Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Last week I visited the Caldwell Lake George Public Library on a beautiful, crisp autumn day. I was struck by the brilliant foliage reflected in the water, and the sun highlighting glorious reds, oranges and yellows each time it dared to poke its head out from behind a cloud.

The change in season brought home the fact that we're in the last quarter of the year, even though my mind is somewhere back in February. Each year seems to move more quickly than the last, and the list of things that I want to accomplish grows exponentially longer. Reading the annual SALS Year in Review gave me a chance to reflect on 2018 (and reminding me of why it feels as if time is moving so quickly).

This year has been a whirlwind, culminating with the announcement that we have been awarded the Joseph L Shubert Library Excellence Award for the Farm-2-Library Distribution program, a collaboration with the Comfort Food Community's Fresh Food Collective. The award will be presented at the New York Library Association's Inaugural Banquet, from 7 to 9 pm Friday, November 15, at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Please join us!

But wait, there's more good news! Governor Cuomo has approved the legislation for 90% funding to cover public library construction costs in economically distressed areas, lessening the burden on libraries to provide matching funds for building projects. The State's public library construction grant program provides matching funds for approved costs of acquisition, construction, renovation, or rehabilitation of public library buildings, including broadband installation. Previously, this program allowed for a state funding match for up to 75 percent of the total project costs for public libraries located in an economically disadvantaged community.

If you're thinking about applying for a Public Library Construction grant, get in touch with Sara and Dianne to begin the planning process.

New Library, Who Dis?

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It's official -- the brand new Galway Public Library is open for business! Director Deb Flint and her Board of Trustees have worked tirelessly to secure the funding for and build the new library, which is triple the size of the former building. Congratulations to Deb, the Board of Trustees, and the entire Galway community for making an important investment in their community's future.

Toward a More Civil Discourse

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The Greenwich Free Library received a grant from the American Library Association to host the American Creed series, accompanied by conversations. American Creed is a PBS special that, in these days of acrimonious division, explores what unites us as Americans. Our histories, our experiences and our aspirations are often far more similar than they are different. While not blatantly confrontational, the program subtly challenges the viewer to examine their own assumptions about the backgrounds and attitudes of the people in our immediate and larger communities. The audience discussion following the film bore out the notion that people of good will can disagree and still learn from each other and work together for the common good.

Room to Read

The Schuylerville Public Library has opened its new reading room, expanding the amount of space available for patrons at the library. Director Caitlin Johnson is thrilled to open the new space to the public. The room will serve multiple purposes; as a quiet space during the day and as an event space in the evenings and weekends. She writes, "The community will be able to request room usage online on the library's website. This is the first time since the building was constructed in 1968 that the square footage has increased; necessary since the service population grew from about 1,000 to 10,000 people with our re-charter in 2013. "More space" was the number one request back in 2017, during community input sessions with our architects. We are so thankful to SALS and the NYS Construction Grant program for making this possible for us! I highly recommend the Butler, Rowland & Mays architects and MR2 Construction group. They are both wonderful to work with. Please drop by and check out our beautiful new room." We can't wait to stop by!

Pretty As A Picture

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In Hudson Falls, Kay Hafner -- the director of the Hudson Falls Public Library -- has been hard at work refreshing the library's exterior. The paint has been touched up and the front door has been refurbished -- all the better to welcome visitors!

Field Notes

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Our very own Dianne Winter attended NYCON’s Camp Finance Conference on October 10th & 11th at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. Aside from eating her weight in ice cream over the two days, she attended a number of great sessions -- the best of which she's sharing with you, our beloved readers. The real show-stopper of the conference was the general session “The Future of Social Impact Storytelling: What Will Change, What Won’t and Why it Matters” by Storytelling Scientist (yes, he admits to making that title up) John D. Trybus from Georgetown University. While a recording doesn’t quite do the live event justice, you can actually watch the same presentation she attended, recorded as a webinar, right here. While possibly less exciting, but no less important, she attended an excellent session on changes in Labor Law in New York State, coming away with two items. The first is the salary history inquiry ban which Governor Cuomo signed into law in July. You can read a summary of the legislation here by the law firm who held the session, but the short of it is that you cannot request wage or salary history from applicants as part of your interview process. Secondly, New York Election Law has been updated to allow registered voters up to three hours of time off work, regardless of the employee’s work schedule, without loss of pay, so the employee can vote in a public election. For a shorter read, here is a posting from the Board of Elections on the responsibilities of employers and employees.

