Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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At last winter's Annual Report Party, we talked about the importance of member libraries meeting the state's minimum standards. What's a minimum standard?

The standards are established by Section 90.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, requiring all public and association libraries in the state provide quality local public library service throughout the state; empower libraries to strengthen community relations and promote public support for quality library services; and support a culture of transparency, accountability and continuous improvement.

Until August 1, 2018, public and association libraries had to meet eleven minimum standards; the standards have been revised to include three additional ones this year. A library must now:

  1. Provide programming to address community needs, as outlined in the library's long-range plan of service
  2. Provide library staff with annual technology training, appropriate to their position, to address community needs as outlined in the library's long-range plan of service.
  3. Establish and maintain partnerships with other educational, cultural, or community organizations which enable the library to address the community's needs, as outlined in the library's long-range plan of service.

You may notice a common refrain: Each of the new standards reference a long-range plan of service. If your library does not have a current long-range plan of service, let's talk -- I'm here to help ensure you are able to meet all of the minimum standards.

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Does creating a budget give you hives? Learn how to create, understand, and implement a library budget during the Southern Adirondack Library System’s Budget 101 workshop at 10 am Tuesday, September 25, at the SALS training room. Participants will learn how to:

  • Establish a timeline
  • Have trustees, the director and staff agree on financial goals reflecting the library's strategic plan
  • Assess the library's current financial status
  • Create a budget team
  • Develop an income and expense budget
  • Approve, document and implement a budget

Attendees must bring a computer, a copy of their library’s 2018 budget, and any work they have begun on a 2019 budget.

Join Dianne Winter, SALS Finance & Administration Manager, and Bob Jeffords, SALS Board Treasurer, for this hands-on workshop. Lunch will be available after the workshop, and an in-person help session will follow lunch. Register for the Budget 101 workshop here.

Library Moon Walk

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The Mohawk Valley, Southern Adirondack, and Upper Hudson Library Systems have secured a grant for the Library Moon Walk from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Why a Moon Walk? We’re encouraging people in the Capital Region to get moving and embrace healthy lifestyles. As part of the initiative, we’ll be asking people to track how much they move through a Web site we’re developing – with the goal of walking (or moving) enough to get to the moon.

The grant has three parts:

  1. In-person training for information professionals on resources available through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine
  2. Networking with local community health organizations to offer programs for the public
  3. Library Moon Walk Challenge, inspiring our communities to get moving. People will self-report exercise on a dedicated website showing our progress to the moon.

To take part in the grant, libraries will be required to:

  • Designate a lead project coordinator.
  • Attend one in-person orientation workshop and complete two online self-directed pieces of training before December 2018. An online evaluation will track participation.
  • Commit to weeding your medical & health collections.
  • Collaborate with community health organizations.
  • Provide at least two (2) programs between Fall 2018 and April 2019 from a core list or design your own in keeping with grant guidelines.
  • Maintain evaluation statistics and anecdotal information on a monthly basis and for interim and final reports. We will develop a survey for easy accountability.
  • Promote both the health-related programming and the Library Moon Walk Challenge to your community.

Stay tuned for more information about in-person training topics, timing, and specific programs.

If you’d like to be a part of the Library Moon Walk, please respond to this survey.

This project is supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012342 with the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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As libraries adapt to changing community needs, they have offered new and varied services and materials. Many libraries now loan everything from Fishing Poles, to Board Games, to Cake Pans, to Prom Dresses. If you are looking for some firsthand accounts of how processing and loaning these types of materials might work, or not work, come join us for discussion, examples, and suggestions about making special collections work in your Library!
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Share your successful tech programs with your colleagues, and find out how they're rocking adult programming during the Capital Region during the next Adult Program Swap from 9:30 - 11:30 am Thursday, September 27, at the Mohawk Valley Library System | 858 Duanesburg Road, Schenectady, 12306. Be ready to discuss tech classes, maker spaces, podcasting, using devices, etc.

Registration is required; reserve your spot today. Before you come, download and edit the program information template:

Coffee and light refreshments will be served. See you there!

Wet & Mild

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Thanks to the good people at Biblio-bath, you can now enjoy The Art of War at the beach or Moby Dick in the shower. These waterproof books mean you no longer have to choose between a bath or reading a great book. The world is your reading room!

Getting Graphic

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Nick Drnaso's graphic novel Sabrina is the first of its kind to make it on the Man Booker Long List. This year's list is heavily populated with dystopian titles.

Gimme Shelter

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During the Cold War, public libraries were used as potential fallout shelters, due to the stacks providing "excellent radiation shielding."

Let it Go!

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Someone took the time to explain the painful process of getting rid of books. They claim it takes just three simple steps, choosing to ignore the extended period of sobbing. But wait -- what's that? They suggest letting go of material you can borrow from the library. Woohoo!

Defending Democracy

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Mid-term elections will take place this November, and public libraries have an important role to play in registering voters and educating them on the issues. Partner with the League of Women Voters, provide information about what matters to your community and register people to vote. Democracy depends on you!
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The 3rd National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color "Gathering all Peoples: Embracing Culture & Community” will take place September 26-30, 2018 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico, and we want to make sure you’re coming, too…

ALA is pleased to invite you to apply for a great opportunity -- the ALA ODLOS Travel JCLC Travel grants!

