Sunday, September 30, 2007

Events Calendar for October 1-7, 2007

Monday, October 1

Tuesday, October 2

Wednesday, October 3

Thursday, October 4

Friday, October 5

Saturday, October 6

Sunday, October 7

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Albany Public Library and the NYCLU Celebrate Your Right to Read

Banned Books Week is September 29 to October 6

On Saturday, October 6, at 2:00 pm, Albany Public Library, in partnership with the New York State Civil Liberties Union, Capital Region Chapter, celebrates America’s freedom to read! The program, which will be held at the Main Library, 161 Washington Ave., will feature local actors and community leaders will read from books that have been banned or challenged in America. Local poets also will be reading selections from their own works and NYCLU members will discuss current challenges to intellectual freedom and free speech. The readings will take place in the large auditorium of the Main Library.

Now in its 26th year, Banned Books Week calls Americans’ attention to the fragile nature of the First Amendment, which is under constant onslaught by censors and those who would control what citizens read and think.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Association of American Publishers. It is also endorsed by the Center for the Book, a program of the Library of Congress.
For more information on Banned Books Week go here.

For more information on the program at Albany Public Library contact the library’s Public Information Officer, John Cirrin at 427-4344.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Public libraries are straining to keep up with the demand for Internet access from students and job seekers who don't have it at home.

"The study, Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2006-2007, reported on a survey of thousands of public library branches and library focus groups held in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada and Utah.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ALA, the study found that more than 73 percent of libraries say they are the only source of free public access to computers and the Internet in their communities."

Thursday, September 27, 2007



For the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik on October 4, 1957, the New York Times has published a series of articles in the Science Times series The Space Age.

NASA offers a timeline, links to primary documents, and more, while and other primary docs are available from the NARA/Eisenhower Library. offers tens of thousands of FREE full text, full image articles on various topics organized into special collections. Articles are PDFs. Each collection has a timeline. They also offer most of their database of over 70 million articles for free to K-12 schools.

NewspaperArchive publishes a daily newsletter with articles
about that day in history.

Finally, What's That Sound?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Women and Books 2007

June 2007:
The average American woman who belongs to a social network spends about $500 a year on books. That should make her a fairly important customer, someone the book publishing industry watches carefully and knows well. Unfortunately, little is known about her book-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors.

(Free registration required for the full report.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fact Sheet: Department of Justice Actions on FBI Use of National Security Letters

This is from March 2007, but still relevant:

Source: U.S. Department of Justice
“The Attorney General commends the work of the Inspector General (IG) in uncovering serious problems in the FBI’s use of National Security Letters (NSLs). The Attorney General has told the Director of the FBI that such mistakes will not be tolerated and has ordered the FBI and the Department to restore accountability and to put in place safeguards to ensure greater oversight and controls over the use of national security letters.”

Monday, September 24, 2007

Its National? Punctuation! Day

Sorry. It's National Punctuation Day!

Read more.

Critics Right and Left Protest Book Removals

The federal Bureau of Prisons is under pressure from members of Congress and religious groups to reverse its decision to purge the shelves of prison chapel libraries of all religious books and materials that are not on the bureau's lists of approved resources.

Outrage over the bureau's decision has come from both conservatives and liberals, who say it is inappropriate to limit inmates to a religious reading list determined by the government.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Events Calendar for September 24-30, 2007

Monday, September 24

Tuesday, September 25

Wednesday, September 26

Thursday, September 27

Friday, September 28

Friday, September 21, 2007


At their September 10-11 meeting in Albany, the New York State Board of Regents named four members to the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (RAC). The one reappointed and three new members include the following individuals:

Timothy Johnson, Librarian for Africana Studies, Anthropology & Food Science, New York University Libraries Term of Office: October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2012 (reappointed to a full term after serving an unfulfilled term)

Gerald Nichols, Director, Palmer Institute for Public Library Organization and Management, Long Island University Term of Office: October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2012

