Saturday, December 27, 2008

More people using library free services (part 37)

Yet another verification of what we instinctively knew. This one features Brad Turner, Steuben County (NY) Library PR Coordinator and former Albany resident.

Friday, December 26, 2008

New York State: Libraries brace for proposed state cuts

With New York state looking to cuts costs wherever it can, many state agencies and organizations are scrambling to make-up the difference. Libraries are part of that cut.

Libraries face an 18 percent cut in next year’s budget which is $18 million. Next year’s proposed cut is on top of the three percent cut libraries dealt with this year. The drop brings state aid to levels not seen since 1993.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Online v. print reading: which one makes us smarter?

It’s no mystery that publications have been taking a beating as more and more people read their news on the Net. But there’s a catch. The online info may be instant and abundant — and in many cases free — but it may come at a cost, says a new study published in the Journal of Research in Reading.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


From Jeffrey Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Interim State Librarian

Through cooperation and collaboration, the New York State Library and our library and system partners across the state have accomplished a great deal in 2008. Facing a tighter budget the library community has
done a lot with less. We have again met or exceeded many of our goals for the year.

It has been a year of remarkable numbers and accomplishments. For example:

● “Catch the Reading Bug,” the 2008 Statewide Summer Reading Program, attracted over 1.5 million young participants, a 15-percent increase over summer 2007. We met the participation goal for 2010 two years early.

● 325 New York libraries received total E-rate discounts of over $8.2 million.

● The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Online Opportunities Hardware Grant provided some 1,073 funded computers installed in 419 public library building in high need communities. And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has selected New York State as one of seven pilot states for their new Online Broadband Connectivity Initiative.

● Public libraries and systems will receive $14 million in grants for 181 public library construction projects for 2008–2009.

● The Board of Regents approved 55 library charters. Four new public library districts were formed and 318,588 formerly unserved New Yorkers now have a local public library.

● NOVELNY pilot project annual searches totaled 29.6 million, and usage continues to grow; over 5,500 libraries are registered for NOVELNY.

● The Board of Regents formally adopted an amendment toCommissioner’s Regulation 90.7 Certificates for Librarians. As of January 1, 2010 new public librarian professional certificate holders will be required to complete 60 hours of professional development every five year period.

● The Division of Library Development completed over 85 site visits and oversaw a total of 997 grants to libraries and library systems and sponsored 88 education events for 2485 people.

● The State Research Library held 34 classes; 11 of them provided hands-on training and 15 were customized training classes for community groups and state agencies.

● The State Research Library responded to nearly 21,000 interlibrary loan requests, with 155,000 pages sent electronically

● The State Research Library’s digitization project has scanned 84,667 pages of New York State documents as well as other non-copyrighted materials, and provides links to the digitized information through its online catalog.

● The State Library’s Talking Book and Braille Library served 37,000 registered users with visual or reading disabilities; and TBBL is working on converting to new digital players.

● The Research Library provided information to inmates in New York's correctional facilities; nearly 19,000 requests were complete.

● Bernard A. Margolis was appointed New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries after a rigorous national search. He will officially start his position on January 8, 2009.

I am proud of New York’s library community and the collaborative spirit that you all demonstrate as we continue to develop innovative ways to serve New Yorkers. In the final days of 2008, please accept my
thanks for your efforts.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season and continuing successes in 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

FBI Compiles List of Most-Coveted Library Books

From American Libraries/ALA:

"Some seven months after charging James Brubaker in the theft of hundreds of books from at least 100 academic and public libraries in the United States and Canada, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has entrusted the Western Washington University librarian who helped crack the case with a list of some 800 titles recovered in the case —600 of which were identifiable as having been taken from specific libraries. 'Since any book on the list is apparently a candidate for theft, we are checking it against our own collection,' librarian Rob Lopresti e-mailed American Libraries. 'Each of the books we own is being considered for possible protection by movement to a different location.'

"Lopresti explained that he is loathe to post the list online for libraries’ convenience in checking their own holdings since that could transform it into 'a shopping list' for potential thieves. However, he wrote, WWU would send a paper copy of the list by U.S. mail to any library that requests it on library stationary and enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope with 59 cents postage."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gates Foundation Announces Pilot Grant Program to Improve Internet Connections in Public Libraries

"The foundation has awarded $6,959,771 in combined grant funding to Connected Nation, a non-profit broadband Internet advocacy group, and the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) to support improved Internet connections for public libraries in Arkansas, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Virginia." Read the press release here.

Minnesota: Library usage increases with the recession

An unsurprising story from Minnesota Public Radio: "There’s one place where business is booming right now despite the recession. It’s your local public library."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Weekend Movies at the Library

Saturday & Sunday
December 27 & 28
Come to the library main branch for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

FL Legislator: Dewey Decimal System “anachronistic” Libraries Offer Plenty For Storms To Stew Over

Another librarian diss:

The Dewey Decimal System.

[State Sen. Ronda] Storms, R-Valrico, railed against the book-cataloging system during a budget hearing on state library aid, calling the Dewey Decimal System "anachronistic," costly and just plain frustrating.

The system requires training for both staff and users, she complained. If Barnes & Noble organizes its books more simply, why can’t libraries?

"A lot of little old librarians are going to have a heart attack that I even said that out loud," Storms said during Wednesday’s hearing. “But it really is ridiculous.”

Secretary of State Kurt Browning, who oversees state support of libraries, told the committee that Dewey Decimal is the national standard, set by the Library of Congress.

"The Library of Congress can do what the Library of Congress wants," Storms said. "If it’s costing us money … it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Best Careers 2009: Librarian

From the December 11, 2008 U.S. News and World Report:

Forget about that image of librarians as a mousy bookworms. More and more of today's librarians must be clever interrogators, helping the patron to reframe their question more usefully. Librarians then become high-tech information sleuths, helping patrons plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records, often starting with a clever Google search but frequently going well beyond.
Related News

Librarianship is an underrated career. Most librarians love helping patrons solve their problems and, in the process, learning new things.


Twenty volumes of papers and correspondence of Sir William Johnson have been released in a revised second edition digital CD format by the New York State Library. The papers are part of the collections of the New York State Library.

Johnson was British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in New York from 1755 through 1774. He is best remembered for his diplomatic achievements among the various Native American tribes and as a military leader during the French and Indian War. This set of primary documents dating from 1738 to 1808 provides a fascinating glimpse into the pre-Revolutionary interactions among the British, French, and Iroquois empires.

The Sir William Johnson Papers were originally published in 14 volumes of print, including a general index, from 1921 to 1965. Valuable for colonial research, the earliest six volumes have been out-of-print for years. The newly released CD is a revised and expanded second edition of an earlier CD released in 2007. It includes the complete 14 volume set along with the "Calendar of the Sir William Johnson manuscripts in the New York State Library" compiled by Richard E. Day in 1909. The
CD also features several enhancements, including: more than 100 newly digitized illustrations from the New York State Library collections; dozens of new color digital photographs of locations and scenes from the Mohawk Valley and Lake George appropriate to Johnson's legacy, including Johnson Hall and Fort Johnson; improved accuracy of scans to nearly 98%; electronic indexing allowing simultaneous searching of the entire collection; and bibliographic consistency in volume and page
numbering with printed volumes.

The CD is available from the New York State Library for $20. To purchase a copy, contact Aimee Pelton in Documents and Digital Collections via phone at (518) 474-7492 or email at

Friday, December 19, 2008

Remember That Your Library Will Be Closed

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 - Christmas Eve
Thursday, December 25, 2008 - Christmas Day
Thursday, January 1, 2009 - New Years Day

Board of Regents Adopts Amendments to Regulations for Librarians

Board of Regents Adopts Amendments to Commissioner’s Regulation 90.7 - Certificates for Librarians in Registered Public, Free Association, and Indian Libraries

Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Interim State Librarian Jeffrey Cannell announced today that the New York State Board of Regents formally adopted proposed amendments to Commissioner’s Regulation 90.7 Certificates for Librarians in Registered Public, Free Association and Indian Libraries the their December meeting. The amended regulations will take effect January 8, 2009.

The State Library will be working in partnership with the New York Library Association and others to implement the amended regulations and to provide online tools and assistance for individuals and employers prior to the January 1, 2010 start date.

The changes to CR 90.7 will affect those individuals who are issued a public librarian professional certificate by the State Education Department beginning on January 1, 2010 and thereafter. Current certificate holders and those issued certificates prior to January 1, 2010 will not be affected.

