Outreach, Engagement & Other Splendid Stuff

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To charge fines or not to charge fines. That is the question for public libraries. Fees on overdue library materials generate needed income to support library programming but also create barriers to usage. Some libraries, like our own Greenwich Free Library and the Schuylerville Public Library, have decided to go fine-free. What happens when a library stops collecting fines? The Dayton Metro Library and the Salt Lake City Public Library are reporting on their experience. Here's what they've found:

  • Revenues from fees are down (as expected)
  • Circulation has increased
  • A significant bump in the number of new cardholders
  • A decrease in friction between staff and patrons
  • A decrease in the number of overdue material

The Dayton Metro Library revamped it's borrowing policy, to limit privileges when items were overdue, and to impose processing fees on lost items. They have also retained a collection agency to recover missing items, which may prove to be as much of a barrier as the collection of overdue fines -- time will tell. But many other libraries that have opted to go fine-free report better rapport with their communities, and less loss of material, since people are not concerned about being able to afford to return an item. From a practical standpoint, eliminating fines reduces stress on the circulation staff and patrons, and makes the library more accessible to marginalized populations. What could be better than that?

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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 to 4:30 pm Friday, October 26 on the Queensbury Campus or 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.

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Does creating a budget give you hives? Learn how to create, understand, and implement a library budget during the Southern Adirondack Library System’s Budget 101 workshop at 10 am Tuesday, September 25, at the SALS training room. Participants will learn how to:

  • Establish a timeline
  • Have trustees, the director and staff agree on financial goals reflecting the library's strategic plan
  • Assess the library's current financial status
  • Create a budget team
  • Develop an income and expense budget
  • Approve, document and implement a budget

Attendees must bring a computer, a copy of their library’s 2018 budget, and any work they have begun on a 2019 budget.

Join Dianne Winter, SALS Finance & Administration Manager, and Bob Jeffords, SALS Board Treasurer, for this hands-on workshop. Lunch will be available after the workshop, and an in-person help session will follow lunch. Register for the Budget 101 workshop here.

NY Libraries Save Lives

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Opioids are taking a dramatic toll on all aspects of our community, affecting the quality of life and workplace shortages throughout our region and the nation. Public libraries have gotten involved in combatting the epidemic in a variety of ways, from holding public education programs to administering naloxone. The New York State Library and its partner organizations are asking library managers/directors to participate in the Opioid Overdose Prevention Measures in Public Libraries Survey as part of the New York Libraries Save Lives initiative.

This survey will help:

  • Assess the status of opioid overdose prevention measures in libraries;
  • Identify additional tools, resources and guidance needed; and
  • Identify programs, services, best practices and other strategies that New York's libraries are employing to assist communities in fighting the opioid overdose epidemic

The survey is available until August 31. Results of the survey will be shared.

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The Schuylerville Public Library is looking for a part-time Early Literacy Instructor to create a fun environment and incorporate educational programs that assist in children’s development. The Early Literacy Library Instructor will be responsible for monitoring and teaching the 3-5-year-old children in our award-winning Counting Down to Kindergarten program, developing a curriculum that the children will respond to positively and collaborating with our team to enhance the learning environment at our library. The ideal candidate will be energetic, creative, and easily adaptable to new situations. If you love working with kids and have previous experience in an early learning environment, please apply today.

The schedule will consist of 2-3 day shifts, as well as one evening per week, totalling 25 hours per week. Salary range is $14-16 per hour, commensurate with experience. This is a Civil Service position; therefore, appointments will be made based on Saratoga County requirements.


  • Develop and maintain a constructive and ongoing rapport with children and parents
  • Create activities that are fun and educational for the children
  • Collaborate with schools and local organizations
  • Some library clerk duties, as needed
  • Develop and run library programs for young children


  • 2+ years’ experience working with children in a classroom setting
  • High School diploma required
  • Degree and/or certification in Early Childhood Education strongly encouraged
  • Caring and nurturing attitude toward children
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

To Apply, send Resume, Cover Letter, and Three Professional References to or

Caitlin Johnson

Schuylerville Public Library

52 Ferry Street

Schuylerville, NY 12871

Applications are due by August 31, 2018.

