Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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April is right around the corner, and with it comes National Library Week, from April 3-9. This year's honorary chair is Molly Shannon, a former cast member of Saturday Night Live. During the week, libraries across the country will participate in a coordinated marketing effort to promote the work we do. Be a part of the effort by using #mylibrary with your social media posts, and share stories of how people connect at your library.

Last week, during the Public Library Association conference, Sara Dallas and I were part of the Standing Up for Intellectual Freedom Town Hall, along with Emily Knox and Peter Coyle. The panel discussed the many ways challenges show up and how essential it is to prepare for them ahead of time. United for Libraries recently launched two resources to support Trustees and libraries to support program, material, and access challenges: "Terms and Definitions Related to Intellectual Freedom & Censorship" and "Materials Challenges: Key Library Policies to Review and Revise."

As Beyoncé says, you don't have to get ready if you stay ready. Stay ready, friends. says, you don't have to get ready if you stay ready. Stay ready, friends.

Getting Charged Up @ the Mechanicville District Public Library

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In Mechanicville, people who drive electric vehicles are getting connected at the Mechanicville District Public Library, which recently installed the city's first electric vehicle charging station.
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Calling all new directors! If you're new to leading a library and would like to meet your colleagues, discuss what's going on and learn about the many responsibilities and opportunities the position entails, join us for the next meeting of the League of Extraordinary New Directors at 10 am Tuesday, April 5 on Zoom. We'll be talking about how to tell compelling stories with the public about your library. Register here:
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Library Director RCS Community Library Ravena, NY

The Board of Trustees of the RCS Community Library seeks an energetic, passionate and experienced leader to continue its commitment to quality public library service for the vibrant communities of Ravena, Coeymans and Selkirk in southern Albany County, N.Y.

A School District Public Library and member of the Upper Hudson Library System, RCS Community Library serves a user population of 14,600. The Library is governed by a seven member elected board of trustees and has a total operating budget of $633,000. The Library is located in its recently renovated 10,000 sq. ft. Green Business Partnership certified facility on Main St. in Ravena, 20 minutes south of Albany. We are seeking a director who will continue expanding innovative, inclusive, and diverse library services and programming and help to build on the library’s central role in the community. More information about our library can be found by visiting

Candidates must possess a Master’s Degree in library science or equivalent from a school that is accredited or recognized by the American Library Association or the New York State Education Department; possess or be eligible for New York State Public Librarian Certification; and have a minimum of five years of professional library experience, including three years of library administration or supervisory experience.

This is a full-time position with a competitive benefits package and a starting salary range of $65,000-68,000, depending on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Please note that this is a civil service position under the Albany County Department of Civil Service and appointment to this position will be provisional, with permanent appointment contingent upon passing the Albany County Civil Service Exam, Library Director II when next offered. Applicants may be eligible for permanent appointment if they have permanent civil service status as a Library Director II or higher.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter, resume and the names and contact information for three professional references via email to:

Application deadline is Friday, April 22, 2022.

University at Albany Libraries

The University at Albany Libraries (State University of New York, Albany, NY) seek a professional to serve as a temporary documentation and training specialist in the Access Services Department. The incumbent in this position will manage the department's documentation migration and update training content, as well as assist library users with both advanced and routine library transactions.

This is a temporary, full-time, six-month appointment to begin as soon as possible. The incumbent will work in-person/on-site in the University and Science libraries on the uptown campus and will report to the Assistant Head of Access Services. Work schedule: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

For additional information, including qualification requirements, salary, and application instructions:

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Schuylerville Public Library

This full-time position requires strong customer service skills, understanding and ability to work with people of all ages, with an emphasis on computer literacy, local history and adult services. This position is supervised by the Library Director. Responsibilities will include one-on-one computer assistance, maintenance of local history collection, development of adult programming, and outreach to seniors. Other job duties include: reference, circulation, readers advisory, research instruction, group technology instruction, and collection development. Some supervision over volunteers may be assigned.

Requirements: An accredited Master’s degree in Library Science is required as well as New York State Public Librarian Certification. Experience in designing programs, assisting patrons with technology, fluency in Office programs is preferred, as well as a true commitment to excellent patron and public service in a contemporary library setting. Familiarity with Polaris automation software is a plus.

The employee will be required to work 40 hours per week, with a schedule consisting of Tuesday through Saturday shifts, with 2nd Saturday off each month. Benefits include New York State Retirement, health insurance, and paid time off. This is a Civil Service position; therefore, appointments will be made based on Saratoga County requirements. Starting salary commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Send resume, cover letter, and three professional references to Caitlin Johnson, Library Director:

Or Caitlin Johnson

Schuylerville Public Library

52 Ferry Street

Schuylerville, NY 12871

Applications due by March 31, 2022.

