Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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First, a bit of good news: The Institute of Museum and Library Services is not only being funded, but its funding will increase! Thanks to everyone who made calls, e-mailed and generally raised a racket about the importance of library funding. You did this!

Now it's time to help our communities stay engaged with our democracy, but encouraging everyone to register to vote. EveryLibrary, the organization dedicated to building support for library referendums, is partnering with the American Association for People with Disabilities (AAPD) to highlight and promote National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) in libraries across the country this year. And the League of Women Voters is taking part in National Voter Registration Day -- contact your local chapter to find out how to get involved.

The Saratoga County chapter of the League would like to set up voter registration tables in each library in the country. They staff a table,and provide each library with voter registration information. Get in touch if you'd like to host them on September 26: or call 518-587-3616.

And finally, National Friends of Libraries Week (October 15 - 21, 2017) is just around the corner -- and the perfect time to showcase all the fabulous things that Friends Groups do for our libraries.

I know you're doing cool stuff -- let me know about it:

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We mean it when we say Libraries Mean Business! We want to position our libraries as business accelerators, so we're offering an opportunity to have a Notary Public in every library.

We are offering to reimburse libraries to attend the SUNY Adirondack Notary Exam Preparation Class -- either the face-to-face classes or online, self-paced course. This opportunity is limited to 25 participants -- if you are interested in taking advantage of this program, you must let me know by October 2, 2017. Send an e-mail to

SALS will cover the cost of one person from each member library to:

  1. Attend the Notary Exam Preparation Course at SUNY Adirondack
  2. Take the one-hour Notary Exam
  3. Secure a Notary Public License

In exchange, participating libraries MUST:

  1. Let me know they intend to participate
  2. Register with SUNY Adirondack & identify as part of the SALS group
  3. Pay for the class, registration, and licence
  4. Submit paperwork to be reimbursed -- including documentation that the SUNY Adirondack class was completed.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation—Face-to-Face classes are four hours long. The first will be held from 12:30 to 4:30 pm Friday, October 6. The second will be from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Tuesday, December 5. Both are on the Queensbury Campus. 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, however, an 80-question practice exam will be given.
  • A certificate of completion is provided at the end of this course session which participants must submit with their paid bills to SALS for reimbursement.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation Course online, self-paced, notary course is offered from September 6 through December 8, using the Angel learning system.

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 Friday, November 17. The cost of the class is $75.

Please identify yourself as a SALS member when registering in order 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. Remember to identify yourself as a SALS member.

Please note that you must complete all required components of the course and submit your paid bill and the course participation documentation in order to receive reimbursement from SALS. The deadline for submitting documentation for reimbursement to Erica is December 15, 2017. No reimbursements will be made after that date.

This opportunity is supported by funds from the New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program.

Graduation Day

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The Caldwell-Lake George Library offered an English as a Second Language tutoring program for international students who come up to work in the area during the summer. Congratulations to Michaela Melova, Rashad Mahyaddinli, Miroslav Mrekay and Rauf Mirisli for completing the program, and to the library for providing such a wonderful service.

Bag O' Plenty

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The Easton Library will benefit from the Hannaford Cause bag program for September. For every Hannaford Helps reusable bag with the “good karma” message purchased at the Greenwich Hannaford during September, the Easton Library will receive a $1 donation.

“Easton Library is thrilled to have been selected for this wonderful cause,” said Director Jennifer DeCarlo. “Libraries are so important to giving citizens knowledge, and in this digital time they are needed more than ever before.”

Easton Library has a goal of raising $100 during September, which is equivalent to 100 bags bought in support of the Easton Library.

The library plans to use the funds to purchase books and audiovisual materials. For more information on the Hannaford Cause bag program, visit or

Best Ice Cream Social Ever!

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Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R-Ballston) presented a $13,000 check from the state’s library funds to the Galway Public Library.

Walsh presented the check last week during the library’s ice cream social, which also included music, games and ice cream sundaes. Walsh’s contribution will support the ongoing construction of a new town library, a project approved by voters in June.