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As libraries adapt to changing community needs, they have offered new and varied services and materials. Many libraries now loan everything from Fishing Poles, to Board Games, to Cake Pans, to Prom Dresses. If you are looking for some firsthand accounts of how processing and loaning these types of materials might work, or not work, come join us for discussion, examples, and suggestions about making special collections work in your Library!
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Share your successful tech programs with your colleagues, and find out how they're rocking adult programming during the Capital Region during the next Adult Program Swap from 9:30 - 11:30 am Thursday, September 27, at the Mohawk Valley Library System | 858 Duanesburg Road, Schenectady. Be ready to discuss tech classes, maker spaces, podcasting, using devices, etc.

Registration is required; reserve your spot today. Before you come, download and edit the program information template:

Coffee and light refreshments will be served. See you there!

The Library So Nice, They Named It Twice

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The Library of Congress hired Pentagram to create a new brand identity. Some librarians are confused about the double library/library -- what do you think?

Gateway to E-books

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The New York Public Library is re-imagining classic literature with a new series of Insta Novels, available on Instagram. The project combines video, text and animation -- and ends by suggesting people check out e-books. A clever mix of marketing, literature, and social media.

Desperately Seeking Drummer

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The Cornell University Rare and Manuscript Division is sharing 2,000 punk rock posters from the 1970s on, and for those of us old enough to remember, it is causing all the feels.

A Home of One's Own

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Someone took the time to illustrate a series of literary homes, and I'm gasping.
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The Rural Libraries Round Table is offering the opportunity for one person to attend NYLA 2018 on an RLRT Scholarship. This will include conference registration (NYLA member rate), mileage/lodging, and RLRT membership if necessary. Applicants do not need to be RLRT members to apply. The winner will be announced in September. Please contact Janice Dekoff at director @ with any questions.

Apply now! Applications are due Friday, August 31.

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Nominations for the 2018 I Love My Librarian Award are now open and will run through Monday, October 1, at 11:59 PM CT.

The award recognizes the service of exceptional academic, public, and school librarians who have transformed lives and communities; 10 winners will be selected to receive $5,000 as well as a travel stipend to attend an award ceremony held in their honor at Carnegie Corporation of New York on December 4, 2018.

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now accepting nominations for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor awarded to libraries and museums for service to their communities.

Anyone—an employee, a board member, a volunteer, a member of the public, or a government official—is invited to nominate an institution. Museums and libraries of most disciplines and types are eligible. To be considered, the institution must complete and return the nomination materials (PDF 219KB) by October 1, 2018.

Now in its 25th year, the annual IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service recognize libraries and museums whose programs and services contribute demonstrably to the wellbeing of their communities. Medalist institutions exceed typical levels of community outreach by supporting community cohesion and helping to catalyze positive change. Winners’ collaborative, adaptive programs, co-created with their communities, demonstrate exemplary service.

Nominees should review the IMLS Strategic Plan and highlight how their work aligns with the goals of promoting lifelong learning, building institutional capacity, and increasing access to their information and collections. Successful applications will showcase how their work with these contexts is making a difference for their communities.

This year, IMLS is particularly interested in library or museum programs that enhance services for veterans and military families, sustain growth opportunities for diverse youth and young professionals, or provide assistance to diverse youth, families, or seniors. Institutions interested in being considered should read the nomination form carefully and contact Madison Bolls, Senior Program Officer, sends e-mail), 202-653-4786, with questions.

You may also contact IMLS via e-mail at More information about the National Medals can be found on the IMLS website.

Plan Ahead

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The Foundation for Rural Service provides funding to support local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural America. Grants range from $250 to $5,000.

Each spring, applications are accepted for the current year’s grant process. The application window closes in mid-September and awardees are announced in early December. Grant projects vary but are concentrated in four major areas including business, community and economic development, education, and applications of telecommunications.

Volunteers in the Workplace: Safeguarding Your Reputation And Protecting You from Liability Through Background Screening

Thursday, Aug. 30th, 2pm

This is an online event.

Most organizations running volunteer programs know they need to screen their volunteers -- at the very least those volunteers who are working with vulnerable populations or who have access to sensitive information. Some, though, don't see background screening as a great need. But what's the danger of not running background checks on these individuals? What steps do you need to take to ensure you are not on the hook for a lawsuit and, more importantly, that you are protecting your people and your reputation?

