Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Depository Libraries-GIO: Ask a Librarian

by Barbara Quint

A formal agreement between the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO; www.gpo.gov) and a network of 20 depository libraries has relaunched and expanded the scope of a virtual reference service called Government Information Online: Ask a Librarian (GIO; http://govtinfo.org). Be careful about using the dot-org. Typing "govtinfo.gov" will switch you to the USA.gov site. That may not be too much of a mistake in time. One of the primary strategies of the GIO service is to promote its existence through links from other leading dot-gov sites, such as USA.gov and Thomas. The engineering of such linkages falls mainly to GPO. The depository library participants, led by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and managed by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC; www.cic.net), will handle providing the free chat- and email-based virtual reference service.

Reference librarians from 20 academic, state, and public depository libraries will be available to direct users to information from government agencies, in particular federal, but state, regional, and local agencies as well. The federal government coverage should be consistently strong, as all the libraries involved are federal depositories. Coverage of state and local collections will vary, along with other expertise. John Shuler, project manager and bibliographer for urban planning and government information at UIC, describes the expertise of participant library collections and staff as stretching outside the GPO collection. "We draw on multiple sources and all levels, including specific local expertise. While all have generalized expertise for the federal


Monday, March 24, 2008

Friends will host Walter Auclair

Tuesday, March 25 at 12:15, the Friends will host Walter Auclair, founder of The Sentinel, to review the book by Anthony Lewis, Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment.

One Library Trustee Seat Open for Election

Albany Public Library will be asking City of Albany voters to vote to fill one position on the Library Board of Trustees in the May 20th Albany City School District Election. The vacancy occurred due to the death of longtime Trustee John Bach. The Library Board appointed Lois Parsons to serve as Trustee until the next election. The person elected to this seat will serve the unexpired portion of the term (1 year remaining) commencing at the June 10 meeting of the APL Board.

Any Albany resident who was registered to vote in the November 2007 general election is eligible to run for the Board of Trustees. Candidates must collect a minimum of 101 valid signatures and file their petitions with the Clerk of the City School District of Albany by 4:30 pm on Monday, April 21st. The Library also asks that candidates notify Interim Library Director Tim Burke his/her candidacy by providing copies of their nominating petition to him by the above date and time. Nominating Petitions and instructions may be picked up from Tim Burke at the Main Library.

Detailed information on APL’s May 20th election, including candidate information and polling places, will be posted on the library’s website as it becomes available. If you have questions, please call Interim Library Director Tim Burke at 427-4379 or email burket@uhls.lib.ny.us.

Friday, March 14, 2008

From last night's News Hour on PBS

The Reading Room *
Guest essayist Julia Keller of the Chicago Tribune reflects on the future for public libraries.
Go to http://www.pbs.org/newshour/. In the right-hand column, click on
Reading Room.
-- a really great piece on libraries!

Some quotes:
" ... it's not what you come for [books,computers, dvds] that really counts, it's what you leave with..."

"How we get our knowledge may change, but human nature doesn't. And there is something profoundly consoling about a public library, about a shared space brimming with stories..."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fundraising at APL

From Elissa Kane:

March brings us great news about our fundraising endeavors here at APL.

We've been awarded a two-year support grant from the Gates Foundation for the creation of a laptop lab that will enable library staff to set up remote computer labs at branch libraries and community locations for computer and Internet training.

We've also been awarded $118,000 from the NYS Library Construction fund for repairs to the Main Library infrastructure including replacement of the first floor air conditioning unit (the sprinkler was last year's solution), upgrade to the building-wide electrical system, installation of a fully accessible staff bathroom, replacement of the rear automatic door and, best of all, the matching funds necessary to now renovate the former gallery space on the 2nd floor into the Pruyn Local History Collection.

The Local History Room project is also funded by a very generous $50,000 capital aid grant from Assemblyman Jack McEneny. And finally, the Upper Hudson Library System has granted APL $3,000 toward a new program we're developing to train and employ teens to work in our libraries. We'll certainly be sharing more news when these projects begin to roll out.

