Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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It's Election Day. Get to the polls and vote. Give a neighbor a ride to the polls. Sit down and review the ballot with someone who has difficulty reading. I know you're busy and have way too much to do. No excuses. Vote today.

Ghouls, Goblins, and Mimes -- Oh My!

Halloween brings out the best -- or at least the silliest -- in all of us, no matter our age. Thanks to all for brightening our day with inventive costumes, silly shenanigans, and copious amounts of candy. Something this much fun should happen more than once a year!

A Library Grows in Galway

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In case you missed it, the new Galway Public Library is growing by leaps and bounds. Follow the library on Facebook to track their progress -- and get ready to celebrate a new building this spring! Congratulations to Deb Flynn and the Galway Public Library Crew for making this happen.

Pretty as, well, a Picture

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A roving photographer captured a gorgeous fall sunset in one of the windows of the Hudson Falls Free Library, reminding us just how splendid nature -- and libraries -- can be.
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In 2016, SALS began its Libraries Mean Business initiative to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. We do this by providing funding for Notary Publics in 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 take the training, now is the time to register for the next round.

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.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation—Face-to-Face classes are four hours long. The next in-person class will be from 12:30 -4:30 pm Thursday, December 6 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.

The Notary Public License Exam Preparation Course online, self-paced, notary course is offered from September 5 through December 12 using the Angel learning system.

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 Wednesday, November 21. 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 and the course participation documentation to receive reimbursement from SALS. The deadline for submitting documentation for reimbursement to Erica is December 31, 2018. 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.

So Much to Read, So Little Time

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The National Book Awards longlist has been announced.

Stick Around

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Han Kang, who won the Man Booker Prize for her novel The Vegetarian, will join Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell and others by contributing her next novel to the Future Library, created by artist Katie Paterson. All of the books of the Future Library will not be printed until 2114, when 1,000 Norwegian Spruce trees (planted in 2014) will be cut down and used to print the texts.

A Book of One's Own

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The Turning Pages Book Club in North Carolina provides an opportunity for people experiencing homelessness to gather to discuss books.

Learning to Read

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Public libraries are bringing LGBTQIA-friendly programming to their communities through Drag Queen story hours and other initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion.


Preserving Our Treasures

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The New York State Program for the Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials provides $500,000 each year for preserving materials in the collections of libraries, archives, historical societies and similar agencies. The grant awards for 2019-2020 will be limited to a minimum of $2,500 and a maximum of $40,000.

The Conservation Preservation Discretionary online grant application for 2019-2020 is now available. If you do not currently have a user name and password to access the online application please go to

The due date for applications is 5 pm November 9, 2018.

Questions about the program should be addressed to:

Barbara Lilley

Conservation/Preservation Program Officer

New York State Library

Room 10B41, Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

(518) 486-4864

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ALA's Great Stories Club is a thematic reading and discussion program that engages underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs.

An expansion of ALA's longstanding Great Stories Club program model, the TRHT series will feature books that explore questions of race, equity, identity, and history, and support racial healing sessions with participating libraries, their community partners, and their teen readers.

Applications will be accepted from Sept. 5—Nov. 16, 2018. Up to 70 libraries will be selected.

Participating libraries will work with small groups of approximately 10 teens; provide up to four theme-related books for each participant to keep as their own; convene opportunities for exploration and discussion of relevant humanities content among peers; and offer at least one interactive session for program conveners and participants led by a racial healing practitioner(s).

Applicants may choose to apply for one of the following themes: "Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present is a Conversation with the Past" and "Finding Your Voice."

Grantee benefits include 11 paperback copies of up to four books on the reading list; a programming grant of up to $1,200; travel and accommodation expenses paid for attendance at a two-day orientation workshop in Chicago; and additional resources, training, and support from ALA's Public Programs Office.

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The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with Citizen Film and the National Writing Project, invites public libraries to apply for programming grants to host community conversations centered around American Creed, a PBS documentary that invites audiences to consider what America’s ideals and identity ought to be.

Read the project guidelines and apply online by Nov. 19. Up to 50 public libraries will be selected.

Awardees will receive:

  • a DVD of the American Creed documentary for their circulating collections;
  • access to a high-quality, projection-ready download of the film, with public performance rights (PPR) included;
  • a $300 stipend to support speaker fees for an eligible public humanities scholar, or access to a representative from the National Writing Project to serve as program moderator;
  • a digital marketing and outreach kit with customizable printable postcards, posters and press releases and suggested social media posts with video clips for online promotion;
  • additional resources, training and support.

Grantees may choose to program the feature-length documentary and/or a suite of short films, including exclusive content not available on PBS.