As of January 1, 2010 new public librarian professional certificate holders will be required to complete 60 hours of professional development every five year period. In order to maintain active certification as a public librarian, individual certificate holders should be able to clearly document completion of the required professional development activities to their employer and if requested, to the State Education Department.

Individuals working in professional librarian positions in public, free association or Indian libraries or in public library systems in New York State are required to possess a public librarian certificate issued by the New York State Education Department. This certification requirement applies regardless of whether the position is fulltime or part-time and has been in effect since 1909.

To see the text of the amended regulations, please visit the State Library website at

For further information on the New York State public librarian certification program, including how to apply for a certificate, please visit the State Library website or contact Maria Hazapis, Education Program Assistant, New York State Library, Division of Library Development at or (518) 486-1330.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Library Aid down

The 2009-10 Executive Budget proposes a $18 million or 18% cut in Library Aid. This would bring Library Aid down to 1993 levels and is on top of two cuts (3%) in 2008 which reduced Library Aid from $102 million to $98.5 million. (This basically a repackaing of the same cut proposed on November 18th by the Division of Budget, that the Library Rally and other advocacy efforts help prevent.)

Library Materials Aid for School Libraries remains steady at $6.25 per pupil.

School Aid was reduced by $698 million, but BOCES Aid was increased by $33 million. See link for complete list of changes.
Public Library Construction Aid - $800,000 line item was eliminated, but the $14 million in borrowed funding for library construction remains intact. NYLA is working with Division of Library Development and the American Library Association to insure that a federal stimulus package for public works projects includes funds for libraries.

Adult Literacy Education (ALE) funds remains level a $4.9 million (libraries are elgible to apply for these funds)

SUNY/CUNY tuition increases of 14% and 15% respectively were proposed. $338 million in cuts overall proposed - see here for detailed info.

BUNDY Aid (for private colleges) was cut by $2 million.

The Executive Budget also includes two changes with potential benefits for libraries that NYLA advocated for:

Computer Software Aid - language was revised to allow the purchase of materials in electronic format which are access or delivered through the internet.

Local Government Efficiency Grants - language was amended to allow all types of public libraries to apply for these shared services grants including association, school library district and special legislative district libraries.

NYLA will be updating its Talking Points and 2009 Budget Priorities over the next week for use by library advocates in their meetings with legislators. An updated History of Library Aid, Library Circulation and Visitation Charts are already up on its website.

In addition, NYLA is looking for examples of how libraries have helped people find jobs, create new businesses, etc. Also they need to know if your library has a business or employment center (physical space dedicated for such use) or job assistance program, etc.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Governor's Budget

Governor Paterson delivered a balanced Executive Budget this week, more than one month prior to the State constitutional deadline, which would eliminate the largest budget deficit in State history - a $1.7 billion current-year shortfall and a $13.7 billion 2009-10 deficit.

To view the entire document please visit here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Social Security Benefits Workshop

Sign up today for the December 16th SSA Benefits Workshop.

Are you, or someone you know, planning for retirement, learn everything you can about what you can do online

Don't miss this opportunity to have your Social Security Questions answered.

For more information and to register, call the reference desk at 427-4303.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Strock Hangs with The Friends!

Carl Strock, of the Schenectady Gazette, will be joining Friends of Albany Public Library on Tuesday, December 16th to review the book, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux.

Read your copy today and share your insights with Strock on Tuesday.

Large Auditorium, 161 Washington Avenue, 12:15 p.m.

Sorry, No Reservations will be accepted.

The Librarian Cocktail Mocktail

Or as the APL's Elissa Kane, who found the recipe on a national library listserv, perhaps it should be mockTALE.


- open a Vintage Wild Cherry Seltzer liter and put finger to lips as it makes a SHHHHH sound

- add 4 oz. of the seltzer to a hi-ball glass over ice

- add 1 oz. pineapple juice

- add a splash of lime and stir

- garnish with lime wedge

- enjoy with your favorite book!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The importance of libraries in hard economic times

In case you missed it on NBC, here is a link to a great recent news store on the importance of libraries in hard economic times. The story is reported by Chris Jansing, nee Chris Kapostasy, who was the co-anchor on WNYT-TV, Channel 13 in Albany for over a decade.

Emergency Regents amendment on collections management

FROM: David Palmquist, Head, Museum Chartering
SUBJ: Emergency Regents amendment on collections management

Dear Colleague:

The Board of Regents will consider an emergency amendment to Regents Rule §3.27 on collections management policies at its December meeting.
The Cultural Education Committee will meet to discuss and act on the proposed regulation on Monday, December 15, from 2:45 to 4:15 PM, in Room 146, Education Building, Albany. The meeting is open to the public but there is no provision for public comments.

If approved in December, the emergency rule would become effective on
December 19, 2008, and would remain in effect for 90 days. We
anticipate presenting the amendment for adoption as a permanent rule at the March 2009 Regents meeting.

I invite your comments and am prepared to answer your questions.

The full text of the proposed amendment and attachments is on the Regents web page at

Click on "Materials for the December 2008 Meeting of the Board of Regents" then "Cultural Education" and then "Emergency Amendment of Regents Rule 3.27 Relating to Museum Collections Management Policies" and select either HTML or Word format.
TO:Cultural Education Committee
FROM: Jeffrey W. Cannell

Issue for Discussion

Should the Regents adopt an emergency amendment of §3.27 of the Rules of the Board of Regents, relating to museum collections management policies?

Reason for Consideration

Implementation of Regents policy.

Proposed Handling

The proposed amendment is before the Cultural Education Committee for discussion and recommendation to the Full Board for emergency action in December.

Procedural History

The proposed amendment has been recommended by the State Education Department and State Museum management to protect collections held by museums and historical societies in financial difficulty.

Background Information

Regents Rule §3.27 provides standards for chartered museums and historical societies. Sections 3.27 and 3.30 were first promulgated effective March 1971, and the Regents added a collections management policy requirement effective July 1998. The March 2006 amendment greatly expanded the standards by providing increased oversight for collections and resources held in the public trust.

In the current financial downturn, museums face deficits that threaten to cancel programs, cut hours and close doors. A large deficit could threaten a museum’s existence and send the trustees to court for bankruptcy protection or other disposition, which could result in a court-directed sale of all or part of a museum's collection to satisfy the museum's outstanding debt.

We believe current Regents Rules on collections are inflexible if a museum faced a sudden, unexpected and critical financial reversal. We don’t want a major museum to close, and don’t want to lose collections held in the public trust to debt.

The emergency provisions would apply to chartered museums and historical societies authorized to own and hold collections under Rule §3.27, and would:

●Enumerate the specific criteria under which an institution may deaccession an item or material in its collection.

●Allow the Regents to grant an exception to allow deaccession of an item or material deemed part of the museum’s collection, by sale or transfer to another museum or historical society in New York, and allow proceeds from deaccessioning to be used to pay outstanding debt, provided the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Regents that the sale or transfer is necessary to pay outstanding debt that would otherwise threaten the ability of the institution to continue to operate and carry out its mission.

●Remove the option allowing an institution to designate a structure as a collections item; but keep intact any such designation made by vote of a board of trustees prior to November 15, 2008.

●Specify that no proceeds from deaccessioning may be used for capital expenses, except to preserve, protect or care for an historic building previously designated as part of the institution’s collection, as above.

We will ask constituents to comment on the proposed amendment through a mailing with cover memo, announcements on web sites, and copies sent to listservs and electronic mailing lists.

The proposed amendment is being presented for adoption as an emergency action. A Statement of Facts and Circumstances Which Necessitate Emergency Action is attached.


It is recommended that the Board of Regents take the following

VOTED: That paragraph (7) of subdivision (a) and paragraphs (6) and (7) of subdivision (c) of section 3.27 of the Rules of the Board of Regents be amended, as submitted, effective December 19, 2008, as an emergency action upon a finding by the Board of Regents that such action is necessary for the preservation of the general welfare in order to protect the public’s interest in collections held by a museum or historical society in financial distress by immediately establishing procedures to permit the institution, with the approval of the Board of Regents, to sell or transfer items or material in its collections to another museum or historical society for purposes of obtaining funds to pay outstanding debt, and thereby provide an alternative to the institution's bankruptcy or dissolution, and the possible loss or liquidation of a collection because of debt.

Timetable for Implementation

If approved in December, the emergency rule would become effective on
December 19, 2008 and would remain in effect for 90 days. It is
anticipated that the proposed amendment would be presented for adoption as a permanent rule at the March 2009 Regents meeting.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Everybody Talks About the weather

Wunderground : Find the Weather for any City, State or ZIP Code, or Airport Code or Country - The MOST detailed weather report ever. Historical also. 1996 - today.

