Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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National Library Outreach Day is coming! The inaugural occasion will take place at the beginning of National Library Week, giving library folk another reason to celebrate. While I am admittedly biased, outreach is some of the most important work done by public libraries, by bringing materials and services to those who might not otherwise enjoy all that we have to offer. This year, the American Library Association's Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services is collecting stories about the work public libraries do across the country. Please take a moment and share the great work your library is doing.

In other good news, spring is on its way! Don't forget to spring forward on March 14.

Stillwater Shout-Out

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When Michele Barron, the Youth Services Librarian at the Stillwater Public Library, wanted to create a vibrant teen space in the library's new building, she began crowdsourcing donations to make it happen. Her efforts caught the attention of none other than Neil Gaiman, who Barron intends to name the space after. There's still time to donate to the effort:

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 workshop in this series has taken place. If you'd like a link to the recording, email Erica. The following workshops will be virtual. Please save the following dates/times:

  • 10 am – 11:30 am Tuesday, March 30
  • 10 am – 11:30 am Tuesday, April 20
  • 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:

By the Numbers: Using Census Data

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Last year at this time, we were focused on ensuring our communities would be able to participate in the US Census. Despite many obstacles, the Census was completed, and information is now available.

To find out how to access Census 2020 data, SALS will host the United States Census Bureau's representative to discuss the bureau’s top surveys and data products. The presentation will cover the availability and accessibility of Census data, including the American Community Survey, the American Housing Survey, a sample of the Economic Surveys, and demographic programs.

Census data has wide-ranging applications, such as grant writing, education planning, research, infrastructure projects, and much more. The meeting will also review some available tools to locate census data and upcoming training. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on 2020 Census best practices identified by partners over the 2020 Decennial Census.

Register for this workshop here:

Opportunity: Medical Librarian

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The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) in Utica, NY is recruiting for a Medical Librarian. This is a full-time, on-site position that will be working in our three libraries at the following locations: Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare/St. Luke’sCampus, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and St. Elizabeth College of Nursing. This will be on a five-day rotating schedule. Additional travel may be required to different sites at MVHS and beyond for archival work, meetings, education, training, etc.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, collaborative, friendly, and out-going librarian who is passionate about librarianship and who enjoys working with physicians, nurses, faculty, residents, students, health personnel, administration providing library services at each of the libraries.

1. Responsible for day-to-day running of the library site working at: providing reference, research, database searching, ILL services and maintaining the site. You will be the library representative onsite working with physicians, nurses, faculty, residents, students, and other personnel. Performing out-reach, training/classes, answering questions, etc.

2. Responsible for all ILL activities for MVHS. Coordinating use of DOCLINE, OCLC for the libraries. Keeping copyright/statistics/records. Updating SERHOLD, OCLC, DOCLINE as necessary. Reporting to Director weekly of system updates, and news, statistics and any needed improvements.

3. Monitor and maintain TDNet Library Resource Page and College of Nursing Moodle library resources so that is it the library resources are current, accessible, links work. Materials appropriate. Work with vendors. Maintain MVHS Intranet Library page and MVHS Library Web page with help of Web Master. Monitor and maintain currency of links, materials, accessibility, etc. Collaborate with the Library Director on new ideas, improvements and uses for our electronic resources.

4. Assists Director, Library Services to develop policies, quality initiatives, and other projects for the department in expanding services, resources, grants, archives, budgets, etc.

5. Provides reference, research, database services (including PubMed, CINAHL and other biomedical, nursing, psychological, dental, business and other databases) in an appropriate, timely manner. Teaches/presents/informs/creates electronic and other methods to inform users on use of libraries’ electronic resources.

6.Shows initiative, collaboration, teamwork, flexibility. Someone who can work independently and be self-motivated. Someone who can write grants, find new ideas, and will keep communication flowing. Someone who will further library services with marketing/PR.

7. High level of interpersonal and communication skills to deal effectively with our diverse population and clientele. Inquisitive, solve problems, ask questions and find answers, be creative. Experienced working with physicians, nurses, faculty, residents, students, hospital personnel and administration, patients and families, and the public. Should have experience with and enjoy working with residents and students.

8. Assists with the Archival Collection.

9. Attends meetings at MVHS and beyond as the library representative.

10.This position answers administratively to the Director, Library Services.

