Friday, February 29, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Albany's 58th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place on Saturday, March 15, 2008. The Parade steps off at 2 pm at Quail Street and Central Avenue and travels down Washington Avenue to State Street to North Pearl Street.
Be sure to don your green apparel and have some fun! Click here for more details.

Best Careers: Librarian

From U.S. News and World Report.
"Librarians these days must be high-tech information sleuths, helping researchers plumb the oceans of information available in books and digital records. It's an underrated career. Most librarians love helping patrons dig up information and, in the process, learning new things."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Librarian Wins In The Data Breach David Vs. Goliath Battle

"A Florida librarian — whose confidential data was apparently accessed in a databreach involving Wells-Fargo and Sprint Nextel — won his lawsuit against the two giants [this month], when neither company bothered to send anyone to represent them at the hearing."

Information Isn’t Reserved for Books

From the Houston Chronicle story by Carolyn Feibel.

But research librarians say their powers have been unfairly dismissed in the online age. Not only can they outsmart Google’s dead ends and weaknesses, librarians say, but they can help people surf faster and smarter by showing them hidden databases and tricks...

In an age of clickable gratification, when books, articles and data are moving online, some people wonder whether librarians are relevant, said Leslie Burger, the immediate past-president of the American Library Association. But Burger said they are more necessary than ever.

She said librarians are subject to outdated stereotypes: “fusty, bookish, sensible shoes, eyeglasses and not particularly friendly. We’re really the polar opposite of that right now.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Branch Improvement Plan Celebration Committee

Five new branch libraries in 2009 & 2010 - How exciting is that?!!!!!

You’ve contributed so much already, your vote for the library bond and your input on the library designs. Now it’s time to plan the parties!

Would you like to help to organize the community celebrations for the new library in your neighborhood?

You’re invited to join the The BIP CCs (Branch Improvement Plan Celebration Committee)

The Friends of Albany Public Library have launched this new volunteer program to build support for the celebrations to accompany the closing, building and opening of the five new libraries.

The first meeting of the BIP CCs is
Wednesday, March 5th, 5pm
at the Pine Hills Library, Western Avenue

Everyone welcome!!! Come bring your ideas for great library celebrations.
R.S.V.P.s encouraged to Elissa Kane, or 427-4346

21st Congressional candidates at forum tonight

The event will start at 7 p.m. at 155 Washington Ave.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

1st Friday at the Albany Institute of History & Art

March 7
5:00 - 9:00 pm

Be sure to stop by the Albany Institute of History & Art if you are planning to participate in downtown Albany's 1st Friday events on March 7. The Institute will be free from 5:00-9:00 and will offer a a 10% discount on select items in the museum shop.

Exhibitions on view include:

  • HORSING AROUND: 19th Century Cast-Iron Hitching Posts
  • CAST WITH STYLE: 19th Century Cast-Iron Stoves from the Albany Area
  • THE FOLK SPIRIT OF ALBANY: Folk Art from the Upper Hudson Valley
  • VENETIAN SCENES by Walter Launt Palmer

Friday, February 22, 2008

New York State Writers Institute Spring 2008 Schedule

The New York State Writers Institute at SUNY Albany has posted its spring 2008 semester schedule at Two Albany-related events of note are the screening of Dragonwyck, which features a family said to resemble the Van Rensselaers, on Friday, March 7 at 7:30 pm at Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., SUNY Albany Downtown campus; and a Reading/Talk by Albany-born and SUNY Albany graduate, Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, upon which the highly-acclaimed Broadway musical Wicked is based, on Thursday, March 13 at 7:00 pm at the Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center at the SUNY Albany Uptown campus.