In case you didn't know, being a part of the Southern Adirondack Library System includes membership in the New York Council of Nonprofits, which hosts Camp Finance. If you'd like to attend in the future, consider applying for a SALS Continuing Education Challenge Grant.

Feeling Techy

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Does Excel make the headaches? Would you like to master QuickBooks? Do you wish you had a human resources office? SUNY Adirondack is offering several courses to help you do all the things -- and the SALS Continuing Education Challenge Grants can help you make it happen! If you're interested in attending any of the SUNY Adirondack classes on Excel, Quickbooks, or the essentials of Human Resources, apply for a Continuing Education Challenge Grant -- we've extended the deadline to October 25, 2019. Choose from the following courses to take advantage of this opportunity:

Excel Level 3 —

Advanced Skills

This course is intended for those individuals who have significant experience with Microsoft Excel.

November 13 & 20

Wednesdays | 6 to 9 pm

Registration for this class closes on Wednesday, October 30


Learn the basic functions and applications of QuickBooks 2018 software. Each participant will be required to have QuickBooks software and a laptop to participate.

December 4 & 11

Wednesdays | 6 to 9 pm | SUNY Adirondack Saratoga

Registration for this class closes on Wednesday, November 20


November 4 and 11

Mondays | 8:30am to 4:30pm | SUNY Adirondack Saratoga

This two-day SHRM Essentials of Human Resources course offers a comprehensive overview of the key aspects of human resources roles and responsibilities, including topics such as talent acquisition, learning and development, performance management and employment law.

Registration for this class closes on Wednesday, October 23.

Price: $610 (Course price includes $270 materials fee for Reference Book, Activities Book and access to online tools)

Call 518.743.2238 or email to register today.

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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, and are builidng a digital collection of business-related 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 good news!.

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 are two in-person classes:

  • 12:30 to 4:30 pm Friday, October 25 @ SUNY Adirondack Queensbury Campus

  • 9:30 am to 1:30 pm Friday, November 15 @ SUNY Adirondack Saratoga

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 learning opportunity, available from September 9 through December 13, allowing anyone interested to move at your own pace.

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 December 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.

Healthy Habits

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Interested in hosting a book club focusing on health and wellness? The National Network of Libraries of Medicine makes it easy with a program-in-a-box book club kit. Books reference a health topic that aligns with the NIH All of Us Research Program and the National Health Observances calendar. Fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, graphic novels, and young adult titles are available. Currently, you can select books from various topics including Family Health, Mental Health, Heart Health, LGBTQ Health, Disability Health, Vaccine Health, and Healthy Aging, with new topics added regularly.

A standard NNLM Reading Club Book Kit includes:

  • 8 books, regular print*
  • 8 discussion guides
  • 8 NIH MedlinePlus Magazines
  • 8 NIH All of Us Research Program brochures
  • 8 reading club book bags

To request the NNLM Reading Club Book Kit Feature Selection, complete the online application form. Any United States library that is an organizational member of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is eligible to apply.

Unhealthy Habits

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When not writing serial novels (or perhaps because of it), Charles Dickens liked a wee nip. To keep track of his numerous barrels of whiskey and port, he kept a log, which was recently purchased at auction.

Toxic Tales

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At the end of the nineteenth century, Library Journal reported on "The Great Book Scare," a concern that contagious diseases were being spread through library books. Libraries took steps to disinfect books -- some going as far as to burn books -- in an effort to combat public phobias. As people began to realize librarians were not getting any sicker than the public, concerns abated. Books were again recognized as spreading ideas, not disease.