Monday, December 08, 2008

American Community Survey

On December 9, 2008, the Census Bureau will release the first set of three-year American Community Survey data for all geographies with populations greater than 20,000. The release will provide the first look at detailed socioeconomic and housing characteristics for geographies between 20,000 and 64,999 since Census 2000. The type of data released and geographies covered can be found here.

Different from a point-in-time estimate

Before I talk about multiyear estimates, it’s important to understand the concept of a period estimate because all ACS estimates are period estimates.

The ACS produces period estimates of socioeconomic and housing characteristics. It is designed to provide estimates that describe the average characteristics of an area over a specific time period. In the case of ACS one-year estimates, the period is the calendar year. For example, the 2007 ACS data describe the population and housing characteristics of an area from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007, not for any specific day within the year.

A period estimate is different from a point-in-time estimate. A point-in-time estimate is designed to measure characteristics as of a certain date or narrow time period. For example, the purpose of the decennial census is to count the population living in the United States on a specific date, which is traditionally April 1. Although decennial census data are actually collected over several months, they are designed to provide a snapshot of the U.S. population as of April 1.

Understanding Multiyear Estimates in the American Community Survey

Period for ACS multiyear estimates is either 3 or 5 calendar years. A multiyear estimate is simply a period estimate that encompasses more than one calendar year. In the case of ACS multiyear estimates, the period is either three or five calendar years.

While a one-year estimate includes information collected from independent monthly samples over a 12-month period, a three-year estimate represents data collected from independent samples over a 36-month period, and a five-year estimate includes data collected over a 60-month period. For example, the 2005-2007 ACS three-year estimates describe the population and housing characteristics of an area for the period January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007, not for any specific day, month, or year within that time period.

The types of ACS estimates published for a particular area or population group are based on established population thresholds. Geographic areas with at least 65,000 people will receive one-, three-, and five-year ACS estimates. Areas with 20,000 or more people will receive three- and five-year estimates. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. ZIP code tabulation areas, census tracts, and block groups, regardless of their population size, will only receive five-year estimates. Areas with less than 20,000 people, down to the block group level, will only receive five-year estimates.

ACS estimates based on data collected from 2005-2007 should not be labeled "2006" or "2007" estimates. Multiyear estimates do not represent any one year or the midpoint of a period. The correct labeling for multiyear estimate: "The child poverty rate for the 2005-2007 period was X percent."

Perhaps it is obvious, but multiyear estimates must be used when no one-year estimate is available. Unless a geographic area has a population larger than 65,000, that geography will be reliant on multiyear estimates.

Multiyear estimates should also be used when analyzing data for small population groups due to the higher margins of error associated with them. An example of a small population group could be "Families with Female Householder with own Children under 18". The choices posed for using mulityear estimates is more than simply a choice between using the one-year or the multiyear estimates, however, because for many areas there will also be the choice of which multiyear estimate to use, three- or five-year.

For small areas, only five-year estimates are released, but for larger areas, each annual release will provide one-, three-, and five-year estimates. For example, in 2010, there will be three sets of commuting data for San Diego County – one-year estimates for 2009, three-year estimates reflecting 2007-2009, and five-year estimates for the period of 2005-2009. Users need to decide which is the most appropriate for their needs.

In making this choice, one need to consider the tradeoff between currency and reliability. The one-year estimates for an area reflect the most current data but they tend to have higher margins of error than the three- and five-year estimates because they are based on a smaller sample.

The three-year and five-year estimates for an area have larger samples and smaller margins of error than the one-year estimates, but they are less current because the larger samples include data that were collected in earlier years. The main advantage of using multiyear estimates is the increased statistical reliability for smaller geographic areas and small population groups.

There are no hard-and-fast rules on choosing between one-, three-, and five-year data, but the margins of error provided with ACS data can help data users decide on the tradeoff between currency and reliability.

Only compare the same type of estimate:
1-year estimates to other 1-year estimates
3-year estimates to other 3-year estimates
5-year estimates to other 5-year estimates

When comparing estimates from two multiyear periods, it is easier to make comparisons between non-overlapping periods. This is because the difference between two estimates of overlapping periods is driven by the non-overlapping years. To illustrate what I mean, consider the 2005-2007 period and the 2007-2009 period estimates. Both contain the year 2007. Thus, the difference between the 2005-2007 and 2007-2009 estimates is determined by the difference between the 2005 and 2006 estimates versus the 2008 and 2009 estimates.

In this example, the simplest comparison is between the 2005-2007 estimate and the 2008-2010 estimate, which do not include any overlapping years.

There are global differences that exist between the ACS and Census 2000. These include differences in residence rules, universes, and reference periods. For example, the ACS uses a "two-month" residence rule - defined as anyone living for more than two months in the sample unit when the unit is interviewed. On the other hand, Census 2000 used a "usual residence" rule - defined as the place where a person lives or stays most of the time.

The reference periods between the ACS and Census 2000 also differ. For example, the ACS asks respondents to report their income for the 12 months preceding the interview date while Census 2000 asked for a respondent’s income in calendar year 1999.

Also, as discussed earlier, the ACS produces period estimates whereas Census 2000 data are interpreted to be a snapshot of April 1, 2000.

The Census Bureau subject matter specialists have considered all of these differences and have determined that for most population and housing subjects, comparisons can be made. Further information about comparing measures from the ACS and Census 2000 can be found here.

There are other subtlies of ACS data which I'll not touch on, such as controlling to county population estimates.

The ACS Web Site is offering handbooks providing "user-friendly information about the ACS and the new multiyear estimates... Each handbook targets a specific user group including first time ACS data users."

The ACS Compass Presentations, from which this post was partially purloined, can be found here.

Data Analysis and User Education Branch: 301.763.3655

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Albany WinterFestival

This FREE event throughout downtown on December 27th includes a myriad of outdoor and indoor activities focusing on a family audience. Unique and interactive attractions, as well as a spectacular assortment of acclaimed musical performances, will fill the public spaces throughout downtown as Albany celebrates a winter afternoon in the northeast. The Kid's Jingle Jog kicks off the event and fabulous fireworks will round out the day. Click here for more.

More Downtown Albany events can be found here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Presidential Signing Statements Controversy and Its Implications for Library Professionals

Schoolhouse Rock Is No Longer Enough (PDF).

Presidential signing statements, a potent but previously little-discussed lawmaking device, have recently become the focus of fierce controversy both inside and outside the academy. The author presents an overview of the debates, identifies informational gaps that characterize the subject area, and reviews practical and policy implications for library professionals.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bargains For The Holidays May Be Just Clicks Away

Want to get in on the savings? Here are some Web sites that can help you find coupons, discount codes, free shipping and the lowest price out there, even if you prefer to pound the pavement to find the perfect gift.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Tree Lighting & Fireworks Festival

Join the holiday festivities at the Empire State Plaza on December 7 from 2 pm-6 pm with the Holiday marketplace, children's arts & crafts and the lighting of the New York State Holiday Tree, followed by fireworks. Click here for details.

AIDS quilt

Event: NYS Department of Health AIDS Memorial Quilt Display
Description: Open to the Public

Location: Empire State Plaza Convention Hall (the Egg, Albany)
Monday, December 01, 2008 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 04, 2008 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday, December 05, 2008 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

NYLA budget update

The Legislative Special Session ended last week with no agreement between the Governor and the state Legislature on futher mid-year budget cuts. "NYLA's Library Rally at the Capitol, which brought 450 library advocates to Albany, showed state policymakers in a very visible, loud and forceful (but law-abiding) manner, that the library community would not stand for any further cuts in funding."

Coverage of the rally and other protests was quite extensive by television (see below) and pictures from the rally can be found on the website at

CBS6 Albany.

WHAM 13.

Capital News 9

"The Governor proposes to release his 2009-2010 Executive Budget on December 16th, which will undoubtedly call for additional cuts in Library Aid. It is also still unclear when the remaining $26 million in undistributed Library Aid from the 2008-09 State Budget will be released. NYLA will keep folks informed of any developments in this ongoing budget saga."

As NYLA's Michael Borges put it, "Advocacy is not a sprint, but a marathon, and we must keep pace with events as they unfold and prepared to take action on a moment's notice."

Friday, November 28, 2008

The 2010 Census – A Great Way to Earn Extra Money

Here's a nice user-friendly page promoting the 2010 Census employment opportunities. Census is a topic close to my heart:

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting temporary part-time census takers for the 2010 Census. The pay is good, the hours are flexible, and the work is close to home.