Fixing up an Old House? Find Out About a NYS Tax Credit

Find out if you're eligible for a New York State tax credit for repairs you make on your older Albany home. A free workshop on this topic will be held at the Albany Public Main Library on Monday, February 25, 2008 from 5:3o pm to 7:00 pm. This free workshop will be sponsored by the Preservation League of New York State, Historic Albany Foundation, the City of Albany, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Empire State Development Corporation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dear Library Advocate

As you may know, $5 million in Library Aid was cut in the Governor's proposed 2008-09 Executive Budget. These funds were added by the Legislature last year as a result of the advocacy efforts undertaken by NYLA and the library community. These advocacy efforts included meetings with legislators in district offices, writing and faxing letters in support of NYLA's Budget Priorities to legislators, attendance at Library Lobby Day, recognizing legislators support through displaying the READ posters, in library newsletters and press releases, and financial contributions from the New Yorkers for Better Libraries PAC to key legislators.

The cumulative impact of all these advocacy efforts resulted in the $5 million increase last year, the second consecutive annual increase in Library Aid in over 10 years. We must now continue these advocacy efforts again this year to restore the $5 million in Library Aid. So if you have not already done so, please fax a letter either via NYLA's Online Advocacy Center at (click on contact your elected officials button) or mail letter to your legislators (sample letter can be found at NYLA's Advocacy Page/Tools.

Now is the time to be contacting your legislators leading up to Library Lobby Day on Tuesday, March 11th. Please make every effort to attend this year's event (details can be found on NYLA's website). Listed below is timeline for Legislative actions related to the adoption of the State Budget.

Feb. 26th - Senate and Assembly release their revenue projections for 2008-09
Feb. 29th - Consensus must be reached on revenue projections or State Comptroller estimates are used.
March 12th - Senate and Assembly vote on their budget bills/resolutions setting out their priorities
March 13th - Legislative Joint Budget Committees start meeting to resolve differences between their budget versions.
March 26th - Legislative Joint Budget Committees recommendations to be completed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

3 Apples Book Awards

(2/10/08) With great excitement, the Youth Services (YSS) and School Library Media (SLMS) Sections of the New York Library Association (NYLA) announce:

The 2008 3 Apples Book Award, a New York State Children's Choice Award, goes to GREEN EGGS AND HAM by Dr. Seuss (Random House). Here's someone doing a reading of that GREAT story.

Here's an animated version:

The same animated film, flipped, tinted, and speeded up:

The 2008 3 Apples Teen Book Award, a New York State Teen Choice Award, goes to A CHILD CALLED IT: ONE CHILD'S COURAGE TO SURVIVE by Dave Pelzer (HCI).

The 3 Apples Book Award was developed to encourage the joy of reading for pleasure, and to give the children and teens of New York State the opportunity to participate in honoring their favorite books. The choice of books nominated are as wide as the children's and teen's reading interests and tastes, making these truly both Children's and Teen Choice awards.

Each year, children in grades three through six, ages 8 to 12, and teens in grades seventh and up, ages 12+, have the opportunity to nominate their favorite book at either their school or public library. Each child and teen will have the opportunity to nominate one book title. The top fifteen nominees are then announced and children and teens are encouraged to read or listen to three of the books selected. Children and teens will then vote for their favorite book from those nominated titles and a winner is announced each May 10th. Every school and public library that participates in the program then celebrates the award with their children and teens.

More information can be found at

Friday, February 15, 2008

NYC trip

The Friends of APL are offering a bus trip to the American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium in NYC on Wednesday, April 16th for an all inclusive price of $52. The bus leaves the library at 7am, Crossgates at 7:30am and will leave NYC at 5pm. To register by 3/29/08, send payment, name, address, phone # and number of people in your party to Friends of APL, 161 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210 or call Grace White at 428-7131.

Librarians don’t often get credit they deserve

From the Kansas City Star. Notable quote:
"People believe in the library fairy...They think libraries are 'a natural resource' like the Grand Canyon. They don’t realize [librarians] put it there in the first place."

Readin' and Rappin' at Howe Library

On Wednesday, February 27th at 4PM, The kids can read a book related to Black History Month and then turn it into a rap song that will be recorded!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Alice Green

Drop by the Main Library at 12:15PM on Tuesday, February 19th as Dr. Green, the Director of the Center for Law and Justice speaks on racism and the criminal justice system.