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Samuel Jackson was nowhere to be found (but we can imagine what he may have said) when a patron dumped a bag of snakes on the Madison County Public Library circulation desk. Interim director Peggy Goforth remained calm and cool as the patron shared the names of each of the snakes, but reminded him that pets were not allowed in the library. The library has been under siege of late with a variety of alleged pets, including one patron's ant farm whose inhabitants made a break for it during a feeding session. Stay strong out there, and beware of bags of snakes!

Autism Welcome Here

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The "Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More" grant, sponsored by Libraries and Autism: We're Connected, will accept applications beginning September 1, 2019.

The grant honors the groundbreaking work of Meg Kolaya, co-founder of Libraries and Autism: We're Connected and a pioneer in the area of library service to people with autism. It celebrates her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries and the autism community, and bringing awareness of the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families to the library community.

The grant is a direct outcome of the Illinois State Library's broad and ambitious project, Targeting Autism: A National Forum on Serving Library Patrons on the Spectrum, and is funded by Barbara Klipper, retired librarian, consultant and trainer, and the author of Programming for Children and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ALA Editions, 2014).

A total of $5,000 will be awarded. Depending on the applications received, one grant for the full amount or multiple grants for smaller amounts totaling $5,000 may be awarded.

The application deadline is December 1, 2019.

Any type of library in the United States or Canada can apply, and the proposal can fund projects and services for any age group. Applicants may propose to initiate a new, creative program or service, bring an already-existing, successful program or service to their library for the first time, or enhance a program or service they already offer. All programs or services proposed must benefit people with autism or their families, directly or indirectly. Funds may be used to hire a trainer to present a workshop, to buy program materials, to pay for staff, etc.

Applications will be judged on the basis of:

1. The project is clearly described and well thought out.
2. The potential impact is significant.
3. There is institutional support for the program or service
4. People with autism, family members or other community stakeholders are involved in the development and/or implementation of the project.
5. The program is one that would be replicable in other communities.
6. The program or service is based on an understanding of the needs of people with autism and/or best practices in working with this population.
7. There is a plan for the continuation of the service or program after the grant year.
8. The project would not be possible without outside funding.

Please direct any questions to Barbara Klipper:

Win All the Things!

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The PLA awards online application is now open!

PLA awards and grants highlight the best in public library service and honor those bringing innovation, creativity, and dedication to public libraries. In addition to the awards, grants, and honoraria, the winners and their libraries will be honored at the PLA Member Breakfast the 2020 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Applications close Friday, December 6, 2019, at 11:59 PM Central Time.

Nominate yourself or a colleague for any of the following awards and grants:

  • Allie Beth Martin Award, honoring a public librarian who has demonstrated extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books or other library materials and has the distinguished ability to share that knowledge. Sponsored by Baker & Taylor.
  • Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music/Video Product Award, promoting the development of a circulating audio music/video collection in a public library.
  • Charlie Robinson Award, honoring a public library director who, over a period of seven years, has been a risk taker, an innovator and/or a change agent in a public library. Sponsored by Baker & Taylor.
  • EBSCO Excellence in Rural Library Service Award, honoring a public library serving a population of 10,000 or less with an upper per capita income limit of not more than the 75th quartile of the national average that demonstrates excellence of service to its community.
  • Gordon M. Conable Award, honoring a public library staff member, library trustee or public library that has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.
  • John Iliff Award, honoring a library worker, librarian or library that has used technology as a tool to improve services.
  • New Leaders Travel Grant, enhancing the professional development of new public librarians by making possible their attendance at major professional development activities.
  • PLA Library Innovation Award, recognizing a public library's innovative and creative service program to the community.
  • Romance Writers of America Library Grant, providing a public library the opportunity to build or expand its romance fiction collection and/or host romance fiction programming.
  • The Singer Group Helping Communities Come Together Award, recognizing a public library's ability to identify community needs specifically in times of crisis and division, and respond in creative and exemplary ways to critical challenges.