“The Galway Public Library provides several extremely valuable services to our residents, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support its growth and expansion,” Walsh said. “This new library promises to serve as a gathering place and community fixture for generations to come, and I look forward to watching this beneficial project come to fruition.”

Spread the Word

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The Schuylerville Public Library put together this fabulous infographic demonstrating the value of having a Summer Reading Program. It's a great way to share the story of the incredible work being done at our libraries.

Save the Date: Adult Program Swap!

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Mohawk Valley, Upper Hudson and Southern Adirondack library systems are joining forces to bring you a brand new networking and sharing opportunity: Adult Program Swap. The first Swap will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 am September 20 at Upper Hudson Library System, 28 Essex St, Albany, 12203.

Any and all adult services/programming librarians are invited to share your best programs. The first session will focus on adult arts & crafts programs, and will be led by Leah LaFera from Schenectady County Public Library.

Use this template to share information about your favorite arts & crafts program.

Registration is required.

Power of Play

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The Rochester Toy Library will be hosting a collaborative conference with the Rochester Public Library on Saturday, September 23. It's a great professional development opportunity for anyone who works with children.

A Very Excellent Workshop

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Reconnect with the joy of picture books and up your story time game during the Whole Book Approach Workshop with Courtney Waring from the Eric Carle Museum
from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 26 @ SALS.

The Whole Book Approach, developed by former Carle educator Megan Dowd Lambert, is designed to give educators the tools to evaluate the picture book as an art form and to encourage the critical engagement of students during picture book reading experiences.

By the end of the workshop you will be able to:

  • Discuss a book’s visual elements such as trim size, orientation, jacket, cover, and end papers.
  • Explain how these components enhance, underscore, and interact with the text.
  • Lead a dynamic story time where children are active participants.
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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.

An Apple a Day

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How do we know which sources are the best? Find out during a series of two workshops, coordinated by the Mohawk Valley, Upper Hudson, and Southern Adirondack Library Systems, and led by Lydia Collins, the Consumer Health Coordinator of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.


9:30 -11:30 am

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Schenectady County Public Library, McChesney Room

Bring your laptops or device

This workshop will cover the health information seeking behavior of patrons and the role of the librarian in providing health information for the public. Learn about the evolution of consumer health, health literacy and the e-patient. Participants will explore top consumer health sites, e-patient resources and collection development core lists, and

discuss creative ideas for health information outreach. The class will wrap up with marketing approaches and a chance to develop an elevator speech.

This class will cover:
• Challenges of providing consumer health information at your library
• Planning a consumer health service
• The reference interview
• Ethics
• Project development / marketing


12:45 pm -2:45 pm

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Schenectady County Public Library, McChesney Room

This workshop provides an overview of health outreach and health programs for the public. Participants will learn how to introduce community members to resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and other reputable agencies in fun and engaging ways.

This interactive workshop will emphasize the active role one can have in their own healthcare through the patient-doctor relationship. This program provides a toolkit including presentation slides, speaker notes, a role play exercise, pre- and post-evaluation forms, a promotional poster and logo.

By the end of the session participants will be able to:

• Locate county level information on health needs within their community
• Locate relevant NLM consumer health resources for specific target populations
• Identify organizations for health outreach partnerships
• Locate Engage for Health materials to present this program at libraries

If you’d like lunch , a sandwich, drink, and dessert will be provided for $10.50.
Please make checks out to Mohawk Valley Library System, 858 Duanesburg Rd. Schenectady, NY 12306

Professor Plum. In the Library. With the Paper Cutter?

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Does mystery love company? Find out during the first How to Library session from 10 to 11:30 am Wednesday, October 11, at SALS. The fabulous adult services librarians from Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library will lead a reader's advisory covering:

This is the first in a series of member-led workshops showcasing the expertise and talent of our libraries. A huge thanks to Lou Ann Stewart for kicking off the series!

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There’s nothing better than getting together with friends to discuss a great book – it’s the premise behind thousands of book clubs. 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.