11.Other duties and responsibilities as needed and assigned.


* ALA-accredited Master's degree in Library Sciences.
* One (1) year of professional health science or medical library experience.
* Health science internship/externship or coursework is acceptable if a recent graduate.
* Academic librarians with biomedical/science experience with at least one year of professional experience are also encouraged to apply.
* Experience using MEDLINE, CINAHL databases and DOCLINE, OCLC Interlibrary Loan systems;
* Experience working with physicians, residents, students, health personal, administration and the public.

* Two-five (2-5) years of professional experience, supervisory experience, experience in training/teaching.

To apply: (search for medical librarian)

Halyna Liszczynskyj, BS, MLS Director, Library Services, MVHS. Cell: (315) 272-9552

DEI Workplace Certification Program

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The University of South Florida Muma College of Business will offer a free, seven-week certificate program focusing on ways organizations can create a more diverse workplace and address equity issues, and foster inclusivity.

The certificate program begins March 24 and runs through May 5. It consists of seven two-hour modules, aired live on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. (participants have two weeks to view the recorded session). Those who complete the program will receive a digital certificate and a Credly badge that they can display on LinkedIn.

Participants will learn how building and growing a workforce that includes differing races, religions, ages, genders, and sexual orientations and persons with disabilities can improve broad social issues and help companies develop novel business practices, increase revenue, and improve performance. Organizers designed the program for people across levels and industries.

Rural Libraries Rock!

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The rest of the world is beginning to suspect what we've known all along -- rural libraries do incredible work with limited resources and are critical resources for their communities. Margo Gustina, Eli Guinnee, and Hope Decker have been doing tremendous work examining the role rural libraries play in the communities they serve.

Murder, They Wrote

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In an unexpected twist, the next chapter for Hillary Clinton will not be politics, but writing murder mysteries. She's teaming up with the incomparable Louise Penny to write State of Terror.

Sustainable Fonts

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Not all fonts are created equal. When designing websites, the choice of fonts can impact how much energy is used to sustain the site. To green your site, choose Times New Roman or Arial.

Refer a Friend

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The Friends of Libraries Section (FLS) of the New York Library Association (NYLA) is gathering information about Friends groups in New York State that support rural and small public libraries. The goal is to better assist these volunteer support organizations in their growth, development, and long-term success.

All Friends groups that respond to the survey will be entered into a drawing for a free one-year organizational membership in FLS/NYLA, a $50 value. (If the winning group is already a member, their organizational membership will be extended by one year.) In the event of multiple survey responses from a group, only a single entry will be placed in the drawing.

The survey link is posted on the FLS homepage ( or use this direct link.

The survey can be completed by a representative of the library or a representative of the library's Friends group. Survey respondents do not need to confer with other members of the organization. Multiple replies from various group members are acceptable and would be appreciated. Responses are being accepted through Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

FLS wants to gather information from groups that are distant from an urbanized area. Rather than "small" referring to Friends groups with a small number of volunteers on their roster, FLS defines "small" in relation to the population of the library's potential service area, generally less than 10,000 residents. However, FLS welcomes any library or Friends group that identifies their library as rural and/or small to complete the survey, whatever the population of the library's service area. FLS is interested to learn about specific challenges faced by Friends organizations that support these libraries.

FLS' mission is to create a network to connect and inspire Friends groups in all types of libraries to support the New York library community. Thank you for assisting us in our work by taking the time to participate in this survey!

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Applications are now open for the Documentary Heritage and Preservation Services NY's Spring 2021 Planning & Assessment Services Round!

This is the first application round of DHPSNY's second five-year iteration and includes important COVID-19 safety precautions. Most significantly, these services will only be offered virtually to ensure personal safety. Applications are due Friday, March 26, 2021, for consideration in the spring application round.

Begin your application process by deciding which of our services is best for your program. To help you get started, we've outlined each of our services below with links to testimonials and application materials.

Our Planning & Assessment page also features helpful tools for navigating the application process, including sample applications and frequently asked questions.