Watch this webinar to:

  • Learn best practices for screening volunteers
  • Get real life examples of risks of liability when volunteers are not properly vetted
  • Understand what an organization might expect going forward after a negative experience, and how they can recover
  • Learn how background checks can minimize your risk and maximize the safety in your workplace

OGS Green Procurement

Wednesday, Sep. 5th, 11am

This is an online event.

Learn about green purchasing and the opportunities that are available for using OGS centralized contracts. This webinar will explain how to use OGS contracts, describe the most frequently purchased green products and discuss the latest trends in green purchasing.

Presentation Outline

  1. How to Use OGS Contracts
    1. Intro to OGS & Procurement Services
    2. How to find & use the OGS contracts
  2. Frequently Purchased Green Products
    1. Finding green products
    2. Frequently purchased green products
    3. Upcoming contracts
  3. The GreenNY website
    1. Compostable Plates
    2. Green Labelling/Greenwashing
    3. Trends & Hot Topics



Todd Gardner is a contract manager at the New York State Office of General Services where he leads the Green Procurement Team. This team was formed in April of 2017 to help purchasers find green products, to develop contracts for environmentally friendly products and services, and to identify the benefits of green purchasing. Todd also works with the Executive Order 4 Procurement Subcommittee which develops environmental specifications in support of the New York State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability program.

Please note: This is a free webinar and you will not receive CE credit.

Motivating Your Staff: Strategies for Supervisors

Tuesday, Sep. 11th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Would you like to learn new methods of encouraging and inspiring motivation in your staff? Understanding what motivation is and how it works, is a critical management and leadership skill. This one-hour webinar will explore the application of Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory (also known as Herzberg's Two Factor Theory). Herzberg posited that factors leading to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are separate. Which means supervisors must seek to both decrease factors that correspond to dissatisfaction and increase factors that correspond to satisfaction. The presenter will illustrate examples of this theory in staff training, meetings, onboarding, and in the day-to-day interactions supervisors have with their employees. Attendees will leave with new ideas for how to create a work environment where employees are fulfilled.

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

  • Recognize job factors that contribute to workplace satisfaction and factors that lead to workplace dissatisfaction.
  • Consider how to increase feelings of fulfilment and decrease workplace discontent.
  • Apply Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory (also known as Herzberg's Two Factor Theory) to workplace scenarios.

This webinar will be of interest to managers and supervisors in public, special, school, and academic libraries

Networking - What's In It for Me?

Wednesday, Sep. 12th, 1pm

This is an online event.

During this hour-long webinar, 2014 Spectrum Scholars Jerrod Moore and Bradley Kuykendall will address the what, who, why, and when of networking. In addition, practical tips on how to effectively network will be showcased and shared.

Register here.

This webinar will be recorded and a link will be posted here after the session.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Wednesday, Sep. 12th, 2pm

This is an online event.

In this webinar, learn about the past, present and future of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, as it relates to libraries.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about Virtual Reality and how it can be applied to libraries
  2. Learn about Augmented Reality and how it can be applied to libraries
  3. See where the two might be headed

Revitalizing Library Volunteer Engagement

Tuesday, Sep. 18th, 3pm

This is an online event.

Library volunteerism is evolving. Gone are the days of looking for tasks to keep your volunteers busy. Libraries are now enlisting high impact volunteers who are bringing unique skills and expertise to enhance the library’s mission. Join us to learn how you can harness the power of skilled volunteers in your community and hear success stories of innovative volunteer engagement in libraries of all sizes and budgets.

Participants in this webinar will learn how to:

  • Identify what motivates potential local and virtual volunteers and how to ensure the right fit
  • Utilize skilled volunteers at the library
  • Design volunteer job descriptions and targeted recruitment plans
  • Earn staff buy-in and other strategies for successful volunteer engagement

Volunteers can be your strongest advocates, helping you gain funding and recruit human resources. This webinar will help libraries and library groups revitalize volunteer engagement and grow their community of advocates and supporters.

Presented by: Carla Lehn, principal consultant of the Lehn Group, former Library Programs Consultant of California State Library, and author of the new book, From Library Volunteer to Library Advocate: Tapping into the Power of Community Engagement.