Jill Hurst-Wahl, Hurst Associates, Ltd., Syracuse Term of Office: October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2012

Sara Kelly Johns, Library Media Specialist, Lake Placid Middle/Senior High School Term of Office: October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2010 (filling an unfulfilled term)

The Regents, the State Education Department, and the library community in New York State thank the two outgoing RAC members who have served full five-year terms and are not eligible for reappointment:

Mr. Irving Toliver, Director, Human Services Department, Town of Huntington

Dr. Karen Patricia Smith, Professor, Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is the oldest continuing Regents advisory council. Its 12 members advise the Board on issues concerning library policy, collaborate with the officers of the State Education Department in developing a comprehensive statewide library and information policy, and make recommendations to the Regents for implementing library programs and initiatives. The Council is broadly representative of libraries and statewide constituencies served by the New York State Library.

For more information on RAC and a listing of all the current members, go here.

Batgirl was a librarian

But that's no way to treat library books!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dole's Heart Delight Recall

The Dole recall covers this area.

What Libraries Are

There's a conference for academic libraries being held November 1-2 in Saratoga Springs. I want to note the theme of the conference is taken from the Talis White Paper in which four principles are addressed:
The library is everywhere;
The library has no barriers:
The library invites participation;
The library uses flexible, best-of-breed systems.

Don't think of libraries as just the buildings, but as the services provided.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

FILM: The Hollywood Librarian

Sneak Preview Showing: October 3, 2 pm
Tri-City Premiere : October 3, 7 pm -9 pm
At the Guilderland Public Library

They have more cardholders than Visa, and more outlets than McDonald's: MEET THE LIBRARIANS.

If you've always wondered exactly what librarians do all day, then join us for the Tri-City Premiere screening of the documentary, The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians Through Film.

Using the "hook" of Hollywood motion picture clips, the film gives you a chance to peer into the world of librarians: the skill and passion it takes, the real lives and work of U.S. librarians, challenges of book censorship, and - most troubling - the pressures of declining library funding.

Deborah Andersen, Associate Professor at the University of Albany's College of Computing and Information, will lead a discussion after the evening premiere. The screening, scheduled in conjunction with the celebration of Banned Books Week, is also a fundraiser for the Library.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors. Librarians and Library students are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at the Adult Reference desk. The Hollywood Librarian is appropriate for audiences young adult and older.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Events Calendar for September 17-23, 2007

Monday, September 17

Tuesday, September 18

Wednesday, September 19

Thursday, September 20

Friday, September 21

Saturday, September 22

Sunday, September 23

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The SKILLs Act

From the New York Library Association:

Dear Library Advocate,

The ALA Government Relations Office is asking ALA Chapters (NYLA) to reach out to the library community to urge them to contact their Congressional representatives in support of including the SKILLs Act as part of the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind legislation.

The SKILLs Act would require a highly qualified school library media specialist in every school. The House Education and Labor Committee will be considering reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind legislation starting on September 24th.

ALA is requesting that you contact your Congressional representatives to either ask them to be a co-sponsor of the SKILLs Act (there are currently no NY representatives as co-sponsors) and support its inclusion in the NCLB legislation.

Below are talking points you can use in your letter to your Congressional representatives. Visit here to email your letter to Congress.

SKILLs Act Info and Talking Points

* Requires school districts, to the extent feasible, to ensure that every school within the district employs at least one highly qualified school library media specialist in each school library;
* Defines highly qualified school library media specialists as those who have a bachelor's degree and have obtained full state certification as a school library media specialist or passed the state teacher licensing examination, with state certification in library media in such state;
* Establishes as a state goal that there be at least one highly qualified school library media specialist in every public school no later than the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year;
* Broadens the focus of training, professional development, and recruitment activities to include school library media specialists;
* Ensures that funds will serve elementary, middle, and high school students;
* Requires books and materials to be appropriate for and engage the interest of students in all grade levels and students with special learning needs, including English language learners.

