Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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As we approach the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Omicron's rapid spread prompted New York State Governor Kathy Hochul to require masks in all indoor public places unless the business or venue has implemented a vaccine requirement. This regulation applies to all public spaces, including offices. Organizations that choose to implement a vaccine mandate must see proof of complete vaccination, including an Excelsior Pass, SMART Health Cards, or a CDC vaccination card. Failing to comply with this regulation could cost a business up to $1,000 per violation. This mandate will remain in effect until Saturday, January 15, 2022.

According to the NYS Department of Health, there are two paths to compliance:

  • (1) a vaccine mandate for everyone on premises; or
  • (2) a mask mandate for everyone on premises.

Combining the two approaches does not bring an organization into compliance -- organizations must follow one method completely.

Governor Hochul will revisit this decision on January 15.

Last month, Governor Hochul also vetoed legislation requiring publishers to offer electronic books licenses to libraries under reasonable terms (S2890B / A5837B). The bills had passed the New York state senate and assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support in June 2021. Other states continue to advocate for improved access -- and reduced prices -- for electronic material.

Connect with Your Community

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SALS has received a grant from the American Library Association's Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries for a series of virtual workshops to create a culture of authentic and equitable community engagement.

The four workshops will cover understanding who we are and the identities we hold, creating an inclusive culture, becoming anti-racist, and the role of public libraries in deliberative democracy. By the end of the series, participants will be comfortable convening, hosting, and leading inclusive conversations in our communities.

This opportunity is open to all SALS member libraries but is limited to twenty participants.

Participants will be required to do the following:

  • Secure the approval of Board/Director

  • Complete the ALA's Facilitation Training

  • Attend all sessions from 10 am-Noon on the following Fridays:

    • Friday, January 21

    • Friday, February 18

    • Friday, March 4

    • Friday, March 18

  • Host at least one conversation in your community before May 30, 2022

If you would like to be a part of this professional development opportunity, sign up here: People who apply will be notified of acceptance into the workshop series by January 15, 2022.

Staying Connected

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The NYS Library has launched its New York State Digital Equity Portal, an interactive, online data and mapping tool for New York State communities seeking to advance digital equity. Recognizing that access to broadband in and of itself is a limited measure of the digital divide, the NYS Digital Equity Portal allows users to generate snapshots of connectivity, device access, population/demographics, programming, and other digital equity resources from selected geographies across the state.

The development of the portal draws on existing digital equity work, including the NYSED’s “Achieving Digital Equity in New York State: An Outline for Collaborative Change” and feedback from digital equity advocates across the state to create a clear, comprehensive, and user-friendly resource.

The NYS Digital Equity Portal allows users to generate interactive snapshots of connectivity, population/demographics, speed and cost of broadband, and other digital equity resources from selected geographies across NYS. Users can analyze the data based on congressional districts, zip codes, census tracts, and New York public library systems. The project team plans to develop more data layers through continued research and collaboration with digital equity advocates in New York State.

The NYS Digital Equity Portal reveals barriers to internet access. This data will help communities develop digital equity strategies based on understanding digital equity needs, gaps, and priorities.

Make it Count

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All public libraries are encouraged to complete the Public Library Association's 2021 Public Library Staff & Diversity survey to help us better understand public library staff roles, hiring and retention practices, and equity, diversity, and inclusion work. The survey was developed by PLA's Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Committee in response to field-wide discussions and demand for actionable data about evolving staff roles and diversity and inclusion staffing efforts.

To complete the survey, log in to your library's Benchmark account. Click on "Surveys" in the menu, and you will see this survey listed under "Open Surveys." All public library directors should have received an invitation with login details; if your library did not, please contact Additional information about the survey can be found in this document (PDF).

No Bother

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Winnie-the-Pooh, Zen master and hunny lover will be sailing into the public domain as well as numerous other works of art as they reach their 95th birthday.

Sparking Joy

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It's been a rough couple of years. Fortunately, Jude Atwood brought joy into the world by curating a collection of Tilda Swinton as libraries posts for social media.

Tangled Web

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Filippo Bernardini, an Italian citizen who worked at UK publisher Simon & Schuster, was recently arrested for stealing unpublished manuscripts, including one by Margaret Atwood.

Big Talk From Small Libraries

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Share your expertise during the Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022 virtual conference.