Hey, also check out this great workshop by my friend Bill Patrick at the Troy Library (he's the guy who wrote Saving Troy: a year with firefighters and paramedics in a battered city.) Very interesting - very gripping dvd too.

And, as always, we encourage your individual contributions to support the libraries you love.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Project Sunlight

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Want to find out what your state and local elected officials are up to?

New York State has a new Web site that makes that task much easier. It's called Project Sunlight, a Web site created by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo under a law passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Spitzer. It puts better government accountability a click away.

The new Web site strips away the bureaucracy that surrounds much of how public policy is influenced in state government.

There's information on each piece of legislation, which lawmakers are sponsoring it and which lobbyists are supporting or opposing the measure. You can also check on campaign contributions and how much pork-barrel spending lawmakers are getting for their home districts.

The Web site's address is www.sunlightny.com.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Economic stimulus payment update

If you or someone you know that generally does not have to file a 2007 return but must do so for the economic stimulus payment:

Last week, IRS announced that the IRS Free File program is now available for nonfilers who must file a 2007 return to receive an economic stimulus payment.

IR-2008-34 has more information.

Monday, March 03, 2008

IRS info re: the economic stimulus package

The IRS has created a FAQ page regarding the economic stimulus package.

Fundraising Gala for Libraries

Any and all library supporters are invited to attend a banquet and fundraising event on Monday night, March 10, 2008. It will be held at the Holiday Inn Turf on Wolf Road in Albany (205 Wolf Road, Albany, NY) beginning at 6pm. Sponsored by New Yorkers for Better Libraries, a political action committee.

Speakers are Steve Sanders, former chair of the NYS Assembly Education Committee and Marion Roach, contemporary non-fiction writer and commentator on the National Public Radio on the show "All Things Considered."

Your $100 payment includes dinner, 10 raffle tickets, and a contribution to the PAC. Those who have already made a 2008 contribution to the PAC are invited to attend (dinner only) for $50. Pre-registration is required at www.nylibs-pac.net

New Yorkers for Better Libraries Political Action Committee (NYLIBS-PAC) was formed in 2003 by library leaders who believe in the importance of campaign contributions as part of a multi-faceted legislative strategy designed to increase state aid to libraries and library systems.

The mission of the New Yorkers for Better Libraries PAC is to provide financial support to legislators and candidates for state office who are in a position to effectively champion libraries.

Please join NYLIBS-PAC for this special evening to support the library community of New York. Thank you!

NYLA's 2008 Talking Points

NYLA's 2008 Talking Points are now availabe on its website at http://www.nyla.org under Headlines. These are helpful factoids that can assist you in your discussions with state legislators regarding 2008 Budget Priorities - 1) Restoring the $5 million cut in Library Aid, 2) Amending the Contracts for Excellence Initiative, 3) Funding Book Aid.
The Talking Points will also be part of packets handed out on Library Lobby Day.

If you have not already done so, please contact your state legislator in the upcoming days either via NYLA's Online Advocacy Center - go to the website http://www.nyla.org and click on Contact Your Elected Officials - or mail in letter - sample available under Advocacy Tools also on the website.

Revenue projections were announced this week, with the Senate Majority estimating revenues will be $99 million higher than the Governor's projections and the Assembly Majority estimating that revenues will be $615 million lower than the Governor's projections. If they cannot reach an agreement by this Friday, the state Comptroller is authorized to establish revenue numbers (the amount of money the state has to spend in Fiscal Year 2008-09).

Also please make every effort to attend Library Lobby Day (Tuesday, March 11th) this year. A large turnout will be key to persuading state legisaltors and staff to restore the $5 million cut in Library Aid. Visit the Lobby Day page to find out more details and regional coordinators in your area for travel and meeting arrangements.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

March Friends of the Library Events

It's March already with four great Friends Tuesday Noon-Time programs at the Main Library.

On March 4th at 12:15 the Friends present Barbara Spring and Priscilla Fairbank, two Grannies for Peace for a discussion about their personal experiences after a recent trip to Iran with the Fellowship of Reconciliation.