Thursday, December 31, 2009

Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007

Washington, DC- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announces the release of a new research brief, Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007. The brief identifies important changes public libraries have made to address patron needs in an increasingly Internet-centric environment and explores service differences in urban and rural communities.

A comparison of more than 11 years of Public Library Survey data suggests that service changes in U.S. public libraries are having an impact on visitation and circulation, as record numbers of people now use public libraries nationwide. Several findings from the survey include:

* The availability of Internet terminals in public libraries rose sharply between 2000 and 2007, increasing by 90 percent on a per capita basis. This dramatic increase is one example of the way U.S. public libraries are expanding their range of services to meet patron demand.
* Between 1997 and 2007, per capita visits to public libraries increased nationwide by 19 percent. During the same period per capita circulation increased by 12 percent. This growth in demand for library services occurred even as people increasingly turned to the Internet to meet other information needs.
* The study identified very different trajectories between urban and rural communities for select service trends, highlighting the importance of local context for identifying patron needs and improving services.

Future research from the Office of Policy, Planning, Research and Communication will examine library services in a variety of different contexts from small towns and remote rural areas to central cities and suburbs. This type of placed-based analysis can provide important insight into the impact libraries have on their communities, while building a stronger, evidence-based platform for planning library services to meet local needs.

To read the research brief please go here.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about
the Institute, please visit

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Library Hours

All locations of the Albany Public Library will closed by 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 31, 2009, and closed all day Friday, January 1, 2010.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Soft opening for Delaware Branch; party to follow

The new Delaware branch at 331 Delaware Avenue had its "soft" opening yesterday. The Grand Opening Celebration will be Saturday, January 9, 2010.

The party runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Join us for the opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m., plus special events. Refreshments generously provided by hospitality sponsor Price Chopper.

Welcome to Albany 2030

Information about the City of Albany's first comprehensive planning project.
This site will be your source of information for the Albany Comprehensive Plan Update process. We are calling this update process “Albany 2030: Your City, Your Future” because the City of Albany is asking for your vision for your city in 2030, and for your ideas of how to achieve that vision. The Comprehensive Plan will be based upon citizen ideas and input and will connect the City’s existing plans and actions in various neighborhoods and districts into a plan for the City as a whole. This site is one way to get information and to participate in the Albany 2030: Your City, Your Future process. Explore the site to Learn, Share, and Participate!

The Albany 2030: Your City, Your Future Kickoff Community Forum will be held on January 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2010. These three identical events will run for approximately three hours each day (specific times tbd) and will provide participants the chance to discuss Albany's future with their fellow Albany residents and begin to come together around a vision for the City's future. This Forum will use state-of-the-art technology to help synthesize the results of conversations, and allow each person's voice to be equally heard.
Although you can also provide thoughts and ideas online prior to the Forum, please plan on attending one of the Forum sessions and providing your input!

Monday, December 28, 2009

High Check Out Limits

12 accused of filching from Prince George's library shelves, $90,000 in texts resold to bookstores and online, state's attorney says

By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Prince George's County (MD) grand jury has indicted a dozen people on felony theft charges, accusing them of collectively stealing almost $90,000 worth of books from county public libraries, authorities said yesterday.

In a news conference in front of county library headquarters in Hyattsville, State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said the alleged thieves weren't looking to expand their intellectual horizons. The suspects pilfered the books to line their pockets, reselling them to bookstores or on the Internet, Ivey said.

Many of the stolen books are college textbooks, which sell for as much as $200 apiece, Ivey said.

"It's a fair amount of money if you can move enough books," Ivey said.

Books were stolen from 12 of the county's 18 public library branches, officials said.

Investigators think at least three of the alleged thieves were working together and are trying to determine whether the group was bigger, said a law enforcement source...

The 12 suspects are all from Maryland... Ivey and other law enforcement officials said the alleged thieves obtained library cards using their real names, checked out large numbers of books, then sold them instead of returning them. None of the stolen books have been recovered, Ivey said.

"This is a theft from a public trust that all of us take advantage of, especially college students," Ivey said.

Most of the books were checked out between November 2008 and last July, authorities said.

The thieves took advantage of the fact that the county library system allows individuals to check out as many as 75 items -- books, DVDS and CDs -- at a time, officials said...

Camila Alire, president of the American Library Association, said libraries across the country experience theft on a daily basis, "but not to the extent of what's happened in Prince George's County."

Detective Anthony Guerreiro of the Hyattsville Police Department initiated the investigation into the Prince George's thefts in January after a librarian reported suspected thefts, officials said...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

America’s Most Literate Cities

Central Connecticut State University released a ranking of America’s Most Literate Cities 2009.

Drawing from a variety of available data resources, the America’s Most Literate Cities study ranks the largest cities (population 250,000 and above) in the United States. This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources.

One can argue the criteria, but it is interesting.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Albany Public Hours

All locations closed Thursday and Friday, December 24 & 25.
Regular hours resume Saturday, December 26.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Save the Albany YMCA meeting

You may have heard or read that the Downtown Albany YMCA on Washington Avenue is in danger of being closed by the Capital District YMCA board. A neighborhood-based coalition is organizing to save this vital community resource. There will be acommunity meeting Tuesday, Jan. 5th at 6:00pm in the big room at the Main Library on Washington Avenue. Parking in the rear off Elk Street. Please attend and make it clear we are committed to preventing the closing of our YMCA. The more support demonstrated with presence and voices at this meeting, the bigger and clearer message it will send!

The coalition is calling for a task force of stakeholders to study the issues that have lead to this decision and come up with a plan to keep the Downtown Y open.

Here are some other ways you can help: Go to the Save the Albany YMCA Facebook page. While there, you can join the more than 400 people who have already signed on, read the comments and get updates. You can also find a link to an on-line petition to show your support to the Y management, and you can contact us to get copies of a paper petition that you can circulate in your place of worship or neighborhood. You can also find contacts to volunteer for any of the many tasks that organizing requires.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Hollywood Librarian

Attention: All Librarians & Friends of Librarians

"The Hollywood Librarian" is now available on DVD! (In English with optional French and Spanish subtitles)

Order a copy here.