Talking Points

* Multiple studies have affirmed that there is a clear link between school library media programs that are staffed by a school library media specialist and student academic achievement. Across the United States, research has shown that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades, and score higher on
standardized test scores than their peers in schools without libraries.
* Academic Librarians: School libraries are KEY to ensuring college readiness.
* Public Librarians: School library media specialists give students the skills they need to utilize your library to its fullest extent.
* Long regarded as the cornerstone of the school community, school libraries are no longer just for books. Instead, they have become sophisticated 21st century learning environments offering a full range of print and electronic resources that provide equal learning opportunities to all students, regardless of the socio-economic or education levels of the community - but only when they are staffed by school library media specialists trained to collaborate with teachers and engage students meaningfully with information that matters to them both in the classroom and in the real world.
* Only about 60 percent of our school libraries have a full-time, state-certified school library media specialist on staff.
* With limited funding and an increased focus on school performance, administrators are trying to stretch dollars and cut funds across various programs to ensure that maximum resources are dedicated to improving student academic achievement.
* Because NCLB does not highlight the direct correlation between school library media specialists and increased student academic achievement, library resource budgets are increasingly being used to mitigate the effects of budgetary shortfalls.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Thanks to support from the New York Library Association’s Legislative Committee, chaired by Kathy Miller, Director, Rochester Regional Library Council, and Michael Borges, Director, New York Library Association, both houses of the New York State Legislature approved on June 12, 2007 a proclamation ‘memorializing Governor Eliot Spitzer to proclaim October 21-27, 2007 Friends of Libraries Week in the State of New York’

Inspired by Friends of Libraries USA’s successful 1st celebration of National Friends of Libraries week last year, Empire Friends Roundtable President Susan Swanton requested the support of the NYLA Legislative Committee at their May 22 meeting on behalf of the Empire Friends Roundtable Board and members.

The wording of the proclamation states in part:

‘Whereas, Friends of Libraries groups in New York State raise money that enables our libraries to progress from good to great; these groups provide the resources for libraries to gain additional programming, much needed equipment , support for children’s summer reading, and special events throughout the year, and

Whereas, the important work of Friends of Libraries groups in New York State highlight that libraries are the cornerstone of our communities, providing opportunities for New Yorkers to engage in the joy of life-long learning, and connect with the thoughts and ideas of others from ages past to the present, and

Whereas, Friends of Libraries groups understand the critical importance of well-funded libraries; they advocate on behalf of libraries to obtain the resources needed to provide a wide variety of library services to all ages, including access to print and electronic materials, along with expert assistance in research, readers’ advisory, and children's services, and

Whereas, the gift of time and commitment to New York State’s libraries by Friends of Libraries groups sets an example for all in how volunteerism leads to positive civic engagement and the betterment of communities, and

Whereas, the proclaiming of Friends of Libraries week in the State of New York will provide a positive example and influence to encourage New Yorkers to join local Friends of Libraries groups, and will demonstrate appreciation and gratitude to these groups and all they do to make our libraries and communities better…’

Read more here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

STAR Rebate Enrollment Campaign Launched in Capital District and Hudson Valley Regions

From the state tax department:

Acting New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Barbara G. Billet today announced that the Tax Department has started mailing letters to homeowners in 13 counties, including the Capital District and Hudson Valley areas, providing them with information on how to apply for their 2007 Middle Class STAR Rebate check and receive the full program benefit.

The mailing to Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties began Monday, September 10, with approximately 310,000 notices to STAR-eligible homeowners reminding them of the need to apply. The mailing to homeowners in these counties will continue through September 14.

To view the entire document and rates please visit here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


W. David Penniman, Ph.D, has been named Executive Director of Nylink, a nonprofit membership organization serving libraries and cultural heritage institutions in New York State and surrounding areas. He succeeds Mary-Alice Lynch who retired as Executive Director in January 2007. Kathleen Gundrum, Director of Member Services, has served as Interim Executive Director during the transition.

