Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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What does the future hold? According to a new report on the Future of Skills: Employment in 2030, we need to be thinking about interpersonal skills, higher-order cognitive skills, and systems skills. The future is for the bold -- those willing to take risks, adopt technology, embrace innovation and growth.

Key trends for the future include: Environmental sustainability, urbanization, increasing inequality, political uncertainty, technological change, globalization, and demographic change. The skills that will be needed include social skills, higher order cognitive skills (originality, fluency of ideas), and active learning.

One key area of focus was identified: Strengthening the affective aspects of education and a lifelong learning habit, especially among boys and students from disadvantaged backgrounds who tend to have lower levels of motivation.

The good news: The report shows that one area of growth in jobs will be for those interested in teaching library science at a secondary level. Non-farm animal caretakers also rate highly -- I'm designing a hybrid library instruction/panda cuddler position to hedge my bets....

In the meantime, if you haven't yet signed up for this year's New York Library Association conference, there's still time! And finally, consider applying for a scholarship to take part in a workshop about Dialogue and Deliberation at the annual American Library Association conference, to be held in New Orleans in 2018.

I'm getting ready to book another round of library visits, so if you're up for hanging out and telling me all about the cool stuff you're doing, let me know:

Rockstar Readers

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The Richards Library awarded prizes to all the kids that completed this year's Richards Library Summer Reading Program. Over the summer, these Super-Readers read 749 books (last year it was 490)! The winners of each grade category received a Champion's lawn sign and a $50 Gift Certificate to Barnes & Noble Book Store. All participants received a certificate, lawn sign, free meal tickets to Texas Roadhouse Restaurant and Applebee's Restaurant, a free pass to the Museum of Innovation and Science in Schenectady and a free Pass to Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke. The Champion Readers were: Benjamin Birkholtz-Kindergarten; Tieryn Benedict-Broadway-1st Grade; Angelique Ingalls-2nd Grade; Caitlin O'Donnell-3rd Grade and Dymonn Prosser-4th Grade. Congratulations to ALL that completed the program!


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The Galway Public Library is collecting new socks for this year's “Socktober.” The socks will be donated to Things of My Very Own, Inc., a local non-profit based in Schenectady which helps kids and families in the community. You can find out more about the organization at their website:


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A $600 donation from the Argyle Friends of the Library inspired Director Hannah Stahl to reimagine the front room, creating a vibrant children's room. Above is Hannah's work in progress -- definitely making a much brighter, inviting space, and proving once again that directors of small libraries can do anything!

Shop & Play Local

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The Schuylerville Public Library took part in the Schuylerville Small Business Association's annual scavenger hunt, hosting fun family activities, including free face painting, music, games, and crafts here all day long. We will also raffle off a $50 Clark's Steakhouse Gift Certificate (One free entry was given to anyone who registered for a library card or checked out a book on Sunday, Oct 8).
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Adult learners who struggle with literacy don’t often the opportunity to socialize and discuss books, and don’t have a chance to discover the magic of reading for pleasure. A high-interest/low-level adult book club can change all that, by bringing together adult learners to socialize, discuss books, and encourage a love of reading.

Krista Conrick, the Adult Education Teacher at WSHWE BOCES, will lead a workshop from 9:30 -11:30 am Thursday, October 19, at SALS on helping low-literacy adults improve their reading skills in a small group setting. She’ll cover reading research, improving comprehension, group structure, selecting appropriate materials, working with adults, and advertising. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to start and run their own Hi/Low Book Club.

This workshop is a collaboration between the Mohawk Valley, Upper Hudson, and Southern Adirondack Library Systems, and WSHWE BOCES.

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Homeschoolers are heavy library users -- are you doing all you can to serve this demographic? Learn more about how to provide the best services, programming, and collection development to support homeschoolers during the Making Your Library Work for Homeschoolers Workshop at 2:30 pm Wednesday, October 25 at SALS. This 90-minute ALA virtual workshop will cover the tools and resources that you need to reach this group of patrons.

Learning Outcomes:

After participating in this workshop, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the benefits of serving homeschoolers
  • learn easy steps to build a comprehensive service plan for your homeschooling communities
  • Have resources and tools easily available to help you serve your homeschooling populations

Everything You Wanted to Know About Digital Literacy

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Trying to figure out how to offer boffo digital literacy programming for adults & seniors? Come to the Digital Literacy Programming for Adults & Seniors, instructed by Bekah Jarvis-Girtler from 9:30 -11:30 am Thursday, October 26 at the Upper Hudson Library System.

This workshop is free to members of UHLS, SALS, and MVLS, but registration is required. Register here.