Court Appeal

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Desiree Fairooz, the librarian who was arrested for laughing during Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing, is heading back to court on November 13. Her previous conviction had been thrown out in July; the judge ordered a new trial.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

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Some wear ties, and organize library programs. Steve Woofolk, the Kansas City Public Librarian who was arrested while defending the rights of a patron at one of his programs, has been found not guilty.

Opportunities Abound

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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.

Opioid Crisis Town Hall: Library Needs and Responses

Tuesday, Sep. 12th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Over two million people in the US are estimated to be dependent on prescription opioids or heroin. A sharp rise in drug overdoses has made it the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. This epidemic is happening in all regions of the country, in communities of all sizes, without discrimination for age, ethnicity, or income. As library staff see this crisis impacting their own communities, their urgent question arises: How do we respond?

Join us for a virtual town hall, where representatives from libraries and other community organizations will describe their local efforts and who they’re collaborating with. We also want to hear from you: We’ll ask audience participants to describe the informational, structural, financial and emotional support that library staff and community members need to withstand and address this alarming epidemic.

Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together

Wednesday, Sep. 13th, 12am

This is an online event.

Wikipedia + Libraries is a 10-week course consisting of 6 live online sessions, online discussion forums, reading and activities where participants will gain the skills and knowledge needed to evaluate, edit and contribute to English-language Wikipedia and to plan Wikipedia events for their community members, including:

  • Learning about the inner workings of English-language Wikipedia.
  • Understanding Wikipedia’s quality criteria and applying your own critical eye; helping others (patrons, colleagues) learn to evaluate quality and reliability.
  • Adding Wikipedia (and information literacy) to existing library programming and patron (and staff) training (Tech help, GED prep, ESL, etc.).
  • Creating Wikipedia-centered programming (edit-a-thons, topic-specific groups (e.g. local history) that contribute articles in subject areas of interest, etc.) that engages community members.

As a result of participating, public library staff will be able to use Wikipedia to:

  • Engage and empower their community members to build information literacy skills and to access and create knowledge
  • Raise the visibility of their libraries and their unique, local collections
  • Build on their own digital, critical thinking, and community engagement skills—and encourage their colleagues to do the same

Course work is expected to require a time commitment averaging 3-5 hours per week. This include six, 90 minute live online sessions (Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 11, 25 & Nov 15) and independent readings, online discussion forums, and activities between sessions.

Making Banned Books Week Work in Your Community

Wednesday, Sep. 13th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Banned Books Week (BBW) has been a mainstay in American libraries for more than 30 years. This annual event brings together communities in support of the freedom to read and to express ideas, even those considered unorthodox or unpopular. This free webinar from PLA and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) will shine a light on these and other barriers to successful participation in BBW and will focus on solutions to keep your library’s involvement fresh, relevant, and meaningful to your community.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will:

  • Recognize potential barriers to celebrating Banned Books Week in their communities;
  • Know the free resources, tools, and recommendations available from ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom; and
  • Gain fresh ideas for celebrating the freedom to read at their libraries.

Libraries Transform: Health Literacy Toolkit

Thursday, Sep. 14th, 2pm

This is an online event.

October is Health Literacy Month. The American Library Association (ALA) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine have created a Health Literacy Month toolkit for the Libraries Transform campaign. Join Amanda J. Wilson (NNLM) and Jeff Julian (ALA) as they discuss NNLM’s mission to support health literacy efforts in libraries and explain how to use the key messages, data, and marketing materials to promote health literacy at your library

Every Student Present

Tuesday, Sep. 19th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Every Student Present is a public awareness campaign about school attendance in the younger grades developed by the Council on Children and Families (CCF). Chronic absence is defined as when a child misses more than 10% of enrolled days. This absence from school can lead to delays in reading skills and can impact a child's overall learning experience.