The grants provide $1,000 for travel, housing and registration for the 2018 JCLC. Two individuals will be chosen to receive travel grants. For more information on the conference, visit

JCLC brings together a diverse group of librarians, library staff, library supporters, and community participants to explore issues of diversity in libraries and how they affect the ethnic communities who use our services. JCLC is a unique and unparalleled opportunity for participants to share successes, opportunities, and challenges while networking and attending cutting-edge programs on pressing issues affecting both librarians and communities of color. JCLC strives to deepen connections across constituencies, create spaces for dialogue, promote the telling and celebrating of one’s stories, and encourage the transformation of libraries into more democratic and diverse organizations.

Selection is based upon the quality of the submitted essays. Recipients will be selected by the ODLOS Staff. Please keep the following in mind:

  • Incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • Individuals who have already registered for the conference are eligible.
  • Recipients of other travel grants to JCLC are not encouraged to apply.

Recipients will receive a $1,000 check by September 1 and are responsible for registering if they have not already, and making their own travel and housing arrangements. Registration rates increase after August 31st.

Applications are due August 13, 2018. Winners will be announced/notified on or before August 20. For more information contact Amber Hayes (

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting nominations for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor awarded to libraries and museums for service to their communities.

Anyone—an employee, a board member, a volunteer, a member of the public, or a government official—is invited to nominate an institution. Museums and libraries of most disciplines and types are eligible. To be considered, the institution must complete and return the nomination materials (PDF 219KB) by October 1, 2018.

Now in its 25th year, the annual IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service recognize libraries and museums whose programs and services contribute demonstrably to the wellbeing of their communities. Medalist institutions exceed typical levels of community outreach by supporting community cohesion and helping to catalyze positive change. Winners’ collaborative, adaptive programs, co-created with their communities, demonstrate exemplary service.

Nominees should review the IMLS Strategic Plan and highlight how their work aligns with the goals of promoting lifelong learning, building institutional capacity, and increasing access to their information and collections. Successful applications will showcase how their work with these contexts is making a difference for their communities.

This year, IMLS is particularly interested in library or museum programs that enhance services for veterans and military families, sustain growth opportunities for diverse youth and young professionals, or provide assistance to diverse youth, families, or seniors. Institutions interested in being considered should read the nomination form carefully and contact Madison Bolls, Senior Program Officer, sends e-mail), 202-653-4786, with questions.

You may also contact IMLS via e-mail at More information about the National Medals can be found on the IMLS website.

How to Manage the Most Challenging People at Work

Wednesday, Aug. 8th, 2pm

This is an online event.

In this webinar, Eve Ash tackles seven people problems that are most difficult to handle: the complainers, the procrastinators, the disrespectful, the moody, the needy, the controllers, and the aggressive types.

Eve will focus on practical strategies you can use and develop when dealing with these challenging traits. You will discover useful techniques for managing your team, your colleagues, and even your difficult clients or managers.

Collaborating with Strangers: Facilitating Workshops in Libraries, Classes, and Nonprofits

Friday, Aug. 17th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Interaction with strangers cultivates creativity and provides opportunities for joining forces to achieve great ends. However, most people tend to avoid talking or working with people they do not know, whether in the library, a classroom, or in academic and nonprofit settings. And to do so is to short-circuit much of the creative potential that is so necessary for innovation, and that organizational stakeholders crave. Enter CoLAB. Developed and presented by de Farber at workshops across the country, and used by the authors to successfully spur collaboration at the University of Florida (including faculty-librarian, librarian-librarian, librarian-student, faculty-faculty, student-student, and student-librarian-community member), it showcases the power of face-to-face conversations.

Participants in this webinar will gain:

  • General knowledge about CoLAB Workshops
  • Knowledge of how CoLABs have connected people to new networks and resources
  • An understanding of how CoLABs have been used in communities to reveal hidden assets
  • Guidance on how the handbook can be used to facilitate these workshops

OGS Green Procurement

Wednesday, Sep. 5th, 11am

This is an online event.

Learn about green purchasing and the opportunities that are available for using OGS centralized contracts. This webinar will explain how to use OGS contracts, describe the most frequently purchased green products and discuss the latest trends in green purchasing.

Presentation Outline

  1. How to Use OGS Contracts
    1. Intro to OGS & Procurement Services
    2. How to find & use the OGS contracts
  2. Frequently Purchased Green Products
    1. Finding green products
    2. Frequently purchased green products
    3. Upcoming contracts
  3. The GreenNY website
    1. Compostable Plates
    2. Green Labelling/Greenwashing
    3. Trends & Hot Topics



Todd Gardner is a contract manager at the New York State Office of General Services where he leads the Green Procurement Team. This team was formed in April of 2017 to help purchasers find green products, to develop contracts for environmentally friendly products and services, and to identify the benefits of green purchasing. Todd also works with the Executive Order 4 Procurement Subcommittee which develops environmental specifications in support of the New York State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability program.

Please note: This is a free webinar and you will not receive CE credit.