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. Organizers are looking for seven 50-minute presentations and four 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing.

Grant to Support People Living with Dementia

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Applications are now being accepted for the Stephen T. Riedner Grant for Life Enhancing Library Programs for People Living with Dementia. Two $2,500 grants will be awarded in 2022. You do not need to be a member of ALA or RUSA to apply.

Grant submissions could include, but are not limited to:

  • Inclusion – welcoming this population into the library/community
  • Staff dementia awareness training
  • Person-centered focus – address their unique needs as individuals with their interests, abilities, and history.
  • Literacy activities that promote the use of books and reading as at least one component of programming (which of course can include art, music, exercise, nature, etc. as well)
  • Academic research into reading and dementia
  • Developing partnerships with local organizations that also serve those living with dementia

Grant applications are due Feb. 11, 2022.

Financial Literacy Grant Program

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The FINRA Foundation is now accepting grant applications to help public and academic libraries meet the financial education needs of their communities and foster financial inclusion. The maximum grant amount is $50,000. The first application deadline is March 1, 2022.

For questions about this grant opportunity, please contact

Penguin Random House Grants for Small & Rural Libraries

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The Association of Rural and Small Libraries is partnering with Penguin Random House on a new grant opportunity for small and rural libraries nationwide.

Apply for a Grant

Download a Sample Application

Not all applications will be selected for funding. If selected, grants will be awarded for up to $2,500.

This is a rolling grant application, with batches of applications going under review every 8 weeks beginning December 17, 2021. Applications will be submitted until all available grant funds are distributed.

Submission Window / Award Notification Deadline

  • December 20, 2021 - February 11, 2022 /April 4, 2022
  • February 14, 2022 - April 8, 2022 /May 27, 2022
  • April 11, 2022 - June 3, 2022 /July 29. 2022

Project reports must be submitted by February 1, 2023.

The program will award grants to libraries that demonstrate a true need. Grants are not limited to literacy and may be used for everything from library programming and books to resources like hotspots that help community members access important information. In-kind donations will also be considered.

Have questions? Please contact the ARSL Office at (206) 453-3579 or

Learn All the Things!

Digital Navigators (Parts 1 and 2)

Tuesday, Jan. 11th, 11am-11pm

This is an online event.

Upon completion of this two-part webinar, participants will gain in-depth knowledge of the Digital Navigator model and its associated tools, its impact, and how this field-tested program can be added to a library’s existing portfolio of services.

Part 1: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 11-12:30 PM Eastern

Register for Digital Navigators Part 1

Part 2: Thursday, January 27, 2022, 11-12:30 PM Eastern

Register for Digital Navigators Part 2

Program Planning Made Easy

Wednesday, Jan. 12th, 2:30pm

This is an online event.

Modern library programming involves incorporating popular trends, research on language and reading acquisitions, as well as developmental milestones, and of course fun! Pulling that off with ease requires solid planning and organization.

In this interactive webinar, Jill Burket Ragase will give you a variety of tools that you will be able to use to:

  • Strategically plan your programming calendar
  • Use planning time efficiently for maximum results
  • Methods to collect titles and activities for future use
  • Methods to transform the sea of titles, themes, and random ideas into a cohesive plan
  • Incorporate flexibility in your plans to meet evolving conditions
  • Tips and tricks for organizing program and storytime themes, programming supplies, and materials,
  • Set up shared documents to decrease workload across staff

Program planning doesn’t have to be time-consuming. We’ll discuss strategies for organizing your ideas, work, and materials in a way that maximizes your planning time investment.

Jill Burket Ragase is the founder and co-host of the podcast Book It, a member of the American Bookseller Association’s Education Task Force, and a James Patterson bookseller of the year. She earned her MLS from the University of Kentucky and has worked as both a youth services and collection development librarian.

Register for this webinar here:

Trauma-Informed Librarianship: Building Communities of Care

Thursday, Jan. 13th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Trauma-informed librarianship (TIL) is a vital practice that invites us to be intentional and deliberate about creating cultural shifts in how we approach our work to move towards healing, for our patrons, for each other, and for ourselves. This webinar will introduce participants to what trauma is and how it impacts both individuals and communities; the principles and goals of trauma-informed librarianship; how we can apply this lens to library services in actionable ways to better support survivors in our libraries, whether they are patrons or colleagues; and how we can take care of ourselves too, through 10 concrete self-care strategies.