Dr. Penniman most recently held tenured academic appointments as well as administrative positions at the University at Buffalo and the University of Tennessee in the areas of communication and information science. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of the Council on Library and Information Resources, was a director at AT&T Bell Laboratories in charge of internal information systems including a large automated library network, and was Vice President for Planning and Research at OCLC.

In addition, Dr. Penniman has been a consultant to senior management of information services organizations and special libraries in the areas of strategic planning, cost/benefit analysis (including return-on-investment studies), knowledge management support systems, information service design and evaluation (including facilities evaluation), benchmarking and modeling of services and staffing, and quality metrics. He holds a doctorate in communication theory from Ohio State University.

Regarding his new role as Nylink's Executive Director, Dr. Penniman stated: "Nylink is an exciting organization with an impressively diverse membership. I look forward to working with the variety of libraries and cultural heritage institutions currently served as well as adding new organizations and exploring new services. This will be a challenging time for us all, and I am proud to have been chosen to lead Nylink at this stage in its growth."

Selection of the new Executive Director was conducted by a panel representing Nylink's membership as well as the Office of the Provost, State University of New York (SUNY), of which Nylink is an administrative unit.

Dr. Harold Silverman, Senior Vice Provost at SUNY, commented on the outcome of the Executive Director search: "Dr. Penniman's experiences are remarkably matched with the function of Nylink. He understands library service organizations, and has even served previously as an officer for one with which Nylink interacts most closely. He has an excellent understanding of modern libraries and knowledge storage and dissemination. We are fortunate to find this combination in one person, especially one who is very familiar with New York's great opportunities and challenges."

These comments were echoed by Julie Cunningham, Chief Librarian, Mina Rees Library, Graduate Center, City University of New York, who served as search committee chair and is also a member of the Nylink Council advisory board: "The Search Committee was keenly aware of how important the selection of the new Executive Director would be to Nylink's continued success. As we worked toward picking the finalists, Dr. Penniman's accomplishments in a variety of academic, library and corporate environments and his vision for developing a sound path to the future clearly identified him as our preferred first choice."

Ms. Cunningham also acknowledged Kathleen Gundrum's role during the transition: "As a member of Nylink Council, I would also like to offer my thanks to Kathleen Gundrum who has served so ably as Nylink's Interim Executive Director during these past eight months. Kathy provided the necessary leadership to not only keep the ship afloat, but to sail Nylink through some rough seas. In the midst of that, she was also an invaluable support to the work of the Nylink Executive Director Search Committee."

Dr. Penniman joins Nylink on September 10.


Nylink, based in Albany, New York, is a nonprofit membership organization of all types of libraries and information organizations throughout New York State and surrounding areas. Nylink offers training, support and consulting services to libraries and cultural heritage organizations, creates group purchasing opportunities for cost-effective access to electronic resources, facilitates access to and supports OCLC services, and administers LAND, a statewide ground delivery service. Nylink is administered through the Provost's Office of the State University of New York. For more information, visit here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Letters About Literature

Entry forms are now available for the 2008 Letters About Literature contest. The NY Center for the Book welcomes entries from readers in grades 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12 living in New York state. Readers enter the contest by writing a letter to an author expressing the way(s) in which the author's book has influenced them.

The contest officially starts September 1 and ends on December 14.
Entry forms are now available online on the New York Center for the Book web site. Printed forms will be sent to teachers and/or schools from which students previously entered, as well as a number of libraries and school districts. If you would like a print entry form, please contact: Tasha Cooper,; 315-443-9518.

First place winners at the New York state level move to a round of judging at the national level. Additional information is available on the Library of Congress, Letters About Literature web site.

This is a preliminary announcement, and additional information is forthcoming.

Questions? Please contact Tasha Cooper,, or visit the New York Center for the Book web page.

Events Calendar for September 3-9, 2007

Monday, September 3

Tuesday, September 4

Wednesday, September 5

Thursday, September 6

Friday, September 7

Saturday, September 8

Sunday, September 9