Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Happy National Library Week, when we celebrate the work libraries do in supporting the creation of strong communities! Check out the great work being done in public libraries nationwide in this year's State of America's Libraries Report.

Meanwhile, in Albany, the New York State Budget process has concluded. Here's what the upcoming fiscal year holds for libraries:

State Library Aid: $96.6M
Governor Cuomo proposed a $5M cut in Library Aid in this year’s Executive Budget. The FY2019-20 enacted budget reversed this proposed cut – total State Library Aid will be $96.6M.

State Public Library Construction Aid: $14M
The Governor proposed a $20M cut in capital funding – from $34M back to $14M. Despite the efforts of thousands of library advocates, these funds were not reinstated in the final product. Language to provide for a 90/10 matching category as well as making the program permanent in law was not included.

2020 Census Efforts
The budget includes $20m for complete count efforts, with efforts by “public libraries” noted in the appropriation language. These funds will be administered by the Empire State Development Corporation.

Targeted Aid
The budget includes $15m in targeted aid to school districts, public libraries, and not-for-profit institutions, divided equally between the Senate, Assembly, and Governor. We will disseminate information on how to apply for this aid in the coming weeks.

The New York Library Association makes it easy to thank your local legislators – In less than 15 seconds, you can send a message.


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The Ballston Spa Public Library is pushing the boundaries of who public libraries serve -- by being a part of the second annual Ballston Spa Birdhouse Competition. We can't wait to see our feathered friends with library cards!

Cultural Center

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The Town of Ballston Community Library is recognized as the center of culture and diversity by The Saratogian newspaper. Well done, TBCL!

Celebrate All Day!

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Did you know there's a National Library Workers Day? While we think library folk should be celebrated every day, we're jazzed that the American Library Association designated April 9 as National Library Workers Day:

That in order to recognize the hard work, dedication, and expertise of library support staff and librarians that the Tuesday of National Library Week be designated National Library Workers Day; and, that on that day, interested library workers, library groups, and libraries should advocate for better compensation for all library workers and, if the day coincides with Equal Pay Day, these individuals, groups, and libraries should recognize both days together.

NLWD is a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. Celebrate early & often!

Continuing Education: Conflict Resolution & Mediation

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The 21st Century Engagement & Communication Skills series continues with the second installment, focusing on Conflict Resolution & Mediation.

The training will address:

  • Emotional intelligence - including identifying our own and others’ communication and conflict styles
  • Increasing awareness and acceptance of others’ perspectives and experiences
  • Effectively managing challenging situations - including the use of reflective listening, strategies for defusing or depersonalizing, etc.

There will be two opportunities to participate (each training is the same):

  1. 1 to 4 pm Tuesday, April 23 at SUNY Adirondack's Wilton Center (696 Route 9, Wilton, NY) Room 216
  2. 9 am to 12 pm Thursday, April 25 at SUNY Adirondack's Queensbury campus - 640 Bay Road, Queensbury, NY - Adirondack Hall room 140

The registration deadline is 10 am on Monday, April 22. A CE certificate will be provided by SUNY Adirondack. Complete the registration or copy and paste this link: into your browser.

Please register by or before 10 am Monday, April 22. Once the classes fill, we will begin a waitlist.

You will receive an email reminder about a week before the session with the date, time, and location -- and to provide directions. Should your schedule change and you are unable to attend, contact Erica at so we can make the spot available to other participants. Thank you!

SALS committed the matching funds required to secure this considerable grant from SUNY Adirondack in order to offer the free, multiple workshops on a range of topics to its 34 member libraries. We look forward to supporting your professional development through this series of workshops and encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to convene, develop, and advance your skills in critical areas, learn from each other, and strive to apply these strategies and concepts in the workplace in collaboration with your colleagues, directors, trustees, and SALS.
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Since 2016, SALS's Libraries Mean Business initiative has supported small businesses and entrepreneurs. We provide funding to train Notary Publics for each SALS's library, creating turn-key programs for member libraries on a variety of business-related topics, and developing a digital collection of e-books and e-audiobooks.

If your library has not yet taken part in the Notary Public Training program, or if you would like to have a second person trained, there's another opportunity.

SALS will cover the cost of one person from each member library to:

In exchange, participating libraries MUST:

  • Let Erica know they intend to participate
  • Register with SUNY Adirondack & identify as part of the SALS group
  • Pay for the class, registration, and license
  • Submit paperwork to be reimbursed -- including documentation indicating completion of the SUNY Adirondack class and Notary Public Exam and registration. Libraries will only be reimbursed after the Notary Public Exam has been completed.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation—Face-to-Face classes are four hours long. There is one in-person class:

  • 9:30 -1:30 pm Friday, May 10 at the Wilton Center.

The price of the class is $65.