Guest Speaker Karina Hagelin (they/them) is a chronically ill and disabled queer femme librarian who is passionate about working with library workers and librarians who are committed to creating cultures that center healing through radical empathy, collective care, and social justice work. Blending their lived experiences and expertise on trauma-informed librarianship, they lead diverse groups of librarians and library workers through engaging, interactive, and informative webinars + workshops. Karina is currently based in Ithaca, New York, where they most recently worked as an Outreach and Instruction Librarian at Cornell University. You can find out more about their work on their website,

This webinar is the first in a series on Trauma-Informed Librarianship. You can find upcoming webinars on this topic under our Spotlight Speaker Series.

Code of Conduct

NNLM is dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for all people, regardless of background or identity. As such, we expect respectful interactions with instructors and learners.
Read the full Code of Conduct here.

Register Here

Copy That! Copyright Basics for Library Professionals, Part 1: The Whats and Whys

Tuesday, Jan. 25th, 4pm

This is an online event.

Copyright affects so much of the creative content we interact with and create... not just a painting we may see in a museum or a novel we are reading, but also the emails we ourselves send, the blogs and articles we write, and the photos we take and post.

"Copy That! Copyright Basics for Library Professionals" is a three-part series focusing on basic principles of U.S. copyright law and its impact on us as library professionals and in our own creative lives.

Part 1 will explore what intellectual property is, what copyright law in the U.S. protects (and what it doesn’t), and how long it lasts. We will also briefly touch on how U.S. copyright connects to other countries through treaties. Some key takeaways from the presentation will be:

- An understanding of the types of rights granted to creators under U.S. copyright law
- How the law determines copyright ownership of a particular work
- The duration of copyright protection and how works enter the public domain

Media Literacy in Libraries

Thursday, Jan. 27th, 10:30am

This is an online event.

Libraries are at the center of information literacy. Though frequently used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between media literacy and information literacy. Media literacy focuses on analyzing media content and the effect of media on society, while information literacy is the ability to identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively.

In this course, designed for librarians and staff, you will learn how to interpret media messages and their effect on individuals and society by applying media literacy theory and practices. You will also learn how to pass this knowledge on to your patrons and colleagues to help them better evaluate media.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define media literacy and the framework for interpreting media messages
  • Evaluate various forms of media to verify the validity and credibility of the information reported
  • Develop programs, services, and other opportunities to teach patrons and colleagues about media literacy


Jodie Borgerding is the Continuing Education Manager for Amigos Library Services. She has experience in academic libraries, reference, information and media literacy, and library marketing and communications.

Mental Health & Wellness 101 with the Mental Health Association in New York State

Tuesday, Feb. 8th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Mental Health and Wellness 101 helps participants to understand mental health in a holistic context and utilize basic mental health awareness in order to self-care and help others.

Mental Health and Wellness 101 participants will:

  • Increase basic knowledge of mental health to help reduce stigma.
  • Understand Mental Health as a continuum of wellness that defines us every day — it is illness, recovery, and all of the space in between.
  • Promote wellness, treatment seeking behavior, recovery, and self-care.
  • Identify and understand various signs & symptoms of mental illness.

Why is this important?

Consider this: the median time between the onset of mental illness (when symptoms first appear) and when an individual gets appropriate treatment is 10 years. During that time, a person is likely experiencing periods of increased symptomology and periods of wellness. Mental Health and recovery are dependent on an individual’s ability to recognize and manage where he/she is each day on the continuum between wellness and illness and take care accordingly, an important piece to quality of life.

This webinar is being presented by the Mental Health Association in New York State.

Data Collection and Analysis

Tuesday, April 5th, 11am

This is an online event.

Building strong and lasting digital inclusion and digital navigator programs require programmatic data collection, analysis, and management. Participants in this webinar will gain skills in finding and accessing data collection sources.

Register for Data Collection and Analysis

Asset Mapping

Tuesday, April 26th, 11am

This is an online event.

Participants in this webinar will learn how to gather local asset information and visualize social characteristics of the digital divide on local, regional, and state levels using publicly available data and analysis tools.

Register for Asset Mapping