Black History Month Rocks On: Black Soldiers

Join a discussion with Jacqui Williams at the Howe branch on Monday, February 18th at 6PM for Black Soldiers of the American Revolution: Rejection, Recruitment and Resettlement.

Surviving the Queue

"Ever been frustrated by the long waiting-room lineup to see a doctor? (I, know -- stupid question)." It was Tom Petty who said, "The waiting is the hardest part." Recommended read: Yes, I Mind Waiting: 10 ways to reduce lineup stress for staff and customers By Jeff Mowatt. 13 February, 2008.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Underground Railroad Conference - February 22-24, 2008


ALBANY, NY: The Underground Railroad History Project/URHPCR of the Capital Region, Inc. will present Kim and Reggie Harris and Nzinga’s Daughters in concert on Saturday evening, February 23rd, 2008, at 7:30 PM at St. Joseph’s Hall at the College of Saint Rose on Madison Ave in Albany, NY.

Based in Hartford, Connecticut, “Nzinga’s Daughters” is a women’s performing ensemble of professionals and trained semi-professionals. The ensemble presents varied programs of African, Caribbean and African-American music, dance, storytelling and poetry. The Underground Railway is a favorite focus. The February 23rd performance will “start in Africa and bring you to America, and end with the Emancipation Proclamation."

Kim and Reggie Harris have been singing and telling stories together for nearly two decades. As singers, songwriters, storytellers, educators, interpreters of history, and cultural advocates, they have developed a stunning reputation amongst college presenters and folk audiences. Their music, alternating between contemporary and historically-based songs, is always rich in emotion, powerful and draws one into its rhythm and beat, and their stunning voices and intelligent harmonies prompted one reviewer to describe them as "vocal acoustic joy!!"

The presentation will bring to an end a full day of workshops and events that comprise part of the 7th annual conference on the Underground Railroad Movement in New York State: “The Underground Railroad: How It Worked: Two Centuries of Resistance, Escape, and the Underground Railroad in New York and Across the Continent.”

The Conference will be held in Albany, NY, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 22, 23, 24, 2008. It will begin on Friday evening at the Best Western Sovereign, 1228 Western Avenue, Albany, NY, with dinner and a speech by Spencer Crew, Director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Saturday’s events will be at the College Of Saint Rose. The fee for Saturday evening is $10. There will be open seating.

The conference schedule, description of featured events, a list of workshops, and an online registration form are available at the URHPCR web site.

Underground Railroad History Project
P.O. Box 10851
Albany, NY 12201
Contact: Katherine Storms
Phone: (518) 427-7168 or 265-3418 (cell)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Bus meeting for February

Lucille Brewer announces:
Citizens for Bus Transportation will meet Wednesday, February 20th, at 7:00 PM at the Albany Public Library, Washington Avenue, Albany.

Guest speaker Andreas Kriefall, ARISE organizer, will discuss lobbying techniques for better transportation. A representative of CDTA will be present.

Lucille is especially anxious to recruit bus riders and supporters of bus riders to assist in pressuring Albany and the CDTA for better snow removal at bus stops, and to continue campaigning for better bus passenger access at Colonie Mall.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Libraries & the Mega-Internet Sites

I got one of those e-mails designed to try to entice me to buy a $90 book. Won't happen, but the tease is interesting:

Primary Research Group has published Libraries & the Mega-Internet Sites (A Survey of how Libraries Use and Relate to Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, eBAY, Amazon, Facebook, YouTUBE & Other Mega-Internet Sites), ISBN 1-57440-096-7.

This report presents data from more than 120 academic, special and public libraries about how they use and relate to the mega-internet sites such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace, eBay, Amazon, and others.
In many ways the mega-sites have transformed library management, fostering change in information literacy education, library marketing and public relations, cataloging, digitization, collection management and other aspects of librarianship. The report provides hard data on exactly how libraries are dealing with the emerging internet giants, how they are adopting, negotiating, repelling, and embracing them. Just a few of the reports conclusions are reproduced below:

•More than 32% of the librarians responding to the survey considered Wikipedia an “unreliable information source and don’t recommend its use,” while another 65.3% considered it “generally reliable but to use with some caution”, and only 2.48% considered it “as reliable as print encyclopedias”.

