Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Thanks to all of the amazing library advocates who made the trip to Albany (or called and e-mailed from remote outposts!) to visit with our representatives and remind them of the importance of funding libraries. This year we're requesting $200 million in funding for libraries across the state, $75 million for Public Library Construction Grants, and changing the funding formula for those grants from the current 75% state funding/ 25% library funding to 90% state funding/ 10% library funding, so that all libraries, regardless of size, have the money they need to create bold 21st century libraries.

All of the representatives we met with indicated their support for libraries, and one even went so far as to suggest we needed to ask for much more than $200 million -- and we agree, we're worth it.

Thanks again to everyone who raised their voice in support of equitable access. If you haven't yet had a chance to weigh in, there's still time to use the New York Library Association's Advocacy Center.

Good Bones

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The Whitehall Free Library has been renovating its library one room at a time. Most recently, it finished a dramatic transformation of its computer lab, removing a wall of bookshelves, painting, and installing new tables to provide more room for the community to use its computers. Bravo!

Advocacy Day!!!

21st Century Engagement & Communication Skills

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In last year's 2017 System Use & Satisfaction Survey, member libraries reported that they wanted to learn more about:

  • Customer service
  • Conflict resolution and mediation
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Preventing harassment

We’re pleased to announce that SALS has been awarded generous funding for and is partnering with SUNY Adirondack’s Office of Continuing Education to offer a series of continuing education sessions supporting 21st Century Engagement & Communication Skills under the auspices of the SUNY Workforce Development Grant.

Over the next four months, 3-hour training sessions covering the above topics will be offered on different days and times in Saratoga and Queensbury locations to include as many libraries’ staff as possible. Each workshop will address daily challenges and provide information, tools, and resources to support your work.

The series will begin with sessions on Customer Service. All library staff is welcome to register and attend one of the following sessions:

  • 1 to 4 pm Tuesday, April 9 at SUNY Adirondack Queensbury campus - Adirondack Hall room 140

  • 9 am to 12 pm Thursday, April 11 at the SALS training room in Saratoga Springs

Complete the registration or copy and paste this link: into your browser.

Please register for only one of the two sessions by or before Monday, April 1st. Each session is limited to 26 participants. 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 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.

Library Program of the Year Award

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Have you launched an amazing program at your library in 2018? Here's a chance to share the story of the great work you're doing -- by applying for SALS's annual Library Program of the Year Award.


  • Program must have been initiated during the 2018 calendar year.

  • Any program---adult, outreach, young adult, children, community services or public relations are eligible.

  • Selection is based on programs that have demonstrated creativity and innovation, demonstrated community partnerships, enhanced services to the community, or reached a previously unserved constituency.

  • The program must have pursued excellence in library services and sought to have the library make a difference in the community.


  • A program may be nominated by the library, by a community member, or by a Trustee. Nominations must be described & submitted on library letterhead and be accompanied by any supporting materials. Nominations by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.

  • One award will be given. One program per library will be considered.
  • The nomination must be received at SALS before 4:30 p.m., March 29, 2019, Attention: Sara Dallas

  • SALS Library Services Committee is responsible for the selection of the award recipients.


  • Award winners will be announced at the SALS Board Meeting on April 16, 2019. Awards will be presented at the SALS 61st Annual Meeting on May 20, 2019.

  • Award consists of a framed certificate honoring the library’s achievements.

  • If a representative from an award-winning library is not present at the Annual Meeting, the certificate will be given to the library's Board representative for presentation at the library's next Board Meeting.

Trustee of the Year Award

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We have to admit -- our member libraries have fantastic trustees. Tell us why one of your trustees should be honored for their outstanding service, and they will be considered for the 2018 SALS' Trustee of the Year award.

Nominees should meet the following Eligibility Requirements:

  • Member of the Board of Trustees of a SALS member library for the 2018 calendar year.

  • Initiated service(s), program(s) or community involvement on behalf of the library.

  • Demonstrated exemplary leadership characteristics.

  • Pursued excellence in the library and sought to have the library make a difference in the community.

Nomination Procedure:

  • An individual may be nominated by the Library Director or a Trustee. The nomination should be submitted on library letterhead and be accompanied by any supporting materials. Nominations by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.

  • One award will be given. One Trustee per library will be considered.

  • The nomination must be received at SALS before 4:30 pm, March 29th, 2019, Attention: Sara Dallas

  • SALS Personnel Committee is responsible for the selection of the award recipients.


