Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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The Library Moon Walk has officially launched! What's Library Moon Walk?

Glad you asked!

The Library Moon Walk is a joint initiative of the Mohawk Valley, Upper Hudson, and Southern Adirondack Library systems, funded by a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. It has three objectives:

  1. Provide access to authoritative health information to the public through in-person training for information professionals on resources available through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine
  2. Build relationships with local community health organizations to offer programs for the public
  3. Encourage healthy communities through the Library Moon Walk Challenge. People can self-report exercise on a website showing our progress to the moon

This week, I'll be sending out promotional material for the Library Moon Walk. Each library will receive a poster, postcards, a window cling, and temporary tattoos to share with your community. Please help spread the word, and encourage people to log their exercise on the Website. Directors who came to SALS for the October Council meeting picked up swag in person -- remaining libraries can expect it to arrive sometime this week.

We'll be kicking off the program publicly at 6:30 pm this Thursday, November 1, at the Schenectady County Public Library's McChesney Room with a talk by Lindsey Morse, a senior genetics counselor at Ferre Genetics. She'll be discussing the impact of the Human Genome Project on healthcare and what it means for public health. Please help spread the word about this program -- it's free of charge, and all are welcome.

If you have any questions about the Library Moon Walk, please get in touch.

Full House

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The Town of Ballston Community Library recently had four programs in one afternoon! Illustrator Jody Wheeler did a book reading of her newest work, Corduroy Takes A Bow, while kids decorated pumpkins and enjoyed Table Top Game Day. What a great day!

Feed & Forgive

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The Saratoga Springs Public Library is preparing to launch its annual fine forgiveness initiative, Food for Fines. All proceeds will benefit the Franklin Community Center, Inc. Patrons may participate from November 1-15.

Libraries Mean Business

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In 2016, SALS began its Libraries Mean Business initiative to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. We do this by providing funding for Notary Publics in 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 take the training, now is the time to register for the next round.

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.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation—Face-to-Face classes are four hours long. The next in-person class will be from 12:30 to 4:30 pm Friday, October 26 on the Queensbury Campus or from 12:30 -4:30 pm Thursday, December 6 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.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation Course online, self-paced, notary course is offered from September 5 through December 12 using the Angel learning system.

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 Wednesday, November 21. 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 and the course participation documentation to receive reimbursement from SALS. The deadline for submitting documentation for reimbursement to Erica is December 31, 2018. 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.

Toward Gigabit Libraries

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The "Toward Gigabit Libraries" project, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), has created a "Broadband Toolkit" and customized "Broadband Improvement Plan" designed to help public and tribal librarians learn about their current broadband infrastructure and internal information technology (IT) environment.

The Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit is a free, open-source technology learning, diagnostic and advocacy tool designed for public and tribal libraries in the US. The Towards Gigabit Library Toolkit is designed to empower libraries to become more savvy and effective consumers, advocates, and providers of high-quality Internet access and digital services to their communities. Funded by an Institute of Museum and Libary Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant, the toolkit is designed to scale nationally to all libraries, regardless of size or geographic location.

After you’ve completed the toolkit, use the Broadband Improvement Plan to create your own long-term and short-term strategies to improve your technology.

Free for All

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The makers of NARCAN®(naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray will provide one free box (two doses) of NARCAN and educational materials to all 16,568 public libraries in the United States.

“Public libraries are at the heart of every U.S. community and collaborate each day with partners to address critical local needs,” said Michelle Jeske, Denver Public Library City Librarian and member of the Public Library Association Board and the Libraries and the Opioid Crisis Steering Committee. “During the current opioid crisis, libraries are working with other public agencies to identify and share vital information and resources, host community forums, and provide staff training to respond to overdoses. This is one step of a long journey toward lasting community-based solutions.”

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The 2020 Census will be the first decennial census to offer the public an option to respond online, which may bring large numbers of users into libraries to complete their census questionnaire via library computers and internet connections. The Washington Office is collaborating with the Census Bureau, Census stakeholders and library leaders to ensure libraries are informed about the 2020 Census and can plan for potential demands. Public libraries have an important role to play in gathering census information, and ALA is recommending we work with local decision makers to:

  • Invite local libraries to participate on Complete Count Committees and related activities
  • Partner with libraries to assist local residents in applying and training for Census jobs
  • Host community meetings and outreach activities in libraries
  • Provide resources so libraries can meet technology needs for online Census response
  • Promote library services that provide access to Census data and training for data users

Read Them All

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The Carnegie Shortlist has been announced for 2019, and all of a sudden, library folk across the land are too busy to answer their phones. Coincidence?

Buy Them All

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Thank goodness for science. We're not hoarding when we bring home cairns of books that we may never actually get around to reading, we're getting smarter. So get that new title, buy that art tome that won't fit on any shelf, and enjoy.

Beyond Fabulous

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Gilderoy Lockheart has revealed photos from a shoot he recently did to support an article on the wizarding world. Don't try this at home. Giants can be dangerous.

Such a Deal

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Kate Bush is working on a book of selected lyrics -- with an introduction by David Mitchell! I don't think I need to remind you how many shopping days there are until the holidays, but here's a hint: I don't already own this.