The Every Student Present website will be the focus of this webinar. Mary De Masi and Cate Bohn, with CCF, will take you through each section of the website and point out strategies that help parents support their children and data tools that educators can easily use to address chronic absence. The section of the website designed for parents offers a wide range of information for dealing with the many issues that keep children from school. The Educators and Community Coalitions section offers extensive information, how-to strategies, and resources for reducing chronic absence.

Data for Good: Fundraising & Technology Insights for Your Year-End Campaigns

Wednesday, Sep. 20th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Did you know that 59% of donors prefer to give online? Get the exclusive on donors’ giving preferences and habits in this free webinar with Heather Mansfield, founder of the Nonprofit Tech for Good blog.

Register now to discover how to:

  • Leverage the right technology to communicate with your supporters
  • Set benchmarks for success in web and email communications, online fundraising, and social media.
  • Use gender, generation, and ideology to hit your fundraising goals

Creating Workforce Development Opportunities at Your Library

Friday, Sep. 22nd, 10am

This is an online event.

Over 30 million jobseekers turn to their local library for help each year -- is your library prepared? Jenny Shonk will provide resources and tips for assisting jobseekers with job searching, resume writing, interviewing, and more. Resources for special populations, like veterans or individuals with criminal records, will also be included.

Attendees of this webinar will be able to:

  • Locate quality online and print resources that focus on career planning, job searching, resume writing, and interviewing
  • Locate quality online specialized jobseeking resources for individuals with criminal records, individuals with disabilities, LBGTQ individuals, minorities and immigrants, individuals aged 55+, teens, and veterans
  • Identify and build partnerships in their community
  • Develop programming that meets the needs of job seeking patrons, without becoming an expert

Make Your Mark: Logo Design for Libraries

Tuesday, Sep. 26th, 2-3:30pm

This is an online event.

Logos are a crucial visual element of every brand. As a part of your institutional brand, your logo is the face of your library. This webinar will provide an introduction to the fundamentals of graphic design, including typography and color theory. We’ll discuss branding and look at successful examples of logo brand design -- like the New York Public Library’s iconic lion logo and Nike’s distinctive “swoosh”. This session will also provide an overview of logo creation tools, including Canva, a free, online graphic design tool.

Learning Objectives:

  1. learn about graphic design basics including typography, color theory, and other fundamentals
  2. begin to think critically about brand and logo development through examination of successful logo designs
  3. learn how to make intentional and informed creative decisions during logo design projects
  4. explore a variety of logo creation tools, including Canva

This webinar is free of charge to SMART members in good standing prior to July 15. Login in with your NYLA username and password to receive a zero dollar balance.

Register HERE!

The Name of the Game: Playing Tabletop Games to Build 21st Century Skills

Tuesday, Sep. 26th, 3pm

This is an online event.

As hubs of lifelong learning, public libraries are always seeking new strategies to cultivate 21st century skills in their community members. The deeper we move into this century, the more critical it becomes for people to hone skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, global awareness and creativity. Your patrons can strengthen these skill sets while also having fun in a social setting — through playing tabletop games at the library. Learn about the wide array of games available and the specific skill sets each one promotes. Hear how public librarians are using games and get new ideas for programming and game-related projects that you can do at your library.

Presented by: Lauren Hays, Instructional and Research Librarian and Co-Director of the Center for Games and Learning at MidAmerica Nazarene University; and Kate McNair, Teen Services Coordinating Librarian, Johnson County Public Library, and YASLA Board of Directors.

Digital Literacy Basics Webinar - Session 1

Tuesday, Oct. 10th, 10am

This is an online event.

References interviews, homework help, embedded library services — Chances to demonstrate library’s and librarians’ ability to affordably and accessibly mitigate the risks of the digital age.

How do we go beyond helping patrons recognize fake news, to facilitating their acquisition of reliable answers to the questions that count? How do we start to measure and communicate the positive impacts of our efforts to educators, funding agencies, and the public at large?

Join an introductory survey of modern literacy education techniques and real world examples of how working libraries are using these techniques to demonstrate their ability to delivery cost effective, tangible results in a digital world. Walk away prepared to foster literacy education in your library and start the move toward measurable impact.

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.