Census taker jobs are excellent for retirees, college students, persons who want to work part-time, persons who are between jobs, or just about anyone who wants to earn extra money while performing an important service for their community.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

State Library Agency Report for FY 2007

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) issued its second library statistics report on state library agencies in the 50 states and the District of Columbia for state fiscal year (FY) 2007. The State Library Agency Report for FY 2007 includes a wide array of information on topics such as libraries' Internet access and electronic services, collections, staff, and revenue. The survey provides state and federal policymakers, researchers, and other interested users information on the range of roles played by state library agencies and the financial, human, and informational resources invested in the agencies' work.

Findings in FY 2007 include the following:
-The number of book and serial volumes held by state library agencies totaled 24.1 million.
-There were 1.6 million visits to state library agencies.
-All state library agencies facilitated library access to the Internet.
-The total number of budgeted full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions in state library agencies was 3,500 as of October 1, 2007.
-State library agencies reported total expenditures of $1.2 billion.
-State library agencies reported total revenue of $1.2 billion.
-All state libraries agencies provided administration of IMLS funding through the Grants to States program; library statistics; library planning, evaluation, and research; and review of technology plans for the E-rate telecommunications discount program.

The body of the report is composed of tables providing an overview of state library agencies during the 2007 fiscal year. The tables present data on seven main topics:
1. Collections: describes state library holdings of materials in various formats.
2. Service Transactions: characterizes library use, such as circulation and reference transactions.
3. Internet Access and Electronic Services: describes the efforts of agencies to facilitate internet access among libraries in their states, as well as the availability of statewide electronic services, information, and networks.
4. Staffing and Public Service Hours: staffing levels and the functions performed by employees of state library agencies, as well as the number of public service hours during a typical week.
5. Expenditures: describes how state library funds are expended.
6. Revenue: identifies various sources of revenue.
7. Services to Libraries and Cooperatives: identifies activities and programs that support public, academic, school, special libraries, and library cooperatives.

For more information on library statistics:

The report is available in PDF format here.

The data is available in Access and Flat (ascii) File format here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunday afternoon with WALL-E

What if mankind had to leave Earth and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? The year is 2700 and WALL-E is a robot still spending every day doing what he was made for. Soon he is visited by a sleek robot named EVE wholm he chases across the galaxy with a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots. (Rated G and it's FREE. It's got an 8.7 on the IMDB scale and 96% at Rotten Tomatoes.)

Sunday, November 30, 2PM Large Auditorium at The Main Library

Climb Every Mountain

Drop by the Friends Noon Program on December 2 for Evelyn Dufur, co-president of a local chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, shares the goals and activities of the club as well as the various programs they offer for people of varying abilities. Evelyn is a Board Member of the Friends and a retired teacher.

NOAA’s U.S. Winter Outlook

Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic: Equal chances for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. For regions with more definitive trends, see here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Albany Gets Greener

Don't you wish you could recycle even more than you do now? You can--thanks to an additional reclycing bin from the City of Albany's Department of General Services (DGS). DGS is now offering--free of charge--an additional “GREEN” recycling bin to City of Albany residents.

These new green recycling bins are to be used for paper and cardboard only. The new bins will not replace the blue recycling bins already provided by the City. The blue recycling bins will still be used for recycling glass, cans and plastic containers only. The new green bins will be used for recycling newspapers, shredded paper and cardboard. Separating glass, cans and plastic containers from paper will allow you to recycle even more paper, plastic and glass. Residents who do not generate enough paper for 2 recycling bins may continue to use their blue bins.

To get your new green recycling bin, you need to pick it up at DGS headquarters at 1 Conners Boulevard (near Huck Finn's Warehouse in Nipperville), Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Be sure to bring ID with proof of Albany residency. If you have any questions regarding DGS's GREEN BIN program please contact DGS at 434-2489 (CITY). This offer is extended to City of Albany residents who live in residential dwellings with (4) four or less units located on a single property. All others, including mixed occupancy buildings, must contract for private collection.

Gift ideas for your favorite library supporter

Visit the NYLA Fundraising Gift Shop here to view the selection and place your order. Items include:
* Apparel/Ties/Scarves
* Jewelry
* Bags/Totes
* Home/Office Decor
* Other Gift Ideas

Monday, November 24, 2008

Library OPEN Saturday

Though all APL branches will be closing this Wednesday at 5:30 pm, and will be closed all day Thursday and Friday this week, the library branches will be open as usual on Saturday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What kind of blog is this?


ISTP - The Mechanics
The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.
This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

JOB DESCRIPTION: Public Information Officer position - Albany Public Library

Public Information Officer

Albany Public Library is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, experienced professional for the position of Public Information Officer. In this position, the Public Information Officer will be responsible for creating, implementing and maintaining the Library’s public information, marketing, and organizational communication programs. The Public Information Officer will report to the Library Director and
work closely with all levels of the Albany Public Library organization, and will also be a key member of the Library’s leadership team.

Albany Public Library is an urban library serving a population of 95,000 in the Capital Region of New York State and has a publicly funded budget of $6.4 million and a staff of approximately 75 FTE. Albany Public Library’s $29.1 million Branch Improvement Plan will see the opening of five new or renovated branch library facilities by 2010.

Minimum qualifications:

a) Graduation from a regionally accredited or NYS registered college or university or one accredited by the NYS Board of Regents to grant degrees with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, English, Public Relations or a related field and two (2) years of fulltime paid experience writing public announcements, newsletters, news and/or feature articles, and preparing and presenting informational materials and reports; OR

b) Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or one accredited by the NYS Board of Regents to grant degrees with an Associate’s Degree in Communications, Liberal Arts, Business-Marketing or a related field and four (4) years of fulltime paid experience writing public announcements, newsletters, news and/or feature articles, and preparing and presenting informational materials and reports; OR

c) Any equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of a) and b) above.

Additional desired qualifications include a familiarity with the operations, activities, and organization of public libraries; experience with organizational advocacy efforts and/or community networking activities; experience using new and emerging technologies in public information/communications activities.

The salary for this position is $45,000 and includes an excellent benefit package. This is a provisional Civil Service position. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Application review will begin on December 15, 2008. To apply send resume, letter of interest, a professional writing sample, and the names and contact information for three professional references to:

Marjorie Reinhart, Human Resources/Finance Manager
Albany Public Library
161 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12210

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New York EqualAccess Libraries 2005-2008 Report

The New York State Library has released the New York EqualAccess Libraries 2005-2008 Report: Training and support in developing community-responsive programming and services in public libraries.

The complete report is now available on the State Library's website: PDF version and HTML version.
The State Library partnered with Libraries for the Future (LFF), the New York Library Association (NYLA), and Public Library System Directors Organization (PULISDO) to bring the EqualAccess Libraries program to New York State in 2005.

Since then, 99 staff members from 52 public libraries and 11 public library systems have participated in the 4-day EqualAccess Libraries Institute, the cornerstone of the program.

EqualAccess Libraries was developed by LFF with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal was to help public libraries across the country become more community-responsive.

Through a combination of lecture, scenarios, and group work, the Institute helped participants learn how to adapt and expand programming and services in new and innovative ways to meet community needs and interests-especially in this ever-changing digital age.

One participant said of the program: "Great workshops. The most productive workshops I have ever attended."

The report provides a detailed look at New York EqualAccess Libraries, from the Institute curriculum and sample agendas to specific evaluation and outcomes information.

For more information, please visit the State Library's EqualAccess Libraries page or contact Cassandra Artale, Library Development Specialist, or 518-474-1479.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bus meeting re: rate hikes

Expect the planned CDTA rate hikes to be topic #1 at the Citizens for Transportation bus meeting, Wednesday, November 19 at 7 pm at the main branch of the Albany Public Library.

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

From Resource Shelf: Regarding the public availability of Congressional Research Service reports: maybe the situation will be different in the new administration. Maybe these valuable, taxpayer-funded documents will finally be posted online BY the Congressional Research Service AS THEY ARE ISSUED. In our opinion, there is no logical reason for the hoop-jumping necessary to pry these things loose from the CRS...

The sheer volume of government information now available online is amazing, and has made life infinitely easier not only for researchers, but for the average citizen. We have not yet heard a compelling reason why the Congressional Research Service — a division of the Library of Congress — remains a black hole. This Washington Post story, from February 2007, blames “a wall erected by lawmakers” who regard the agency “as an extension of” their own staff.

