Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Happy Pride! June is a glorious month for many reasons -- we get to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, Juneteenth, and the arrival of summer. This June gives us a bit of a reprieve from what has been a terrible, no good, horrible fourteen months, as we can begin to imagine a post-pandemic world.

While we may be feeling a bit more optimistic, many also are burnt out, and for good reason. We're emerging from a year-plus of collective trauma, figuring out how to navigate this somewhat less terrifying world. The good news is, we're moving forward thoughtfully, trying to incorporate what we've learned about accessibility, equity, and keeping our communities healthy.

We have an opportunity to evaluate what's important, what's essential, and to dream of a new way forward. One thing we know for sure -- the key to resilience is developing deep, trusted relationships with our communities.

Ready, Set, Plan!

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The Division of Library Development has updated the minimum standards public libraries must meet to retain their charters. Public libraries have until December 2021 to have community-based strategic plans in place. To help our member libraries meet that requirement, SALS will be hosting a five-part Engaged Planning series.

The series will guide member libraries through each of the stages of strategic planning. We’ll begin with an overview of the planning process, discuss landscape reviews, facilitate community conversations, and create meaningful plans that resonate with your community. Each workshop will be several weeks apart, so participating libraries will have a chance to complete homework in between, resulting in a completed plan.

The first three workshops in the series have taken place. The following workshops will be virtual. Please save the following dates/times:

  • 1 pm - 2:30 pm Thursday, June 10
  • 10 am – 11:30 am Tuesday, June 22

If you’re interested in taking part, please sign up here:

Intellectual Freedom & EDI Workshop

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The Southern Adirondack and Mid-Hudson Library Systems have partnered to offer “Oh, the Places You’ll Go: The Intersection of Intellectual Freedom & Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion" at 10 am Friday, June 4.

The recent controversy surrounding the decision by the Dr. Seuss estate to stop selling several of his books after concluding that the works contained racial and ethnic stereotypes they found “hurtful and wrong,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom & Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation and Dr. Emily Knox, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Associate Professor of School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will discuss the intersection of intellectual freedom and issues surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion as they pertain to library work, in particular, collection development.

Outcomes of the program:

  • Exploration of the intersection of Intellectual Freedom and issues surrounding social justice
  • Examination of the core values of the library profession in the context of current events
  • Increased confidence of attendees to build and weed collections that meet the needs of their community

All About the Benjamins, Baby!

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The second meeting of the League of Extraordinary New Directors will take place at 10 am Wednesday, June 9. The topic will be budgets – how to understand and create one, how to incorporate collection development, and the role the director plays in ensuring it all comes together.

The one-hour session will have plenty of time for questions.

All directors in place for less than three years are welcome to attend. Please register here:

Build Your Skills!

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SUNY ADK is partnering with AlbanyCanCode to provide free training for unemployed and underemployed New York residents.

Celebrating Liberation!

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Join the Coalition for Library Workers of Color Roundtable for our first annual Juneteenth celebration! The Coalition is a group committed to eliciting change and growth in support of people of color within the library community.

Bring your lunch as we discuss what we’ve been up to, what programs you want to see from us, and where your libraries are post-George Floyd. Learn how to join and become part of the movement.

Spread the Word: Emergency Broadband Benefit

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program is accepting applications. This benefit is intended to provide temporary assistance to households who do not have or cannot afford high-speed broadband in their place of residence.

Eligible households will be able to receive up to a $50/month discount on an eligible internet service plan (Households on Tribal lands can receive up to a $75 discount). Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) participating in this program are also offering discounts on the purchase of devices.

Households can sign up for the EBB program through the:

  1. Participating provider's website
  2. Applying online through the National Verifier
  3. Or through the mail.

USAC has created an Emergency Broadband Support Center with a hotline (833) 511-0311 and an email ( where they will answer questions for all interested parties. The hotline is open from 9 am-9 pm seven days a week. It also has a website where households or consumer-based organizations can obtain the EBB application.

