Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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The past couple of months of life during a pandemic have brought unrelenting challenges and stress, while also shining a light on historical and systemic injustice. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery sparked two weeks of mass demonstrations, as people take to the streets, demanding justice in unprecedented numbers.

While the issues prompting the protest -- police brutality and systemic racism -- are not new, the response to them is. Protestors from all walks of life are coming together to challenge the old normal, and demand change. As librarians, we are in a position to connect people to the resources they need to create the world they want. We can share anti-racist resources and training. We can examine our policies and procedures through a racial equity lens. We can convene conversations about addressing injustice in our communities and work toward collective liberation. Now is the perfect time to start.

Phase Two

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The Capital Region is now in Phase Two of reopening. To continue to track the health of New Yorkers, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has replaced its Regional Monitoring Dashboard with a new dashboard, Percentage Positive Results by Region on its New York Forward website. The new dashboard shows the percentage of COVID-19 positive results over time, and daily test results are broken out by region.

The state has also launched an Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, containing the latest information, broken out by region, on testing and tracing targets, new infections, the severity of infections, and hospital capacity.

Recently Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order that permits store owners to deny entry to people who refuse to wear masks.

The Executive Order also permits those managing public places to require individuals to undergo temperature checks before being allowed admittance to their buildings. If someone refuses to undergo a temperature check, or if a person's temperature is higher than that proscribed by the New York State Department of Health Guidelines, they may be denied entrance to the building.

The New York State Workers' Compensation Board has published a COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation Q&A document to answer questions about workers’ compensation benefits to employees who contract COVID-19 while on the job.

As you reopen, be sure to follow these steps:

  1. Go to the NY Forward website
  2. Click on “Phase Two Guidance.”
  3. Select the NAICS: 519120 code.
  4. Click on and read “View Summary Guidelines” for your industry.
  5. Click on and read “Read and Affirm the Detailed Guidelines” for your industry, and then submit the Business Affirmation.
  6. Click on “Print Business Safety Plan Template” for Libraries & Archives, and then print and fill out the template, and keep on file at your place of business.
  7. Implement the Safety Plan.

And finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a communication toolkit to reach populations who may need COVID-19 prevention messaging in their native languages.

The toolkit provides current messaging and information available for downloading and sharing, and translated materials to help communities disseminate messages to a broader audience.

Library 2.020: Small, Rural and Independent Libraries Virtual Conference

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The San Jose State University School of Information will host the Small, Rural and Independent Libraries conference from 3 to 6 pm on Wednesday, June 17, as part of its Library 2.020 Worldwide Virtual Conference series.

It will focus on innovations to address challenges often faced by rural, independent, tribal, and other small libraries. A diverse array of topics will be discussed, such as:

  • Methods to provide Internet access and training to rural patrons;
  • New ways that small libraries can offer services that the big urban libraries offer;
  • How to take community partnerships to the next level;
  • Tools available to foster idea exchange among employees from small and rural libraries;
  • Novel ways to fund special programs;
  • Unique “Internet of Things” offers that are tailored to specific communities;
  • How to deal with emergencies when the sheriff’s department is far away.

The three-hour conference will begin with a panel discussion moderated by Jim Lynch, senior writer and editor of TechSoup for, and Kate Laughlin, executive director of the Association for Rural & Small Libraries. Following the opening keynote session, concurrent presentations will cover virtual story time, e-books, grants, re-opening plans, and other issues. Crosby Kemper, director of Institute of Museum and Library Services, will deliver the closing remarks. A full list of speakers is available on the conference website.

To attend live, please register for the conference. The final conference schedule with links to join the sessions will be emailed to all conference registrants. Those who register in advance will also receive the recording links. Please use #library2020 and #smallruralindependent on your social media posts leading up to and during the event.

The Library 2.0 Worldwide Virtual Conference series is open to everyone. Help us celebrate our 10th year of providing these free professional development web conferences by sharing this email with your colleagues. REGISTER NOW!

Temporary Position

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The Town of Ballston Community Library is looking for a temporary Librarian II, Head of Adult Services. The position is available for 3 months, with a possible extension.

Under the supervision of the Library Director of the Town of Ballston Community Library this position focuses on providing library services to adults and supervising the Circulation department.

Classification: Temporary Librarian II

Job Description:

Provides library service to adults, as well as children and teens when called for; including supervising a busy circulation area; solicits, schedules and provides programs for adults, including virtual programming; assists in maintaining the department’s collections; promotes use of library materials and services; performs outreach to community agencies as needed; website updates; technology assistance; supervises team of part-time circulation clerks; and performs other duties as assigned.

