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Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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Advocacy pays off!


After the 2022 New York State Legislative Budget session, the numbers are as follows:


  • Library Aid increased by 5.5 million to $99.6 million
  • Library Construction Aid held steady at $34 million
  • $150,000 of Love Your Library funds will be released
  • $10 million will be invested in Digital Inclusion work


A huge thanks to everyone who joined the Zoom advocacy sessions, responded to the NYLA Advocacy prompts, and talked to their representatives about the need for library funding. While we haven't managed to secure what we fully need -- or deserve -- this represents a significant improvement over the past couple of years. Thanks for helping to make it happen!

Yes, Please!

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Question of the day: Has the Schuylerville Public Library come up with the world's greatest program? Discuss.

Digital Literacy Consultations

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The New York State Library has partnered with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) to offer FREE one-hour, virtual one-on-one consultation sessions for any New York State public or association library, public library system, or regional library council (3Rs). These sessions are intended for libraries/systems that would like to do a deeper dive into any of the following topics around digital inclusion work:


  • addressing digital equity barriers
  • building partnerships and coalitions
  • developing digital navigator programs
  • collecting, analyzing, and using local data to conduct asset mapping.


Consultations will take place in April and May 2022. If you would like to take advantage of one of these sessions, please contact vicky@digitalinclusion.org with your interest area and/or questions, and you will receive a Calendly link to schedule a time.


The National Digital Inclusion Alliance is a community of digital inclusion practitioners and advocates working collaboratively to craft, identify and disseminate financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs.


For any questions about the New York State Library’s Digital Inclusion programs, please contact Lauren Cardinal (Lauren.Cardinal@nysed.gov), Library Development Specialist, Division of Library Development, New York State Library.

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Spread the Word!

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Unite Against Book Bans is a national, grassroots initiative designed to defeat the well-funded, organized national censorship campaign that is being waged against public schools and libraries.


Unite Against Book Bans will equip and empower members of the public to speak out against and take action to defeat censorship in their own communities and states.


What differentiates Unite Against Book Bans from other efforts underway?

  • The campaign is research-driven, developed based on understandings gathered from voters and parents across demographic groups, geographic boundaries, and the political spectrum.
  • The campaign is singularly focused on attempts to censor materials through challenges, policy changes, and legislation. This enables us to connect with groups that may differ with us on other issues but agree with our position that book bans harm communities.
  • As the national voice for libraries, ALA has been speaking out against censorship for decades; and tracking censorship data, providing direct support to library workers, advancing thought leadership, and building subject matter expertise on protecting users' intellectual freedom and access to information for the entire library ecosystem.
  • In addition to serving the needs of our members, ALA has longstanding relationships with allied organizations that want to work with us.
  • This is a big tent campaign that will leverage the work and strength of partners-in education, humanities, publishing, civil liberties, civil rights, etc.-as well as support some of the fantastic work being done at the state and local level.
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Fighting Back

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As the battle over the Freedom to Read continues, people are fighting back. In Llano, Texas, where a library director was fired for refusing to remove titles from the shelves, the community organized to push back on the new trustees.

End of Romance

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The Enid Public Library in Oklahoma canceled its romance book club and its sexual assault awareness book display after library trustees voted to ban program and displays that feature content about sexuality.

Banned Behind Bars

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Heather Ann Thompson, the author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971, is suing New York State Prison authorities for not allowing her Pulitzer Prize-winning title to be shared in correctional facilities.
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The Trustee Handbook Book Club is back, from 5-6:30 pm the following evenings:


May 3 | Topic: Planning & Evaluation

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1JWbEj6VTdehLvoaI6sd7w


June 14 | Topic: PR & Advocacy

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0EUGOkzlQ3uDPK-qjyOXFA

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Support for Small, Rural Libraries

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The American Library Association (ALA) announced that its Libraries Transforming Communities project will offer more than $7 million in grants to small and rural libraries to increase the accessibility of facilities, services and programs to better serve people with disabilities.


Beginning in November 2022, ALA will accept applications for grants distributed over the next three years ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Participating libraries will first conduct community input-gathering sessions to assure that their work aligns with local needs. Libraries will be required to identify the primary audience they are hoping to reach (e.g., homebound seniors, children with autism, Deaf community members) and facilitate a community conversation with the impacted populations in order to guide improvement of the library’s services. Grantees will then use the funds to create services or improve their facilities based on the needs identified by their audience.


An open call for advisors to review grant applications is now open. Interested applicants will have until May 2, 2022, to submit their resume and a short letter of interest. Applicants should be members of either ALA or the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) and will receive a $2,000 stipend.


Additional information regarding Libraries Transforming Communities: Accessible Small and Rural Communities, Grant Advisor RFP requirements and how to apply for grants is available at https://www.ala.org/tools/librariestransform/libraries-transforming-communities/access/rfp.

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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

  • 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 info@arsl.org.

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What You Need to Know About the Civil Service Exam

Thursday, May 12th, 4pm

This is an online event.

Are you interested in working in a public library? Are you already working in a public library but want to move up through the ranks? We’ll hear from three panelists who will share what you need to know about taking these exams. They’ll share their personal experiences in the library world, best practices for preparing for these exams, and tips they’ve learned along the way.

We’ll be covering the librarian exams as well as those for clerks and assistants.

It's Computers All The Way Down: Navigating the Digital Divide in the COVID Era

Wednesday, May 25th, 1:30pm

This is an online event.

Library technologist Jessamyn West will discuss the ways in which this past two years created new challenges (and opportunities!) for technology education work. It seemed that every problem turned into a technology problem and issues of access and the digital divide became very imposing, very rapidly. She'll discuss the ups and downs of remote tech support and share some things that made a difference.


This is a hybrid event, so you can register to see the presentation in person or online. The in-person location is the large auditorium in CDLC's new space at 800 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham, NY. The auditorium has ventilation upgrades and room to distance.

Grant Writing Kit Workshop

Thursday, June 9th, 1pm

This is an online event.

In this program, Melissa Jadlos and Ron Kirsop will outline a useful system for organizing, preparing, and staying current with all the critical documentation and information needed for efficient grant writing. They will also discuss common pitfalls to avoid and pro tips to include when completing grant applications.


Project Outcomes:


  • Outline to create a collection of critical documents needed for efficient grant writing
  • Increased confidence when approaching potential grant opportunities
  • Increased understanding of the grant writing process