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Libraries in a Time of War

What's the role of public libraries in a time of war? According to the Ukrainian Library Association, they're main mission is to defeat evil.

To do so, they're creating camouflage netting for troops, providing space in the Children's Library for kids to draw pictures of their experience in war, sharing vetting information about the war through social media and other channels, provide access to the internet, make copies of vital documents, and space to get warm, relax, and drink tea. Librarians are helping people connect with refugee services, and of course, books to escape their current situation.

Others are working to preserve the country's cultural heritage, and repurposing their spaces as bomb shelters. The Ukrainian Library Association has organized a National Digital Library, collecting people's stories of experiencing the war in real time, and is putting plans in place to rebuild once the war is over.


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No library staff, no problem. During Waitangi Day, a national holiday in New Zealand, a glitch in the Tūranga Library's system meant the library doors remained open, even though the staff had the day off. People came in, check out materials, and left for hours before anyone realized anything was amiss.

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United for Libraries is hosting a free two-part series for library boards,

Keeping Governance on Track.

Part 1 Steps to Be Prepared & How to Handle Problems: 2 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Part 2 The Mock Board Meeting 7 pm Thursday, March 31, 2022

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The Trustee Handbook Book Club is back, from 5-6:30 pm the following evenings:

March 29 | Topic: Policies & Risk Management
Registration link:

April 19 | Topic: Ethics & Conflicts of Interest + Intellectual Freedom, Censorship and Privacy

Registration link:

May 3 | Topic: Planning & Evaluation

Registration link:

June 14 | Topic: PR & Advocacy

Registration link:

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Wanted: Outstanding Librarians

New York State Sen. Sean Ryan, chair of the Senate Libraries Committee, seeks nominations for outstanding librarians from across New York. He will recognize outstanding librarians who go above and beyond to serve their communities during National Library Week, which begins Sunday, April 3. One librarian will be selected from each of the state’s 10 region. Each honoree will receive special recognition and a framed New York State Senate proclamation.

To nominate a librarian, individuals should fill out the attached nomination form and submit it along with a letter describing why the nominee should be selected to by Friday, April 1. The nomination form can also be found on Ryan's website.

Ryan said, “Libraries play a crucial role in our communities, and the people who spend their days keeping New Yorkers connected, informed and entertained deserve special recognition for their hard work. I look forward to celebrating National Library Week this year by highlighting some of the outstanding work librarians have been doing for communities throughout the state.”

ALA COVID Relief Fund

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The American Library Association (ALA) is making $1.55M in emergency relief grants to more than 75 libraries this year that have experienced substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ALA COVID Library Relief Fund invites: Public, School, Academic, Tribal, and Correctional libraries across the United States and US Territories can apply for grants of $20,000.

APPLICATIONS are accepted online through April 21, 2022 (11:59PM Central Time)

These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services including broadening technology access, developing collections, providing digital instruction, staffing, and expanding outreach, as well as maintaining and amplifying existing service strategies or adding new ones to extend impact through the end of 2022.

Funds will support libraries' ability to provide their users with the information services and digital access they need to retain or secure socio-economic mobility during a time of shift and upheaval. Libraries serving low-income and rural communities, or communities that are predominately Black, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, and People of Color, are especially encouraged to apply.

ALA COVID Library Relief Fund – Application Information Webinar

Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 2:00 PM Central Time


If you are interested in applying for a grant for your library, we invite you to this free one-hour information session on the ALA COVID Library Relief Fund application. We will highlight the fund, the application process, and respond to questions you might have.

If unable to attend, this webinar will be recorded and sent out to all registrants.

To see the list of grants awarded in 2021, click here

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

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The Pilcrow Foundation is a terrific resource that supports small rural libraries. They have a variety of grants available.

Funding Requirements

Libraries qualify for the Children’s Book Project grant on an individual basis. To qualify for the grant, libraries must be located in a rural area within the 50 United States, have a limited operating budget, have an active children’s department, and raise $200-$400 through a local sponsor. Libraries with total operating budgets of less than $50,000 will receive funding priority; however, town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 may also apply for grants. Be sure to provide accurate information about the library’s operating budget on the Children’s Book Project grant application. Failure to accurately describe the library’s operating budget may disqualify your application.