Public libraries that receive the grant must implement three public programs between January and August 2019 that explore the themes and humanities questions featured in American Creed. Grantees are required to work with a public humanities scholar or representative from the National Writing Project to facilitate a conversation about the film, and to recruit a local partner for programming and marketing collaboration. Read the full project guidelines.

All libraries that submit a completed application — regardless of their grant award status — may receive access and permission to screen the film for a public audience, provided they agree to submit basic information about the screening to Citizen Film.

American Creed Community Conversations is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.

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ALA and Dollar General Literacy Foundation invite public libraries to apply for grants to expand services for adult English language learners or adults in need of basic education and workforce development.

Up to 16 grants of $10,000 each will be awarded. Public libraries are eligible if they serve adult English language learners and are located within 20 miles of a Dollar General Store, distribution center or corporate office. Visit the Dollar General Store Locator to check eligibility.

Read the project guidelines and apply online by Dec. 14, 2018.

ALA will host a free webinar at 1 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, Oct. 24, for people interested in learning more about the American Dream grants. Register for the webinar here.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative strives to develop tools and resources for libraries and library staff to provide effective literacy services to adult English language learners in their communities and across the country.

The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a second language (ESL) collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English language learning (ELL), general educational development (GED) and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations.

American Dream libraries build replicable programs, develop coalition-building strategies, and provide annotated lists of vetted resources for libraries across the country. ALA shares the libraries’ successes and strategies through the website, on webinars, and at state, regional and national conferences.

The American Dream Literacy Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. It is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office and Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services.

Public Library Administration and Innovation for the 21st Century

Thursday, Nov. 8th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Public libraries have historically faced challenges as viable units in local government. As society struggles with issues related to the scope and effectiveness of government, librarians must ask, “How and why will communities support public libraries in the 21st century?” This webinar will present a framework for future library services, focusing on effective public sector skills, strategic planning, leadership, organizational and service innovation, information technology, readers, and the full range of library constituents.

Online English as a Second Language Courses

Wednesday, Nov. 14th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Is your library looking for ways to help people learn beginning and intermediate English as a second language (ESL)? Do you need free, high-quality, and easy-to-use educational resources? USA Learns ( has three ESL courses that incorporate video lessons and thousands of interactive learning activities to teach English.

Join presenters Andrea Willis and Katy Azevedo as they give a tour of the USA Learns English as a Second Language course, while you learn about ways that your organization can utilize the website to help immigrants improve basic language skills. Talk to Katy about her experience using the USA Learns directly with migrant farm workers in Northern California.

During this one-hour webinar, attendees will:

  • Get an overview of the 1st English Course (beginning ESL), 2nd English Course (intermediate ESL), and Practice English and Reading course (intermediate ESL).
  • Check out online lessons that include English speaking, listening, vocabulary, comprehension, pronunciation, reading, writing and grammar activities.
  • Hear what our adult learners say about USA Learns. (They love it!)
  • Learn about the free USA Learns English Apps, which provide vocabulary practice to support the 1st English Course.
  • Get a peek at USA Learns’ teacher side (, where you can easily create a course based on our content and monitor your learners’ progress through the materials.
  • Hear from Butte County Library regarding ways USA Learns is being used and start thinking about how to roll it out in your organization.

This webinar will be of interest to anyone who wants to help immigrants learn English, especially library staff and volunteers.

Using Google Search Data for Planning and Outreach: A Webinar Viewing Event

Monday, Nov. 19th, 2:30pm

28 Essex Street

Albany, NY

Librarians often rely on gut instinct or tried and true measures when deciding what to provide to their community. But is there any data that can help make these decisions? We've collected Google search data in 3000 library service areas, with some surprising results! In this hour-long session, we'll help you find data specific for your library and teach you how to use it. Knowing what your community wants will supercharge your outreach efforts and transform the way you select and evaluate resources.

Learning Objectives:

  • Find and evaluate new sources of data, statistics, and information relating to your library
  • Identify strategies and construct tactics that are consistent with research findings

Target Audience: This course is suited for anyone involved with marketing, outreach, and leadership.

Librarian Evolution: Libraries Thrive When We Change

Thursday, Nov. 29th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Charles Darwin said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." It has never been a better time to be a librarian—especially when we recognize and act on our power to help people in our communities build better lives through learning and literacy. To do that, our identity, our education, our organizations, and our work is changing. Learn how library staff are becoming change agents to help Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, the 2016 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, become an essential asset in its community.

This webinar is part of the Transformative Leaders series.

Presented by: Gina Millsap, Chief Executive Officer, and Thad Hartman, Chief of Staff, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (KS)