After showing The Hollywood Librarian, numerous audience members came up to me to ask how they could get their own copies to show at their libraries and library schools. The film struck such a chord with them that they strongly felt that it must be seen by others, not only by those in the field, but by lay people as well.
-Tracey Simon, Lynbrook (N.Y.) Public Library

This first full length documentary film to focus on the work and lives of librarians gathers hundreds of examples of librarians and libraries from Hollywood - from Sophie's Choice to the Desk Set and on to The Shawshank Redemption. As the website blurb says - "some [are] positive, some negative, some laughable and some dead wrong".
Interviews with dozens of real librarians are interwoven with these make-believe portrayals, opening up discussion on the things we, as a profession, care about - from the value of reading to intellectual freedom.

As the film unfolds, we will meet the dedicated children's librarian, the witty library director, the high-tech corporate librarian, the smart medical librarian, and the dedicated cataloger. We visit a prison literacy program, an elementary school library and a town faced with the most severe library crisis in decades. We will show the challenges created by shrinking financial support and increased
materials costs. We will encounter older librarians who have witnessed the explosion of technology and younger librarians, who were born into the information age. We will travel to large library systems with dozens of staff and visit small libraries with one librarian working alone.

For more information please visit

Friday, December 18, 2009

National Center for Education Statistics

If you're looking for a source of education-related statistics, visit the Institute of Education Sciences' National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

NCES is part of the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. It is the primary organization that collects, analyzes, and reports on education-related data in the United States. NCES reports complete statistics on the condition of American education and education activities internationally.

In addition to education statistics, NCES also provides other tools, such as the ability to search for schools, colleges, and libraries, or use the college navigator to identify schools that best meet the user's criteria.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And now for something completely different

You see, I don't believe that libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence. That's been the main reason for our policy of hiring wild animals as librarians. - Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

State Librarian's Update #7

State Budget: What a shocker! After months of press reports demonstrating and lauding increased library use around the state and the critical library role helping people in hundreds of ways to deal with today’s economic challenges, the final “Deficit Reduction Plan” included a 12.5% cut in the remaining library state aid programs! This means a cut of just under 5% of this year’s State Aid to Libraries budget. Over twenty months time library aid support has been reduced from $102 million to $87 million -- now equal to funding support in 1998. The 12.5% reduction was part of across-the-board cuts to a wide range of local assistance programs including social services, health care, aging, mental hygiene, transit and higher education. While libraries were not singled out for these cuts, their impact on the
library community is substantial and for some, devastating! While I know there are many points of view on the matter, it should be noted that some believe that these cuts were necessary to avoid raising taxes and fees and will result in saving jobs as well as “reforming government”. One State Senator wrote to his constituents,
describing the legislative actions as reducing the deficit “without tax-hiking mid-year school cuts”. He added, “ is no time for celebration”.

So…what is it time for!? Turn your concerns into action. Communicate with your legislators. Tell them your stories. Be sure that your customers know of the impact of these funding cuts and know how to contact their elected officials. Rather than closing your doors, I suggest something more in keeping with our commitment to service like turning your lights and computers off for a day AND REMAINING OPEN to
the public. Can we use this as a further chance to educate our local officials as well as legislators about our programs and how indispensable they are? Can we demonstrate that libraries of every type are tools for economic recovery? Can we turn the lemons into lemonade? I actually like brownies better than lemonade. Can we turn the lemons into brownies?!

ARIA Setback: Legislation to support the use of economic development funds to assist research and academic institutions in purchasing expensive and specialized database resources was vetoed by the Governor. Despite overwhelming legislative support, the ARIA legislation will not become law. The Governor, in his veto message, welcomed the idea and appears supportive of discussions to incorporate the ARIA proposal into next year’s budget. The New York State Higher Education Initiative
(NYSHEI) will be pushing hard to move the concept forward.

Broadband Stimulus Funding: We still are waiting to learn if the two federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant requests from the State Library/State Education Department will be funded. With a huge number of applicants for funds for both ‘Public Computing Centers’ and ‘Sustainable Adoption’ programs, it is no surprise that the feds have delayed any announcements. The beginning of November was the latest announcement target. Now we have learned that it could be
as late as February 2010. We appreciate your patience. In the meantime, we are assessing whether we should gear-up for a Round Two funding application. We do not yet know what the criteria or requirements will be. The New York State Library has developed a website to help libraries preparing applications for federal stimulus broadband funds for anticipated funding in 2010. If we apply for Round Two funds, we will want to again apply for a statewide initiative. Please tell me if you are interested in participating. More fun awaits.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Helps: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new grant to the New York State Library of $947,517 on December 1. The State Library will use these foundation funds to execute a statewide broadband plan to improve and maintain Internet connections in 70 eligible local libraries. New York has partnered with the foundation since early 2009 to develop strategies for
upgrading and sustaining Internet connections in public libraries beyond 1.5 mbps, as well as raising federal E-rate participation rates among libraries. New York was one of seven states with a high number of libraries without high-speed Internet access that were struggling to increase their bandwidth for customers.

Risk Taking: The popular and business press is filled with discussion about ‘risk’. The genesis of this I am sure is the perilous economic times in which we find ourselves. It might also be the concerns about the impact of the H1N1 strain of the flu, or the ever-present concerns about terrorism. Clearly we live in a world with risk. What is there to learn from this discussion about risk for the world of libraries? Are libraries at risk? Should we be taking more risks? The latest Harvard
Business Review (October 2009) might give you some insights from the business/management world perspective about risk. Read ahead for a librarian’s perspective. From the library world view, most people see the intersection of libraries and politics as the riskiest. This intersection occurs every time a library places an issue on the ballot for public election. The remarkable news is that an assessment by the Library Development staff at the State Library shows that over the last three years 97.7% of ALL library election requests were positively
approved by voters. (See here for the full statistic review). This is phenomenal! Library budgets, budget increases, building projects and the creation of library districts have all been approved. I hope that every public policymaker is aware of the deep support for libraries from voters in diverse communities around the
state. I know of no other community institution which commands this level of support ….and respect. Of course, this is also informative for library boards and trustees considering public votes. Simply stated, there is not much risk. Go for it!

In libraries one of the other major threads around the topic of risk is concern for the preservation and conservation of collections. We are losing our patrimony as our collections age and our resources do not keep pace with the requirements for storage, conversion to other formats (including digitization), and preservation. And, of significant note, is the loss of the records of the formative years of the latest technology revolution. Many of the records of the Internet (the world’s largest and most extensive copy and distribution machine) are already gone. How can we better deal with this risk? Awareness is a key part of the education process. Are there collaborative ways of dealing with the serious work at hand? You might want to review the results of a recent survey of New York cultural institutions concerning their preservation needs which will shape a new statewide preservation plan.