We’re not buying that excuse. Equivalent agencies in other countries routinely place their reports online...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SLA Salary Survey

The 2008 SLA Salary Survey & Workplace Study results show that the average salary increases for SLA members have again outpaced inflation.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The angry librarian


The NYS Division of Budget has proposed a $20 million cut or 20% reduction in Library Aid that would bring state funding for libraries down to 1993 levels. Library Aid has already been cut twice this year from $102 million to $99 million.

Although we realize the state is facing difficult economic times, libraries and library systems have already done their part toward reducing the state’s budget deficit. Other sources of revenue need to be explored and other state funded programs to do their share to reduce the state budget deficit.

When: Tuesday, November 18th 1- 2:30 pm
Where: Well of the Legislative Office Building, Albany
Directions: Vans and cars can find parking in the garages underneath or nearby the Empire State Plaza( visit
for more information). Buses can drop off attendees at the Madison Avenue side of the Empire State Plaza (between the ESP and State Museum) and park at Crossgates Mall. Attendees would then walk down the length of the Empire State Plaza, go through security check points and go left toward the Legislative Office Building. You need to bring identification to get into the building. The Well of the LOB is on the bottom floor near the elevators.
Stolen from various listservs:
20% IS a disaster to public library systems and the member libraries served. And it is on top of a $3 million cut that was made earlier in the year, therefore a $23 million cut out of a $103 million library aid budget. A 22% cut overall, THIS fiscal year.
LIBRARIES provide unemployment assistance by offering computer classes, resume writing skills materials, free internet to look for jobs, access to Microsoft Word and printing services, informational databases as well as the reference librarians who help them use all those tools. Actually, libraries can serve roles in emergencies as well. They can and have served as information clearing houses, places of safety for the elderly during hot summers, and much more.
When times were good and the State experienced substantial surpluses, libraries did NOT receive any additional funding nor an adjustment to the funding formulas.
Libraries and library systems have been asked to shoulder a much larger (and we believe unfair) proportional share of the budget reduction. A local state senator once told a group of librarians at the annual lobby day for libraries, "You librarians are too nice!"
We should stop saying “It’s free at the library.” As we who work in libraries know, it’s NOT free. Materials costs, electronic access, heat, lights, salaries, etc. are huge expenses. But, we’ve been telling the public for so long that it’s free, the fact that we need more money really doesn’t have an impact. Maybe we could come up with language, like, “today’s event is sponsored by... (wherever your funding came from) and there will be no charge for admission.”

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: "Well-behaved women [or men] rarely make history"

Philly follies

Perhaps you have heard that Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia has suggested closing at least 11 library branches.

Last night a Philadelphia TV show did a story on the library situation.
The last line was-- "We tried to reach the mayor for comment but ironically, he was accepting an award for literacy promotion and therefore unavailable."

Live the Lush Life...

...with the Friends of Albany Public Library. Michael DeVall, retired Chief Deputy of the Albany County Sheriff's Department reviews this gritty novel of low down urban America by Richard Price.

Tuesday, November 18th @ 12PM, Main Library

A Call to Action from NYLA's Michael J. Borges

Dear Library Advocate, I want you to get really angry, I mean really fed up with the way libraries and library systems are being treated by the State of New York. The NYS Division of Budget has proposed a $20 million cut, that's right the largest cut ever in Library Aid, a 20% reduction in funding, that no other educational institutions are being asked to bear, to resolve the state's deficit for fiscal year 2008-09.

This cut will be devastating to library services throughout the state, no library or system will go unscathed, if this happens layoffs may occur, services will be curtailed or costs passed onto to local libraries and their patrons.

I urge you to go our website immediately and click on Contact Your Elected Official button to send a letter to your state legislator opposing this proposed cut that the Legislature will consider when they return to Albany on November 18th for a special session. The letter is editable so you may include your own comments about how libraries are essential in your community, how library systems save your library money and provide vital services. Or call/visit your legislators in person if possible between now and next Tuesday.

The library community needs to act now in a strong, aggressive and united fashion in order to prevent this outrageous proposal from becoming reality.

Michael J. Borges
Executive Director
New York Library Association

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

White House Conference on Library and Information Services

**Applications for White House Conference on Library and Information Services Award due April 15, 2009**

The White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIST) and the ALA Washington Office wish to announce the 2009 WHCLIST Award that provides a stipend of $300 to help defray the costs for a non-librarian participant to attend National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) May 11th and 12th in Washington, DC.

The criteria for the WHCLIST Award are:
The recipient should be a library supporter (trustee, friend, general supporter) and not a professional librarian.
Priority will be given to first-time attendees of NLLD.
Applicants must include a registration form, a letter of reference from a library director, school librarian, library board chair, friend's group chair or other library representative.

Representatives of WHCLIST and the ALA Washington office will choose the recipient. The ALA Washington Office will contact the recipient's Senators and Representatives to announce the award. The winner of the WHCLIST Award is announced at NLLD.

To apply for the WHCLIST award, please submit a completed NLLD registration form, a letter explaining why you should receive the award and a letter of reference to:
Kristin Murphy
Government Relations Specialist
American Library Association
1615 New Hampshire AVE, NW
First Floor
Washington, DC 20009
202-628-8419 (fax)

Note: Applicants must register for NLLD and pay all associated costs. Applicants must also make their own travel arrangements but will receive 2 free nights in the NLLD hotel in D.C. The winner will be notified by April 20, 2009.


Thursday, November 20- Staff Development Day
Thursday, November 27-Thanksgiving
Friday, November 28- Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Copyright and the Digital Library

The legal and technical issues which bedevil the creation of online libraries, particularly in relation to copyright. It discusses the Google Books settlement of October 2008 and a number of divergent views on its value or problems for libraries.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Zeroing Out Waste Conference

Saturday, November 15, 2008
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Westminster Presbyterian Church
262 State Street,
Albany , NY 12210
Use entrance at 85 Chestnut St.

$15.00 Conference Fee includes lunch and refreshments. Scholarships are available.


Why do we have so much garbage? What can we do to prevent it? Looking at the trash question as a resource issue and a problem of industrial design is ushering in bold alternatives to leaking landfills and polluting incinerators in forward-thinking cities and countries around the world. What can New Yorkers do to bring these solutions to our state and communities?

New Yorkers have a great opportunity to transform our solid waste practices as the state is finally revising its Solid Waste Policy.
National expert speakers will discuss how NY communities can start zeroing out waste with reuse, recycling, composting and remanufacturing.
The conference features speaker presentations followed by strategy sessions on key zero waste issues, including fighting incinerators & landfills, composting all organics (food & yard waste, etc), economic development and green jobs, pitfalls of privatization and waste prevention.

Speakers Include:

Neil Seldman, Institute of Local Self Reliance

Professor Paul Connett, International Waste Management Researcher

Majora Carter, Environmental Justice Leader, Founder Sustainable South Bronx

Barbara Warren, Citizens' Environmental Coalition

Sponsored by Citizens' Environmental Coalition (CEC)
For more information, contact CEC at 518-462-5527 X16 or

More Information on the Zero Waste Conference Speakers

Paul Connett, International researcher and campaigner on waste management and recently retired Chemistry Professor. Paul is known for his decades of work effectively fighting incinerators around the world making over 2,000 presentations in the U.S. and 50 other countries. He is the only one we know that can make waste funny!

Neil Seldman, President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Neil is known for his work effectively fighting incinerators, and for his economic perspective and promotion of alternatives like waste reduction.
He is an economic development & jobs expert utilizing resources in our waste stream.

Majora Carter, Founder of Sustainable South Bronx, distinguished Mac Arthur Fellow and environmental justice leader. Majora teaches sustainability through the lens of social justice and has appeared on many TV and radio programs. She promotes environmental justice, sustainability and green collar jobs.

Barbara Warren, Executive Director of Citizensʼ Environmental Coalition, Formerly with Consumers Union and the NYC Zero Waste Campaign. Barbara helped to prevent the building of incinerators in NYC, led the effort to close Fresh Kills landfill and has addressed environmental justice burdens of waste.

Buy Local Bash November 15 in Troy

The public is invited to sample local foods, enjoy local music and shop for the holidays at the Buy Local Bash from 5 to 9 PM on Saturday, November 15th. The event will take place at the Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 6th Avenue, Troy. Special guest speaker will be Laury Hammel, noted entrepreneur and author, who will discuss the linkage between building a strong local economy and the area's ability to do business in a down economy. Hammel's talk will take place at 6 PM.