Data Jamboree

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Find out how to best research census data when the NY Census Office hosts two webinars sharing Census Bureau Data for Librarians. The workshop will take place from 9 to 10:30 am Thursday, July 1.

A Very Heavy Heart

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Beloved author & illustrator Eric Carle has died.
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And in the more bad news department, the wonderful Lois Ehlert, author & illustrator, has died.

Libraries Rock!

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The Linda Lindas have officially proven once and for all that there is nothing more punk rock than a library. Their hit, "Racist, Sexist Boy," has catapulted them into a record contract following a video of their performance celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Day celebration at the Los Angeles Public Library went viral.

Desperate Times

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Mary Thompson, a children's librarian at the New Rochelle Public Library, allegedly attempted to rob a local bank.

Digital Literacy

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The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association, and AT&T have announced a collaboration to improve digital literacy and promote broadband adoption among families and communities, particularly those who are newly connected to the internet and navigating homeschooling, employment, and other activities made challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PLA and AT&T will offer a specially curated collection of digital literacy courses so parents and families can build the skills and confidence they need to help children navigate distance learning and participate effectively and safely in today’s digital world. Based on content from PLA’s training site, courses will address critical, basic skills such as searching, navigating a website, using passwords, and avoiding scams. New content will also be developed focusing on using mobile devices and video conferencing. All courses and related classroom training materials will be available in both English and Spanish.

Learn more.

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Public and tribal libraries are invited to apply for NASA@ My Library, a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education initiative that will increase and enhance STEAM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underrepresented in STEAM education.

60 public and tribal libraries in the U.S. will be selected through a competitive application process to become NASA@ My Library Partners.

Applications will be accepted from until July 21. View the project guidelines and apply online. ALA members and nonmembers are encouraged to apply.

NASA@ My Library Partners will receive training and resources to implement NASA events and programming, access to a university subject matter expert (SME) to support patron engagement, and a $1,600 programming stipend to purchase materials for NASA STEAM activities and/or support presentations by local NASA-funded SMEs.

This opportunity is open to public and tribal libraries in the U.S. Priority consideration will be given to libraries in communities with above average populations of demographics underrepresented in STEM education and professions. For more details on priority consideration and eligibility, visit the project guidelines.

The project is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and Education Development Center (EDC). Support comes from NASA's Science Mission Directorate as part of its Science Activation program.

ALA ReMember Fund

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The American Library Association (ALA) launched a new fund intended to help library workers facing financial challenges keep solid footing as they navigate their career paths.

The ReMember Fund, established with initial funding from ALA, will allow current members to ensure that their fellow library workers can retain membership and connection during times of financial need.

Unemployed library workers can apply to receive one-time-only sponsorship to cover ALA basic membership dues for one year. Seed funding will sponsor at least 100 regular memberships beginning in May.

Recipients will be limited to members who hold current regular, international, library support staff or non-salaried membership types and members whose memberships have lapsed within the last three years. Applicants must be furloughed or unemployed at the time of application and must continue working within library services. Applications for assistance are strictly confidential, as are the recipients’ identities.

Early recipients of the fund will also register for ALA Annual Conference at no cost through the complimentary rate for furloughed members.

Members are encouraged to donate to the fund at

In addition to establishing this fund, ALA will continue to offer the following flexible payment options to all members:

  • Ability to pay dues through semi-annual installments with a nominal service fee.
  • Discounted non-salaried membership for those earning less than $30,000 annually.
  • An extended membership grace period of 5 months during the pandemic.

All the Awards!

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The 2021 ABOS Awards Program is now open. Applications will be accepted until 5 pm CST on July 16, 2021.

There are lots of opportunities to celebrate the terrific work being done at your libraries.

Bernard Vavrek Scholarship

It will be awarded annually to a student currently enrolled who has completed at least one semester in a Library and/or Information Science graduate degree program and is interested in this particular field within the library profession.