If you're still unsure which service to apply for or whether your institution is ready, DHPSNY staff is here to help. For assistance, questions about eligibility, or additional information, contact DHPSNY Program Manager Anastasia Matijkiw at (215) 545-0613 extension 338 or

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Talk Story: Sharing Stories, Sharing Culture is a literacy program that reaches out to Asian American, Pacific Islander and American Indian families. Talk Story celebrates and explores Asian American, Pacific Islander, and American Indian stories through books, oral traditions, and cultural arts to provide an interactive and enriching experience. This grant provides financial support to libraries and community organizations who want to introduce a Talk Story program. 2021 Talk Story programs may be conducted in person or virtually.

Talk Story is a partnership between the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA) and the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and 2021 grant funding is available through the generous support of Toyota California Community Foundation.

Libraries and community organizations that serve Asian American, Pacific Islander, and/or American Indian children and their families are eligible to apply. We encourage libraries and community organizations to work together on a Talk Story program. With the exception of cross-border tribal organizations, all organizations must be based in the United States or U.S. territories.

Organizations who have previously been awarded two Talk Story grants are ineligible for additional awards.

Two grant winners for each organization (APALA and AILA) will receive $750 to fund a program that meets the criteria of the grant.

Applications are now being accepted for American Indian or Asian American & Pacific Islander programs.

Please submit a complete and detailed application including a Statement of Need, Narrative, and Proposed Budget. Please describe the program your library or community organization would do with the award and what types of programs highlighting Asian American, Pacific Islander, or American Indian cultures you are interested in planning for your community.

You may apply for either an APALA grant OR an AILA grant. You may not apply to both organizations.

Applications must be received by Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Awards will be announced by Saturday, May 1, 2021.

Past grant winners have included language programs, early childhood literacy, youth identity development, and a variety of arts programming including dance, music, and writing. “There is a lot of room for creativity in this grant,” said Angela Thornton, Co-Chair of the Talk Story program. “We want people to explore partnerships in their communities and see what they can create.”

Applications are due by April 1, 2021. Eligibility details and past winners can be found at

Learn All the Things!

Addressing the Stigma: Mental Health and Wellness Resources for Asian/Pacific American Communities

Wednesday, March 10th, 2pm

This is an online event.

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in partnership with the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) will host a webinar focusing on Asian/Pacific American mental health and programming. Stigma exists when it comes to talking about mental health for many groups in the Asian/Pacific American communities.

This webinar focuses on how to normalize and foster mental health in the AAPI community. Presenters will share strategies, advice and library programming for consideration in how to promote mental health in the AAPI communities and the wellness of AAPI library workers. All attendees are welcome to learn more about various resources to better serve and advocate for their AAPI communities of users when it comes to mental health and wellness. The webinar will be recorded for those who are unable to attend.

FLS Focus on Friends Webinar Series: Friendly Partnerships Strengthen Communities

Thursday, March 11th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Friends are venturing outside the library, undertaking the vital work of networking and partnering with community groups to deliver the library’s message and services to residents. Children’s librarian Jason Poole started the summer “BookBox for Kids and Teens” initiative to bring books to readers unable to visit the library. This vital project has connected with underserved families and steadily grown community support from the library Friends, churches, schools, and grant-makers in Webster. In their community, Helen Rados, a member of the Friends of Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library, and youth librarian Cheryl Jones have built powerful partnerships and creative collaborations that have increased public awareness of the library, engaged volunteers, and increased Friends memberships.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Identify concrete examples of Friends activities that can be implemented in the participants’ Friends groups that will lead to community partnerships
2. Apply tips on how to cultivate effective working relationships
3. Formulate a plan for collaboration that will increase the number of advocates in their community

Caring for the Mind: Providing Mental Health Information At Your Library

Tuesday, March 16th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Responding to questions involving topics on mental health is challenging even for the most experienced librarian. In Caring for the Mind, participants will learn how to effectively provide mental health information at their libraries. Participants will learn about the best electronic resources to consult as well as ways to improve their print collections. Best approaches for handling interactions with emotional patrons will also be discussed. Other topics covered include: bibliotherapy; assessment/testing; and the future of mental health. This class will increase participants' skills for providing mental health information for care providers and the public.

NLM resources covered in this class include MedlinePlus, Drug Information Portal, DailyMed, and Pillbox as well as other NIH and freely available authoritative resources. This is a variable credit class. The number of CE credits is tied to how much time and effort is expected of the learner to complete the class. Please check the scheduled instance for the actual number of credit hours offered.