Required Skills and Abilities:

Passion for and knowledge of adult literature; familiarity with current library technologies and a range of devices; the ability to perform both independently and as a team member; experience in planning and conducting adult programming; excellent communication skills; enthusiasm, courtesy, flexibility and a sense of humor. Experience supervising others.
Preferred Skills: Knowledge of Polaris automation software, Wordpress, Evanced, Canva, Beanstack, and the Microsoft Suite.

Minimum Qualifications:

Graduation from a registered college or university accredited by the American Library Association or registered by the NYS Education Department to grant degrees with a Master’s Degree in Library Science, Information Science, or equivalent, AND two (2) years of professional library experience.

Special Requirement:

Eligibility for New York State Public Librarian’s Professional Certificate at the time of application for appointment. Possession of certificate at the time of appointment.

Work Schedule:

A combination of day, evening and weekend hours averaging up to 35 hours per week, including one Saturday per month when the building is reopened, through Summer 2020 to fill a temporary vacancy. Work hours may include remote work for a period of time to adhere to the New York on Pause order. Responsible for the library in the absence of the Director and Head of Youth Services Librarian.

Supervisor: Library Director
Salary: $25.00/hr
Deadline: Until filled
Please submit cover letter, resume and three professional references to:
Jenn Richard, Interim Director
Town of Ballston Community Library
2 Lawmar Lane
Burnt Hills, NY 12027
(518) 399-8174 ext. 6

Celebrate Women's Suffrage

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The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to partner with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) to distribute 6,000 women’s suffrage youth book sets to libraries across the country. Public and school libraries are encouraged to apply for the book sets by June 15, 2020.

This generous donation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment and highlights the importance of libraries as hubs of civic education and engagement.

Created by Congress to mark the centennial of women's suffrage, WSCC selected the books and is providing funding for the project. Each set consists of three books corresponding to different reading levels: "Around America to Win the Vote" by Mara Rockliff for elementary readers; "The Woman's Hour: Our Fight for the Right to Vote" by Elaine Weiss for middle schoolers; and the "National Park Service Women's Suffrage Reader," an anthology of essays for high school readers.

ALA and the WSCC look forward to getting books to libraries and into the hands of young readers, and to commemorating the diverse suffragists on whose shoulders we stand today.

Contact Jazzy Celindro,, for more information about the project or with questions about the application.

Confronting Structural Racism

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The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of structural racism have shone a spotlight on racial violence, police brutality, and the deep systemic issues that enable it. Recent protests are calling not only for justice in individual cases of brutality, but for total reform of a system built on decades of racism and inequity. For real change to occur, it is essential to consult the deep corpus of existing evidence-based scholarship on race, history, and public policy to help chart a path toward an anti-racist future.

MUSE in Focus: Confronting Structural Racism” is a selection of temporarily free books and articles from a wide range of publishers and perspectives about the history of racism in America, its endurance throughout society, and how the country can respond now to enact meaningful and lasting reform. We hope that this selection of research can help inform the necessary conversations and actions around this topic.

Many of MUSE's participating publishers have temporarily made all or some of their content freely available on the Project MUSE platform, in response to the crucial need for remote access to reliable, vetted teaching and research materials during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Over 20,000 books and 200 journals, from more than 70 university presses and scholarly publishers, are currently available to any user worldwide, with no restrictions on access or usage.

"MUSE in Focus: Confronting Structural Racism" is one of a series of curated selections of trusted scholarly content from our participating publishers, designed to contribute historical, cultural, and social context to current events and issues on global, national, and local scales. Others available include "MUSE in FOCUS: Contextualizing Pandemic" and "MUSE in Focus: Addressing Gun Violence."

Celebrate Your Friends

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Would you like an opportunity to honor an active library supporter, Friend or Friends of the Library? The Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award is sponsored by the Friends of Libraries Section (FLS) of NYLA. Given annually since 1993 (through the precursor of FLS, the Empire Friends Roundtable), the award honors a volunteer member or group from the library community whose efforts have contributed to the growth of libraries or Friends of the Library organizations.

To learn more about Daniel W. Casey and to find the nomination form, go to to the “Awards and Scholarships” page. The deadline to submit nominations for this prestigious award is Wednesday, July 1, 2020. This year’s award recipient will be announced at the FLS annual membership meeting in Saratoga Springs on Friday, November 6, at the NYLA Annual Conference.

Nominations must include all relevant information outlined on the application form. Make sure to describe the contributions of the nominee (group or individual) to library service in detail; including positions held, years of service, accomplishments, successful fundraisers, etc.