  • Award winners will be announced at the SALS Board Meeting on April 16, 2019. The award will be presented at the SALS 61st Annual Meeting on May 20, 2019.

  • The award consists of a framed certificate honoring the recipient’s achievements on behalf of his/her library.

  • If the award recipient is not present at the Annual Meeting, the certificate will be given to the library’s Board representative for presentation at the library’s next Board meeting.
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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 are two in-person classes to choose from:

  • 12:30 -4:30 pm Friday, March 1 at the Queensbury Campus
  • 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 from January 22 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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Are you ready for the biggest, baddest, fullest day devoted to Adult Programming? Steel yourselves -- it's all happening from 9 am to 4:30 pm Wednesday, May 8, at the Crandall Public Library. The day will include workshops, an unconference, and time to mingle and share ideas with other adult programmers. Stay tuned for more info!
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A Picture is Worth How Many Words?

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Artist Ariel Aberg-Riger tells the story of libraries in these stunning visuals.

Stranger Than Fiction

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That time a simple Yakima librarian moved to Hollywood and became the official Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science librarian. Margaret Herrick became then became the director and decided to televise the Oscars.

Big Reveal

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Scientists have been using DNA evidence to rewrite what we know of history. When they realized that books held a treasure trove of DNA, they came into conflict with book conservators.

Opportunities Abound: Grants, Awards & More

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The Library of Congress invites organizations committed to the advancement of literacy to apply for the 2019 Library of Congress Literacy Awards. Applications will be accepted from January 14 to March 8, 2019. Created and supported by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, the Literacy Awards Program is designed to broaden and stimulate public understanding of the essential role of literacy in all aspects of society.

Organizations may submit applications for one of three major prizes: the David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000), the American Prize ($50,000) and the International Prize ($50,000). Applications in all categories will also be considered for Best Practice awards of $5,000 each.

In addition to receiving cash awards, winning organizations and best practices honorees have opportunities to participate in:

  • A prestigious awards ceremony and reception at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
  • An annual conference that encourages peer-to-peer learning, best practices promotion and collaboration.
  • A robust network of literacy professionals working all over the world.

The deadline for applications is midnight EDT, March 8, 2019.
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The National Book Fund is accepting applications for its grants for educational materials to support adult literacy programs. The NBF supports basic literacy, adult education, English language instruction, GED/HSE preparation, and family literacy. New Readers Press, ProLiteracy's publishing division, provides the books and materials for NBF awards. NBF grants have ranged from $500 to $2,000, although greater or lesser funding amounts are considered. Grant requests significantly over the $2,000 level are not typically funded, but will be considered as long as a clear programmatic and financial need is demonstrated in your application.

The application is open February 1, 2019, and due back by March 15, 2019.

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The American Library Association (ALA) Council, at a Sunday session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, approved the new Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity.

The award recognizes the staff of U.S. libraries who overcome adversity to create lasting innovative community service programs that inspire and connect with readers.

The award is open to public, school, and academic libraries. The $10,000 cash prize given to a library is sponsored by the Penguin Random House Foundation. Also, four runner-up awards consisting of $1,000 in Penguin Random House books will be awarded to eligible libraries.

The nomination must show evidence of hardship, including economic difficulties or natural disasters, and demonstrate successful partnership(s) that work to overcome the hardship. Partners can include schools, local business, museums, and other community organizations. The nomination should focus on innovative and unique programming that may include new technology, reading methods or formats, outreach, etc. Nominees are not required to have a Master's in Library Science degree.

The deadline for applications is March 16. The award will be present at the ALA annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 23 during the ALA President's Program.

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Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Enabling New Scholarship through Increasing Access to Unique Materials is a national grant competition administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for digitizing rare and unique content in collecting institutions. The program is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is built upon the model of CLIR's Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program (2008-2014).

Applications for the 2019 cycle are due by Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

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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!

Conducting a Library Facility Security Assessment Without Needing a Security Consultant

Wednesday, March 13th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Think you need to hire an expensive security consultant to conduct a site security assessment of your library? While it’s true that security professionals do have a certain expertise, it is possible to use the same techniques, questions, and assessment instruments as a security professional for your library.

Join presenter and security expert Dr. Steve Albrecht as he discusses how you can ask and answer the various questions about critical facility security components for your library, including: access control, visitor and vendor management, cameras, alarms, interior and exterior lighting, IT protections and controls, perimeter protections and emergency evacuations.