Rural Library Service Areas

A rural community is typically more than 40 miles from an urban area (population over 50,000) and not a part of a metropolitan area. A rural town library system should serve a population under 10,000 (priority to community populations under 5,000). A rural county library system should serve a population under 20,000. Be sure to provide accurate information about your library’s service area on the Children’s Book Project grant application. Failure to accurately describe your service area may disqualify your application.

Grant Application and Funding Cycle

Annual application deadlines for grant cycles are April 1 and October 1 (postmark date). You do not need to send your application by Express or Certified Mail etc., as we look at the postmark date for adherence to the deadline. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed for the next grant cycle.

Grants will be awarded and grant recipients will be posted on our website by April 15 and October 15. Acceptance packets will be mailed within 10-15 days after we announce the Children’s Book Project grant recipients on our website.

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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

  • February 14, 2022 - April 8, 2022 /May 27, 2022
  • 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

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Collective Power for Collective Good

Tuesday, March 29th, 1pm

This is an online event.

When power is concentrated in the hands of individual leaders, things can go very wrong. The Covid-19 pandemic put this in stark relief: when some administrators chose to send library workers into buildings in the face of enormous health risk, staff fought back, organizing to keep themselves and their colleagues safe. It did not have to be that way. Sharing power in a democratic workplace can be better for everyone, inviting workers and bosses to collaborate on the big decisions that affect the institution and the communities they serve. Join a conversation about power in the library workplace and learn concrete strategies for building collective power for the collective good!

Participants will be able to:
- describe the difference between organizing and advocacy
- understand the role of collective organizing in making change
- learn basic elements of organizing including the organizing conversation, making and assessing lists, and planning campaigns.

Presenter: Emily Drabinski, Interim Chief Librarian at the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Live transcription will be available.
We are committed to offering inclusive, diverse, and equitable services to all of our members. To request specific accommodations, please contact at least five business days ahead of the program you’d like accommodations for.

If you have any questions, please contact Tina Broomfield at

Digital Citizenship for Today's Libraries

Thursday, March 31st, 10:30am

This is an online event.

In today's world, information is communicated and learned through a wide variety of media channels and sources, most of which are through some sort of electronic or digital device. Therefore, becoming media and information literate requires a new set of digital skills that are ever-evolving as technology changes at a rapid pace. Mastering these new skills is what prepares students, patrons, and everyone in our communities to become digital citizens.

In this course, we will define what it means to be a digital citizen, followed by deep-dives into the nine elements of digital citizenship. Throughout the discussion, we will identify services and programming opportunities that libraries of all types can provide to help promote digital citizenship in their communities.

Learning Objectives

  • Define the concept of digital citizenship and how it relates to other literacies.
  • Analyze the nine elements of digital citizenship.
  • Develop services and create programming opportunities that promote digital citizenship in communities.


Jodie Borgerding is the Continuing Education Manager for Amigos Library Services. She has experience in academic libraries, reference, information and media literacy, and library marketing and communications. Prior to joining Amigos, Jodie served as the Instruction Librarian for Webster University in St. Louis, MO. She is a past-president of the Missouri Library Association. Jodie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Missouri State University and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

This program is supported in part with federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institue of Museum and Library Services (IMLS; and administered by the Capital District Library Council (CDLC).

Data Collection and Analysis

Tuesday, April 5th, 11am

This is an online event.

Building strong and lasting digital inclusion and digital navigator programs require programmatic data collection, analysis, and management. Participants in this webinar will gain skills in finding and accessing data collection sources.

Register for Data Collection and Analysis

Fishing for Friends: How to Reel in Midlife Adults with Programs.

Wednesday, April 6th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Midlife adults are an active and demographically vast population. This generation is living longer, staying active, and looking for opportunities to use their impressive skillset in different ways. Who are these valuable individuals? Are we overlooking them for volunteer opportunities? How can public libraries tap into this significant cohort?

After the webinar, attendees will be able to identify the characteristics of midlife adults and how they are different from previous volunteers. We’ll explore the considerations when planning, marketing, and implementing adult programs that will engage adults 50+ with the library and the Friends. Examples of outreach, formal and informal lifelong learning opportunities, and creative community collaborations that can be replicated in your community will be highlighted. Gain practical tips and ideas to reach midlife adults through Friends-sponsored programming and other library events.

We’ll examine current trends in planning and expanding engagement opportunities to attract skilled and active midlife and older adults to your library. Creating diverse learning opportunities along with thoughtful strategies to entice and retain them as volunteers are a win-win to encourage this growing but underserved population to become involved in activities they can enjoy for years to come.