Book Bike Community Impact Award

Presented annually to a library, department, or an individual who has provided exemplary library book bike service to their community.

Innovation in Outreach Programming Award

This award recognizes a library's achievement in planning and implementing an innovative or creative outreach program, which has had a measurable impact on its community. Programs should be unique and cutting-edge.

John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award

The John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award is given to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions and prominent leadership to the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services.

Karen Hake Outstanding Bookmobile Librarian Award

Presented annually to a bookmobile manager, supervisor, or MLIS librarian to recognize their continuous dedication and commitment to the bookmobile profession.

Pattie Johnston Outreach Award

Presented annually to a bookmobile or outreach support staff member who has provided exemplary service to their community through bookmobile and outreach services.

Preschool Outreach and School Services Inspirations Award

Presented annually to a library, department, or an individual who has provided exemplary library outreach services to children and students in their community, from age infant to college.

Rising Stars Award

Highlights the achievements of those new to the profession. Rising Stars are those people who display a passion for the bookmobile and outreach profession, both at work and via volunteer or association activities.

Senior Services Super Star Award

Presented annually to a library, department, or an individual who has provided exemplary library outreach services to seniors in their community, including homebound seniors and seniors residing in facilities.

Questions about the 2021 ABOS Awards Program can be directed to David Kelsey, 2021 ABOS President, and 2021 ABOS Awards Committee Chair, at

The Randall Enos Conference Scholarship

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Are you a community volunteer or library staff member who is currently and actively involved in a local Friends of the Library group? Would you like to attend the New York Library Association annual conference?

If so, consider applying for the Friends of the Library Section's Randall Enos Conference Scholarship, which covers up to $750 in expenses, including registration, travel, and accommodation.

The applicants must be members in good standing of NYLA and FLS. The deadline for submission of the application is 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Learn All the Things!

EMERGING FROM COVID-19 Building Back Better: Essential Reforms for a More Resilient, Sustainable, and Inclusive Economic Recovery

Tuesday, June 8th, 12pm

This is an online event.

With vaccination rates climbing and pandemic-related restrictions being eased in the U.S. and other major economies, countries are figuring out what a return to “normal” looks like. However, COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities among social, ethnic, and racial groups. In the United States, people of color have been disproportionately affected, whether in terms of lives lost, higher unemployment and economic hardship or even by being left out of vaccine rollouts.

The pandemic has also highlighted a lack of resilience on several fronts including in supply chains, uneven access to social safety nets, and climate change. Building back better will mean making structural and systemic changes to tackle pre-existing weaknesses, as well as those arising from the pandemic. Governments need to act now to address the structural obstacles to growth, build resilience and sustainability; boost productivity and facilitate reallocation; and help people achieve a just and inclusive recovery.

How countries respond over the coming months will shape the recovery and the future of our economies.

Join OECD iLibrary and ACRL/Choice for a presentation of the latest economic outlook for the U.S. and major economies and a conversation on the labor market impacts of the pandemic in the US and the implications for social and economic inequality. The session will also discuss the economic policies needed for economic recovery, both in the US and throughout the OECD.

Designing Libraries to Meet Evolving Community Needs

Tuesday, June 8th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Even before COVID, libraries sought to better serve their patrons through design considerations and improvements. And now, with spaces opening up and a new normal in front of us, each community faces its own set of evolving needs and challenges.

Join this webcast to learn from leading library architects as they discuss:

  • Flexible design
  • Pandemic lessons
  • Workforce development and retraining
  • Food resources
  • Outdoor spaces

And more…

Food Access and Seed Libraries in Rural Public Libraries

Wednesday, June 9th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Are you looking for ideas to "grow" a seed library and improve access to food for your community?

Presenters from small and rural locations in South Carolina will share their experiences with seed libraries (inside branches, at outreach events, and onboard a bookmobile) and community refrigerators, and highlight the value of partnerships. You’ll gain knowledge on how to start a seed library from the ground up, how to collaborate with community organizations not generally considered as library partners, and learn better practices for making your library an access point for those experiencing food insecurity.