New York State Center for the Book: I am very pleased and excited that the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book under the wonderful leadership of John Cole has given the nod for the New York State Center for the Book to move from its long-time home at the Syracuse University Libraries to a new roost at the New York Library Association. Suzanne Thorin, University Librarian, and Pamela McLaughlin, Director of
Communications and External Relations and Executive Director of the Center for the Book, have given great support to the Center at Syracuse.
As the Center for the Book moves, it joins NYLA’s initiative to create the Empire State Book Festival. The first festival will be April 9th and 10th, 2010 at the Empire State Plaza adjacent to the New York State Library in Albany. This is a great synergy and affords the chance for a broad statewide celebration of books, writers, readers, publishers, librarians and all who care about books. Mark your calendars for April 9th and 10th. Over 60 authors have already signed on to be part of the
1st Annual Empire State Book Festival. Congratulations and thanks to Michael Borges and NYLA for these important initiatives.
The Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL): A major transition is occurring with the Talking Book and Braille Library at the State Library. Not only have we transitioned to a new internal computer operating system for managing the services provided, but we have also begun the first distribution of “new” digital machines and begun the first downloading of online talking books. Thousands of readers
(listeners) will be receiving new (much smaller and lighter weight) machines on which to play books and magazines. This important service is available free to anyone who cannot read ‘normal’ print or who cannot hold a book. It is easy to get signed up. If you know of individuals who would benefit from this great service, please contact TBBL. Contact via telephone is (518) 474-5935 or toll free at
1-800-342-3688 or e-mail: If you are a resident of New York City, please contact the Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library at (212) 206-5400; TDD: (212) 206-5458; email: or if you live on Long Island, contact: Long Island Talking Book Library (LITBL), phone: (631) 286-1600; TDD (631)
286-4546. .

Libraries and Elections: I recently presented testimony at a legislative hearing hosted by the Assembly Committee on Elections joined by the Committee on Education and the Committee on Libraries and Education Technology. We are fortunate to have the Assembly’s only professional librarian, Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman, (Brooklyn-D) serving as the Election Committee Chair. She was joined by Library
Committee Chair Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton and for a brief time by Education Committee Chair Catherine T. Nolan as well as other committee members. The focus of the hearing was the impact of the shift from lever style voting machines to the new technologies for voting being required by the federal government. Of course, libraries are the locations used in many communities for voting and at least are usually the site for the library’s own elections. While I shared concerns about the cost implications of the new technology for libraries, I also volunteered all
of the state’s libraries for a job in which we successfully participated decades ago: helping to educate voters to the new technologies for voting. Gauging by the reactions to my testimony, some people were surprised that I would volunteer libraries for this critical civic education role. I was pleased with the opportunity to share the belief and practice that an informed citizenry is essential to democracy
and is the very reason that a vibrant, well supported system of libraries is required for our democracy to operate and flourish. You will be hearing more about the changes in how we vote and I hope that every library can be a place where citizens can get reliable information on voting - and more!

Details, Details: The devil is in the details is an often-noted phrase to alert us to the numerous requirements for effective living. This is intended to be a friendly reminder about some of the details that are part of the world of New York’s public library operations. You will find much of this information in the “Library Trustee Handbook” which is available on the State Library’s website.

● Trustees of ALL public (but not association) libraries, whether appointed or elected, must take oaths of office and file paperwork within thirty days to verify their oath-taking (see here for more details).
● Notices of public and association library board meetings must be publicly posted (including online) at least 72 hours before a meeting is set to begin (see here for
more details on open meetings law).
● Library board meetings must be open to the public except for a few circumstances under which a closed session can be held.
● Library charters (legal incorporation), issued and approved by the Board of Regents, must be reflective of actual service areas and governance structure.

All Library Boards should have up-to-date bylaws and ensure that the library is in compliance with minimum standards (CR 90.2).

New York Kids Do Love Summer Reading: I was so excited to see that 1.5 million young people participated in the 2009 Statewide Summer Reading Program! Many thanks to those of you who worked so hard to make this happen. Working with our public library system partners, there are several surprises in store for Summer 2010 including a new “brand” for Summer Reading at New York Libraries and an online registration system. Something fun to look forward to in the New Year!

Reading for the Holidays: We are fortunate to live in a state where over 170 languages (based on the latest U.S. Census) are spoken every day. The diversity of language and culture is also reflected in a wide range of spiritual and religious beliefs with this time of year being the focus of celebration and ceremony for those of many faiths. I share with you my wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season filled with every good wish for yourself and those you love. I want to encourage you
to extend the tradition of reading to all your holiday festivities. Read a story. Tell a story. Read aloud to your children and friends or invite them to read to you. If your holiday traditions do not already include reading or storytelling, you can start that tradition now. Reading enriches lives and is a gift without cost. Happy holidays!

Bernard A. Margolis
State Librarian
New York State Library

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NYS Library Public Services Assistant Position

Position Announcement at the New York State Library

The Public Services Assistant will work with the general public in the Electronic Reference Station (ERS) area of the New York State Library assisting individuals in searching the Library’s online catalog, the Internet, and the Library’s many online databases. The candidate will also assist in the evaluation of databases, which may include helping to draft instruction sheets. Other duties can include assisting in updating the Internet bibliographies on the State Library’s web site and working with publishers to keep the e-journal list updated.

Qualifications, Hours & Compensation

Positions are open to matriculated SISP graduate students. Students can work up to a maximum of 20 hours a week. Attendance is flexible within the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

The rate of pay is $13.00 per hour.


The ERS is on the public floor and requires being able to work with a wide variety of members of the general public including children as well as experienced researchers. There are over 100 different databases available at the ERS that require the use of over 30 different types of software. ERS staff must be able to assist patrons in whichever databases are appropriate to answer their questions. They, working with the Reference Desk staff, are the primary staff who assist the public in using the Library’s electronic resources.

Established in 1818, the New York State Library is one of the oldest and largest state libraries in the nation and the only state library to qualify for membership in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
It ranks among the top 125 largest libraries in the United States and Canada.

The State Library is a modern public research facility for the government, people, and libraries of New York State.

To Apply
For further information contact Stephanie Barrett or Jane Pinder by e-mail at or by telephone at (518) 474-2274.

