuesday, July 17th, 3pm

This is an online event.

As of 2016, more than 43 million immigrants were living in the US, and that number is growing. Immigration can breathe new life into the local economy as young workers replace retiring baby boomers, open new businesses, and become active consumers.

Libraries can ease immigrants’ transition into the community by acting as a resource hub. Asset mapping encourages libraries to go out into their communities and uncover and assess the resources available to immigrants. The information they gather gives the insight libraries need to develop programming to serve these patrons and help them thrive. This webinar will discuss how asset mapping can facilitate community entry for immigrants by helping libraries better understand the needs of this population and address those needs through service and program development.

Beyond Surveys: How to Measure Outcomes Using Alternative Data Collection Methods

Wednesday, July 18th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Outcome measurement is a way for libraries to assess their impact on the people they serve and helps libraries answer the question, “What good did we do?” With a vast number of ways to collect outcomes, it may be overwhelming to identify which data collection methods to use. Choosing the methodology also depends on the library’s learning goals, time limitations, staff capacity and more. This webinar is designed to help libraries learn what methods are available to them, and the benefits and challenges to each. This webinar will highlight several methods, with an emphasis on focus groups.

This webinar is the third in a series featuring Project Outcome’s Outcome Measurement Guidelines, designed to help guide and provide additional support for outcome-focused data collection. Past archives of this series, How to Develop Outcome Measures & Design Effective Surveys, presented on April 11, 2018, and Working with Partners: How to Plan for Collaborative Outcome Measurement, presented on January 31, 2018, are available for viewing.

Fresh Food, Fresh Thinking: An Innovative Approach to Youth Development and Learning in Rural Communities

Wednesday, July 25th, 2pm

This is an online event.

What happens when you mix public library staff, high school students, architects, and STEM curriculum? You get project-based learning that leads to students designing a hybrid public library/farmer's market facility!

Learn from speakers who have been immersed in a year-long IMLS National Leader Planning Grant, which has involved teaching students about human-centered service design and exploring libraries and farms in field trips, and hear how this innovative project engaged teens along with community partners.

This webinar is open to everyone interested in exploring issues around teen services, community partnerships, and STEM programming. It will be particularly relevant to staff at small or rural public libraries, or those with an interest in agriculture and/or sustainability.

When I’m 64: Financial Literacy Resources for Those Nearing and in Retirement

Thursday, July 26th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Patrons' financial interests and questions often highlight the complexity that an aging America faces as individuals transition to their golden years. Issues such as how much to save for retirement, protecting ourselves and our families from fraud, and helping loved ones manage their assets can be daunting for library staff tasked with directing patrons to reliable information.

This webinar explores free resources provided by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (formerly Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) that can help consumers navigate some of these complexities. You’ll also hear about programming and resources from the Kansas City Public Library that help patrons as they near their retirement years—valuable information for you and your patrons!

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.