Presented by:

  • Rebecca Antill, Youth Services Consultant, Library Development, South Carolina State Library
  • Devon Andrews, Community Engagement Associate Director, Charleston County Public Library (SC)
  • Maddie Hibbs, Children’s Librarian, Fairfield County Library (SC)
  • Heath Ward, Library Director, Saluda County Library System (SC)
  • Jimmy Wooten, Community Engagement Manager, Greenville County Library System (SC)

Ten Tips for Managing Conflict

Wednesday, June 9th, 3pm

This is an online event.

As libraries begin to open their doors and people begin to re-engage in the community, the transition to normalcy may take time. The lack of socialization caused by the pandemic may impact the ability of community members to engage in the public space skillfully. Library staff may be faced with a demanding public as they themselves are adjusting back to work.

This webinar will focus on Ten Tips for Managing Conflict highlighting the ideas and practices that help us navigate the challenges we find in communicating with others. These tips include ideas about what we are thinking, what we are saying, and how we are hearing what the other has to say. As each tip is shared, real-world examples will be highlighted.

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

  • Be prepared to navigate challenging conversations with co-workers and patrons.
  • Understand human underlying needs and be able to incorporate that knowledge into their ability to defuse upset individuals.
  • Be more thoughtful in their words and actions when conflicts occur.

The National Conflict Resolution Center has over 35 years of experience helping people manage conflict through our work in mediating a wide variety of disputes and through thousands of workshops we have provided to work groups, community groups, and individuals. We have learned a lot about human interaction in conflict. Based on those experiences, we have created Ten Tips for people to consider as they manage conflict.

All library staff who want to learn about ideas and practices around managing conflicts, even for skilled communicators to reflect on why their approach seems to work so well.

Register Now. If you pre-registered you will receive an email with login link and a reminder email the day before the event.

Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz

Wednesday, June 9th, 7pm

This is an online event.

Join the Center for Children's Literature at Bank Street College of Education at 7 pm Wednesday, June 9 to listen to Warren Binford discuss her findings at the border and how it led to the creation of Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz through Project Amplify. Illustrator Raúl Gonzalez III will join the presentation and speak about the book's illustrations.

About the Book:

Shocked by the conditions in which children in 2019 were being detained by the U.S. government, a child rights expert, Warren Binford, and a member of Human Rights Watch, Michael Garcia Bochenek, shared what they had seen with an Associated Press reporter. Warren and Michael took to the media and called for artists, reporters and faith leaders to help the children tell their stories. One of the results is the picture book Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz featuring sworn testimonies given by children while held in border facilities.

An Introduction to iMovie: Basic Editing and Beyond!

Tuesday, June 15th, 2pm

This is an online event.

The ability to create simple and attractive videos with clear sound is a skill that can benefit any library. Whether it’s for public relations, programming, or internal staff training, a polished product can get your message across. iMovie comes pre-installed on all Apple computers and has easy to use auto features, along with some intermediate features like recording voice overs and background editing for green screen footage. Learn the ins and outs of editing in iMovie with a live demonstration.

Veronica Reynolds is the Head of Community Relations at the New City Library, planning adult programming and managing promotional materials. During the early days of the pandemic, she moved all adult programming online and found new ways to reach out to the community. YouTube was a core component of that outreach and thanks to the hardworking and creative staff of the library over five hundred videos were posted on the New City Library’s channel in the past year.

Eliminating Library Fines: Improving Community Access, Equity and Usage

Tuesday, June 15th, 3pm

This is an online event.

The growing research and library case studies on the benefits of eliminating overdue fines indicate that the advantages to both library and patron far exceed the monetary value of the fines. This webinar explores going (and staying) fine-free as a social justice issue­­­­ and as a revenue issue. Presenters will discuss considerations such as the barriers to access for those facing financial insecurity, the cost to collect fines often exceeds the revenue they bring in, and that many libraries report that patrons return more items after going fine-free.