Learn All the Things!

How to Talk About Race

Tuesday, Oct. 29th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Hosting book discussions and/or community conversations can be daunting when we are not equipped to manage certain aspects of a conversation. “How to talk about Race” is a brief but insightful introduction to moderating discussions relating to race. Conversations about race are deeply personal and can be polarizing; the content we have created serves as a guide to navigate these discussions while maintaining a respectful environment. The purpose of this webinar is to walk away with applicable tools to utilize in book discussions and community conversations, learn how to establish ground rules for a group discussion, understanding an identity wheel and its purpose, and develop strategies for disruptive participants.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the concepts of microaggressions & lived experiences, and how they can play a part in framing conversations
  2. Learn how to manage group discussions relating to race
  3. Explore strategies to navigate polarizing comments in a conversation/discussion

Basics of Budgeting for Libraries

Wednesday, Oct. 30th, 9:30am

28 Essex Street

Albany, NY

CDLC will be hosting a workshop from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Wednesday, October 30 covering: Basics of Budgeting for Non-Profit Libraries. This workshop will be presented by Peggy J. Rowe and Shannon T. Forkin. They are both Certified Public Accountants with a combined experience of over 35 years in the field. They are Partners at Dannible & McKee, LLP.

During this workshop, the presenters will walk through setting up a detailed budget for both revenues and expenses. They will also discuss the differences and benefits between an accrual-based budget versus a cash flow budget.

Learning Objectives:

  • Accounting Concepts
    • Understanding the basic account equation
    • What are Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
    • Cash basis vs accrual basis accounting
    • Understand the basic financial statements
  • Introduction to Budgeting
  • Understand what a budget is
  • Understand the advantages of having a budget
  • Understand the types of budgets that may be used
  • Relationship between strategic planning and budgeting process
  • Review the way that budgets are developed
  • Determine the accounting and financial tools required to prepare and analyze your budget

Public Libraries Partner to Respond to the Opioid Crisis

Wednesday, Oct. 30th, 3pm

This is an online event.

As communities across the country experience the impact of the opioid epidemic, public library staff are finding themselves on the front line of this public health crisis. How should libraries engage? Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Epidemic with Their Community is an IMLS-funded project led by OCLC and PLA to expand libraries’ capacity to support their communities. The project studied a diverse set of communities where the library is an active partner in addressing the epidemic and facilitated discussions with library leaders and a range of government, public health, and community organizations.

Presenters will share insights gained from the case studies and emerging practices, opportunities, and challenges, and share resources to help library staff guide their libraries’ response to the opioid crisis. This is the first in a series of webinars on this topic, highlighting the project findings.

Presented by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC; Michelle Jeske, Denver Public Library; Marion Rorke, Denver Dept of Public Health and Environment; and Kendra Morgan, WebJunction

Reimagining the Public: Library Services to People in Jails and Prisons

Thursday, Oct. 31st, 12pm

This is an online event.

On any given day in America, more than 2 million people are detained in jails and prisons. This number does not include the many people who are on restrictive movement (through GPS monitoring), nor does in represent the impact of incarceration on the loved ones and communities of people who are incarcerated. Despite this, the impact of incarceration and the importance of library services to people who are incarcerated is often viewed as a form of specialized librarianship rather than an aspect of public library services.

This webinar equips public librarians and library and information science instructors with the information they need to reimagine the publics they serve as including people in local jails and prisons. The webinar will cover a variety of service models and best practices that can be modified to fit the library contexts of webinar participants, and participants will leave with the tools needed to advocate for library services to people in jails and prisons as an aspect of increasing equity, diversity, and creating more inclusive library practices.

Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to

  1. Describe how incarceration impacts the communities that have typically been considered underserved within library literature
  2. Identify barriers to information access that are created by jails and prisons and ways to address these barriers
  3. Justify public library services to people in jails and prisons as part of public library services
  4. Form LIS instructor-public librarian partnerships in order to mentor future librarians in providing services to people who are incarcerated