Please submit the nomination form and all supporting materials (press releases, promotional materials, etc.) electronically to Marie Bindeman, Coordinator, via email at, or mail three copies to Marie Bindeman, 5498 Hartford Drive, Lockport, NY 14094. Paper copies sent by mail will not be returned.

If you have any questions, please contact Marie Bindeman at or call 716-433-0548. Thank you for your interest!

Dewey Fellowship Award

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The Library & Leadership Management Section (LAMS) of the New York Library Association is seeking candidates for the Dewey Fellowship award to attend the 2020 NYLA Conference in Saratoga, whether the conference is offered in person or virtually. The Dewey Fellowship pays for up to $1,000. of the cost of attendance of the NYLA conference. Dewey Fellows are acknowledged on NYLA’s website, will be announced at conference and in the NYLA bulletin.

To be considered for the award, all applicants must submit the following:

  • Current resume or CV
  • Have 5 years or more of library experience
  • A personal statement of no more than 2 pages single-spaced addressing accomplishments in your profession
  • How your involvement in activities help to advance the library community?

To apply for this scholarship, submit all requested items via email to Julie Kelsall- Dempsey at by June 30, 2020. All applicants will be reviewed by the LAMS’ Scholarship Committee. Selection will be made by July 15.

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Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change is an ALA pilot program made possible by support from a private donor. The program supports public and academic libraries in efforts to engage their communities in programs and conversations that address the climate crisis.

The goals of this project include:

  • Raising awareness and providing accurate information about the climate crisis to the public through libraries
  • Designating libraries as Climate Resilience Hubs, positioning them to provide ongoing public education and community support during extreme weather events
  • Engaging library staff in local partnerships and environmental justice efforts that emphasize bottom-up organizing, shared community leadership, and the centering of those most impacted by climate change, particularly communities of color and underserved communities
  • Creating space in libraries for communities to engage in conversation, mobilize for the initiation of sustainability policies and practices, and build more resilient communities
  • Identifying and documenting relevant, replicable programming models for future national distribution

ALA will select twenty-five (25) public and academic libraries to receive a Resilient Communities grant.

Applications open online: July 1, 2020
Deadline for submission: August 28, 2020 by 11:59 pm (CDT)
Award notification date: September 21, 2020

The Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize

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The Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize, developed in partnership between the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation and Library Journal, was created in 2019 to recognize the public library as a vital community asset. When libraries, civic entities, organizations, and the people they serve become close partners, their communities thrive.

One winning library will receive $250,000 in unfettered grant monies from the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation. The winning library will also be profiled in the November issue of Library Journal and online.

The winning library will be identified based on the degree of its impact on the community in the following key areas:

  • Engagement – a) How do the local government and other civic institutions partner with the library—and vice versa—to support the service area’s defined civic goals? b) How does the library use deep engagement and co-creation with community individuals and non-governmental organizations to drive library services?
  • Recognition – What does the community recognize are positive outcomes from the library, and how is that recognition given? How is that reflected in support?
  • Inclusion – How does the library go the extra mile to meet the needs of marginalized or underserved populations among its community and to promote social cohesion and connection across differences?
  • Leadership development – How does the library ensure its own organizational strength and dynamism?
  • Environmental sustainability – How does the library lead on sustainable thinking for the library itself and the community at large to ensure future resilience?
  • Inventiveness – How are the library services original, both strategically and tactically?

Nominations will be submitted via an online form.

All U.S. Public Libraries are eligible for the prize, whether in a single building in a small town or a multi-branch system serving an entire region. Previous winners are asked to take a ten-year hiatus from submitting again.

Deadline July 15, 2020. (Submissions close at 11:59 p.m. EDT.)

Questions? Please contact Meredith Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal at

STEAM Equity Project

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Public library workers in rural communities are invited to participate in a project that will bring culturally inclusive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) programming and exhibitions to their patrons, especially often-underreached Latino populations.

STAR Net needs creative library leaders who would like to work with us at the intersection of transforming library services, gender equity and cultural inclusion (especially with Latino families), STEAM learning, and positive youth development.

The Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL/SSI), the American Library Association (ALA), Twin Cities PBS (TPT), Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) and Education Development Center (EDC) invites you to learn more about our new STEAM Equity Project!

To APPLY NOW see ALA’s website to:

Twelve rural libraries will receive $15,000 to enhance STEAM offerings for their communities, three STEAM exhibitions, and more. Those interested in applying are invited to complete a brief, 15-minute Notice of Intent (NOI) about their community demographics and needs by July 20. The STEAM Equity project team will review submissions, and eligible applicants will be invited to submit a full project proposal in August 2020. Learn more and begin the application process online.

The initiative is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute (NCIL/SSI), the American Library Association (ALA), Twin Cities PBS (TPT), Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), and Education Development Center (EDC), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Learn All the Things!


