Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Each year, in mid-January a magic portal opens. Nope, it doesn't lead to Narnia (despite our many requests). Instead, it takes librarians on a journey through time, as they gather information about all of the wonderful things they've done in the preceding year. What is this second-most wonderful time of the year? When it's time to file the Annual Report to the State!

For those of you who have used the reporting tools we've developed to help organize data collection, it should just be a matter of plugging in your information to the appropriate boxes. If you haven't kept track of all the things, make time to collect your information, and join us at the Annual Report Party on January 30, when we'll help you fill out the report, have lunch, party games, a photo booth and so much more!

The information in the Annual Report will be a rich resource for you to draw upon when advocating for your library, both at NYLA's Library Advocacy Day in Albany, and when you make your annual report to your community. It's a chance to reflect on the year that passed and plan for the coming year. Enjoy!

ps. All Annual Reports to the State must be submitted to SALS by February 15, 2019.

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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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Ain't no party like the Annual Report Party! Get ready to party down while compiling loads of vital statistics about your library during SALS's Annual Report Party from 9 am to 1 pm Wednesday, January 30, to have your questions asked, commiserate with your colleagues and party hard. Did we mention we'll provide lunch? The snow date is February 6. Register now to reserve your spot.
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Are you ready for the biggest, baddest, fullest day devoted to Adult Programming? Probably not -- it's why we're giving you advance notice. Save the date (9 am - 4:30 pm Wednesday, May 8) -- more info coming.
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Library Director I, North Greenbush Public Library, Wynantskill, NY

The North Greenbush Public Library in Wynantskill, NY, a Special Legislative District Public Library located in eastern Rensselaer County, seeks an energetic community builder and change agent for the position of Library Director I.

Serving a population of approximately 13,000, the North Greenbush Public Library is governed by an eleven-member elected board of trustees and is a member of the Upper Hudson Library System. The library shares space in the Town of North Greenbush Municipal Building, and enjoys strong community support with over 3,000 cardholders and annual circulation of over 100,000 items. The Board is looking for a Director who can work together with the Trustees, our experienced staff, and an active Friends group to continue the growth of this vibrant community resource.

The Library Director reports to the Board of Trustees and holds primary responsibility for the operation and management of the Library. Along with regular customer service responsibilities, other duties include collection development; service and program planning and management; budget development and management (QuickBooks currently in use); scheduling and supervision of staff and volunteers; public relations, social media, and community outreach; fund raising; and grant writing. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate strong organizational skills and a vision for public library service that engages the community through educational, cultural, and outreach programs and services.

The Library Director I position is a Civil Service position (Rensselaer County Civil Service Commission, RCCSC). A candidate that is on the current RCCSC Certification of Eligibles for Library Director I is eligible to receive a permanent appointment to the position. A candidate that is not on the current Certification of Eligibles will receive a provisional appointment to fill the position until a selection and permanent appointment can be made after competitive examination. Provisional appointees are subject to apply and take the examination when offered, pass, and be “reachable” on the RCCSC eligibility list.

All candidates for the position are required at the time of appointment to:

  • Hold a Master’s Degree in library science from a library school that is accredited by the American Library Association or registered by the New York State Education Department; and
  • Have at least two (2) years of satisfactory professional library experience in a library of recognized standing, which must include some supervisory and administrative duties; and.
  • Possess a current New York State Public Librarian’s Professional Certificate from the New York State Education Department; and
  • Demonstrate legal residence in Rensselaer, Albany, Washington, Saratoga, or Columbia Counties for at least four months immediately preceding the date of appointment.

The annual salary is $53,000, but may be higher based on the selected candidate’s skills and experience. The work schedule is 37.5 hours per week, and will include one evening each week. The Library participates in the New York State Retirement System. Employees with 0 - 4 years of service with the Library receive one (1) week paid vacation per calendar year.

Candidates meeting the minimum qualifications are requested to email a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references to A Job Description providing additional information on the North Greenbush Public Library and the responsibilities associated with the position of Library Director is available at

Application review will begin on January 31, 2019, and continue until the position is filled.

Digital Inclusion Summit

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The Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coalition is hosting a Digital Inclusion Summit from 11 am to 5 pm Monday, January 28, at the Cracker Factory in Geneva.