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America Walks, partners of the Every Body Walk! Collaborative, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Juliet Ashby Hillman Foundation, Lyft, WalkBoston, and other generous sponsors, are excited to announce another round of our popular Community Change Grant program. This program will award grantees $1,500.00 in community stipends for projects related to creating healthy, active, and engaged places to live, work, and play. Click here to view and complete the application.

America Walks appreciates the never-ending and passionate work being done on a daily basis to create places where all community members have safe, accessible, equitable, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active. Advocates and community members are critical to creating opportunities for all members to see the benefits to individual health and wellness, community interaction, economic vitality, and environmental sustainability that come when walking and walkability is supported by local efforts. This grant program will work to provide support to the growing network of advocates, organizations, and agencies using innovative, engaging, and inclusive programs and projects to create change at the community level.

Funded projects will increase walking and benefits of walkability in communities, work to grow the walking movement by engaging people and organizations new to the efforts, and take steps towards creating a culture of inclusive health. Projects should be able to demonstrate how they will create healthy, active, and engaged communities that support walking as transportation, health, and recreation.

Awardees will be notified in December 2018. Funds must be used in the 2019 calendar year. Read about some of our past grantees from 2015, 2016, and 2017 to get inspiration for your projects.

Please contact Heidi Simon at with questions.

Click here to view and complete the application. Applications are due through submission of this form by November 2nd by 5 pm EST.

Preserving Our Treasures

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The New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials provides $500,000 each year for preserving materials in the collections of libraries, archives, historical societies and similar agencies. The grant awards for 2019-2020 will be limited to a minimum of $2,500 and a maximum of $40,000.

The Conservation Preservation Discretionary online grant application for 2019-2020 is now available. If you do not currently have a user name and password to access the online application please go to

The due date for applications is 5 pm November 9, 2018.

Questions about the program should be addressed to:

Barbara Lilley

Conservation/Preservation Program Officer

New York State Library

Room 10B41, Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

(518) 486-4864

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ALA's Great Stories Club is a thematic reading and discussion program that engages underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs.

An expansion of ALA's longstanding Great Stories Club program model, the TRHT series will feature books that explore questions of race, equity, identity, and history, and support racial healing sessions with participating libraries, their community partners, and their teen readers.

Applications will be accepted from Sept. 5—Nov. 16, 2018. Up to 70 libraries will be selected.

Participating libraries will work with small groups of approximately 10 teens; provide up to four theme-related books for each participant to keep as their own; convene opportunities for exploration and discussion of relevant humanities content among peers; and offer at least one interactive session for program conveners and participants led by a racial healing practitioner(s).

Applicants may choose to apply for one of the following themes: "Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present is a Conversation with the Past" and "Finding Your Voice."

Grantee benefits include 11 paperback copies of up to four books on the reading list; a programming grant of up to $1,200; travel and accommodation expenses paid for attendance at a two-day orientation workshop in Chicago; and additional resources, training, and support from ALA's Public Programs Office.

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The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with Citizen Film and the National Writing Project, invites public libraries to apply for programming grants to host community conversations centered around American Creed, a PBS documentary that invites audiences to consider what America’s ideals and identity ought to be.

Read the project guidelines and apply online by Nov. 19. Up to 50 public libraries will be selected.

Awardees will receive:

  • a DVD of the American Creed documentary for their circulating collections;
  • access to a high-quality, projection-ready download of the film, with public performance rights (PPR) included;
  • a $300 stipend to support speaker fees for an eligible public humanities scholar, or access to a representative from the National Writing Project to serve as program moderator;
  • a digital marketing and outreach kit with customizable printable postcards, posters and press releases and suggested social media posts with video clips for online promotion;
  • additional resources, training and support.

Grantees may choose to program the feature-length documentary and/or a suite of short films, including exclusive content not available on PBS.

Public libraries that receive the grant must implement three public programs between January and August 2019 that explore the themes and humanities questions featured in American Creed. Grantees are required to work with a public humanities scholar or representative from the National Writing Project to facilitate a conversation about the film, and to recruit a local partner for programming and marketing collaboration. Read the full project guidelines.

All libraries that submit a completed application — regardless of their grant award status — may receive access and permission to screen the film for a public audience, provided they agree to submit basic information about the screening to Citizen Film.

American Creed Community Conversations is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.

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ALA and Dollar General Literacy Foundation invite public libraries to apply for grants to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development.

Up to 16 grants of $10,000 each will be awarded. Public libraries are eligible if they serve adult English language learners and are located within 20 miles of a Dollar General Store, distribution center or corporate office. Visit the Dollar General Store Locator to check eligibility.

Read the project guidelines and apply online by Dec. 14, 2018.

ALA will host a free webinar at 1 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Oct. 24, for people interested in learning more about the American Dream grants. Register for the webinar here.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative strives to develop tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult English language learners in their communities and across the country.

The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a second language (ESL) collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English language learning (ELL), general educational development (GED) and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.

American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies, and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country. ALA shares the libraries’ successes and strategies through the website, on webinars, and at state, regional and national conferences.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. It is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office and Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services.