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The Crandall Public Library and SALS are co-sponsoring two workshops on library safety and security with Dr. Steve Albrecht on Friday, October 27. There are two sessions – the morning session will take place at Crandall Public Library (Glens Falls) from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and the afternoon session at Saratoga Springs Public Library from 1:30 to 5:30 pm.

Library staff who attend this program will gain practical and realistic tools to create a safer workplace. The workshop content will touch upon behaviors, security measures, and activating “high-risk” customer service skills.

Sara Dallas is encouraging all member library Boards of Trustees to allow their library to close so that all employees can take part in this important and timely training.

Sign up for a session today.

Fun Do! Adult Program Swap

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Calling all adult services/programming librarians! Share your best programs at the next tri-system Adult Program Swap from 9:30 - 11:30 am Thursday, January 11 at the Mohawk Valley Library System (snow date Thursday, January 25). This meeting will focus on food & drink programs – bring examples of your best cooking, drinking, food contests, lectures, etc. to share with your peers.

Light refeshments will be served. We hope to see you there!

In the meantime, if you need some inspiration, check out the new Capital Region Adult Programming Blog begun by Leah LaFera.

Mohawk Valley Library System | 858 Duanesburg Road, Schenectady, NY 12306
(Carpooling is appreciated)

Download and edit the program information template:

Learn All About It

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The Brooklyn Public Library is offering The Teacher Lab, an information literacy and research skills course for K-12 educators (teachers and school librarians). The course is designed to help educators feel more confident finding a variety of texts and media for their classrooms.

The course includes an orientation to the resources of the modern public library, visiting a special collection in an archive, and a review of information literacy skills essential for navigating open internet tools like Google and Wikipedia. You'll learn how to apply core research skills across all disciplines, handle primary sources, and how to evaluate and cite resources ranging from scholarly articles to tweets. The final assignment challenges you to build a multimedia resource list on any teaching topic you choose.

Opportunities Abound

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The Association for Library Service to Children will award twelve $5,000 Strengthening Communities Through Libraries minigrants to ALSC personal members in public libraries whose libraries are within 20 miles of a Dollar General corporate or retail location to help libraries provide out-of-school time STEAM learning for children. In addition to minigrants, ALSC will also develop supplemental resources that will be made widely available to support the out-of-school time programming of libraries and their community partners.

Applications are due by October 20, 2017 by 5 p.m. CST.

ALSC is now accepting applications for 2018 ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way” Grant

CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) are now accepting online applications for the 2018 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved grant. This $3,000 grant, made possible by Candlewick Press in honor of Newbery Medalist and Geisel Honoree author Kate DiCamillo, will go to a library conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations through a new program or an expansion of work already being done.

The winning project should be well thought-out, appropriate to the target population, doable, and replicable by other libraries. Each applicant will be judged on the following:

· Project Information- The outline should include goals, measures of success, a timeline with action steps, and how the project will be documented.

· Target Population- Descriptions of the community served by your library, including a concise economic and demographic profile. Detail community benefits, outreach, and the various players involved in promoting the program to the underserved population in your area.

Applicants must be members of the American Library Association. Deadline for submissions is December 1, 2017. For more information about the award requirements and submitting the online application please visit the ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way” Grant Web page.

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at

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Are you interested in learning how to use data for decision-making, strategic planning, and demonstrating the impact of your library? If so, consider attending next summer’s Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL), July 29 – August 1, 2018 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Registration will open Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at 1 pm. The institute fee is $1,200, which includes registration, three nights lodging, and most meals.

Up to 20 scholarships are available to staff working in rural and small public libraries in the United States. These scholarships are funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

To be eligible for a scholarship, you must be employed by a U.S. public library that is located in a rural area AND serves a population of less than 25,000. To determine whether your library meets these criteria, please see this webpage. In addition, you must be a first-time participant of RIPL – if you have already attended a national or regional RIPL event, you are not eligible for a scholarship.

Scholarship applications are due by 8 PM Friday, October 27, 2017.

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2018 Summer Grant applications are now open! There are two types of grants, a Summer Learning grant and a Teen Intern grant. There will be twenty of each grant type worth $1,000 each. The summer grants are again generously funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Apply by Jan. 1, 2018. Eligibility requirements apply. More info and how to apply can be found here.

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Start off the school year with a new collection of free art books! Place your order of free books through A.R.T.’s Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program (D.U.C.).

The D.U.C. provides public schools and libraries with free books on contemporary art and culture. All public institutions who self-define as underserved are eligible to place annual, unrestricted orders. Create an account and view the book catalog.
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The App Challenge is an annual congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in coding and computer science through local events hosted by the Members of Congress.

Between now and November 1, high school students from across the country will be busy creating an app for mobile, tablet or computer devices.

This year, there are over 165 Members of Congress signed up to participate in the launch! Check to see if your district is participating. If not, we encourage you to connect with your Representative to make sure that s/he does sign up. The App Challenge website also has a library letter template you can use to send to your Member of Congress.