  • All materials will be provided, and information about how to link to NYS Department of State licensing information, booklets and forms will be distributed.
  • The Notary Public exam will not be given during this workshop. There will be an 80-question practice exam.
  • Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Submit this with the paid bills to SALS for reimbursement.

There is also an online Notary Public License Exam Preparation Course. It is self-paced and is available through May 7.

The Notary Public exam will not be given during this workshop. Information about the exam schedule will be available in the class. Registration for this course closes on Tuesday, April 16. The cost is $75.

Please identify yourself as a SALS member when registering to obtain documentation of online course completion to submit with a copy of the paid bill to SALS for reimbursement.

To register and pay for the course call 518-743-2238, e-mail, or complete and submit the registration form.

Please note that you must complete all required components of the course and submit your paid bill, course participation documentation and proof of completed and passed Notary Public exam to receive reimbursement from SALS. The deadline for submitting documentation for reimbursement to Erica is May 31, 2019. No reimbursements will be made after that date.

Support for this program comes from the New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program.

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Whether you struggle with adult programming or are a master at it, come to Adultprogrampalooza from 9 am to 4:30 pm Wednesday, May 8, at the Crandall Public Library for a full day of workshops, discussion and an unconference on celebrating the work we do to support lifelong learning in our communities. Janie Hermann (Princeton Public Library, NJ) and Mallory Arents (Darien Library), two of the best adult programming librarians in the country, and the founders of the American Library Association's Programming Librarian Interest Group, will provide tips and tricks to set up a robust calendar of programs that will attract a wide range of adult – even 20-somethings!

We’ll break for lunch, then resume the fun in the afternoon with an Unconference, where the topics and discussion will be determined by the participants. The day will end with Erica will share her experience of creating adult programs on a tiny budget to meet the needs of a rural community. Register by May 1 to take part in this continuing ed bonanza!

SALS Annual Meeting

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Opportunities Abound: Grants, Awards & More

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Interested in attending this year's Association of Rural and Small Libraries Conference but not sure where to find the funds to attend? Consider applying for a scholarship for the 2019 Fall Conference.

This year, there are four scholarships for first-time attendees.

  1. The Dr. Bernard Vavrek scholarship is for current library school students.
  2. The Founders scholarship is for current ARSL members who have been working in the library profession for 5 years or less.
  3. The Ken Davenport Scholarship is for current ARSL members who have been working in the library profession for 6 to 10 years
  4. The Angel scholarship is open to current ARSL members who have been working in the library profession for any length of time.

Applications must be submitted by 5 pm Central Time on May 24, 2019.

For questions about the process or trouble with the application form, contact

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Library Journal‘s annual award for the Best Small Library in America, made possible by sustaining sponsor Baker & Taylor, was founded in 2005 to encourage and showcase the exemplary work of these libraries. It honors the U.S. public library that most profoundly demonstrates outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less.

The winning library will receive a $5,000 cash award, and two finalist libraries will be awarded $1,000 each—thanks to Baker & Taylor. All three will be featured in the September 2019 issue of Library Journal and online.

The winner will also be highlighted at the 2019 Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference and will receive a scholarship to attend and the opportunity to speak there.


  • A public library serving a community with a population of 25,000 or less as of the most recent U.S. Census.
  • A branch or mobile outreach initiative that serves a distinct population of 25,000 or less, even if it is part of a larger town, county, or district library system. The prize monies must be used only for the benefit of the population under 25,000.

Nominators are encouraged to reach out for guidance while developing nominations: Contact Meredith Schwartz at


Learn All the Things!

Free Tools for Working with Graphics and the Web

Tuesday, April 9th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Do you spend a good part of your job working with graphics, social media, or websites? Join presenter Laura Solomon as she explores tools to help you make your online content more creative and look better. Topics include tools to help you with video, animations, and even your library's website.

Learn how to improve your workflow, create new content, or share with your friends and colleagues. Discover a plethora of online tools that you probably haven't heard of but will be glad that (now) you have. This session will be full of tools and services that make you go "AHA!"

Topics for this webinar include:

  • Tools for working with and creating video and animations
  • Tools for creating social media content
  • Tools to help with fonts and colors
  • Tools that can assist with website-related work

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

  • Know at least 5 tools used for web work purposes
  • Know 2 at least 5 tools for assisting with content creation
  • Know 2 at least 5 tools for working with animations and videos
  • Have a list of at least 35 free online tools for graphics and web-related work

This webinar will be of interest to staff responsible for online marketing, social media and/or websites.

The Power of Small: How Rural Libraries Help Their Communities Thrive

Thursday, April 18th, 3pm

This is an online event.

All libraries provide vital services to their communities, but libraries that serve small, rural populations have the potential to go beyond providing information and access—they can inject the vitality that will help their communities thrive. Addressing the challenges faced by rural areas may seem daunting to a library with few staff and limited resources, but any tiny library can find more ways to support the needs of their community by thinking strategically and creating new connections with their stakeholders, patrons, and other library staff. Learn how small library director and 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, Allie Stevens, applied the concept of growth mindsets to set her priorities, use resources and volunteers smartly, and avoid burnout as a solo librarian. Follow her lead to turn your library into a powerhouse for your community.