Through panel discussions and conversations, community members and local leaders will explore the digital inclusion landscape, learn about the injustices of limited internet access and what is already being down and can still be done to bridge the divide.

Refreshments & lunch are included in the $20 registration fee.

Register Now:

Check out Finger Lakes Digital Alliance to find out more information.

Ask a Lawyer

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In partnership with the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC), the Capital District Library Council (CDLC) has retained the services of an attorney to offer CDLC and its members timely input on intellectual property, digital rights management, vendor contracts, first amendment, civil rights, employment law, and other legal issues that can impact library operations.

To preserve confidentiality, questions sent to CDLC's "Ask the Lawyer" service are sent directly to CDLC, WNYLRC, and our counsel for review and answers. Answers might come in the form of:

  • Public commentary shared with the member who inquired and become part of a Legal RAQ - "Recently Asked Questions" on the WNYLRC website;
  • A training session (in person or webinar);
  • A confidential memo shared only with the inquiring library and the CDLC and WNYLRC liaison.

Ask the Lawyer maintains Recently Asked Questions (RAQs), which are available here.

Opportunities Abound: Grants, Awards & More

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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest have opened the application process for the September 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 NEA Big Read program. This grant program annually supports approximately 75 dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read selection. Organizations selected to participate in NEA Big Read receive a grant, access to online training resources and opportunities, digital resources, and promotional materials designed to support widespread community involvement.

NEA Big Read applicants submit proposals to host a series of community events presented at a variety of locations over the course of one month or longer. Events use the same NEA Big Read book as a point of departure and encourage participants to engage both with the book and fellow community members. Each NEA Big Read program includes: a kick-off event, often attended by high-profile leaders and other local luminaries; major events inspired by the content and themes from the book (e.g., panel discussions and author readings); artistic events related to the book (e.g., art/writing contests, film screenings, and theatrical performances); and book discussions in diverse locations involving a wide range of audiences.

Deadline: Thursday, January 24, 2019.

Digitize It

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The Capital District Library Council invites applications for 2019 Regional Collections grants through January 31, 2019. All CDLC member institutions, including individual public and school libraries, are eligible to apply.

CDLC members may apply for a grant for a retrospective conversion or metadata project; a digital collection grant to contribute content to New York Heritage, or a digital newspaper grant to contribute content to NYS Historic Newspapers.

Projects considered for funding should improve access to collections and content or raise the visibility of regional collections. Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Highlight undiscovered collections in our region
  • Align with CDLC's strategic goals (see our Plan of Service)
  • Have matching funds
  • Are collaborative efforts between two or more CDLC members
  • Are composed of a complete digital collection
  • Are submitted by first-time applicants
  • Are composed of long and complete runs of newspapers that are on microfilm

Other types of proposals may be considered. All projects must be completed by June 30, 2020, or award money will be forfeited.

Application deadline: January 31, 2019.

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ALA, in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, invites public libraries to apply to be part of a national tour of the traveling exhibition Thinking Money for Kids.

Inspired by the success of the popular Thinking Money exhibit, Thinking Money for Kids is a new financial literacy experience for children ages 7 to 11, as well as their parents, caregivers, and educators. The interactive exhibit will help children understand what money is, its function in society, money choices, and money values, such as fairness, responsibility, and charitableness.

The exhibit will travel to 50 U.S. public libraries between 2019 and 2021. Applications will be accepted from Dec. 17, 2018, to Feb. 8, 2019.

Selected libraries will receive:

  • the 1,000-square-foot traveling exhibition for a six-week loan
  • a $1,000 programming allowance
  • Expenses paid for an orientation workshop at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • programming resources and support

Participating libraries will be required to hold a minimum of four public programs related to the personal finance themes explored in the exhibition and fulfill other marketing and reporting requirements.

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Applications are now being accepted for the Library Privacy Institute. What's that?

Library Freedom Institute is a six-month program for a select group of librarians made possible with generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Participants will spend 5 hours per week on a combination of readings, webinars, exercises, class discussion, and assignments. LFI is a free online course with one in-person requirement, which will take place on a weekend in New York City. To be eligible to participate, applicants must complete all application requirements. There is no cost to this program; including the weekend in NYC. LFI is primarily seeking public librarians, but we welcome applications from all librarians who do outreach in their communities.