Part-time Library Assistant Position Albany Public Library

Albany Public Library
Part Time Position Available
Library Assistant - Branch Services Department

*Note: This position will be filled as a PROVISIONAL Civil Service appointment. The appointee will be required to qualify for permanent appointment to this position when the next classification test is offered.

General Statement of Duties: Under the supervision of the Head of Branch Services provides library services to the public in the branch services department.

Classification: Library Assistant

Job Description:
Employees in this classification in the Branch Services Department routinely participate in the following activities: provides assistance to customers using the public computers including routine computer usage and printing questions, provides directional assistance in the use of library facilities and collections, answers and directs telephone calls, reserves requested materials, and performs various stack maintenance tasks related to the collection. In addition to these routine activities, Library Assistants may also be involved with the promotion the use of library materials through displays, planning and conducting programs under the supervision of higher-level staff in the department, and providing instruction to the public in the use of library resources and other tasks of a similar nature as necessary. On the job training is provided under the supervision of higher-level staff.

Required Skills and Abilities: This position requires strong interpersonal skills, particularly tact and courtesy in dealing with the public and coworkers, basic computer skills, a working knowledge of general library operations, the ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions, flexibility in work schedule, a good sense of humor, and a positive work attitude. Ability to work as part of a team is a must.

Minimum Qualifications: Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a Bachelor's Degree.

Work Schedule: A combination of day, evening and weekend hours totaling
18.5 hrs. per week is required.

Supervisor: Head of Branch Services
Salary: $15.64 per hour
Deadline: Until filled
Apply to: Patrice M. Hollman, Head of Branch Services for Bach, Delaware and Howe
331 Delaware Avenue
Albany, NY 12209

Albany Public Library is an AA/EO institution and is strongly and actively committed to increasing diversity within its organization.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Citizens for Public Transportation Meeting

Citizens for Public Transportation will meet Wednesday, December 16 at 7:00 PM at the Albany Public Library, Washington Avenue. Albany County Supervisor Michael breslin has been invited to attend and address current bus concerns.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Melvil Dewey!

How one library pioneer profoundly influenced modern librarianship.

SLA Name Will Stay: Alignment of Association to Continue

Alexandria, Virginia, December 10, 2009- The Special Libraries Association (SLA) announced the results of its association-wide vote on a new name today. Voting in record numbers, SLA members failed to approve a proposal to change the organization’s name to the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals. 50 percent of those members eligible to vote participated in the referendum, with 2071 voting yes and 3225 voting no.

“The active discussions, online and in local meetings, are a testament to the passion and commitment that knowledge and information professionals feel towards their association and their profession,” said Gloria Zamora, SLA 2009 President. “This level of engagement will help make SLA and its members more effective advocates for the information profession in the years ahead.”

The name change proposal stemmed from the findings of the Alignment Project, an intensive two-year research effort aimed at understanding the value of the information and knowledge professional in today’s marketplace and how to best communicate that value. “Our name will remain,” Zamora continued, “but we will go forward with developing opportunities for our members to use the Alignment findings to demonstrate their contributions to the organizations that employ them.”

“Information and knowledge professionals are critical assets to the organizations that employ them, yet their contributions and capabilities are too often underestimated,” said SLA CEO Janice R. Lachance. “The findings of the Alignment Project research will guide SLA in developing services and programs that will more successfully position these professionals in the marketplace and attract the recognition and compensation they deserve.”

About SLA
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a nonprofit global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners. SLA serves about 11,000 members in 75 countries in the information profession, including corporate, academic, and government information specialists. SLA promotes and strengthens its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives. For more information, visit us on the Web at

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers

From the Global Information Industry Center:

In 2008, Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours, an average of almost 12 hours per day. Consumption totaled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power bytes, a million million gigabytes. These estimates are from an analysis of more than 20 different sources of information, from very old (newspapers and books) to very new (portable computer games, satellite radio, and Internet video). Information at work is not included.

We defined "information" as flows of data delivered to people and we measured the bytes, words, and hours of consumer information. Video sources (moving pictures) dominate bytes of information, with 1.3 zettabytes from television and approximately 2 zettabytes of computer games. If hours or words are used as the measurement, information sources are more widely distributed, with substantial amounts from radio, Internet browsing, and others. All of our results are estimates.

Previous studies of information have reported much lower quantities.

Monday, December 07, 2009

What a Party!

Oh, yeah, I was THERE!!

From Stephanie Simon, Albany Public Library

The Pine Hills neighborhood welcomed the new library with open arms Saturday. Despite the snow that fell throughout the day, the library was packed with people all afternoon. Customers of all ages explored the fully renovated library, worked on the 24 public access computers, checked out the 50,000 materials, and marveled at the interior design and architectural features.

The celebration found neighbors of all ages nibbling on refreshments, enjoying musical entertainment, hearing welcoming remarks from library and city leaders, and watching a ribbon cutting ceremony by Pine Hills story time children.

It was a wonderful event and everyone at the library wishes to thank the Pine Hills community for its ongoing and enthusiastic support!!

Now that we have one library open, there are still four more to go. The next neighborhood library in line -- the Delaware Branch Library at 331 Delaware Avenue -- is expected to open to the public later this month. The Delaware grand opening celebration is set for Saturday, January 9. Stay tuned for more details!

Friday, December 04, 2009

First Friday Comes to Main

Another cool event this weekend -- a First Friday author reading/signing, concert, and art reception at the Main Library from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4.

Local author Vincent Zandri will read from his new book Moonlight Falls and then switch gears to play drums with his band the Blisterz. The event also features travel photography by Gene Damm from his journeys through China and Tibet.

The after-hours First Friday event at the Main Library is free and open to the public.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

NORAD sees Ol' St. Nick when he's sleeping, knows when he's awake.

Children of all ages are now able to track Santa live through a variety of social media services and OnStar, thanks to updates to the North American Aerospace Defense Command's annual Santa tracking public service.

New this year, children and the young-at-heart can track Santa through mobile devices and the Internet via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and OnStar. To follow Santa on these Web sites, users should type @noradsanta into the search engine. Dedicated Santa trackers who are also OnStar subscribers can follow the jolly old elf in their vehicles by pushing the blue OnStar button to get status reports on Santa’s whereabouts.

The NORAD Tracks Santa Web site,, is now live and features holiday games and activities that change daily. The Web site is available in seven languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese. On Dec. 24, the Web site will stream videos, captured by NORAD “Santa Cams,” from cities along Santa’s journey.

