Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Governor Cuomo has extended his Executive Order Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency until October 4, 2020. In addition, on Labor Day, he signed legislation (S8617B/A10832) requiring all public employers to create contingency plans to protect workers in the event of another state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease. The plans would apply to both the state and localities, including school districts. Plans must be submitted to unions and labor management committees within 150 days, and plans need to be finalized on April 1, 2021.

Operation plans must include:

  • List and description of positions considered essential
  • Descriptions of protocols to follow to enable all non-essential employees to work remotely
  • Description of how employers would stagger work shifts to reduce overcrowding
  • Protocols for PPE
  • Protocol for when an employee is exposed to disease
  • Protocol for documenting hours and work locations for essential workers
  • Protocol for working with essential employees' localities for identifying emergency housing if needed
  • Any other requirement determined by the New York State Department of Health, such as testing and contact tracing

Speaking of plans ... if your library does not currently have a community-based plan of service, now is the time to begin thinking about one. I'm available to do virtual consultations to get you started and understand the difficulty of doing this work during a pandemic. But there's plenty of pre-planning work, so if you're interested, get in touch!

Best Friends

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The Friends of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library have been recognized for their ongoing excellence by the New York Library Association's Friends of the Library Section. The CPH Friends have been awarded the Daniel W Casey Library Advocacy Award. Congratulations on your excellent work and leadership!

Digital Equity Series

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The NYS Library and the NYS Education Department, in partnership with the METRO Library Council and the Northern New York Library Network, will sponsor a series of webinars on Digital Equity.

Digital equity means that every New Yorker has access to affordable broadband, adequate devices, necessary software, digital literacy skills, and a community of support. Unfortunately, persistent digital divides exist in communities across the State, affecting more than 25% of New York's students and making it difficult, if not impossible, for them to participate in the online learning programs that have become essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Intended for educators, librarians, and other stakeholders with an interest in digital equity, this webinar series attempts to establish a shared understanding of the challenges to digital equity so we can begin to develop a shared vision of how we can work together to achieve digital equity in New York.

The next session on Thursday, September 24, will focus on the Digital Bridge K-12 Initiative, with Grace Ting and Ellen Goldich introducing the Home Access Needs Assessment Playbook. Please see the State Library's Digital Equity Webinar Series page for more information and to register for the webinars in the series.

Combating Racism in Libraries

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The Public Library Section and Ethnic Services Round Table of NYLA have joined forces to create a series of webinars, "Combating Racism in Libraries: Creating Spaces to Educate and Inform Our Communities." The goal of the series is for libraries and library staff to learn, share, and discuss the historical and present-day barriers communities are facing regarding racism against the Black community. There is no fee to participate in this series.

Culturally Responsive STEAM Programming

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If you'd like to gain new ideas and understanding of how to offer culturally responsive programming to Latinx communities and build relationships safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out a recording of this webinar.

There's also supporting material about Closing the Gender Gap: Developing Gender Equitable STEAM Programs, which shares programming resources and practices from the STAR Net STEAM Equity Project: Enhancing Learning Opportunities in Libraries of Rural Communities.

The webinar will introduce the STEAM Equity project librarian advisors, who will provide programming ideas and outreach strategies you can use to build relationships with Latinx communities in your area starting right now.


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, let us know!

Even More Jobs!

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The Robert A. Fahr Watervliet Public Library is seeking an energetic and creative leader with a strong commitment to public library service for the position of Library Director to continue growth and maximize the positive impact the library has in the community.

A municipal public library serving a user population of approximately 10,000, the Library is governed by a seven-member board of trustees. In 2015 the Library opened a fully renovated and expanded 3,700 sq. ft. facility that boasts a dedicated space for youth collections and services, an adult reading room, and a digital learning center. With the newly renovated facilities the library experienced a significant increase in Library circulation, visits, and program attendance.

Building on this success the Library asked the Watervliet community to vote on an annual funding budget of $150,000.00 which was overwhelmingly approved.

The Library Director reports to the Board of Trustees and holds primary responsibility for the operation and management of the Library. Duties include collection, service, and program planning and management; collaboration with the board on the yearly budget; daily budget oversight; supervision of staff and volunteers; customer service; marketing, public relations and community outreach; implementation of technology to enhance library services, fundraising and grant writing.