Participating local, independent businesses include the Honest Weight Food Co-op, Brown's Brewing Company, The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Roots and Wisdom, Defazio's Imports, Le Marche Vert, Tosca, The Spinning Seed, The Flower Girl, Alabu Soaps, The Placid Baker, Java Jazz Cafe, Tough Traveler, Digital Artist's Space, and more than a dozen other businesses from around the Capital District. In addition to samples of local products, attendees are eligible to win gift certificates, gift baskets, movie tickets, locally brewed beer, and other door prizes.

According to Karisa Centanni, Honest Weight's Education Coordinator, "Laury Hammel's talk will focus on the many advantages that accrue to communities when business is conducted between neighbors. When money stays in a local economy, it is a strong bulwark against the ravages of a global economy gone badly. Given the current recession, Hammel's talk will provide important insights about how each of us by our personal buying decisions can help assure that our little corner of the world stays as healthy as possible."

Businesses that are interested in participating as a vendor at the Buy Local Bash can download information at or can call Karisa Centanni at the Honest Weight Food Co-op at
518.482.3312 ext. 113.

Laury Hammel

The evening's highlight will be a talk by Laury Hammel, author of "Growing Local Value - How to Build Business Partnerships that Strengthen Your Community." Hammel founded and grew The Longfellow Clubs, currently the 54th largest health club business in the US, with
$16 million in revenues. He is a recognized industry leader in innovative business practices, social responsibility and community service. Among his other accomplishments, Hammel is a founder of New England Businesses for Social Responsibility (NEBSR); Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a national organization; the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston (SBN); and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). Hammel has also been very active in the areas of energy conservation and environmentalism, with a particular interest in the sustainability of businesses.

Enjoy Local Music While you Shop

Local musicians at the Buy Local Bash will include Ashley Pond, Ben Karis-Nix and Amanda Rogers. Pond, who released her debut album, Dala, in 2007, is a gifted singer/songwriter/guitarist who has taken the capital region of New York by storm. Metroland Magazine named Ashley Pond "Best New Solo Artist" in their Best of 2007 issue and followed up with a cover story. In addition, The Times Union, interviewed Pond and gave her a spot in their top 10 local records of 2007. Ben Karis-Nix recently released his new solo EP, We Are Giants Now. Ben's recordings, performances, and songwriting have earned him features on the CW show "One Tree Hill," MTV's "Road Rules" and "Real World, "NPR's "Weekend Edition," and MySpace Compilation Vol. 1. Similarly talented, Amanda Rogers has opened for some of the most acclaimed rock, emo, and jam bands in the industry. She recently released an EP containing new songs and covers of songs by Radiohead and At The Drive-In, played numerous shows in the States and two more tours in Europe. In 2008, she headlined another European tour with friends "The Sketchy Indians" backing her up in support of her highly anticipated album Heartwood.

Buy Local Bash Event Details & Directions:

Metroland Advertising Opportunity for Local First Members!

Metroland, also a member-business of Local First, would like to extend the offer to participate in a special two page "Local First Insert".
They have tailored an advertising campaign that will give you significant reach and size at a very cost effective rate.

Free Web Site Launched to Help Immigrants Learn English

The U.S. Department of Education today launched U.S.A. Learns, a free Web site to help immigrants learn English. The Web site, which is located at, provides approximately 11 million adults who have low levels of English proficiency with easily accessible and free English language training.

U.S.A. Learns offers the following features:
An easily accessible Internet learning tool;
Simple directions;
Free instructional materials developed to teach basic English skills and help adults improve their English proficiency; and
Learning modules that can be used outside a traditional classroom

Learn more

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama transition website

Here in the U.S., at long last, we have a new President-Elect. And, for the first time, this means a new presidential transition website. Simple but elegant and still under construction — At the top left, you’ll see a countdown, in days, until the January 20, 2009 inauguration.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

By The Book: RA in a Library 2.0 World

A Readers’ Advisory Conference
Albany Public Library, Albany, NY
November 14, 2008

Join Albany Public Library as we celebrate our fifth annual By the Book Readers’ Advisory Conference! This year, we’re looking forward as we explore readers’ advisory in a Library 2.0 world. If you’ve heard a lot of about Library 2.0 and would like to learn more about it and how it relates to readers’ advisory, join us on Friday, November 14, 2008.

Our featured speakers will be Nora Rawlinson and Jessamyn West. Ms. Rawlinson is the co-founder and editor of Early Word, The Publisher | Librarian Connection (, a website and blog aimed at collection development for public libraries. Ms. West is a consulting librarian whose work focuses on technology issues and how they relate to libraries. With an exciting sequence of programs for professional and paraprofessional staff scheduled for Friday, November 14th, APL’s By the Book event is designed to give attendees real-world readers’ advisory tips and techniques that they can implement in their libraries.

Nora Rawlinson will begin our morning sessions with a presentation on readers’ advisory and online collection development. Ms. Rawlinson is the former editor of Library Journal and former editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly, as well as the former Head of Materials Selection for Baltimore County Public Library. Library Journal columns introduced under her editorship include PrePub Alert, the Collection Development series, Classic Returns, and Readers Shelf.

Jessamyn West will give a general presentation on Library 2.0 tools (what they are and how they work) and how they relate to readers’ advisory. In our afternoon session, Ms. West will explore Library 2.0 and readers’ advisory trends. She’ll also lead an afternoon breakout session in our computer lab where participants will enjoy hands-on experience trying out some of the Library 2.0 tools on their own.

Attendees may also choose to participate in either of our other afternoon breakout sessions on conducting readers’ advisory at the reference desk and in the stacks led by APL staff, or teen crossover titles and programming led by our own award-winning librarian Melissa Wasilewski. Ms. Wasilewski won YALSA’s “Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults” award for her Skateboarding Discussion Group program.

Librarians, library school students, and paraprofessional staff are all invited to join us for By The Book: RA in a Library 2.0 World. In celebration of our fifth anniversary, we’re discounting our normal registration fee – only $50 (includes breakfast and lunch). Student registrations are available for $25 (student ID required).

Registration must be received by Friday, November 7, 2008. For more information, see or contact Amy Maurer McLaughlin, Head of Readers’ Services,, 518-427-4349.

NY's 2008 Statewide Summer Reading Program Tops 1.5 M Children & Teens!

Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Interim State Librarian Jeffrey W. Cannell congratulates public libraries statewide for the record-breaking participation in the 2008 New York Statewide Summer Reading Program. Over 1.5 million children and teens enjoyed a summer of reading fun by participating in the Statewide Summer Reading Program through local libraries.

The 1.5 million participation level exceeds Education Commissioner Richard Mills' goal of 1.5 million by 2010.
The Statewide Summer Reading Program is a Commissioner's priority initiative and the marked increase in participation shows the importance of the program in public libraries, small and large, across the state. The increase in participation from 2007 to 2008 is 15%, and the increase over the past eight years has been 338%.

"During the summer of 2008, children and families made reading for fun a top New York State summertime activity", said Cannell. "Taking full advantage of what public libraries in New York State offer resulted in record participation in the Statewide Summer Reading Program. This involvement with reading during the summer months leads to better academic performance when children return to school in the fall."

Additional thanks go out to all the public library systems and the public libraries that made the Statewide Summer Reading Program such a success in 2008. New York's public library system youth and teen services consultants offered training and technical support, and library staff and volunteers in New York's public and association libraries provided the programming and resources that made kids want to join the fun.

In the coming weeks, the New York State Library will be reporting additional valuable information from local libraries and library system final reports on their 2008 Summer Reading Program.


For 2009, "Be Creative @ your Library" and "Express Yourself @ your Library" are the New York Statewide Summer Reading Program themes.

There will be an exhibit of 2009 Summer Reading Program materials at the Youth Services Section exhibit during the NYLA Conference in Saratoga Springs. Stop by the Pavilion to see the 2009 manual, posters, and graphics.

For further information please see here or contact Karen Balsen, Statewide Summer Reading Program Coordinator, New York State Library, .

The New York Statewide Summer Reading Program is supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


After serving for more than thirteen years as New York’s Education Commissioner, Richard P. Mills today announced that he has notified the Board of Regents of his decision to resign from Office by the end of June 2009.

Commissioner Mills said, “The Regents, my colleagues and I, together with our partners, have completed an enormous body of work and have taken the first steps in the next phase of the Board’s agenda to raise achievement. We have established a timetable that ensures a seamless transition for my successor. I will complete the tasks the Regents assigned to me as we prepare the education system for the future.”

Mills continued, “There is no better time for a transfer of leadership than when an organization is strong and the building blocks for the future are in place. I am confident that my successor will find an agency of strength with a compelling agenda for the future.”