More here: NORAD enhances Santa tracking abilities.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Upper Madison Neighborhood Tree Lighting

What: Upper Madison Neighborhood Tree Lighting
Followed by a reception at Pine Hills ES

When: Wednesday, December 2, 7 p.m.
Where: In front of Center Square Police Station, on "the Point"

Who: Pine Hills ES Chorus and PTA; Pine Hills, New Albany, and Manning Blvd. neighborhood associations; Upper Madison merchants

Why: Celebrate the holidays with neighbors and community school

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


(Part I, plus Hallelujah Chorus)

Saturday December 5 at 3 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 21 Hackett Blvd, Albany

Bring your score or borrow one!
Susan Harwood, soprano
Erica Sparrow, mezzo
Douglas Schmolze, tenor
Stephen Dahlin, bass
Edward Heffron, organ
Steven Rosenberry, conductor

Admission $10. Reception following.

Further information 463-2257. Plentiful free parking. Wheelchair accessible.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nominations sought for Labor Award

The American Library Association's Reference & User Services Association is seeking nominations for the 2010 John Sessions Memorial Award recognizing library contributions to the labor community.

The award, a plaque supported by a donation from the AFL-CIO, recognizes a library or library system that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and has consequently brought recognition of the history and contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. The award is named for John Sessions, former American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) co-chair of the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups.

Those interested in submitting a nomination can download the nomination form from the awards section of the RUSA website or request the form from Liz Markel, RUSA Marketing Specialist or from Bobray Bordelon, chairperson for the award committee. All nominations must be received by Dec. 15.

Recent award recipients include the U.S. Department of Labors Wirtz Labor Library (2009) for its efforts in supporting the history and contribution of the labor movement in the United States by both maintaining unique and historically significant collections, including rare international material, and making this material accessible to the broader public; The Walter P.
Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., (2008) for its No Greater Calling online resource chronicling the influence and history of Walter P. Reuther, an American labor union leader; and the James B. Carey Library at the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. (2007) for its role as a resource for in-depth and specialized information resources and service to the labor community.

Past winners with recent, new contributions are encouraged to apply.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Librarian's Guide on How to Use the American Community Survey Multiyear Estimates

You will find a link to this 12-page guide here (12 pp, PDF).

It will explain some of what librarians and other data users need to do to provide
quality service for ACS data, including:

* "Cherry-picking" data from different surveys - a bad practice
* Questions of currency versus reliability
* Adjustments for inflation
* Comparing ACS multiyear estimates with each other
* Comparing ACS data with Census 2000 and Census 2010 data
* Four types of sampling errors
* Four types of non-sampling errors
* Data Swapping
* and more

May you find it useful.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pine Hills Grand Opening

From Elissa Kane, APL:

It's quite incredible that after four years of community meetings, bonding, design and construction - Albany libraries are beginning to open to the public! We hope you'll join us for the momentous community occasion. We appreciate all you've done to make this happen for our city and we invite you to:

Join Us in Celebrating!!!

The Grand Opening of Albany’s New Pine Hills Branch Library
Saturday, December 5, from 1 to 5 p.m.
*Ribbon cutting ceremony starts at 2 p.m.*
517 Western Avenue 459-3180

The fully renovated Pine Hills Branch Library is a wonderful addition to this energetic Albany neighborhood. We hope that you can join us to celebrate the revival of one of the city’s great public spaces. The Pine Hills grand opening party is a true community celebration, so we kindly ask you to share this invitation with your friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

The Pine Hills Branch Library grand opening celebration features:
• Welcome and ribbon cutting
• Family entertainment
• Fun giveaways
• Craft activities for kids
• Refreshments generously provided by hospitality sponsor Price Chopper Supermarkets

Please feel free to forward this to you friends, colleagues and neighbors.


The New York State Board of Regents has appointed John Hammond, Dionne Mack-Harvin, Mary Muller and Louise Sherby to the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries. The term for Mr. Hammond, who is filling an unfulfilled term, will be until 2011; terms for Ms. Mack-Harvin, Ms. Muller and Ms. Sherby will be until 2014.

John Hammond is the Executive Director of the Northern New York Library Network in Potsdam, NY. Prior to this appointment, he was the Associate Director of the Kansas City, MO Public Library. He earned his Masters of Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University. In 1998, Mr. Hammond won the New York Library Association Outstanding Service Award, and in 2001 served as NYLA President. In 2003, Mr. Hammond founded the New Yorkers for Better Libraries Political Action Committee, and now serves as its Treasurer. He currently serves as the President
of the North Country Library System in Watertown, NY and as the convener of the Steering Committee of the New York Alliance of Library Systems.

Ms. Dionne Mack-Harvin is the Executive Director of the Brooklyn Public Library. Prior to her appointment in March 2007, Ms. Mack-Harvin served as the library’s Interim Executive Director and Chief of Staff. She earned her Masters of Library Science at the University at Albany. In 2009, Ms. Mack-Harvin was recognized as one of The Network Journal’s “40 Under 40 Dynamic Achievers.” She is a 2008 recipient of the Brooklyn Reading Council’s Friend of Literacy Award and a 2008 honoree of Crain’s New York Business “40 Under 40” leaders in the business world.

Ms. Muller is the President of the Board of Trustees at the Troy Public Library and is employed at Market Block Books in Troy, NY Prior to this, she administered U.S. Government library programs in Latin America, Europe, and Asia over a 22-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service. She earned her Masters of Library Science at the University of Michigan. Ms. Muller is the Vice President of the Upper Hudson Library System Board, serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Retarded Citizens (ARC) of Rensselaer County and is Vice President of the League of Women Voters, Rensselaer Chapter.

Ms. Sherby served as the Associate Dean and Chief Librarian at Hunter College Libraries, City University of New York from 1996-2009 and is on sabbatical leave for this academic year. Prior to this, Ms. Sherby was the Assistant Director for Public Services at the Miller Nichols Library at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She received her Doctorate of Library Science at Columbia University. She served as Chair of the New York Higher Education Initiative (NYSHEI) 2006-07, and as Associate Dean served on the Council of Chief Librarians, City University of New York, and on the Dean’s Council at Hunter College. She is currently on the Editorial Board of Urban Library Journal.