Applications are due February 15, 2019.

Big Opportunities for Small Libraries

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IMLS has announced a new discretionary grant program, Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries (APP). This is a special initiative of the National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program, and the goal is to support projects that strengthen the ability of small and rural libraries and archives to serve their communities. IMLS invites applications that focus on the following topics:

Three categories of APP grants are available to applicants:

  • Transforming School Library Practice: School libraries support learning and the development of critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration skills. IMLS is interested in furthering how school library professionals can serve as integral instructional partners to classroom teachers. Grant projects could include programs and services that prepare students for success in college, career, and life, or foster early, digital, information, health, financial, media, civic, and other types of literacies.
  • Community Memory: Libraries and archives not only serve as stewards of our nation’s knowledge and collections, but also as trusted spaces for community engagement and dialogue. This project category centers on engaging local communities in the collection, documentation, and preservation of their local histories, experiences, and identities. Proposals could include events and programs to digitize materials related to community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, or texts, or oral history projects that involve community members in the documentation and preservation of local histories.
  • Digital Inclusion: Libraries have an important role in promoting digital inclusion and increasing access to information, ideas, and networks. This category focuses on projects that support the role libraries play in promoting digital literacy, providing internet access, and enabling community engagement through civic data and civic technology. Grant proposals could include programs supporting broadband access and wireless networks to address the homework gap, increase small business development and entrepreneurship, or plan for emergency preparedness.

Cohort Learning and Evaluation
Grantees in this initiative will participate in communities of practice based on their project category. Three third-party mentor organizations will lead these cohorts, providing expert guidance and facilitating communication between grantees.

The deadline to submit an application is February 25, 2019.

Best Small Library in America

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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!

Size Doesn't Matter: Transforming Big Ideas into Small Library Environments

Wednesday, Jan. 23rd, 2pm

This is an online event.

When it comes to providing services and programs, the size of your library doesn't matter.

If you’ve ever heard about a fantastic library idea from a super-big library and thought, “There’s no way I can make that idea work in my understaffed, underfunded small library,” think again! This presentation celebrates all things small and shares big ideas that work in small libraries.

Participants of this session will:

  • Re-examine the concept of “small” when it comes to thinking about your library
  • Learn ways to modify so-called “big library” ideas into smaller library environments
  • Gain practical ideas from other small libraries about services, programs and resources you can implement in your library

Maryann Mori has presented on a variety of topics at several national library conferences. She has also been published numerous times in professional journals and books, writing about such topics as teen services, library volunteers, job-related stress and programming. Formerly the teen specialist librarian for the Evansville Vanderburgh (Ind.) Public Library and director of Waukee (Iowa) Public Library, Mori is currently a library consultant for the State Library of Iowa. She completed her MSLIS from the University of Illinois in 2006.

The Fundamentals of Library Advocacy

Wednesday, Jan. 23rd, 1pm

This is an online event.

In this introductory webinar, we are going to explore what it takes to build a movement for libraries in your local community. The advocacy theory, strategies, and tactics that we introduce come from some of the largest movements for causes and political campaigns. These advocacy tools include data, messaging, supporter cultivation, fundraising, using volunteers, and a wide range of tactics like Facebook, outreach, email and direct mail, paid and earned media, and much more.

Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community for Public Libraries

Monday, Feb. 4th, 7:45am

This is an online event.

This 4-week 12 CE online course (from February 4 - March 3, 2019) is designed to provide public library staff with the foundation (or a refresher) of health and wellness reference, programming, and outreach for their communities. New content is released each Monday. Each week will involve some reading, discussions with your classmates, and a short (2-pages or less!) assignment.

This class is intended to be completed as a cohort that involves discussion with your fellow students. There are no set hours to be online each week, but it is important that you complete the discussion and assignment for each week in a timely fashion. New content will be released each Monday.

  • Week 1: Introduction to Consumer Health for Public Libraries
  • Week 2: Health Reference in a public library environment
  • Week 3 Health Resources
  • Week 4 Health and Wellness Programming and Outreach for Public Libraries

Participants will earn 12 Continuing Education Credits.

This class provides all five competence and all 12 CE credits needed for the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) Level 1, a continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

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