The position is scheduled to work 35 hours per week, with predominantly weekday hours and occasional Saturday hours to support library programs and events. The position requires an MLS or MLIS from an ALA-accredited university AND a minimum of 1-year post-MLS experience managing a public library or major library services.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate flexibility, excellent communication skills, familiarity with current library technologies, and a positive and professional attitude. The candidate should show an aptitude to work alongside the board to reach agreed upon goals for the betterment of the library community and evolve programs and library collection based on what library patrons and the board views as important services to maintain in the library. Demonstrated experience in library collection and program development, staff and volunteer supervision, budgeting, and facility management is also highly desirable. Fundraising and grant writing experience will be considered a plus.

The Library Director’s annual salary will be $40,000 to $45,000 based on the selected candidate’s skills and experience. The package also includes paid vacation and sick time and health benefits are negotiable.

To apply please e-mail a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three professional references to

Application review will begin on Monday, September 14th and continue until the position is filled.


Get Even Smarter

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Unprecedented times call for unprecedented approaches to collaboration and connection.

Organized by the libraries in Alberta, Canada, the Stronger Together Virtual Conference explores the ways connection helps libraries become resilient and better able to serve our communities, even in times of uncertainty. This free conference has two full days of 47 speakers covering a wide range of topics.

Occupy Library Conference

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One upside of the pandemic has been the eruption of endless virtual professional development opportunities. For those interested in something a bit different, join the formative/funky/fab/free-of-charge Occupy Library Conference, from 22 to 25 September, and get ready to hear inspiring stories, meet friendly people and share your innovative ideas with curious makers from around the world!

Get your free ticket, as a participant, and learn from those who have been there and have done that!

Library Shark Tank

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Is your library a player in economic development? Do you have an idea on how your library could contribute to job creation, entrepreneurship, and nonprofits -- but you could use a little funding to get started?

@ the Table is the inaugural pitch competition of the Entrepreneurship & Libraries Conference (ELC). Libraries will be invited to pitch ideas or initiatives to stakeholders in economic development. The focus of the pitches is how a library can support local economic development, job creation, workforce development, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, small businesses, or innovation in general.

Submissions should be specific about the target population, the problem addressed, resources available or needed, and the service provided or value added. Submitters should pretend their audience is local community partners, not fellow librarians.

Five finalists will have up to five minutes to pitch their idea or initiative live and online to a panel of economic development professionals and the ELC 2020 attendees. The first place library will receive $2,000. $500 will be awarded to both the second place winner and the audience choice winner. EBSCO is the generous sponsor of this competition.

Jennifer Hensel at Launch Greensboro will be providing pre-recorded best practices for all contestants, as well as one-on-one consultations with the five finalists before the live pitching takes place.

The competition will take place live online at 3 pm EST Thursday, November 12. Registration for the ELC will be free.

Apply by: Friday, September 25, 2020 at 5pm Eastern.

Share the Love

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The I Love My Librarian Award invites library users like you to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians. Each year, 10 librarians are selected to receive a $5,000 cash award in recognition of their outstanding public service.

Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or a library at an accredited K-12 school, or have been working at one of these institutions as of March 1, 2020.

Wondering how to make your nomination stand out? Check out these tips for making the best possible case for your librarian.

Learn All the Things!

Towards a Mindful Practice in Library Work

Tuesday, Sep. 22nd, 3pm

This is an online event.

In this webinar, you will learn about mindfulness from a practitioner (Mimosa Shah) and a scholar (Beck Tench) who have spent the last five years collaborating on how to practice mindfulness in libraries with integrity and resilience. We will move beyond the common understandings and examples of mindfulness, looking from both a critical and optimistic points-of-view. We will discuss what mindfulness is, why we might practice it, and how to do so, with a special focus on library-specific issues.

At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the mindfulness movement across history and wisdom traditions
  • Understand the varied reasons why we might practice mindfulness and what the consequences of those practices might be
  • Gain exposure to the wide range of mindfulness activities, including ideas about how to create their own
  • Consider mindfulness from scholarly and practitioner perspectives

This webinar will be of interest to: all library workers that have a curiosity/tendency towards mindfulness.