Other members of the Council are: Barbara Hamlin, Wood Library Board
of Trustees, Canandaigua; Jill Hurst-Wahl, Hurst Associates, Syracuse; Sara Kelly Johns, Lake Placid Middle/Senior High School, Lake Placid; Tim Johnson, New York University Libraries, New York City; John Monahan, Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES, Yorktown Heights; Gerald Nichols, Palmer Institute for Public Library Organization and Management, Brookville; Bridget Quinn-Carey, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo; and Sam Simon, Ramapo Catskill Library System Board of Trustees, South Nyack. Ellen Bach, David Ferriero, Norm Jacknis, and Lucretia McClure have completed their five-year terms with distinction, leading the Regents Advisory Council efforts to provide information about New York’s libraries to legislators and other decision makers.

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries works with the officers of the State Education Department in developing a comprehensive statewide library and information policy, and makes recommendations to the Regents concerning the implementation of the program. The Council is broadly representative of libraries and statewide constituencies served by the New York State Library. For more information about the Regents Advisory Council, visit the State Library’s website at:

Nominations for future appointments to the Council are welcomed by the State Education Department. They should be sent to the Office of the State Librarian, New York State Library, Room 10C34 Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York 12230.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NYLA/GIRT "Notable Document" nomination deadline

This message is being posted to NYLINE and NYSDOC:

The New York Library Association Government Information Roundtable (NYLA/GIRT) is seeking nominations for the Notable New York Document Award. This award honors government agencies that have produced notable documents distributed through the New York State Documents Depository Program. We need your help in identifying nominees. Categories to look for include reference publications, informational documents, and notable agency efforts (need not be limited to a specific document).

Is the document useful, informative, logically and attractively presented, innovative? These and other qualities can be considered in choosing nominees.

Additional information about the award, including previous winners, can be found on the NYLA web site.

A nomination form may be printed off the web, or requested from Mary Redmond via email or at (518) 474-5957, and must be submitted by December 31, 2009.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Title II of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Takes Effect

On November 21, 2009 Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) took effect. GINA prohibits discrimination by health insurers and employers based on individuals' genetic information. Genetic information includes the results of genetic tests to determine whether someone is at increased risk of acquiring a condition (such as some forms of breast cancer) in the future, as well as a person's family medical history. For more information about Title I provisions of the law relating to health coverage read The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: Information for Researchers and Health Care Professionals.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving closing

All locations of APL will close at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, 11/25 and will be closed all day Thursday, 11/26 and Friday, 11/27 for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Albany County H1N1 Vaccination Clinic

Sunday, November 22nd ‐‐ 10:00am to 4:30pm
Times Union Center in Albany, NY
Free Parking Available in Times Union Center Garage

Tuesday, November 24th ‐‐ 3:30pm to 7:00pm
Berne Knox Westerlo Elementary School
1738 Helderberg Trail (Rt 443), Berne

FREE H1N1 vaccines will be provided to Albany County residents in the following target groups:
* Persons aged 4 – 24 years
* Persons aged 25 ‐ 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu‐related complications
* Persons 4 years and older who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months old (e.g. parents, siblings and daycare providers)
* Pregnant women
* Health‐care and emergency medical services personnel

At this time, the Albany County Health Department does not have vaccine for children 6 months through three years of age.

Pre‐registration is required online at or by phone at (518) 447‐4505
Phones open Monday‐Friday, 8:30am‐4:30pm

Online registration for each clinic will close at midnight the day before the scheduled clinic date.

These two clinics are only for the target groups listed above. Additional clinics will be held for County residents as more vaccine becomes available. For more information, go to or call the Albany County Flu Line at 518‐447‐4505.

Pine Hills Library is Open!

From Stephanie Simon
Albany Public Library

Yes it's true. The Pine Hills Branch Library is open!

We quietly opened the doors to the public on Monday at noon, and quickly saw people streaming through the doors to check out the new materials, computers, furniture, and spaces the fully renovated library has to offer.

Our customers were thrilled to be back in their favorite neighborhood library and to see the dramatic changes it underwent during the renovation process. We heard so many great comments, including:
"I'm enjoying this!"
"I feel like I'm in a candy store!"
"It is wonderful, and your staff is equally as wonderful."
"Wow. This is beautiful."

The completely renovated library features: a 50,000-piece collection of books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and audio books; 24 public access computers; building-wide Wi-Fi; two community meeting rooms; three small-group study rooms; separate spaces for teens, children, and adults; an open and airy floor plan; reading nooks, study tables, and computer desks throughout the two-story building; and "green" energy efficient and cost effective building systems.

The Pine Hills branch is located at 517 Western Avenue. The temporary phone number is 459-3180.

The library's hours are:
Monday noon to 8 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday noon to 8 p.m.
Thursday noon to 6 p.m.
Friday noon to 6 p.m.
Saturday 1 to 5 p.m.

We are hosting a grand opening celebration--including a ribbon cutting ceremony, refreshments, entertainment, activities, and giveaways--for the entire neighborhood on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Come check out the new Pine Hills Branch Library and explore what's in it for you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LeBrun event canceled

Unfortunately, due to illness, the Fred LeBrun event originally scheduled for Nov 19 by the Writers Institute as part of UAlbany's Hudson 400 program, has been canceled. The Institute will re-schedule the event in its spring series. Look to the NYSWI website for further information, which will be posted at the end of the fall term.

Meeting Wednesday to discuss CDTA cuts

Councilman Dominick Calsolaro (Albany, First Ward) will be the guest speaker a meeting Wednesday of Citizens for Public Transportation.

Calsolaro said he was asked to discuss recent cutbacks at the Capital District Transportation Authority and the elimination of stops on numerous routes throughout the region...

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Albany Public Library's main branch at 161 Washington Ave.

Read more here.

Fall 2009 JLAMS Now Available

The Fall 2009 issue of JLAMS, the peer reviewed electronic journal from the Library Administration and Management Section of the New York Library Association, is available on the LAMS web site here.

If you think you might be interested in submitting an article to JLAMS, please send an email to editor Richard Naylor at or give him a call at 518.810.0316 to discuss it.

At the web site you can also find out how to submit articles, volunteer to be a Referee, and about other LAMS initiatives.
Articles in the issue include:
*** Public Library Collaborative Collection Development for Print Resources by Matthew Roslund and Rebecca Nous.
*** Planning Your Library Vote By Libby Post
*** Anatomy of one public library’s response to the devastating flood of 2006 by Mary Grace Flaherty, MS, MLS
*** The Evaluation of Use of Electronic Resources and Services in Academic Libraries: A Study of E-metrics and Related Methods for Measurement and Assessment by By Dr. Kanu A. Nagra

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One Step Closer to Opening New Libraries

From self-described bookworm Stephanie Simon, Albany Public Library

It's been a whirlwind of activity at Albany Public Library these past few months. We're really kicking into high gear with the opening of our first new library--Pine Hills--very shortly. In preparation for opening the doors, we have been finalizing staffing plans, training on new systems, installing computers, tweaking the collection, and lots of last minute items.

