Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Does your library do great work? It's a trick question! We know you do, and we want you to share your story with our legislators during Library Advocacy Day 2019 in Albany. We'll be meeting in the SALS parking lot at 7:15 am Wednesday, February 27, to make our case for library funding. This year, we are asking for:

  • $200,000 million in funding for libraries to provide resources to millions of New Yorkers
  • $75 million for Library capital infrastructure improvements
  • $40 million to support the role libraries play in providing online access to the 2020 Census
  • Universal Access to the Library Construction Aid Program, providing a 90/10 matching provision for qualifying capital projects.

If you can't make it to Albany, make a call to your representative or post to social media to let everyone know how important it is to our communities that libraries are funded -- and sign up with NYLA to advocate year-round. It's time the world knew what we do: Libraries rock!

Coming Soon

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I had an Oprah moment when I walked into our building today: Our very long hall is lined with brand new computers for our member libraries! The Joint Automation staff is working diligently to get them formatted and ready to go!

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 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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Are you ready for the biggest, baddest, fullest day devoted to Adult Programming? Steel yourselves -- it's all happening from 9 am to 4:30 pm Wednesday, May 8, at the Crandall Public Library. The day will include workshops, an unconference, and time to mingle and share ideas with other adult programmers. Stay tuned for more info!
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Road Less Traveled

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Barack Obama has big plans for his presidential library -- the Obama Center. He's planning on breaking the mold by digitizing the collection and having it available online, having it run by a private foundation, and will include an event space, athletic center, sledding hill, and recording center. But traveling a new path can get a bit bumpy.

Old Lady Canon

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If all goes according to plan, one day, I will be an old lady. It's nice to know that in the meantime, someone is curating titles that speak to lives well lived.

Time Management Issues

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A patron returned a book a mere 73 years after it was due. Checked out when she was a toddler, the tome was inadvertently packed and made the journey to Canada with the family. It was returned thanks to a stamp on the book indicating it belonged to the Silver Springs Library. Alls well that ends well.

Spare Change?

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The Man Booker Prize will soon need a new name, as the Man Group pulls its support to focus on diversity initiatives. In the meantime, the Booker Prize is looking for sponsors ...

Opportunities Abound: Grants, Awards & More

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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.
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As part of its ongoing work to support the public library’s role in creating healthy communities, the Public Library Association (PLA) is taking steps to increase consumer education around health insurance. PLA's health insurance education initiative, Promoting Healthy Communities: Libraries Connecting You to Coverage, is part of a national partnership made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Community Catalyst.

As the next phase of this partnership, PLA is offering funding for public libraries to implement consumer outreach and education activities around health insurance and health information. Up to 70 U.S. public libraries will be awarded $500 mini-grants through an application process beginning Feb. 12. The Round 2 mini-grant application will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Priority will be given to recipients of first-round Libraries Connecting You to Coverage funding and grant-associated activities must be completed by May 1, 2019. Read information about the initiative here:

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The Library of Congress invites organizations committed to the advancement of literacy to apply for the 2019 Library of Congress Literacy Awards. Applications will be accepted from January 14 to March 8, 2019. Created and supported by philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, the Literacy Awards Program is designed to broaden and stimulate public understanding of the essential role of literacy in all aspects of society.

Organizations may submit applications for one of three major prizes: the David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000), the American Prize ($50,000) and the International Prize ($50,000). Applications in all categories will also be considered for Best Practice awards of $5,000 each.

In addition to receiving cash awards, winning organizations and best practices honorees have opportunities to participate in:

  • A prestigious awards ceremony and reception at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
  • An annual conference that encourages peer-to-peer learning, best practices promotion and collaboration.
  • A robust network of literacy professionals working all over the world.

The deadline for applications is midnight EDT, March 8, 2019.
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The National Book Fund is accepting applications for its grants for educational materials to support adult literacy programs. The NBF supports basic literacy, adult education, English language instruction, GED/HSE preparation, and family literacy. New Readers Press, ProLiteracy's publishing division, provides the books and materials for NBF awards. NBF grants have ranged from $500 to $2,000, although greater or lesser funding amounts are considered. Grant requests significantly over the $2,000 level are not typically funded, but will be considered as long as a clear programmatic and financial need is demonstrated in your application.

The application is open February 1, 2019, and due back by March 15, 2019.

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The American Library Association (ALA) Council, at a Sunday session during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, approved the new Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation Through Adversity.

The award recognizes the staff of U.S. libraries who overcome adversity to create lasting innovative community service programs that inspire and connect with readers.

The award is open to public, school, and academic libraries. The $10,000 cash prize given to a library is sponsored by the Penguin Random House Foundation. Also, four runner-up awards consisting of $1,000 in Penguin Random House books will be awarded to eligible libraries.

The nomination must show evidence of hardship, including economic difficulties or natural disasters, and demonstrate successful partnership(s) that work to overcome the hardship. Partners can include schools, local business, museums, and other community organizations. The nomination should focus on innovative and unique programming that may include new technology, reading methods or formats, outreach, etc. Nominees are not required to have a Master's in Library Science degree.

The deadline for applications is March 16. The award will be present at the ALA annual conference in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, June 23 during the ALA President's Program.

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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!

“Just One Thing”: Training Staff for Community Engagement

Tuesday, Feb. 26th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Enhance customer experience by increasing staff engagement! Learn how the Plano Public Library created a cohesive customer service experience by training staff to share “just one thing” about the library. Staff became more comfortable with patron interactions and engaged with more people during outreach. This concept became a cornerstone to the Outreach & Engagement team’s training and communications. With this concept in place, specific staff were identified for different types of outreach events to address the needs of diverse communities in their city. The presenters will share information about lessons learned, implementation strategies, internal marketing tips and tricks, and expanding programming outside of library walls.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Introduce simple marketing concepts to all staff;
  • Implement simple activities at outreach events; and
  • Define their "just one thing" to implement at their library.


Wednesday, Feb. 27th, 1pm

This is an online event.

In this introductory webinar, EveryLibrary explores 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.

The goal of this webinar is to introduce the tools we need to develop in order to identify, cultivate, and empower your local activists to take action for libraries. We'll show you what you need to do in your community in order to start to use those tools to build the real political power that you need in order to engage and influence community leaders.

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

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

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