Participants will be invited to submit questions via chat during the webinar. The webinar will also be recorded and archived for future viewing on the NYLA website.


Dr. Reneé K. Bennett-Kapusniak is currently a librarian at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. She is the author of Public Library Programs and Services for Midlife and Beyond: Expanding Opportunities for a Growing Population (Libraries Unlimited, 2018).

This professional development opportunity is open to all.

The charge for 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. Interested participants may choose to join NYLA prior to registering for the webinar to receive the NYLA member rate. However, at the time of registration, a NYLA member may not add FLS to their existing membership in order to attend the webinar at no cost.

As a member benefit, the primary contact person and group volunteers of Friends Group organizational members who are listed on the “Friends Group Volunteer Leader Registration Form” on file with the New York Library Association and personal FLS members may participate at no cost. When registering through the NYLA Online Membership Center, FLS members need their assigned username and password to qualify for an “FLS Member Reg Pass” that will waive the webinar registration fee. The FLS/NYLA membership must be active on January 20 and the expiration date must be after April 6, 2022.

Group registrations are also available ($75 member rate /$99 nonmember rate). A credit card is required for payment. Checks and purchase orders are not accepted. Registration closes 48 hours prior to the start time of the webinar.

Whole Person Library Service

Thursday, April 7th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Have you dared to imagine showing up to work as your whole self each day? Have you wanted to make the most of your natural inclination to create connections?

In this webinar we will discuss what happens when you take Readers Advisory, Reference, Customer Service, Social Work and Community Collaboration and mix it all up in each and every interaction! You will learn what whole person librarianship is and how you can be your whole self. We’ll cover many real-life library examples and leave with actionable steps to provide resources and meet customers where they are without depleting yourself.

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

  • Define Whole Person Librarianship
  • Feel encouraged to show up as your whole self each day
  • Create space to authentically engage and connect
  • Leave with actionable ways to implement this immediately

This webinar will be of interest to: all library staff especially public facing staff.

Webinars are free of charge, you can pre-register by clicking on the Register Now button on this page. If you pre-registered you will receive an email with login link and a reminder email the day before the event.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Audits: Implications and Applications for Library & Information Organizations

Friday, April 8th, 9am

This is an online event.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) audits offer library and information organizations (LIOs) a strategic method for assessing their EDI efforts. However, the actual execution of these audits is often seen as overly complicated and expensive. And with no standardized methods available, many LIOs find themselves not even sure where to begin.

This workshop is designed to offer attendees not only an overview of what an EDI audit is designed to do, but also prepare them to take the necessary steps towards planning and conducting an EDI audit in their own organizations.


At the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand what EDI audits are and how they apply to LIOs.
  • Determine which key aspects of EDI audits apply directly to their organizations.
  • Create an initial plan for assessing EDI in their own organizations.

The ultimate goal of this workshop is for attendees to leave knowing what their next steps will be for conducting an EDI audit in their own organizations.

Attendees will be sent the Zoom information one day prior to the workshop.

CE/CTLE credit available upon request.


Dr. Kawanna Bright is an Assistant Professor of Library Science at East Carolina University where she teaches courses in Research Literacy in Library Science, Research Methods in Library and Information Science, Library Administration & Management, Services to Diverse Populations, Academic Librarianship, and Collection Development. Her research focuses on assessment in libraries, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in libraries, the application of research methodology to the study of library and information science, and the importance of the liaison librarianship role in academic libraries.

Actively Anti-Racist Library Service, Part 2: Readers’ Advisory

Monday, April 11th, 11am

This is an online event.

Providing robust readers’ advisory service that values equity, diversity, and inclusion principles is essential to all library service. Moving from being a neutral, well-meaning library where systemic racism is acknowledged to an actively anti-racist organization involves work.

In this program you will learn tangible skills to help build enthusiasm for reading and discovering diverse books, begin to deepen RA service through thoughtful inclusion of EDI principles in all interactions with leisure readers, and develop the skills necessary to be a steward of an anti-racist mindset for your organization.

In Part 2, readers’ advisory expert Becky Spratford will outline ways to approach readers’ advisory so that the discovery and circulation of titles written by marginalized voices in all libraries is not treated as a trend, but as a requirement.

Becky Spratford, MLIS, is a Readers' Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library.

How To Run Your First Fundraising Campaign

Tuesday, April 12th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Running fundraising campaigns to raise money from individuals can be tough… but it doesn’t have to be.