Friday, June 12th, 11:30am

This is an online event.

PEN America and The EveryLibrary Institute and The Daily Kos Liberation League invite you to attend a live and interactive media literacy webinar about protests and disinformation.

Amid mass demonstrations against police violence, misinformation and disinformation about the protests are spreading fast online. False, misleading, and misattributed stories and images can polarize communities, unfairly damage reputations, and obscure the truth. By sharing and amplifying this content we often further the goals of those who aim to discredit and divide. We have designed a unique virtual workshop to equip communities with media literacy tools to spot disinformation surrounding recent protests — and to apply these skills to help stem the spread of misleading content. In this session, we’ll focus on how to verify images, videos, and sources about protests, and what to do after the discovery of manipulated media.

This session will be recorded so if you miss the live event, you'll still be sent a link to the archived recording if you registered.

Moving Forward: Key Findings from New Libraries' COVID-19 Response Survey

Friday, June 12th, 2pm

This is an online event.

A new survey from the American Library Association captures how public, academic, and school libraries are continuing to adjust services while preparing for the phased reopening of their facilities. Join survey administrators and librarians in a free webinar at 2 p.m. June 12 as they discuss results, with a focus on reopening practices and current and projected library budget and staffing impacts related to the crisis.

Featured speakers will include:

  • Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz, Chief Executive Officer/Director, Lorain Public Library System
  • Dawn La Valle, Director, Division of Development, Connecticut State Library
  • Denise Fritsch, Ed.D., Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Gateway Community and Technical College
  • Mary Jane Petrowski, Associate Director, Association for College and Research Libraries
  • Emily Plagman, Manager, Impact & Advocacy, Public Library Association

A 13-minute video overview of the survey results can be viewed at Viewing this ahead of time will provide additional information about the survey findings released last week.

Presented by AASL, ACRL, PLA, and the ALA Chapter Relations and Public Programs offices with support from United for Libraries.

The Responsibilities and Challenges of Reopening Libraries in NYS

Tuesday, June 16th, 1:30pm

This is an online event.

Public libraries have been given permission to reopen with restrictions as part of NY Forward’s phase one in the reopening process. What does this mean for you, your library, and your community? If you do decide to reopen as part of this phase, where should you begin? Hear from directors of both libraries and library systems in rural and urban regions across New York State. They will discuss the challenges of reopening their libraries, the services their libraries are offering, and how they are ensuring that the library is safe for both their staff and patrons.

Providing Library Senior Services in a COVID-19 World

Wednesday, June 17th, 12pm

This is an online event.

How to provide library service to seniors, the most vulnerable population affected during COVID-19, has been the question raised by outreach librarians across the United States. According to the Central for Disease Control (CDC), 8 out of 10 deaths related to COVID-19 are individuals aged 65 years and older. While we might not be able to visit our seniors or facilities in-person for the foreseeable future, libraries can reach this population while we shelter in place. During this webinar, please find tips and tricks that David J. Kelsey of the St. Charles (IL) Public Library District (SCPLD) and Glenna Godinsky of the Gail Borden (IL) Public Library District recommend in serving the senior demographic during COVID-19.

Library 2.020: Small, Rural, and Independent Libraries

Wednesday, June 17th, 3pm

This is an online event.

This mini-conference will focus on innovation and innovative thinking in rural, independent, tribal, and other small libraries--as well as the many unique challenges that they face. A diverse array of keynote panelists and curated presenters will cover topics that will likely include:

  • Innovations to provide Internet access and training to rural patrons;
  • New ways that small libraries can offer services that the big urban libraries offer;
  • Taking community partnerships to the next level;
  • How workers from small and rural libraries can easily connect with each other to get ideas and keep innovating;
  • Novel ways to fund special programs;
  • Unique "Internet of Things" offers that are tailored to specific communities;
  • Safety, security, and ways to deal with emergencies when the sheriff's department is far away.

This event is being organized in partnership with Jim Lynch from TechSoup for Libraries, Kate Laughlin from the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, and The School of Information at San José State University.

This is a free event, being held live online and also recorded. REGISTER HERE to attend live and/or to receive the recording links afterward.

Please also join this Library 2.0 network to be kept updated on this and future events.

Bystander Intervention Training

Tuesday, July 14th, 10am

This is an online event.

This interactive training will allow participants to understand what being a bystander is and how they can serve as an active bystander. Through examples, discussions, and videos, participants will be able to develop strategies and skills to best serve their populations and be seen as an allies and support system.

All participants will have the option to request a certificate of attendance for one hour and 30 minutes of CE credit.