Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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The next time someone asks you if public libraries still exist, or writes an ill-informed article about the value of public libraries, remind them that people visited libraries more than a billion times in 2015. The Institute of Museum and Library Sciences recently released a report that found:

  • Nearly 311 million Americans lived within a public library service area in 2015, an increase from 306 million in 2014.
  • In 2015, there were 1.39 billion visits to public libraries or 4.48 visits per person.
  • Public libraries offered 4.7 million programs in 2015, attended by nearly 107 million people, 5 million more attendees than the previous year.
  • Public libraries made 1.31 billion collection items available to patrons and provided access to over a quarter million internet computers.
  • The number of electronic materials available through public libraries, including audio, video and e-books, continued to grow. E-books, especially, have seen significant growth, increasing from 0.04 e-book per person in 2006 to just over one e-book per person in 2015.

Support for and interest in public libraries continues as we focus on the needs of our communities, providing essential social services, improving public health, empowering new Americans, responding to literacy issues, contributing to workforce development, addressing affordable housing, creating space for healthy bodies, and yes, sharing books and doing tons of other stuff.

The future of public libraries isn't dimming. It's so bright we need shades!

Fresh Food Collective

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Three SALS' member libraries are officially open for business -- distributing free, fresh local fruit and produce as part of the Fresh Food Collective, a partnership between SALS and the Comfort Food Community. The Schuylerville Public Library launched the initiative on Tuesday, August 7, with a live cooking demo from Chrys Nestle, the 4-H Family Living Issue Leader at Cornell Cooperative Extension. From now until the end of November, people can swing by the Schuylerville Public Library, Pember Library and Museum, and the Whitehall Free Library and take what they need. Stay tuned for pictures from the kick-off events at Pember and Whitehall.

To Those About to Rock ...

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Proof that the Saratoga Springs Public Library Summer Reading Program rocks -- two families showed up at the library all wearing their Libraries Rock T-shirts. We're totes OK with groupies!

Hard Hat Zone

The Pember Library and Museum is preparing to add an addition to make the building ADA-accessible. In order to maintain the building's integrity, the addition will be made of marble from the same quarry as the original 1908 building. This week sewer pipes will be relocated, after that, the construction begins! Work will be completed on the addition by the end of November, 2018.

Ship Ahoy!

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water ... Jack Scott, SALS' Youth Services and Tech Guru as well as a part-time pirate, has been building a ship to carry him to victory in the annual Cardboard Boat Race at Hudson Crossing Park. Will he make it? Can he swim? Find out answers to this and many other questions at 9 am this Saturday, August 11, at the Hudson Crossing Park in Schuylerville.
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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.

NY Libraries Save Lives

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Opioids are taking a dramatic toll on all aspects of our community, affecting the quality of life and workplace shortages throughout our region and the nation. Public libraries have gotten involved in combatting the epidemic in a variety of ways, from holding public education programs to administering naloxone. The New York State Library and its partner organizations are asking library managers/directors to participate in the Opioid Overdose Prevention Measures in Public Libraries Survey as part of the New York Libraries Save Lives initiative.

This survey will help:

  • Assess the status of opioid overdose prevention measures in libraries;
  • Identify additional tools, resources and guidance needed; and
  • Identify programs, services, best practices and other strategies that New York's libraries are employing to assist communities in fighting the opioid overdose epidemic

The survey is available until August 31. Results of the survey will be shared.

Get Out the Vote

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The fourth Tuesday of each September is National Voter Registration Day, a time when we can encourage our friends and neighbors to take an active role in our participatory democracy. Public libraries have an important role to play in engaging their communities by providing voter registration materials. Sign up here to partner with National Voter Registration Day and celebrate democracy!
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The Schuylerville Public Library is looking for a part-time Early Literacy Instructor to create a fun environment and incorporate educational programs that assist in children’s development. The Early Literacy Library Instructor will be responsible for monitoring and teaching the 3-5-year-old children in our award-winning Counting Down to Kindergarten program, developing a curriculum that the children will respond to positively and collaborating with our team to enhance the learning environment at our library. The ideal candidate will be energetic, creative, and easily adaptable to new situations. If you love working with kids and have previous experience in an early learning environment, please apply today.

The schedule will consist of 2-3 day shifts, as well as one evening per week, totalling 25 hours per week. Salary range is $14-16 per hour, commensurate with experience. This is a Civil Service position; therefore, appointments will be made based on Saratoga County requirements.