As Commissioner of Education, Mills serves as chief executive officer of the Board of Regents, which has jurisdiction over the most comprehensive state educational system in the nation. The system encompasses every education endeavor in the State, including public and non-public elementary, middle and secondary education; public and independent colleges and universities; museums, libraries, historical societies and archives; the vocational rehabilitation system; and responsibility for the licensing, practice and oversight of 48 professions.

“New York is unique,” Mills said. “We are so fortunate that we have an education system here, a system that includes all of New York’s educational and cultural institutions – schools, colleges, libraries, archives, museums, public television, the licensed professions, vocational rehabilitation, career and technical education, and so much more. And unlike any other state, all of these are under the care of one board, the Regents,” Mills continued. “This system gives us a spectacular advantage, providing New Yorkers with the knowledge and skills that are the currency of today’s global economy. We must take full advantage of the opportunities this unique system gives us.”

Mills continued, “There are so many people I want to thank, starting with the members of the Board of Regents. They have had the courage to set high standards and to insist that all children can succeed. I’d also like to thank my colleagues in the Education Department, whose dedication as public servants is unmatched. Thanks, also, to the teachers and school leaders who work tirelessly to lift up our children. Finally, I thank the students – our children – whose boundless energy and enthusiasm delights us all. Their ability to achieve, sometimes against the longest of odds, is a testament to the strength of the human spirit,” he concluded.

Mills was appointed by the Board of Regents as President of the University of the State of New York and Commissioner of Education in August 1995. Before being appointed Commissioner in New York, Mills served as Commissioner of Education in Vermont for seven years.

Mills said, “The experience of serving New York’s children is exhilarating. Even the hardest days have a clear purpose. I never tire of it. But now it’s time for me to begin a transition for the Department and for myself.”

Monday, November 03, 2008


The polls are open from 6 am to 9 pm. If you are unsure of your polling location in albany County, you can use this tool on the Albany County Board of Elections website, or call the Board of Elections at (518) 487-5060. If you can't find South Allen in the database, try S Allen.

Here's a list of candidates plus info about the Congressional, assembly, state senate races and the ballot initiative.

Please don't walk out of the voting booth without casting a vote in the school board race and on Proposition 2. The school board candidates and the proposition will not be in the obvious upper left section of the ballot with all the "big stuff" -- so you really need to look for them.

Proposition 2 - This is a "better government" proposition, providing for more checks and balances within city government, and giving the Common Council a little more say over the city's budget when it comes to salaries.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

ALA seeks $100 million in stimulus funding

The American Library Association seeks $100 million in stimulus funding as U.S. libraries face critical cutbacks, closures.

"Investments in libraries often yield high dividends for communities. Studies show economic returns from salaries and wages paid to staff, construction costs, employment services and library purchases. A recent Pennsylvania study points out that for every dollar invested in the public library, the community receives a return of $5.50. A similar report from Florida shows a $6.54 return on investment."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

New York Heritage Digital Collections

The New York 3Rs Association has launched a new digital heritage web site, The site connects more than 160 digital collections from around the state, contributed by libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions, and builds on existing digital repository services administered by each of the nine reference and research library resources councils. uses OCLC’s CONTENTdm Multisite Server to bring these collections together, allowing the public to search across all items simultaneously. This project provides free, online access to images of cultural and historical significance in New York State.

A variety of materials can be found among the New York Heritage Digital Collections, including photographs, postcards, correspondence, manuscripts, oral histories, yearbooks and newspapers. Many kinds of institutions from New York State have partnered to make this project possible, including public, academic and school libraries, museums, archives and historical societies. The power of collaboration is what makes this new service possible.

Participants to New York Heritage Digital Collections are committed to enhancing the site by adding both content and contributing institutions on a regular basis. The goal of the project is to eventually connect one thousand collections and one million items from throughout New York State. All institutions interested in participating in the project are encouraged to contact the 3Rs organization that serves their region.

The New York 3Rs Association is a partnership among New York’s nine reference and research resource systems. The New York 3Rs was incorporated in 2003 to further the ability of those systems to provide statewide services. The members of the New York 3Rs Association are: the Capital District Library Council, Central New York Library Resources Council, Long Island Library Resources Council, Metropolitan New York Library Council, Northern New York Library Network, Rochester Regional Library Council, Southeastern New York Library Resources Council, South Central Regional Library Council, and Western New York Library Resources Council.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Workshops on Original Wood Windows and Lead Paint

Worried about the cold coming winter months and your heating bill? Bombarded with advertisements for “energy efficient” replacement windows? You are not alone! That’s why you are cordially invited to attend HAF’s Window Sash Chat at the First Presbyterian Church (362 State Street). What to expect? Expert preservation panelists and window repair experts will give presentations and field questions on how can make your old sash energy efficient!

When: November 1, 2008, Noon-4pm
Where: First Presbyterian Church, 362 State Street (corner of Willett St.), Albany
Why: To clear the air, and make sure you know all the facts when it comes to your original wood windows
Who: Expert panelists will include: Roberta Lane, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Walter Sedovic, Walter Sedovic Architects; Mark DeChiro, NYSERDA contractor, Alden & Stephen Withem, Contractor’s Millworks; and Jim Devine, Advanced Energy Panels
How: You can walk, bike or park in the First Presbyterian Church’s parking lot (limited spots!) or in Washington Park.

Ghosts in the Library!

The Haunted Library Series is Back

Daughters of Penelope Antiques Show & Sale-November 14 & 15, 2008

The best food in Albany will accompany one of the finest events in Albany--the Daughters of Penelope Antiques Show & Sale at the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church. The antiques show will be held on Friday, November 14 from 11am-7pm and Saturday, November 15 from 10am-4pm. The lemon drop soup and the rice pudding are highly recommended. St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, 440 Whitehall Road. Donation: $4.50.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Windows, art

1. Window Sash Chat, this Saturday, November 1, 2008. It’s all happening at the First Presbyterian Church (362 State Street) from 12-4pm. Expert panelist, including Roberta Lane, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Jack Alvarez, Landmark Consulting; Mark DeChiro, NYSERDA contractor, Alden & Stephen Withem, Contractor’s Millworks; and Jim Devine, Advanced Energy Panels, will clear the air and make sure you know all the facts when it comes to your original wood windows. There is a fee of $5 for HAF members and $10 for general public. For more information or to reserve a spot call 518-465-0876 x10.

2. Built; Albany’s Architecture Through Artists’ Eyes. The 7th Annual Art Show and Silent Auction will take place on November 8, 2008 at the Cathedral of All Saints (62 South Swan Street). Honorary Chair Norman S. Rice invites you to view the work of local and regional artists inspired by Albany’s built environment and (most importantly) purchase these beautiful pieces for your humble abode. Visit for more information and to download a RSVP card. Or give me a call at the office, (518-465-0876 x10) to purchase a ticket today!

Groups Warn that New Voters May Not Find Names in Poll Books

Here's a press release from the LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF NEW YORK STATE and the NEW YORK PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP that I think is important enough to reprint verbatim:

News Release
For Immediate Release: Oct 27, 2008
For More Information Contact: Neal Rosenstein (212) 349-6460
Aimee Allaud (518) 465-4162

Local Boards Urged to Take Steps to Ensure Voters Names at Poll Sites

Warning of possible confusion and longer lines for next week’s Presidential election, two of the state’s leading civic organizations called for steps to make sure that the names of recently registered voters appear on the lists used by poll workers. The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and the League of Women Voters of New York State called for supplemental listings of voters to be printed and distributed in any counties that may not have entered new registrants’ names in time for them to appear in the lists of voters at poll sites.

Missing names at poll sites could arise if local Boards of Elections were unable to process and enter the large number of new registrants into their databases, said NYPIRG and the League. Many of the registrants are new voters who may have signed up through online web sites and whose forms were mailed to the State Board of Elections, as permitted by Election Law § 5-210(3). The State Board then forwarded the forms to local Boards for their review and to be entered onto the voter rolls. Reports that many of these voters may not have made it into poll books first surfaced in Saturday’s New York Times.

“Voters shouldn’t be penalized because of inadequate staffing at a local Board,” said Neal Rosenstein of NYPIRG. “Local Boards must now take whatever steps are necessary to make sure any voter who mailed their form in to the State Board before the deadline gets on the rolls,” he added.

NYPIRG and the League reminded voters that if they don’t find their name at the polls, they should first ask the poll workers to check that they are at the correct site and table. If the voter’s name still can’t be found, he or she should fill out a paper Affidavit Ballot and request a voter rights flyer that is required to be at each table. But the groups also noted that the Affidavit Ballot process is error-prone and can increase lines at the polls. They urged that Boards take immediate steps to ensure that all voters’ names are at poll sites.

