Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Congratulations! You've filed your annual report to the state and can now revel in all that you accomplished in 2018. The next step is to share your story with your community -- through presenting a summation of 2018 to your town, village, or municipality, and by letting the residents of your community know how hard you rock. Here at SALS, we want the whole world to know about the great work being done at our member libraries, and we have the talented Jack Scott available to help create a compelling infographic (see above for the Schuylerville Public Library) for you to share on your website, in newsletters, on social media, or wherever else you'd like. Get in touch if you'd like help!

Winner, Winner, Veggie Dinner!

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We are thrilled to announce that the Southern Adirondack Library System has been awarded the Upstart Library Innovation Award by the Public Library Association for the Fresh Food Collective Library Distribution partnership with Comfort Food Community. In case you don't know, the project eliminates food waste while addressing food insecurity in rural food deserts by gleaning fresh produce from local farms, and distributing it through four small, rural libraries: Argyle Free Library, Pember Library & Museum, Schuylerville Public Library, and Whitehall Free Library. The Upstart Innovation Award, sponsored by Upstart, a Demco company, recognizes a public library's innovative and creative service program to the community.

21st Century Engagement & Communication Skills

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In last year's 2017 System Use & Satisfaction Survey, member libraries said they wanted to learn more about:

  • Customer service
  • Conflict resolution and mediation
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Preventing harassment

We’re pleased to announce that SALS has been awarded generous funding for and is partnering with SUNY Adirondack’s Office of Continuing Education to offer a series of continuing education sessions supporting 21st Century Engagement & Communication Skills under the auspices of the SUNY Workforce Development Grant.

Over the next four months, 3-hour training sessions covering the above topics will be offered on different days and times in Saratoga and Queensbury locations to include as many libraries’ staff as possible. Each workshop will address daily challenges and provide information, tools, and resources to support your work.

The series will begin with a Customer Service workshop. The session includes information, sharing ideas/experiences, activities, and tools -- which will close with action planning regarding "standards of excellence." Topics to be covered include:

  • Identify the importance of customer service and engagement.
  • Understand the difference between internal and external customers.
  • Learn to build rapport and understand the reciprocity of customer service and the importance of building on customer satisfaction and engagement.
  • Develop the skills and techniques to win over customers no matter what the situation.
  • Identify customer needs and wants and deliver every time – beyond expectations.
  • Understand the difference between customer service and "above and beyond" service.

All library staff is welcome to register and attend one of the following sessions:

  • 1 to 4 pm Tuesday, April 9 at SUNY Adirondack Queensbury campus - Adirondack Hall room 140

  • 9 am to 12 pm Thursday, April 11 at the SALS training room in Saratoga Springs

Complete the registration or copy and paste this link: into your browser.

Please register for only one of the two sessions by or before Monday, April 1st. Each session is limited to 26 participants. Once the classes fill, we will begin a waitlist.

You will receive an email reminder about a week before the session with the date, time, and location -- and to provide directions. Should your schedule change and you are unable to attend, contact Erica at so we can make the spot available to other participants. Thank you!

SALS committed the matching funds required to secure this considerable grant in order to offer the free, multiple workshops on a range of topics to its 34 member libraries. We look forward to supporting your professional development through this series of workshops and encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to convene, develop, and advance your skills in critical areas, learn from each other, and strive to apply these strategies and concepts in the workplace in collaboration with your colleagues, directors, trustees, and SALS.

Health 411

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Albany Med’s Schaffer Library of Health Sciences (SLHS) and the Division of Community Outreach and Medical Education (DivCOME) are pleased to announce the availability of their new consumer health information and community resource page. The page is designed to help consumers find a doctor, prepare for a medical appointment, find community resources, evaluate and find quality health information.

As part of the page, there is a link to SALS. SLHS and DivCOME recommend that people visit public libraries to find health information and services.

There are also free CE web-based courses targeted for health information offered by the National Networks of Libraries of Medicine. The next class, Beyond an Apple a Day, begins March 25.

SLHS librarians are happy to consult with public librarians who have health information question from a patron. Call 518-262-5532 or email

Library Program of the Year Award

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Have you launched an amazing program at your library in 2018? Here's a chance to share the story of the great work you're doing -- by applying for SALS's annual Library Program of the Year Award.


  • Program must have been initiated during the 2018 calendar year.

  • Any program---adult, outreach, young adult, children, community services or public relations are eligible.

  • Selection is based on programs that have demonstrated creativity and innovation, demonstrated community partnerships, enhanced services to the community, or reached a previously unserved constituency.

  • The program must have pursued excellence in library services and sought to have the library make a difference in the community.


  • A program may be nominated by the library, by a community member, or by a Trustee. Nominations must be described & submitted on library letterhead and be accompanied by any supporting materials. Nominations by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.