Holistic Data for Healthy Libraries

Wednesday, Oct. 11th, 11am

This is an online event.

Similar to biological organisms, our organizations require healthy and effective systems in order to thrive. A holistic view of libraries as a system makes possible new insights and approaches to old challenges. In this session, learn how Delaware libraries are applying a systems approach, using data strategically and holistically to increase their value and to improve services and outcomes for Delawareans.

Change Your Culture, Change Your Results

Wednesday, Oct. 11th, 2pm

This is an online event.

This webinar equips you with the framework you need to create a culture where everyone is committed to achieving organizational goals. After completion, you will have the tools you need to:

  • Create and reinforce commitment to a common set of unifying values that drives actionable performance and behavior toward meaningful results.
  • Build and sustain strong teams where everyone appreciates the opportunity to help you succeed.
  • Focus everyone’s energy on the handful of key behavior and performance expectations that will make you stand out in the marketplace.
  • Promote accountability for performance and results at every level of their organization.

Bilingual Storytimes: Reaching Through the Language Barrier

Thursday, Oct. 12th, 3pm

This is an online event.

As our library clientele becomes more diverse, so must our programming. The good news is that you already have the skills and access to the resources you need to research, plan, and deliver targeted programming in languages other than English. In this webinar, we’ll focus on how to adapt your current storytimes for Spanish/English storytimes. You can use this same process to deliver storytimes in any language.

Presented by: Tina L. Bartholoma, Senior Librarian, Salt Lake County Library System; and David Bird, Assistant Manager, Salt Lake County Library Services

This webinar focuses on how to research, plan, and deliver storytimes in languages other than English, even when you don't speak the language.

The Importance of Strategic Planning

Monday, Oct. 16th, 2-4pm

This is an online event.

Does your institution have a strategic plan? If not, this webinar will convince you to start the process! Through strategic planning, organizations create a roadmap for effective decision making. A strategic plan establishes a common vision, outlines of strategic goals and objectives, and stresses organizational structures that support the work of implementation.

Getting Started with Social Media for Your Library

Tuesday, Oct. 24th, 2-3:30pm

This is an online event.

Social media has the potential to increase community engagement with new and existing library patrons. Join us to learn how libraries can effectively use social media tools, even with limited staff and time. Learn how to identify the appropriate social media platforms to market library services and events, and how to integrate best social media practices in your library's marketing plan. We’ll help you build a foundation for your social media strategy and provide practical ideas and tactics for immediate use in your library.

Presented by: Jess Bacon, Executive Editor and Founder, The 5 Minute Librarian; and Amy Hitchner, Collaborative Programming Coordinator, Colorado State Library

Project Management Basics Webinar - Session 1

Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 1pm

This is an online event.

New programs, new technology, new spaces — Chances to rekindle relationships, bring new people in the doors, and satisfy long-term supporters. But these activities require effective project management.In this session, we'll discuss:

  • How do we ensure success by scaling our efforts to the size of our project and available staff skill sets?
  • How do we motivate project teams and communicate our progress to management, funders, and the communities we serve?

Join project management for libraries leader and public librarian, Robin Hastings, for a targeted, tactical survey of project management techniques.

Free Tools for Digital Preservation

Wednesday, Nov. 29th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Learn about free tools that can improve the long-term management of digital collections. Please note that several of the tools demonstrated in the class are Windows-based and not all work across all systems. Tools and skills demonstrated will include Bulk Rename Utility, basics of command line, Karen’s Hasher, HashMyFiles, Fixity, and Bagger. This class does not cover digitization, or conversion of analog materials to digital files.

Social Media Analytics: What to Measure and Why

Thursday, Nov. 30th, 2pm

This is an online event.

How do you know if your social media is working? If you don’t know where to start when planning your social media metrics, join us to learn the best methods to measure your library's social media outcomes. During this event, you will learn how to establish measurable goals, identify key performance indicators (KPIs), and evaluate your social media results.

Presented by: Molly Bacon, Social Media Manager, TechSoup for Libraries; and Cherise Mead, Librarian III, Marketing Team Lead, Mesa Public Library (AZ)

Going Deeper with Social Media

Tuesday, Dec. 19th, 2-3:30pm

This is an online event.

Learn how to take the next steps toward amplifying your library’s social media program. During this webinar, we’ll discuss best practices in growing your library's social media program and managing user engagement. You’ll learn tips on assessing your library’s audience based on their preferred platforms and ideas for converting your in-person library community into an online community.

Presented by: Lisa Bunker, Social Media Librarian, Pima County Public Library (AZ); and Cesar Garza, Reference Librarian, Chair Social Media Team, Austin Public Library (TX)