New Branch Hours Established

The library Board of Trustees approved a new set of branch hours at its meeting Nov. 10. As requested by many customers, all branches will have the same hours and they will be open year-round on Saturdays. The new hours (which total 40 hours per week) are:

Monday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday 10 am. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Customers have also asked for expanded hours at the branches. As we open the five new libraries over the next six months, we will be evaluating the changes these new locations are creating across the library system. Our goal is to responsibly and intelligently expand hours as we better understand how you use the new libraries.

To Open, We Must Close

With work nearing completion on the new Delaware and Howe Branch Libraries, we are ready to close the current branches serving those neighborhoods.

The current Delaware branch (at 485 Delaware Avenue) will have its last day of service on Saturday, Nov. 14. The new Delaware branch (at 331 Delaware Avenue) will open its doors in December. A grand opening celebration is planned for Saturday, Jan. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The transitional Howe branch (at the Albany Housing Authority building on South Pearl Street) will have its last day of service on Saturday, Nov. 21. The fully renovated Howe library (at Schuyler and Broad Streets) is planned to open in February. A grand opening celebration (to be announced soon) will be held at Howe too.

Staff from both of these locations will be busy getting their newly renovated branch libraries ready to open the doors to the public. The transformations of these two buildings is amazing. We can't wait for you to see them both!

Sneak Preview of Delaware & Pine Hills

The verdict is in...people are loving our new Albany libraries! Several dozen library supporters got their first chance to see the fully renovated Delaware and Pine Hills Branch Libraries at a recent special sneak preview fund raiser hosted by the Library Foundation.

As people toured the not-yet-open libraries, we heard the same words over and over again: beautiful, welcoming, comfortable, well-designed, innovative, wonderful. Once you get a chance to see these buildings, I think you'll like them too!

At Pine Hills, attendees got to check out the brand new Dewey-free collection of books. And a few youngsters had their first chance to look through the fully stocked children's collection. Everyone will get to see the new Pine Hills when doors open very soon (sometime this month). A special grand opening party at Pine Hills--including a ribbon cutting, entertainment, refreshments, and giveaways--is set for Saturday, Dec. 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. Please join us to celebrate the grand opening of Albany's newest library!

As you can see, the changes are coming fast and furious now. Our branch library hours are set, Pine Hills will be open in a matter of days, and Delaware's opening is right around the corner in December. Stay tuned for more updates on all the great happenings at Albany's new neighborhood libraries!

Friday, November 13, 2009

25th anniversary of the Writers Institute

Please come to a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany, at 8:00p on Monday, November 16 in Page Hall on the downtown campus.

Former New York State Governor Mario Cuomo and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak at this celebration. The event will also feature a short video highlighting the Writers Institute's history and memorable guests and events, as well as the release of the first ten selections of the Institute's list of "25 Uniquely New York Books."

In 1984, Governor Mario Cuomo signed into law the legislation creating the Writers Institute, giving it a mandate to provide "a milieu for established and aspiring writers to work together... to increase the artistic imagination." Under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winner and UAlbany Professor of English, William Kennedy, the Institute has hosted over 1,000 visiting writer appearances, screened over 400 films, and presented dozens of writing workshops, symposia, and special events, making it one of the premier literary arts organizations in the country.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Water First film

WATER FIRST: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals
Screening of documentary film by Amy Hart
Q&A with special guest, Charles Banda, founder Freshwater Project Malawi
Sunday, November 15 at 4:00 pm
Madison Theatre, 1040 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY
Contact: Jean Quattrocchi 518-424-7980

4,000 children died today because they couldn’t get a clean drink of water.
One man is determined to do something about it.

Through the inspiring story of Charles Banda, Amy Hart’s award-winning film, Water First: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), conveys the critical importance of clean water and sanitation in achieving all of the United Nations’ MDGs and relieving global poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and other impoverished regions of the world.

• "Water First gets to the heart of the global water and sanitation crisis.”
- David Douglas, President, Water Advocates
• “Water First is a powerful look at the problem of failing to meet basic human needs for water, and the fantastic efforts underway by dedicated heroes trying to solve that problem.”
– Peter Gleick, President, Pacific Institute, Author, The World’s Water

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and special guest, Charles Banda, the founding director of Freshwater Project Malawi, a small, grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to providing clean water and sanitation to the people of Malawi, one of the ten poorest countries in the world. Since its founding, Freshwater Project has constructed more than 2,000 wells and 5,0000 pit latrines – serving more than 1 million people. In 2008 Freshwater Project was acknowledged by UNICEF as an exemplary water NGO.

In Malawi, Africa, more than half of the population struggles to survive without access to clean water. Women and young girls get up at 4:00 in the morning and walk long distances to haul water from murky rivers or mud holes in the ground. The result is high incidences of waterborne diseases, and the unnecessary death of 1 in 7 children under the age of five.

Banda advocates using a ‘social work’ approach to water interventions that promotes community empowerment and sustainability of the projects. Audiences will delight in his good humor and accessible manner as he answers questions about how he came to be one of East Africa’s leading watermen from his very humble beginnings as an orphan growing up in a village without any water.

Admission: free and open to the public

Malawi Freshwater Project:
Film homepage and trailer:
Film distribution, reviews and awards:


Charles Banda is the founder and executive director of Freshwater Project Malawi, a local, grassroots NGO dedicated to providing water and basic sanitation to the people of Malawi, one of the ten poorest nations in the world. Since 1995, Freshwater Project has installed more than 2,000 and 5,000 pit latrines through comprehensive community-based initiatives that aim to empower the people and provide a sense of ownership that promotes sustainability of the projects. In 2008 Freshwater Project was acknowledged by UNICEF as an exemplary water NGO in Malawi. “Freshwater Project is an accountable, transparent and accountable organization,” stated Kiwe Sebunya, Chief of UNICEF Malawi Water and Environmental Sanitation.