  • Develop and maintain a constructive and ongoing rapport with children and parents
  • Create activities that are fun and educational for the children
  • Collaborate with schools and local organizations
  • Some library clerk duties, as needed
  • Develop and run library programs for young children


  • 2+ years’ experience working with children in a classroom setting
  • High School diploma required
  • Degree and/or certification in Early Childhood Education strongly encouraged
  • Caring and nurturing attitude toward children
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

To Apply, send Resume, Cover Letter, and Three Professional References to or

Caitlin Johnson

Schuylerville Public Library

52 Ferry Street

Schuylerville, NY 12871

Applications are due by August 31, 2018.

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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. 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!

Move Over, Indiana Jones

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Anyone can find the Ark of the Covenant, but locating a book when you can't remember a title? That's daunting. Enter a team of determined and unstoppable librarians, who dedicate themselves to TitleQuest, the locating of obscure titles. Bullwhips optional.

Snakes in the Stacks

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The Georgetown branch of the DC Public Library had to close because of snakes. Snakes, people!

Brand Management

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The problem with loaning books is that sometimes, they aren't returned. Medieval libraries solved this problem by branding their books with distinctive marks so when missionaries and others absconded with their tomes, they could be tracked down.

Gen Z Yellow is the New Millenial Pink

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As everyone knows, the catwalks of New York and Milan derive their greatest inspiration from the covers of books. (At least in my fevered imagination). The hot new trend in book covers is a color known as "Gen Z Yellow," making an appearance on no less than eleven new titles. Fashion-forward librarians should begin coordinating socks and cardigans ASAP.
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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 Rural Libraries Round Table is offering the opportunity for one person to attend NYLA 2018 on an RLRT Scholarship. This will include conference registration (NYLA member rate), mileage/lodging, and RLRT membership if necessary. Applicants do not need to be RLRT members to apply. The winner will be announced in September. Please contact Janice Dekoff at director @ with any questions.

Apply now! Applications are due Friday, August 31.

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Nominations for the 2018 I Love My Librarian Award are now open and will run through Monday, October 1, at 11:59 PM CT.

The award recognizes the service of exceptional academic, public, and school librarians who have transformed lives and communities; 10 winners will be selected to receive $5,000 as well as a travel stipend to attend an award ceremony held in their honor at Carnegie Corporation of New York on December 4, 2018.

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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.

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

Getting Unstuck: Help Your Board, Staff, and Town Talk about Library Funding

Wednesday, Aug. 22nd, 3pm

This is an online event.

Library leaders have been trained to "do more with less" for so long that it’s become a virtue. Though talking about budgets is a challenge, library staff need better funding to provide the public with needed services and expertise. If your budget is stuck, and your board, staff and stakeholders are having a hard time talking about new taxes or levies, this webinar can help. Please join us for real-world, practical, actionable advice on how to overcome local political problems, negative feelings, and unmotivated stakeholders, to move your library toward a more financially secure future.

This webinar is hosted in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries and EveryLibrary.

Presented by: John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary; Lee Hallberg, Executive Director, Mancos Public Library, CO; and James Ochsner, Sutter County Library, CA

Volunteers in the Workplace: Safeguarding Your Reputation And Protecting You from Liability Through Background Screening

Thursday, Aug. 30th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Most organizations running volunteer programs know they need to screen their volunteers -- at the very least those volunteers who are working with vulnerable populations or who have access to sensitive information. Some, though, don't see background screening as a great need. But what's the danger of not running background checks on these individuals? What steps do you need to take to ensure you are not on the hook for a lawsuit and, more importantly, that you are protecting your people and your reputation?

Watch this webinar to:

  • Learn best practices for screening volunteers
  • Get real life examples of risks of liability when volunteers are not properly vetted
  • Understand what an organization might expect going forward after a negative experience, and how they can recover
  • Learn how background checks can minimize your risk and maximize the safety in your workplace

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.

Revitalizing Library Volunteer Engagement

Tuesday, Sep. 18th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Library volunteerism is evolving. Gone are the days of looking for tasks to keep your volunteers busy. Libraries are now enlisting high impact volunteers who are bringing unique skills and expertise to enhance the library’s mission. Join us to learn how you can harness the power of skilled volunteers in your community and hear success stories of innovative volunteer engagement in libraries of all sizes and budgets.

Participants in this webinar will learn how to:

  • Identify what motivates potential local and virtual volunteers and how to ensure the right fit
  • Utilize skilled volunteers at the library
  • Design volunteer job descriptions and targeted recruitment plans
  • Earn staff buy-in and other strategies for successful volunteer engagement

Volunteers can be your strongest advocates, helping you gain funding and recruit human resources. This webinar will help libraries and library groups revitalize volunteer engagement and grow their community of advocates and supporters.

Presented by: Carla Lehn, principal consultant of the Lehn Group, former Library Programs Consultant of California State Library, and author of the new book, From Library Volunteer to Library Advocate: Tapping into the Power of Community Engagement.