•Just over half of the libraries in the sample reported that their library staff and patrons did not really use Google Scholar much. Three in 10 participants answered that they used it “reasonably often,” while just over 8% reported using it “extensively.” Fully 9% of the libraries in the sample were completely unaware of Google Scholar.

•Awareness and use of Google Scholar generally increased as library budgets increased. No library with a budget below $500,000 reported using Google Scholar extensively.

•Over 28% of participants reported that they were currently working with a search engine organization to digitize and make available online elements of their collection. Larger libraries were far more likely than smaller libraries, in terms of budget size, to be working with a search engine to digitize elements of the collection. More than half of the libraries in the sample with an annual overall budget of greater than $4.5 million are working with a search engine to digitize parts of their collection, while only about 11% of libraries with annual budgets of less than $1.5 million are working with a search engine for this purpose.

•Overall, 23.14% of the libraries in the sample had offered workshops that included instruction in use of the Yahoo search engine. Nearly half of all public libraries in the sample had offered instruction in use of the Yahoo search engine.

•11.67% of the libraries in the sample have ever offered a course to their patrons on how to use eBay. More than 41% of the public libraries in the sample have offered such a course, as have 29.63% of libraries with budgets of greater than $4.5 million.

•17.36% of the libraries in the sample had a presence on the social networking site Facebook. Interestingly, 25% of non-U.S. libraries in the sample had Facebook pages, far more than the 16.51% of U.S. libraries in the sample. As might be expected of a social networking site that got its start exclusively focused on academia, academic libraries were much more likely than other types of libraries to have a Facebook page. 22.67% of the higher education libraries in the sample have a Facebook presence.

•31.1% of the libraries in the sample had ever purchased an e-book from Amazon. Non-U.S libraries were more likely than U.S. libraries to purchase an e-book from Amazon. Indeed, more than 45% of the non-U.S. libraries in the sample have purchased an e-book from Amazon, while only 29.63% of the U.S. libraries in the sample have made such a purchase.

•Only seven libraries in our sample have digitized and sold digital print on demand copies of out of copyright works or other works for which they have copyright permission, and then have sold these items through online retailers. Of those that have done this, 16.67% sold through Amazon, another 16.67% did this through Google, and 66.67% through some other online bookseller.

•9.24% of the libraries in the sample have one or more YouTube accounts for the library. 16.67% of the non-U.S. libraries in the sample have at least one YouTube account while only 8.41% of the U.S. libraries in the sample had a YouTube account.

•24% of the libraries in the sample use Yahoo Groups. Non-U.S. libraries were far more likely to use Yahoo Groups than the U.S. libraries in the sample; 58.33% of the non-U.S. libraries in the sample use Yahoo Groups, while only 20.2% of U.S. libraries did so.

•20.66% of the libraries in the sample have staff who use Google Docs special productivity tools, including Google spreadsheets, word processing capabilities and other features.

•10.74% of the libraries in the sample not currently using Google Blogger plan to do so in the near future. A quarter of non-U.S. libraries the sample had such plans, as did 9.17% of the U.S. libraries.

The 100 page report presents more than 300 tables of data defining the relationship between libraries and the megasites. For further information visit the website at

Sunday, February 03, 2008

So many Free Computer Classes to choose from!

Choose from Introduction to the Internet at Main on Wednesday February 6th at 10:30 or Open Lab at North Albany on Wednesdays, February 20th & 27th.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Free Income Tax Assistance

Starting on Saturday, February 2 and continuing into April, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will provide free income tax assistance for low-income taxpayers at APL's Main Library. Assistance is on a walk-in basis, no appointments or reservations necessary.
Publication 58 (1/08), Information for Income Tax Return Preparers for tax year 2007.