In this virtual training with Vanessa Chase Lockshin, you’ll get step-by-step guidance to run your first fundraising campaign (or ideas to improve your next one!).

Learning objectives include:

  • Identifying your organization’s story
  • Writing an appeal letter or email
  • Ways to get your appeal in front of audiences

This will be an interactive workshop with a combination of teaching, activities, and Q&A.

Audience: libraries or cultural heritage organizations, friends, boards of trustees, and administration.

Vanessa Chase Lockshin is a consultant specializing in non-profit storytelling, fundraising and communications, author of The Storytelling Non-Profit: A practical guide to telling stories that raise money and awareness, and the creator of immersive online training programs for non-profit professionals.

Hybrid: A New Take on Post-Pandemic Programming

Wednesday, April 13th, 1pm

This is an online event.

In the shift to online services and programs in the wake of the pandemic librarians discovered the benefits of online programming, such as reaching new audiences, as well as the drawbacks, including trying to bridge issues of digital equity for our patrons without always having the resources we needed at hand. Now, as the country starts to move back to more in-person gatherings and services, librarians are left to determine how to balance the shifting priorities and levels of comfort of their patrons while maintaining robust program offerings.

In this first webinar of a series on hybrid programming, moderator Laura Saunders will explore the impact of COVID-19 on library programming, provide an overview of hybrid programming, and discuss the potential benefits of hybrid programming as a way to maintain service to remote audiences while re-introducing the in-person audience. The webinar is planned to be discussion-based with substantial time for participants to ask questions and share experiences. The webinar will also provide a brief introduction to the rest of the series.

Laura Saunders is a Professor at Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. Her teaching and research focus on the areas of information literacy including mis- and disinformation, reference services, and academic libraries.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the impact of COVID on library programming
  2. Explore the benefits and drawbacks of various program formats, including in-person, remote, and hybrid
  3. Begin to explore the questions, challenges, and opportunities of choosing hybrid programming in preparation for later webinars

Both ALA members and non-members are welcome to attend the webinar.
If you are a member, click on the "Register" button, and log into your ALA account to finish registration. If you are not a member, please click on the "Register" button, scroll down under the "Login" button and create a new account by clicking on "Don't yet have an ALA account? Make one!"

Actively Anti-Racist Library Service, Part 3: Discussing Anti-Racist Stewardship

Monday, April 25th, 11am

This is an online event.

Providing robust readers’ advisory service that values equity, diversity, and inclusion principles is essential to all library service. Moving from being a neutral, well-meaning library where systemic racism is acknowledged to an actively anti-racist organization involves work.

In this program you will learn tangible skills to help build enthusiasm for reading and discovering diverse books, begin to deepen RA service through thoughtful inclusion of EDI principles in all interactions with leisure readers, and develop the skills necessary to be a steward of an anti-racist mindset for your organization.

Readers’ advisory and collection development experts Becky Spratford and Robin Bradford will make a case for moving away from merely discussing "why" to put EDI concerns at the forefront of your work with readers to "how." Their presentation includes an honest look at actionable steps for all staff. While it may seem uncomfortable at first, Becky and Robin will help you shift your focus, allowing your entire organization to craft an actionable plan to incorporate EDI values into your normal RA practices.

In Part 3, join Robin and Becky for an open discussion as they help you craft an actionable plan to begin this important journey.

Please review our Code of Conduct, our Statement on Viewpoints, and details on Interpreter Services here:

Asset Mapping

Tuesday, April 26th, 11am

This is an online event.

Participants in this webinar will learn how to gather local asset information and visualize social characteristics of the digital divide on local, regional, and state levels using publicly available data and analysis tools.

Register for Asset Mapping

Libraries and First Amendment Audits: Ask the Lawyer Webinar

Tuesday, April 26th, 1pm

This is an online event.

Public libraries across the country are experiencing an increase in encounters of patrons conducting “First Amendment audits.” The asserted purpose of these “audits” is to record alleged civil rights violations in places open to the public, but the recording can impact patron privacy, workforce conditions, and library operations. This session will cover how libraries can prepare their policies and staff for these types of interactions, provide tips for training staff for in-the-moment response, and also discuss public relations techniques to foster respect for all people involved, willfully or circumstantially, in these types of encounters.

We invite you to submit a question for Stephanie Cole Adams - there will be a place to do that during the registration process. The deadline to submit questions is April 15th.

Free to ESLN Members. Registration is required.

This session is sponsored by the Empire State Library Network. If you have any questions, contact Tina Broomfield (