Online U.S. Citizenship Course

Thursday, Nov. 1st, 3pm

This is an online event.

Does your library provide support to adult immigrants who want to pursue U.S. citizenship and need help studying for the naturalization interview? Would a free, high-quality, and easy-to-use educational resources provide a viable option?

Thanks to a grant from LSTA, Butte County Library and USA Learns ( have teamed up to provide this webinar to introduce you to a free online course, USA Learns Citizenship, that helps immigrants prepare for all aspects of the naturalization interview.

Join presenters Andrea Willis and Katy Azevedo as they give a tour of the USA Learns Citizenship course, while you learn about ways that your organization can utilize the website to help immigrants prepare for their citizenship test. Talk to Katy about her experience using USA Learns Citizenship directly with migrant farm workers in Northern California as they prepare for their journey along the path to citizenship.

During this one-hour webinar, attendees will:

  • Learn about the basic steps to becoming a U.S. citizen.
  • Learn ways that immigrants can study for their naturalization interview, independently or with help from library staff or tutor.
  • Check out online lessons that prepare immigrants to answer questions related to their N-400 Application for Naturalization and questions related to U.S. civics.
  • Get familiar with online activities that prepare immigrants for the English reading, writing and speaking aspects of the citizenship test.
  • Get a peek at USA Learns' teacher side (, where you can easily create a course based on our content and monitor your learners' progress through the content.
  • Start thinking about how to roll out the USA Learns Citizenship course at your library.

This webinar will be of interest to anyone who wants to help immigrants become U.S. citizens, especially library staff and volunteers.

Small But Mighty Library Management and Innovation

Monday, Nov. 5th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Innovating. Meeting community needs. Managing the daily business of running a library. It can feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. But there are powerful models like the Millvale Community Library which is acting as an agent of change in the community without sacrificing their core role as an information resource. This small but mighty library addresses their community’s food desert, uses clean energy, offers a tool-lending library, and more—while operating in a financially sustainable way. Learn how they do it, and how you can, too!

Public Library Administration and Innovation for the 21st Century

Thursday, Nov. 8th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Public libraries have historically faced challenges as viable units in local government. As society struggles with issues related to the scope and effectiveness of government, librarians must ask, “How and why will communities support public libraries in the 21st century?” This webinar will present a framework for future library services, focusing on effective public sector skills, strategic planning, leadership, organizational and service innovation, information technology, readers, and the full range of library constituents.

Online English as a Second Language Courses

Wednesday, Nov. 14th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Is your library looking for ways to help people learn beginning and intermediate English as a second language (ESL)? Do you need free, high-quality, and easy-to-use educational resources? USA Learns ( has three ESL courses that incorporate video lessons and thousands of interactive learning activities to teach English.

Join presenters Andrea Willis and Katy Azevedo as they give a tour of the USA Learns English as a Second Language course, while you learn about ways that your organization can utilize the website to help immigrants improve basic language skills. Talk to Katy about her experience using the USA Learns directly with migrant farm workers in Northern California.

During this one-hour webinar, attendees will:

  • Get an overview of the 1st English Course (beginning ESL), 2nd English Course (intermediate ESL), and Practice English and Reading course (intermediate ESL).
  • Check out online lessons that include English speaking, listening, vocabulary, comprehension, pronunciation, reading, writing and grammar activities.
  • Hear what our adult learners say about USA Learns. (They love it!)
  • Learn about the free USA Learns English Apps, which provide vocabulary practice to support the 1st English Course.
  • Get a peek at USA Learns’ teacher side (, where you can easily create a course based on our content and monitor your learners’ progress through the materials.
  • Hear from Butte County Library regarding ways USA Learns is being used and start thinking about how to roll it out in your organization.

This webinar will be of interest to anyone who wants to help immigrants learn English, especially library staff and volunteers.

Using Google Search Data for Planning and Outreach: A Webinar Viewing Event

Monday, Nov. 19th, 2:30pm

28 Essex Street

Albany, NY

Librarians often rely on gut instinct or tried and true measures when deciding what to provide to their community. But is there any data that can help make these decisions? We've collected Google search data in 3000 library service areas, with some surprising results! In this hour-long session, we'll help you find data specific for your library and teach you how to use it. Knowing what your community wants will supercharge your outreach efforts and transform the way you select and evaluate resources.

Learning Objectives:

  • Find and evaluate new sources of data, statistics, and information relating to your library
  • Identify strategies and construct tactics that are consistent with research findings

Target Audience: This course is suited for anyone involved with marketing, outreach, and leadership.

Librarian Evolution: Libraries Thrive When We Change

Thursday, Nov. 29th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Charles Darwin said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." It has never been a better time to be a librarian—especially when we recognize and act on our power to help people in our communities build better lives through learning and literacy. To do that, our identity, our education, our organizations, and our work is changing. Learn how library staff are becoming change agents to help Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, the 2016 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, become an essential asset in its community.

This webinar is part of the Transformative Leaders series.

Presented by: Gina Millsap, Chief Executive Officer, and Thad Hartman, Chief of Staff, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (KS)