“If the normal poll site books don’t contain all the names, local Boards should immediately make plans to print supplemental voter lists and get them to poll sites,” said Aimee Allaud of the League. “These voters registered on time and now it’s up to the local boards to make sure they can vote without barriers at the polls,” she added.

The groups commended the New York City Board of Elections for deciding to print supplemental poll site books. They also called on Mayor Bloomberg and local governments across the state to provide the necessary funding for printing and distributing the books in time for Election Day.

Meanwhile, if you're newly registered, or have moved, it's especially important to verify your registration. The State Board of Elections website for this has only been recently corrected in Albany County, so you should check with your county Board of Elections.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Andrew Bechard named to library board

Attorney Andrew Bechard is the newest member of the Albany Public Library board of trustees.

Bechard, who was among 17 people to run for the board last year was sworn in [last week] to the seat left vacant by the death of James Gallagher. In May, the winner of an election will serve the year then remaining on Gallagher's term...

When he ran for the library board of trustees last year, Bechard created a Web site. The site still exists and provides background on his thoughts about the library's role in the community, he said.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


You can find all the information you need about elections in New York State on a new page of the New York State Library’s web site. "Selected New York State Election Websites," a page of links relating to elections and election-related topics can be accessed from the State Library’s web site at Point to Hot Topics: Election Websites under "What's New" in the bottom right hand corner of the Library's main page or go directly to

The websites on the page cover federal, state, and local representatives; New York State newspapers; political and citizen groups; New York-based public opinion polls; and more. You can learn about how Federal Campaign Finance Laws are administered and enforced, find out about the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and its role in regulating federal elections, learn how to register to vote, identify your State representatives, view election district maps from the NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Apportionment, connect to your local county to find notice of county government meetings, and link to other important information about elections and the election process.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Craft and Art Festival

FRI, NOV 7, 2008 5pm-9pm
SAT, NOV 8, 2008 10am-5pm
725 Madison Ave, Albany, NY

Part of Albany's 1st Friday schedule, A Wonderful Craft and Art Festival at the gracious 1895 mansion of The Woman's Club of Albany near Albany's historic Washington Park. A fabulous raffle will benefit the literacy and foster care programs of the club.

Meet studio jeweler Loretta Fontaine, potter Liz Vigoda, mixed media artist Wendy Costa, photographer Nancy Noble Gardner, McGillicutty’s Handmade Soap, woodworker C.A. Foster, fiber artist Cherry Schacher and glass artist Terry Weaver.

Visit the web site: for artist bios, map and more information.

Friday, October 24, 2008

School board candidates

The remaining public candidate forums is Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at Albany High School. Please encourage people to come.

5 Museums, 5 Libraries Receive Nation's Highest Honor

Institutions from eight states, including New York, plus Puerto Rico, were awarded a 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

First Lady Laura Bush awarded these museums and libraries at a White House ceremony on October 7. Each year, the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in coordination with the White House, presents the National Medal to 10 museums and libraries "in recognition of their extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The Board of Regents today announced the appointment of Bernard A. Margolis as the New York State Librarian. He will assume his new responsibilities in January 2009.

State Education Commissioner Richard Mills said, "We live in an age of information, and libraries play a critical role in providing us with access to that information. They are vital to our economy and our communities. They promote literacy and lifelong learning. And in these trying economic times, they are vital to people seeking information about jobs. I am thrilled that the Regents have appointed a dynamic and innovative person like Mr. Margolis to serve in the critically important position of State Librarian.”

The New York State Library provides information and library services through its Research Library and the Division of Library Development.
Mr. Margolis will have oversight responsibility for a $13.4 million operating budget, 180 employees, over 20 million collection items and nearly $100 million in State and federal aid to libraries.

One of the largest research libraries in North America, the New York State Research Library is the only state library which is a member of the Association of Research Libraries. The Library’s holdings include a significant manuscript and rare book collection, as well as holdings in a wide variety of formats, including paper, microform, digital and electronic records. It is also a Federal Depository and Patent Library; has the responsibility for the acquisition, distribution and maintenance of New York State documents; and is a regional library for the blind and visually impaired in New York’s 55 upstate counties.

The Division of Library Development provides leadership and technical assistance to New York’s 73 library systems through a comprehensive program of State aid for public, school, academic and special library services. Staff experts work with librarians, trustees, school administrators, public officials and local leaders to solve problems and find new ways of making library services and resources available to their community. Library Development administers more than $100 million in State and federal aid to New York’s libraries and helps them to take full advantage of federal and private funding programs like E-rate telecommunications discounts and Gates Library Foundation grants.

Mr. Margolis served as the President of Boston Public Library (BPL), Boston, Massachusetts, from 1997 to 2008. BPL is the oldest municipal public library in the country, with 27 neighborhood branches. The Library’s collections of over 34 million items include the library of President John Adams, Shakespeare’s first folio, Gutenberg’s Catholicon, and many other unique and rare materials. BPL is a member of the Association of Research Libraries.

Mr. Margolis’s achievements as BPL president include expansion of branch library hours; appointment of a children’s librarian in every branch; creation of a nationally recognized Homework Assistance Program and online tutoring program; implementation of Reading Readiness to prepare preschoolers for school success; creation of local history centers in eight branch libraries; creation of the award-winning Norman B. Leventhal Map Center; development of a collection conservation program; and growth of the BPL’s trust funds from $37 million to $55 million. Under Mr. Margolis’s leadership, BPL secured $7 million of direct grants and $18 million in federal funds for technology improvements and many foundation grants, designated gift funds, and major bequests.

Mr. Margolis led the effort to restore and renovate the historic central library building, securing funding from a number of sources. He worked with the City of Boston to establish a critical repair fund, allowing BPL to address building and equipment repairs in a timely manner. BPL collaborated with other cultural institutions and more than 4,500 different community groups and organizations.

Mr. Margolis holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Librarianship, both from the University of Denver. His library experience includes management and executive positions in libraries and library systems in Colorado and Michigan. Prior to moving to Boston, he served as Director/CEO of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs (from 1988 to 1997).

Mr. Margolis’s service includes a number of elected positions within the American Library Association, leadership in the Association of Research Libraries, service as a professional delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries, and service on the boards of library organizations in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Michigan. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Library Administration and Bottom
Line: The Magazine of Library Financial Management. He has contributed to several books and has published articles in American Libraries, Pub¬lic Libraries, and Library Journal.

Disability Etiquette

From the United Spinal Association: "A great resource for businesses, schools, organizations, staff training and disability awareness programs. You don’t have to feel awkward when interacting with, or when you meet, a person who has a disability. This booklet provides tips for you to follow that will help create positive interactions and raise everyone’s comfort levels. The publication offers advice related to a diverse number of specific disabilities."

Friend of APL Dennis Mosley Wins Prestigious NYLA Award!

Dennis Mosley, member of the board of the Friends of the Albany Public Library, has been selected to receive the prestigious Daniel W. Casey Award by the New York Library Association. He received this award, in the words of Karen Achilles Casey Award chair, “for his commitment and focus to bring the library to the community and vice versa.” She noted his involvement with the Book Cellar and the Albany Independent Film forum, among other accomplishments.

Dennis will receive the award on Friday, November 7th at the NYLA conference. He will receive a personal plaque and his name will be added to the Empire Friends Roundtable plaque which may be displayed at the library for a year.

Congratulations, Dennis!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are We Ready for November 4?

Pew Study Finds State Elections Web Sites Have Significant Room for Improvement. State elections Web ites are often too difficult for voters to find and use to answer questions such as whether they are registered to vote, where to vote and what will be on the ballot, according to a new study released by the Pew Center on the States. “Being Online is Not Enough: State Elections Web sites” is a 50-state analysis examining elections Web sites’ usability...

One example of this jumps out: the New York State Board of Elections has a "Look up your voter registration and find your polling place" link. Unfortunately, as of this writing, when I put in my information, my polling place shows as ALBANY PUBLIC LIBRARY, 517 WESTERN AVENUE; this is incorrect. The Pine Hills branch of the library is closed, and the correct polling place is 400-420 WESTERN AVE, which is at the College of St. Rose.

Watchdogs Ask: Is America Ready to Vote?. With millions of Americans expected to confront an array of voting technologies on Nov. 4, election experts from the Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause and Verified Voting [released] a 50-state report card that grades every state on its preparedness to respond to Election Day voting system problems like broken machines, software malfunctions, or long lines that result from voting equipment breakdowns or misallocation of machines.