  • One award will be given. One program per library will be considered.
  • The nomination must be received at SALS before 4:30 p.m., March 29, 2019, Attention: Sara Dallas

  • SALS Library Services Committee is responsible for the selection of the award recipients.


  • Award winners will be announced at the SALS Board Meeting on April 16, 2019. Awards will be presented at the SALS 61st Annual Meeting on May 20, 2019.

  • Award consists of a framed certificate honoring the library’s achievements.

  • If a representative from an award-winning library is not present at the Annual Meeting, the certificate will be given to the library's Board representative for presentation at the library's next Board Meeting.

Trustee of the Year Award

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We have to admit -- our member libraries have fantastic trustees. Tell us why one of your trustees should be honored for their outstanding service, and they will be considered for the 2018 SALS' Trustee of the Year award.

Nominees should meet the following Eligibility Requirements:

  • Member of the Board of Trustees of a SALS member library for the 2018 calendar year.

  • Initiated service(s), program(s) or community involvement on behalf of the library.

  • Demonstrated exemplary leadership characteristics.

  • Pursued excellence in the library and sought to have the library make a difference in the community.

Nomination Procedure:

  • An individual may be nominated by the Library Director or a Trustee. The nomination should be submitted on library letterhead and be accompanied by any supporting materials. Nominations by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.

  • One award will be given. One Trustee per library will be considered.

  • The nomination must be received at SALS before 4:30 pm, March 29th, 2019, Attention: Sara Dallas

  • SALS Personnel Committee is responsible for the selection of the award recipients.


  • Award winners will be announced at the SALS Board Meeting on April 16, 2019. The award will be presented at the SALS 61st Annual Meeting on May 20, 2019.

  • The award consists of a framed certificate honoring the recipient’s achievements on behalf of his/her library.

  • If the award recipient is not present at the Annual Meeting, the certificate will be given to the library’s Board representative for presentation at the library’s next Board meeting.
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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 is one in-person class:

  • 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 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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Whether you struggle with adult programming or are a master at it, come to Adultprogrampalooza from 9 am to 4:30 pm Wednesday, May 8, at the Crandall Public Library for a full day of workshops, discussion and an unconference on celebrating the work we do to support lifelong learning in our communities – while having a blast. Janie Hermann (Princeton Public Library, NJ) and Mallory Arents (Darien Library), two of the best adult programming librarians in the country, and the founders of the American Library Association's Programming Librarian Interest Group will provide tips and tricks to set up a robust calendar of programs that will attract a wide range of adult – even 20-somethings!

We’ll break for lunch, then resume the fun in the afternoon with an Unconference, where the topics and discussion will be determined by the participants. The day will end with Erica Freudenberger sharing her experience of creating adult programs on a tiny budget to meet the needs of a rural community.

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Change Management

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When Carla Hayden announced she was going to create an inclusive, welcoming space for the public in the Library of Congress, not everyone was on board.

Special Edition

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To celebrate the opening of the Lou Reed archives, the New York Public Library is offering a limited edition (only 6,000) library card.

Tome Roam

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I know I've sounded the alarm about robot overlords taking over before, but it looks like my fevered dreams may have anticipated the next hot library trend -- book bots. The Mountain View Public Library in Silicon Valley, California, uses its Book Bots to collect library material, without making patrons return to the library. For now, the Book Bot has a human attendant.

Opportunities Abound: Grants, Awards & More

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The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation has mini-grants available for public libraries providing up to $500 to support children's programming. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2019.
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Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Enabling New Scholarship through Increasing Access to Unique Materials is a national grant competition administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) for digitizing rare and unique content in collecting institutions. The program is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is built upon the model of CLIR's Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program (2008-2014).

Applications for the 2019 cycle are due by Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

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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!

5 Ways to Promote Digital Equity in Your Library

Friday, March 22nd, 2pm

This is an online event.

Libraries have committed to addressing the digital divide as part of our mission, but addressing this issue today requires more than providing PC access or email classes. How can libraries ensure that access to services like coding workshops and 3D printers are available to the whole community? These are 5 ways you work to make sure that your community is getting the tools, resources, and training that they need. Join Booklist and author Lauren Comito who will be discussing her book “Tech for All: Moving beyond the Digital Divide”.

Strategic Planning in a Deeply Weird World: The Flexible Roadmap Field Guide Approach

Tuesday, March 26th, 3pm

This is an online event.

It's a big task to define the library’s future over the next three or five years, and strategic planning is becoming less and less effective in a rapidly changing world. The Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) has created a new approach that is flexible, staff-driven, and human-centered. SCLPL's Strategic Roadmap is not a 100-page plan in a binder-on-a-shelf; it’s an experiential learning tool that invites all staff to participate in the co-creation of meaningful outcomes and experiences for the community. The Roadmap focuses less on planning and more on building the capacity of staff to adopt a human-centered service design mindset and skillset. SLCPL staff are adopting a new perspective, continually experimenting with and adapting spaces, collections, services, programs, and their roles, to responsively address community needs and aspirations in an ever-changing landscape. Join us for this webinar to learn how to cultivate new skills to help bring the Roadmap to life for your library’s strategic planning.