This webinar will help library professionals - who know their facilities better than any security consultant could ever - to perform a thorough assessment, write a draft report for feedback, and then create a finished report that can be used as a reasonable template for security improvements, policy changes, and training suggestions.

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

  • Know how to ask and answer the various questions about critical facility security components for their library
  • Know how to create a finished report that can be used for security improvements, policy changes and training.

This webinar will be of interest to library executives, department heads, and managers who are responsible for the safety and security of their facilities.

5 Ways to Promote Digital Equity in Your Library

Friday, March 22nd, 2pm

This is an online event.

Libraries have committed to addressing the digital divide as part of our mission, but addressing this issue today requires more than providing PC access or email classes. How can libraries ensure that access to services like coding workshops and 3D printers are available to the whole community? These are 5 ways you work to make sure that your community is getting the tools, resources, and training that they need. Join Booklist and author Lauren Comito who will be discussing her book “Tech for All: Moving beyond the Digital Divide”.

Strategic Planning in a Deeply Weird World: The Flexible Roadmap Field Guide Approach

Tuesday, March 26th, 3pm

This is an online event.

It's a big task to define the library’s future over the next three or five years, and strategic planning is becoming less and less effective in a rapidly changing world. The Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) has created a new approach that is flexible, staff-driven, and human-centered. SCLPL's Strategic Roadmap is not a 100-page plan in a binder-on-a-shelf; it’s an experiential learning tool that invites all staff to participate in the co-creation of meaningful outcomes and experiences for the community. The Roadmap focuses less on planning and more on building the capacity of staff to adopt a human-centered service design mindset and skillset. SLCPL staff are adopting a new perspective, continually experimenting with and adapting spaces, collections, services, programs, and their roles, to responsively address community needs and aspirations in an ever-changing landscape. Join us for this webinar to learn how to cultivate new skills to help bring the Roadmap to life for your library’s strategic planning.

Presented by: Peter Bromberg, Executive Director, and Marilee Moon, Assistant Director of Customer Experience, at Salt Lake City Public Library

Creating A Crisis Communications Plan That Works

Wednesday, March 27th, 3pm

This is an online event.

In a world with a 24-hour news cycle, libraries must be ready to communicate quickly about any crisis that may impact their community. Yet few libraries have an up to date crisis communication plan. From a natural disaster, a shooting in a branch, anger in the community over a library program or partnership, or a social media campaign against a library choice, a crisis can take many forms.

Join presenter and communications director Kim Crowder as she shares how you can create a full crisis communications plan from start to finish. She will discuss real examples of crisis communications plans that worked, and missteps that you can avoid. Start building a strong plan and community relationships now that will help you once a crisis hits.

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

  • Learn to use public relations, social media, website, email and more to build a strong crisis communications plan.
  • Figure out what relationships you should be creating ahead of time, before crisis happens
  • Discover the steps to writing a successful plan that you can start today
  • Consider different avenues of communication based on the type of crisis

You may not be able to stop the crisis, but you can create a crisis communications plan now that will set you up to successfully keep patrons, your service area, and your staff updated with the most current information during times of disaster.

This webinar will be of interest to anyone who:

  • Works with communications outlets
  • Is in charge of sharing information internally with staff
  • Handles social media for library systems

Summer Library Programming and Library Moon Walk

Tuesday, April 2nd, 3pm

This is an online event.

This one hour webinar will explore the NNLM Summer Health Programming Manual and feature librarians from the Library Moon Walk.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has partnered with the Collaborative Summer Library Program to bring health programming to your library for Summer Reading! A Universe of Stories is coming to public libraries this summer in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Explore DNA and family history, make stardust, discover astronaut food, and more with our science programs for kids, teens, and adults. The NNLM Summer Health Programming Manual and other details of the project will be shared.

Library Moon Walk!

A “walk” from Upstate New York to the Moon is approximately 238,900 miles. But that’s not stopping librarians and their patrons from giving it their best shot with the Library Moon Walk! Librarians from the Mohawk Valley, Southern Adirondack, and Upper Hudson Library Systems received funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region to get their patrons moving, dancing, and learning about health and wellness. Learn about the Library Moon Walk from the librarians who created it.

Guest speakers:
Lois Gordon, Mohawk Valley Library System
Deanna DeCarlo, Upper Hudson Library System
Erica Freudenberger, Southern Adirondack Library System

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.

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