Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Librarians say fines are incentive, but results are positive where payments have disappeared

A wave of libraries across the nation stopped charging late fees in the 1990s, but the trend never found a foothold in the Capital Region. Two tiny libraries — Poestenkill is the other one — are the only public libraries in the area without fines.

Several local librarians dream of dropping fines, but have not.

Here's the truth about late fines: They raise money for libraries, and they motivate procrastinators to return their books.

Those dimes and quarters add up.

Late fines generated $720,000 for Capital Region libraries in 2013, according to figures libraries provided to the Times Union.

More from the Times Union.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Elementary School Replaces Desks With “Reading Bikes” And Student Test Scores Skyrocket

Ward Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has found the formula for effective — and healthy — learning. Five years ago, the school began their ingenious Read and Ride program where one classroom in the school was filled up with donated exercise bikes for the students to use while they read… Turns out that this has been the catalyst for some real changes in how the students measure up academically.

More from InspireMore

There's also a discussion going on at Reddit.

NASA Posts a Huge Library of Space Sounds, And You’re Free To Use Them

Space is the place. Again.

And SoundCloud is now a place you can find sounds from the US government space agency, NASA. In addition to the requisite vocal clips ("Houston, we've had a problem" and "The Eagle has landed"), you get a lot more. There are rocket sounds, the chirps of satellites and equipment, lightning on Jupiter, interstellar plasma and radio emissions. And in one nod to humanity, and not just American humanity, there’s the Soviet satellite Sputnik (among many projects that are international in nature).

Many of these sounds were available before... But putting them on SoundCloud makes them much easier to browse and find, and there are download links...

Another thing: you’re free to use all of these sounds as you wish, because NASA’s own audio isn't copyrighted. It’s meant to be a public service to the American people of their taxpayer-funded government program, but that extends to everyone.

More from Created Digital Music.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Public forum for Albany school board candidates Monday

A reminder that the second of two public forums for this year's school board candidates will be held Monday at 7 p.m. at the Pine Hills branch of the Albany Public Library.
Four candidates are seeking two seats in the Nov. 4 elections. Visit the district website for more information. Monday's forum is sponsored by the Montessori Community Council (Montessori Magnet School's version of a parent-teacher association).
You also can visit the Times Union website for coverage of the first candidates' forum Oct. 22.

Nanovember: CNSE Community Day November 1

The Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) will hold its annual month-long celebration showcasing the exciting world of nanotechnology and the global leadership of CNSE and NYS in the most important science of the 21st century!

CNSE Community Day
Saturday, November 1, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Receive an up-close look at the world of nanotechnology as CNSE invites residents of the Capital Region and New York State to tour its Albany NanoTech Complex. Similar events are being held in Utica and Rochester. Pre-registration is available on the event website.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Libraries and library staff provide essential services for schools, universities, and communities. Americans use libraries for free, reliable, and organized access to books, the Internet, and other sources of information and entertainment; assistance finding work; research and reference assistance; and programs for children, immigrants, and other groups with specific needs, just to name a few.

This fact sheet explores: library staff in the workforce, diversity within the professions, educational attainment of library workers, the role of women in the professions, issues of pay and pay equity, and the union difference for library staff.

An Overview of Library Professionals and Libraries

 In 2013, there were 194,000 librarians, 39,000 library technicians, and 87,000 library assistants. Generally, the definition of “librarian” is a person who holds at least a master’s degree in library science or meets state teaching license standards for being a school librarian.
“Library technicians” assist librarians in the acquisition, preparation, and organization of materials “and assist users in locating the appropriate resources.”
“Library assistants” are similar to library technicians, but may have fewer responsibilities.

 From 2007 through 2013, library employment among librarians and library technicians and assistants shrank from 380,000 to 320,000.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Invitation - Keeping the Promise of Pre-K: Using Technology to Ensure Quality

The Rockefeller Institute of Government of SUNY and ReadyNation New York invite you to a forum entitled Keeping the Promise of Pre-K: Using Technology to Ensure Quality on Wednesday, November 12, 2014,from 11 a.m. ---- 1 p.m. at the Rockefeller Institute, 411 State Street in Albany. The event is free and open to the public and parking is provided.

High-quality Pre-K has demonstrated significant individual and societal benefits, including an economic return on investment, increased high school graduation rates, reduced criminal activity, and improved health outcomes. This forum will explore the role of policy and technology in ensuring that New York State continues to provide Pre-K services ---- and design an early learning system ---- in an effective and sustainable way, to achieve the best results.

The Keynote address will be delivered by NYS State Education Department Commissioner John B. King, Jr.