Learn how to:

  • Implement a strategic approach to going fine-free, from testing and refining messaging, to addressing common objections or concerns.
  • Gather the data and stories needed to make the case to staff, administration, funders, and community across the political spectrum.

This webinar shares how going fine-free eliminates barriers and improves access to your library’s materials and services, resulting in increased usage, higher circulation, lower staff stress, and higher customer satisfaction.

Presented by: Mark Fink, County Librarian and Chief Archivist, Yolo County Library (CA); and Peter Bromberg, Associate Director, EveryLibrary, and most recently, Executive Director, Salt Lake City Public Library (UT)

Building Business Know-How through Data Literacy

Wednesday, June 16th, 2pm

This is an online event.

In this webinar, you will discover the power of Census data to help your community's entrepreneurs plan and grow their businesses. In addition to demographic data, the U.S. Census Bureau collects information about American businesses, providing opportunities to use data to build business plans, compare industries and locations, investigate workforce characteristics, research local labor market indicators, and assess the economic health of your community. Learn how libraries collaborate with economic development agencies, community groups, and individuals to foster workforce development and promote informed business planning and decision-making.


Library 2.021: Reinventing Libraries for a Post-COVID World

Thursday, June 17th, 3pm

This is an online event.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, librarians have been faced with all manner of challenges as they have worked to bring their service, resources, and events into the virtual realm. Unsurprisingly, librarians have not only met this challenge but thrived in bringing new dynamic digital content, engaging virtual programming and instructional events, and exciting online such as virtual book clubs, gaming tournaments, and even makerspace activities to their patrons.

Please join us as we discuss the ways librarians have adapted and evolved their service offerings for a post COVID world.

The Future of Resource Sharing: Technologies on the Horizon

Wednesday, July 14th, 1:30pm

This is an online event.

As technology evolves, so does the content we share among libraries. What will resource sharing look like in the near future? The session starts with a brief overview of AI/Machine Learning, Blockchain, and Virtual Reality and how they may benefit or challenge resource sharing in libraries. We will then open up the discussion to talk about what the future of resource sharing might look like and how libraries can adapt to emerging technologies.

Always looking to integrate emerging technology into the academic environment in creative and practical ways. Ken Fujiuchi is the Emerging Technology Librarian in the E. H. Butler Library at SUNY Buffalo State. Ken holds a Master's in Library Science from the University at Buffalo. His research interests include information literacy, augmented reality, social media, and other emerging technologies.

We invite you to submit a question for Ken - there will be a place to do that during the registration process. The deadline to submit questions is July 7th.

Free to ESLN Members. Registration is required.

This session is sponsored by the Empire State Library Network. If you have any questions, contact Kathleen Gundrum ( or Laura Osterhout (

Defend Yourself - Safer Libraries, Two-Part Series

Tuesday, June 8th, 10am

This is an online event.

Libraries and their employees face challenges in handling difficult or threatening situations while providing good service to their communities. Defend Yourself helps libraries address these challenges with a comprehensive training that covers de-escalation, active bystander skills, boundary setting, and empowerment self-defense.

This training is experiential, trauma-informed, and will help:

  • Promote a safe and respectful workplace for all staff,
  • Maintain good, productive relationships with patrons,
  • Create a shared toolbox of skills for dealing with difficult patrons and any harassment among staff,
  • Build relationships in which staff can rely on each other for help in dealing with harassment and other stressful situations, and
  • Address organizational challenges around safety, including communication and building design.

Over the course of the two-part series staff will learn the following skills:

  • Avoidance and prevention
  • Assertiveness, direct communication, and boundary-setting
  • De-escalation
  • Bystander intervention

Registrants are expected to attend both sessions. They will not be recorded.

Tuesday, June 8, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Wednesday, June 23, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Online via Zoom