  • Gain awareness of mental health issues.
  • Learn to respond to challenging reference questions for mental health information.
  • Be informed of tools for collection development and mental health research including the latest websites and databases.

Emergency Broadband Benefit: Program Overview and Strategies for Rollout & Adoption

Thursday, March 18th, 1pm

This is an online event.

This presentation and conversation discuss the recently enacted Emergency Broadband program which provides 3.2 billion to support internet access and device access for qualifying individuals who are low-income. With enrollment starting soon, the time is now for stakeholders to understand the benefit and strategize around rollout. This session will help Library workers be better prepared as they will encounter patrons with questions about eligibility and plan options. Widespread adoption of this benefit could pave the way for the continuation of this benefit going forward. Education and advocacy are needed now to ensure the success of this program.

Speaker: Margaret (Meg) Käufer is President of the STEM Alliance, a STEM enrichment nonprofit in Westchester County. She leads Digital Navigator work - creating access to devices, internet access, and tech education for low-income residents in Westchester County. She is also a member of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and is an active advocate for digital equity in NY State.

When Not to Call the Cops

Thursday, March 18th, 1pm

This is an online event.

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association is hosting a powerful discussion on policing, surveillance, and mattering Black lives in LIS spaces. By keeping our libraries as police-free as we can, we communicate to our patrons that Black Lives Matter. This presentation will provide strategies as well as discussion time for thinking through issues of safety and inclusion in the library.

What we talk about when we talk about “equity”: from essential workers to George Floyd to Nice White Parents

Thursday, March 18th, 4pm

This is an online event.

2020 saw a huge uptick in colloquial usage of the word “equity.” However, in most corners of the information professions, from libraries to archives to usability, we’ve been having this conversation for a long time. During this interactive session, we unpack some of the ways equity has been used (and misused) during the pandemic and protests, and how this is impacting our workplaces and communities. Come prepared to discuss your experiences.

Elements of Empowerment

Tuesday, March 23rd, 12pm

This is an online event.

The last several years have seen an uptick in exciting diversity and social justice work and scholarship in libraries and related organizations and the negative comments and opposing opinions that have been registered as a result. Free speech is certainly something that we embrace, but harassment, bullying, trolling, doxing, and other mentally and physically harmful behaviors go well beyond free speech and cannot be tolerated.

In 2019 we began these important conversations and linked these phenomena to the library and information science. Now in 2021, we will continue this work by strategizing ways to combat bullying and trolling.

On March 23-24, 2021, we will hear from experts on cyberbullying, LIS mental health, intellectual freedom, and being an active bystander/up-stander.

This event is being organized by Dr. Nicole Cooke and Teneka Jones Williams.

Strengthening Communities: Food Access at Your Library

Wednesday, March 24th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Libraries across the country are increasingly working to address food insecurity in their local communities. Presenters from the South Carolina State Library, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health SNAP-Ed program, and Richland Library will provide examples of library food access initiatives including seed libraries, community gardens and farmers markets. Guidance will be provided on how to start food access initiatives with limited local partnership options, few staff and limited resources in rural, urban and suburban settings. The session will also explore how two statewide organizations support local libraries in this work through technical assistance and funding.

Census Essentials: Understanding the American Community Survey and Decennial Data

Friday, March 26th, 10am

This is an online event.

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey of the U. S. Census Bureau. It provides much more detailed information than the decennial census.

This program will explore the American Community Survey, decennial census data and datasets on We will learn about background information on the data, such as frequency of datasets, geography, data thresholds, and margin of error. Then we will delve into to learn how to retrieve ACS and the forthcoming 2020

This program will be presented by David J. Kraiker of the Datat Dissemination and Training Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Telehealth in Rural Public Libraries

Wednesday, April 14th, 11am

This is an online event.

Learn how a rural library partnered with the University of North Texas Health Science Center to launch a pilot telehealth program. In rural communities, libraries often have the fastest internet connection in town together with digital literacy to assist users. Rural Americans face health inequities that result in worse health care outcomes than their peers in more populated areas. The presentation will include a discussion of logistics, and the role of health and digital literacy in telehealth.