Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Summertime and the living is (socially distant) busy.

We may not be able to hang out at the pool, but SALS has lots of cool projects in the works. We've compiled anti-racism resources, shared fruits and veggies through our Farm-2-Library participating libraries, and collected personal stories from the Leaving Our Fingerprints on History project. Delivery is up and running, and our member libraries are providing a wide range of services to their communities.

Why keep all of this good news to ourselves? Governor Andrew Cuomo is soliciting feedback as part of his "Build Back Better" Moving Forward initiative. He's asking New Yorkers to share their ideas about connectivity, telehealth, workforce, how we work, and "other." Responding to this survey gives us a chance to talk about the role libraries play in providing access to the internet, helping people with resumes, or connecting them to other workforce development resources.

The "other" category gives us an opportunity to let his office know what matters to your community and how the library is helping address those issues. To be a part of the conversation, make time to respond to the survey -- let the Governor know about the great work you're doing.

And finally, if you didn't get a chance to catch the Denver Public Library's Workplace Racial Equity Symposium, you can still watch the recorded sessions.

Blazing a New Path

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The Lake Pleasant Library is now officially a member of the US Government Publishing Office's (GPO) Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The library worked with Senator Gillibrand to become the first and only depository library in Hamilton County.

The library will provide the local Lake Pleasant community with no-cost access to both digital and tangible Federal Government information. The candidacy of the Lake Pleasant Public Library for the program was endorsed by the State Library, which is also New York’s regional Federal depository library.

“I am happy to welcome Lake Pleasant Public Library into the FDLP and thank Senator Gillibrand for bringing the library into this longstanding program,” said GPO Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “Libraries play a critical role in helping GPO carry out its 159-year mission of Keeping America Informed on the three branches of the Federal Government. We look forward to partnering with Lake Pleasant Public Library to provide northern New York with free access to Federal Government information.”

“The Lake Pleasant Public Library is the only depository library in Hamilton County and this critical investment will bring exciting new learning and cultural opportunities to the Adirondack Mountains,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Our libraries are a resource that make our communities stronger.”

Lake Pleasant Public Library joins a program whose antecedents can be traced back to the act of Congress dated December 27, 1813 (3 Stat. 140), which provided that one copy of the journals and documents of the Senate and House be sent to each university and college and each historical society in each state. GPO has operated the Federal Depository Library Program since 1895.

Congratulations to Director Sherry Matthews and the Lake Pleasant Public Library for making these resources available to Hamilton County!

Looking to share reliable, authoritative information about COVID-19 with your community? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has COVID-19-related toolkits available. Topic-specific toolkits make it easy to access, leverage, and share CDC resources. These new toolkits contain videos, social media posts, PSAs, print resources, checklists, FAQs, and web resources.

Books for All

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Do you have patrons that have difficulty reading standard print due to a visual or physical disability? Find out how to provide state-of-the-art library services at 10 am on Thursday, August 27, when Jane Bentley, the outreach librarian at the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL).

The TBBL is a free library service for residents in upstate New York who have difficulty reading standard print due to a visual or physical disability. It provides free circulation of audio and braille materials through the US Postal Service, access to playback equipment and accessories, and the ability to instantly download audio and ebraille titles through a program called Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD).

Please register for this webinar. All registrants will receive a GoTo Meeting invitation.

Everybody Counts: Final Push for Census

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The verdict is in. New York is falling behind other states when it comes to getting a complete count for the census. The majority of the state has fewer people counted than in the 2010 census, which results in losing political representation and less funding for critical services. Now that the federal government has changed the deadline to respond, we need to mobilize to ensure your communities are counted.

If you have questions about the 2020 Census or need help promoting it to your community, get in touch with Jack or Erica.

Masks On

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As some libraries reclose after opening, an Iowa librarian talks about how to encourage the public to wear masks.

Tangled Webs

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As the pandemic continues, information professionals across the country are helping people evaluate information and find reliable sources. Nathan Robinson, a writer for Current Affairs, argues that the problem stems from access. Reliable information is guarded behind paywalls, while misinformation is freely available.

Moving Forward

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Strong libraries — and a well-supported library workforce — are essential to the recovery of communities devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This collection of tools, developed and updated by units across the American Library Association, will help communities, library workers, and library supporters plot the best course forward for their libraries.
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Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change is an ALA pilot program made possible by support from a private donor. The program supports public and academic libraries in efforts to engage their communities in programs and conversations that address the climate crisis.

The goals of this project include:

  • Raising awareness and providing accurate information about the climate crisis to the public through libraries
  • Designating libraries as Climate Resilience Hubs, positioning them to provide ongoing public education and community support during extreme weather events
  • Engaging library staff in local partnerships and environmental justice efforts that emphasize bottom-up organizing, shared community leadership, and the centering of those most impacted by climate change, particularly communities of color and underserved communities
  • Creating space in libraries for communities to engage in conversation, mobilize for the initiation of sustainability policies and practices, and build more resilient communities
  • Identifying and documenting relevant, replicable programming models for future national distribution

ALA will select twenty-five (25) public and academic libraries to receive a Resilient Communities grant.

Applications open online: July 1, 2020
Deadline for submission: August 28, 2020 by 11:59 pm (CDT)
Award notification date: September 21, 2020

Learn All the Things!

Learning About Cultural Humility & Implicit Bias – Understanding Our Responsibility

Monday, Aug. 17th, 10am

This is an online event.

Cultural humility urges us to engage in critical, consistent self-reflection and critique to understand that being patron-centered is vital to moving through an equitable profession. This webinar will provide an overview of cultural humility, understand the importance of cultural humility in librarianship, adopt a cultural humility framework, delving deeper into how implicit bias affects how library staff perceives and interacts with patrons, and how to mitigate biased responses.

About the Presenter:

Twanna Hodge (she/her/hers) is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Librarian at the University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries. She holds a BA in Humanities from the University of the Virgin Islands and an MLIS from the University of Washington. She is the National Conference of African American Librarians XI Conference Programming Committee co-chair, Spectrum Scholarship Juror, Association of College and Research Libraries Residency Interest Group – Social Media and Communications team leader and more. Her research interests are diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility issues and efforts in the LIS curriculum and workplace, library residencies and fellowships, cultural humility in librarianship, and the retention of minority library staff in librarianship. She is a 2013 Spectrum Scholar and 2018 ALA Emerging Leader.