Presented by: Peter Bromberg, Executive Director, and Marilee Moon, Assistant Director of Customer Experience, at Salt Lake City Public Library

Creating A Crisis Communications Plan That Works

Wednesday, March 27th, 3pm

This is an online event.

In a world with a 24-hour news cycle, libraries must be ready to communicate quickly about any crisis that may impact their community. Yet few libraries have an up to date crisis communication plan. From a natural disaster, a shooting in a branch, anger in the community over a library program or partnership, or a social media campaign against a library choice, a crisis can take many forms.

Join presenter and communications director Kim Crowder as she shares how you can create a full crisis communications plan from start to finish. She will discuss real examples of crisis communications plans that worked, and missteps that you can avoid. Start building a strong plan and community relationships now that will help you once a crisis hits.

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

  • Learn to use public relations, social media, website, email and more to build a strong crisis communications plan.
  • Figure out what relationships you should be creating ahead of time, before crisis happens
  • Discover the steps to writing a successful plan that you can start today
  • Consider different avenues of communication based on the type of crisis

You may not be able to stop the crisis, but you can create a crisis communications plan now that will set you up to successfully keep patrons, your service area, and your staff updated with the most current information during times of disaster.

This webinar will be of interest to anyone who:

  • Works with communications outlets
  • Is in charge of sharing information internally with staff
  • Handles social media for library systems

Summer Library Programming and Library Moon Walk

Tuesday, April 2nd, 3pm

This is an online event.

This one hour webinar will explore the NNLM Summer Health Programming Manual and feature librarians from the Library Moon Walk.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has partnered with the Collaborative Summer Library Program to bring health programming to your library for Summer Reading! A Universe of Stories is coming to public libraries this summer in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Explore DNA and family history, make stardust, discover astronaut food, and more with our science programs for kids, teens, and adults. The NNLM Summer Health Programming Manual and other details of the project will be shared.

Library Moon Walk!

A “walk” from Upstate New York to the Moon is approximately 238,900 miles. But that’s not stopping librarians and their patrons from giving it their best shot with the Library Moon Walk! Librarians from the Mohawk Valley, Southern Adirondack, and Upper Hudson Library Systems received funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region to get their patrons moving, dancing, and learning about health and wellness. Learn about the Library Moon Walk from the librarians who created it.

Guest speakers:
Lois Gordon, Mohawk Valley Library System
Deanna DeCarlo, Upper Hudson Library System
Erica Freudenberger, Southern Adirondack Library System

Free Tools for Working with Graphics and the Web

Tuesday, April 9th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Do you spend a good part of your job working with graphics, social media, or websites? Join presenter Laura Solomon as she explores tools to help you make your online content more creative and look better. Topics include tools to help you with video, animations, and even your library's website.

Learn how to improve your workflow, create new content, or share with your friends and colleagues. Discover a plethora of online tools that you probably haven't heard of but will be glad that (now) you have. This session will be full of tools and services that make you go "AHA!"

Topics for this webinar include:

  • Tools for working with and creating video and animations
  • Tools for creating social media content
  • Tools to help with fonts and colors
  • Tools that can assist with website-related work

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

  • Know at least 5 tools used for web work purposes
  • Know 2 at least 5 tools for assisting with content creation
  • Know 2 at least 5 tools for working with animations and videos
  • Have a list of at least 35 free online tools for graphics and web-related work

This webinar will be of interest to staff responsible for online marketing, social media and/or websites.

The Power of Small: How Rural Libraries Help Their Communities Thrive

Thursday, April 18th, 3pm

This is an online event.

All libraries provide vital services to their communities, but libraries that serve small, rural populations have the potential to go beyond providing information and access—they can inject the vitality that will help their communities thrive. Addressing the challenges faced by rural areas may seem daunting to a library with few staff and limited resources, but any tiny library can find more ways to support the needs of their community by thinking strategically and creating new connections with their stakeholders, patrons, and other library staff. Learn how small library director and 2018 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, Allie Stevens, applied the concept of growth mindsets to set her priorities, use resources and volunteers smartly, and avoid burnout as a solo librarian. Follow her lead to turn your library into a powerhouse for your community.

Fuel for Active Bodies: Increasing Access to Healthy Foods

Wednesday, May 8th, 2pm

This is an online event.

According to a report by the USDA, approximately 23.5 million people in the US live in food deserts, areas located more than a mile from a market or store that sells fresh produce, whole grains, and other foods essential to a balanced diet. Learn more about the issue and how communities are working to increase access, via walking and active transportation, to healthy food in their own backyards.

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