Webinars are free of charge. If you pre-registered you will receive an email with login link and a reminder email the day before the event.

To check your system's compatibility with GoTo Webinar and/or download software for your computer/tablet/smartphone, see this page(link is external).

Engaging Millennials as Friends Volunteers.

Wednesday, Sep. 23rd, 2pm

This is an online event.

Reaching across generations to recruit younger volunteers to actively participate in the work of Friends organizations is challenging. But it is doable and vital to the continued success of volunteer support groups for libraries. Millennials are eager to join in and give their time and energy to causes they are passionate about. Come discuss ways Friends can coordinate, collaborate, and promote opportunities for young adults that are both social and make a difference in the community. Get suggestions on how to target and make connections with these potential volunteers who are motivated to make their community a better place by using their skills and expertise to meet the needs of 21st century library patrons.


Tess Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region, and Madeline Jarvis, Adult and Information Services Manager at the Marion (Iowa) Public Library. Tess and Madeline authored a book, All Ages Welcome: Recruiting and Retaining Younger Generations for Library Boards, Friends Groups, and Foundations, a toolkit for libraries on engaging Millennials.

This professional development opportunity is open to all. Registration is open on NYLA’s website: > Career Resources > Continuing Education > NYLA e-Institute Webinars.

The webinar is $25 for NYLA personal or organizational members (who are not members of FLS) and $35 for those who are not members of NYLA. Group registrations are available ($75 member rate /$99 nonmember rate). A credit card is required for payment.

As a member benefit, the primary contact person and group volunteers of Friends Group organizational members who are listed on the “Friend Group Volunteers Registration Form” on file with the NYLA Finance & Administration Manager and personal FLS members may participate at no cost. The FLS/NYLA membership must be current at the time of registration, with the membership expiration date beyond the date of the webinar.

Libraries at the Intersection of Adult Education, Family Literacy, and Digital Equity

Wednesday, Sep. 23rd, 2pm

This is an online event.

In conjunction with Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (September 20-26), ALA's Committee on Literacy will host a free webinar on adult education. The goal of Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (or AEFL Week) is to leverage resources that support access to basic education programs for the 36 million U.S. adults with low literacy skills.

This webinar will explore the library's place and role at the intersection of adult education, family literacy, and digital equity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion will highlight how these connections impact communities of color and other under-served groups. Among the questions that the panel will consider are:

  • What does this interconnection mean for libraries serving these types of communities?
  • How can/should libraries approach/address these concerns?

The linkages among these three themes are particularly relevant to the current conditions under which libraries find themselves performing.

All registrants will receive a link to the recording of the webinar.

What Libraries Need To Know To Survive A Ransomware Attack

Thursday, Sep. 24th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Ransomware (software that blocks access to systems until money is paid to the attacker) can be disruptive and expensive. For some libraries it can be catastrophic, though it doesn’t have to be. Planning and preparation are key to surviving a ransomware attack. This presentation will focus on cybersecurity needs to help libraries protect their systems from ransomware.

Participants will learn the steps to take at your institution to ensure that you can survive a ransomware attack. The presentation will cover plans, tools, and techniques that can help lower the risk of a ransomware attack, regardless of your budget.

Registrants will be emailed with the Zoom link one day prior to the meeting. This workshop will not be recorded.

Note: To create an account, go to the upper right-hand corner of the website, and choose the “Create an account” tab. Click on that to get started. Select “Other 3Rs Library Council Member” to select CDLC.

What's Next: Libraries Adapt to the New Abnormal

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 10:30am

This is an online event.

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending strategic plans across the country, libraries have had to be nimble, flexible, and collaborative on a scale and time frame like never before. Fortunately, all three of those proficiencies are in the library wheelhouse.

In this free, day-long, virtual event, Library Journal will convene leaders at every level to share their learnings from the first phase of the crisis, how they’re preparing for the multiple possibilities of the medium-term—and beyond—and positioning themselves to come out of the recovery strong.