The Library as Social Connector: Forging Community Connection

Thursday, April 25th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Strong social cohesion is a crucial factor in a community’s resilience in times of stress and disruption. Unfortunately, studies show that our communities are experiencing a steady erosion of social cohesion, pointing to an increase in loneliness, depression, and separation because of too much time spent online and too little time spent in community. Libraries have the position and the power to rebuild social bonds, offering that sense of community and shared place that humans crave. Active learning programs that bring people together for participatory, shared experiences are a boost to community strength, but they could go even further to amplify social connection and build social infrastructure. Join us as we explore library programs through the lens of social possibilities and devise strategies to be more intentional about forging stronger community bonds.

Presented by: Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC; and Jennifer Peterson, WebJunction Community Manager, OCLC

Collection Management: Weeding and Feeding Your Collection

Monday, April 29th, 9:30am

475 Moe Road


CDLC's Collection Development Committee invites you to this half-day Collection Management program.

This is an interactive workshop, open to all library types, with time for discussion on all things collection-related!

J'aime Pfeiffer, School Library System Director at WSWHE BOCES School Library System, will lead a discussion on the importance of a materials selection policy and the reasons for having one.

Melanie Metzger, Assistant Director at Albany Public Library, will discuss using statistics to inform collection management decisions and how to balance this with other factors.

Fuel for Active Bodies: Increasing Access to Healthy Foods

Wednesday, May 8th, 2pm

This is an online event.

According to a report by the USDA, approximately 23.5 million people in the US live in food deserts, areas located more than a mile from a market or store that sells fresh produce, whole grains, and other foods essential to a balanced diet. Learn more about the issue and how communities are working to increase access, via walking and active transportation, to healthy food in their own backyards.

After the Big One: Navigating Disaster Recovery for Cultural Institutions

Tuesday, May 21st, 8:30am

University at Albany, Science Library/Standish Room

The University at Albany, University Libraries, the Capital District Library Council, the NY Capital Region Alliance for Response, and the New York State Education Department are offering a half-day seminar “After the Big One: Navigating Disaster Recovery for Cultural Institutions.” We will share real-life experiences recovering from large-scale events, what happened, and what we learned. Our goal is to help make your emergency plans more meaningful and effective when the aftermath demands more than available expertise and resources.

Keynote speaker, Janet Gertz, Columbia University, will describe her recent experience with severe library flooding; representatives from the NYS Office of Cultural Education and Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to address how DHSES and FEMA operate, and the role of the New York State Library and Archives; guests from Delaware County recounting first-hand recovery from three major flooding events; and finally an expert from the Occupational and Environmental Health Center of New York to speak to the importance of safety during response.

The cost is $10/person.

Copyright for Librarians in 2019

Friday, June 7th, 9am

99 Clinton Street

Schenectady, NY

Join us for an informative program presented by Stephanie "Cole" Adams, the attorney for CDLC's Ask the Lawyer service.

In any given day, a librarian may be asked to: make inter-library loan copies, decide if a back-up copy of an aging book can be made, determine if items can be scanned for a database, create ADA-accessible material, make a fun parody video to promote the library, and weigh in on if a professor can show a movie in class. Whoa...who knew an MLS would need to double as a law degree? Join us for a practical and interactive session covering the latest developments at the vertex of libraries and copyright law. Long on practical tips and (mostly) short on legalese, we'll tackle common issues and work through the most up-to-date issues copyright law is presenting to librarians.

Location is Schenectady County Public Library, Central Library, 99 Clinton St, Schenectady NY

Participants may submit questions for the presenter by using the box on the registration form or emailing the questions to Susan D'Entremont at Questions must be submitted by May 30, 2019, to give the presenter time to research the best answer.

Supporting Stories: Legal Guidance for Oral History Projects

Friday, June 7th, 1:15pm

Schenectady County Public Library

Join us for an informative program presented by Stephanie "Cole" Adams, the attorney for CDLC's Ask the Lawyer service.

Oral histories are some of the most direct, experience-based components of culture, and each project has unique challenges and legal considerations. Is there an approach that can use the law to serve the project? Organized to cohere with the Oral History Association's "Statement of Ethics," this session will cover not only issues like image release, copyright, and project ownership but also the legal considerations at each phase of project development: concept building, interview methods, grant application and contracts, partnership and collaboration agreements, insurance and employment/independent contractor issues. Your questions are welcome!

Location is Schenectady County Public Library, Central Library, 99 Clinton St, Schenectady NY

Participants may submit questions for the presenter by using the box on the registration form or emailing the questions to Susan D'Entremont at Questions must be submitted by May 30, 2019, to give the presenter time to research the best answer.