Orphaned at the age of 7, Charles Banda grew up with various relatives in the rural villages of Malawi. He walked 14 kilometers to school, without shoes, and hid a bottle of murky water in the bushes for his long walk home. Despite these challenges, he excelled in school and went on to become a professional aviation fireman at the Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, Malawi. To earn a little extra money so he could buy a loaf of bread for his family, he also drove a taxi after hours. On weekends he served as a preacher in the rural villages. It was on a Sunday morning when he arrived at a village and was informed that the morning services had to be cancelled due to an outbreak of cholera that he decided to change his path in life.

After seeing people dying awful deaths from drinking dirty water from a stream, Charles decided that it wasn’t enough to preach the word of God – he had to take action and give the people what they truly needed – clean water. In 1995, he started saving his money from his taxi fares so he could build his first well. When his wife, Evalyn, questioned why he no longer brought a nice loaf of bread home to the family he explained he was saving up for a well – and she got behind him 100%. Banda gives a lot of credit to Evalyn for staying by his side through years of struggling to survive on miniscule budgets after he retired as a fireman and devoted his life to providing water to the poorest people of his country.

Early in his water career, as people in the communities commended him for the great work he was doing, a local politician felt threatened by his popularity and took out a contract on his life. Apparently, the hitman came to Charles and explained that he was supposed to kill him, but because he had provided clean water for his community, as well as others, he wasn’t going to carry out the orders. Word of this got back to then President Muluzi, who offered Charles a political position. But he turned it down saying that the only way he wanted to serve the people was by giving them clean water.

Fourteen years later, Freshwater Project is widely recognized as a model local organization that uses a community based approach to water interventions, which results in community empowerment and project sustainability.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bus meeting

Citizens for Public Transportation will meet Wednesday, November 18, at 7:00 PM at the Albany Public Library, Washington Avenue. Albany
Common Council member Dominick Calsolaro will be on hand as well as a representative of CDTA. Discussion will no doubt focus on CDTA's announced elimination of some bus stops.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The New York State Library has awarded six grants for research in New York State history in 2009 through the Anna K. and Mary E. Cunningham Research Residency Program in New York State History and Culture.

Four grants were awarded through funds provided by a trust fund endowment created by a bequest from the estate of Anna K. Cunningham.
The Cunningham fund was established in 1997 to benefit scholars using the unique collections of the New York State Library to study the history of New York. The funds celebrate the sisters’ lifelong interest in the study of New York State history.
Anna Cunningham (1906-1996) was Supervisor of Historic Sites of New York State, as well as serving on the boards and councils of many state and national historic preservation organizations. Mary Cunningham (1917-1986), whose personal papers are among the collections of the State Library, held various executive positions in the New York State Historical Association, was a founder and the first editor of American Heritage magazine, and was a founder of the Yorkers program for teaching and involving young New Yorkers in the State’s history.

Through generous support from the Doris Quinn Foundation, the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Library made two additional special Cunningham grants of $2500 each for specialized research in Dutch-related documents and printed materials at the New York State Library.

Grant recipients in the 2009 Anna K. and Mary E. Cunningham Research Residency Program in New York State History and Culture are:

Nancy Siegel
Associate Professor of Art History
Towson University
Carlisle, PA
Project title: To Elevate the mind: female instruction, women artists and the Hudson River School.

Margaret Lasch Carroll
Asst. Professor of English
Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
Project title: Influence of 19th century Bishop John McCloskey and 20th century Gov. Martin Glynn on the Irish ethnicity and Attitudes of Albany, NY.

Robert Chiles
University of Maryland
Project title: The gubernatorial administration of Alfred E. Smith and its importance to U.S. political development in the years preceding the New Deal.

Susan Ingalls Lewis
SUNY New Paltz
Project title: Research for a college text book on the history of New York State.

The 2009 Cunningham-Quinn fellows are:

Kim Todt
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14850
Project title: Transformation of the Mercantilist system from 1630 through 1790 in New Netherland and Colonial New York.

Andrea Mosterman
Boston University
Project title: Sharing Spaces in a new world environment: African-Dutch contributions to North American Culture.

Four Cunningham residencies and one Cunningham-Quinn residency are awarded annually by the New York State Library. A second Cunningham-Quinn residency was awarded for 2009 to mark the 400th anniversary of the Dutch era in American colonial history. More information on the research residencies and how to apply for the 2010 Cunningham and Cunningham-Quinn research residencies can be accessed online here.

Monday, November 09, 2009

APL Board Meeting

Albany Public Library Trustee meeting on Tuesday, November 10 at 5:30, at the Main Branch of Albany Public Library (3rd floor board meeting room), and speak during the public comment period which starts promptly at 5:30. Members of the public are invited to speak for up to 2 minutes each.

Symphony of Lights

The Downtown Albany BID's Symphony of Lights display will dress up the city streets for the holidays! This annual light display features more than 50 brightly lit musical instruments along Pearl Street's entertainment corridor - from Madison Avenue to Clinton Avenue and will be lit from November 23 through early

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Contract Reporter

The Contract Reporter is a wonderful tool for small businesses to learn about bidding opportunities from NY state government. Beginning next year the NYSCR will be free to any user. It is a publication that:
* Keeps small businesses apprised of weekly bid opportunities with individual state agencies, public authorities and public benefit corporations.
* Publishes services and technology bid opportunities and notices of upcoming commodity bid openings.
* Is available online.

From the ESD's Div. of Small Business Government Procurement web site:

New York State can help your business sell to state, federal, and local governments -- major purchasers of a wide variety of goods and services. New York State budgets for over $8.5 billion worth of contracts annually. New York schools, colleges, towns, villages and counties also make several billion dollars' worth of procurements each year. This is a significant market for New York companies.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

ALA Creative Essay/Library Contest is currently hosting a creative essay contest where people are invited to share their experiences at libraries. The winning submission will win $350 and the People's Choice winner will win $100. The top ten finalists will be published on the Web site's homepage.

The deadline for submission is Dec. 7. Submissions can be in the form of a written essay, a video or a photo slideshow.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

10 Questions, 10 Minutes

The 10 questions on the 2010 Census form.

1. How many people lived here on April 1, 2010?
2. Are there other people at the address on that date? (e.g. people staying temporarily)
3. Do you own or rent your dwelling?
4. What's the phone number? (in case Census can't suss out your answers)
5. Name of each person.
6. Each person's gender.
7. Each person's age and date of birth.
8. For each person: Hispanic or not?
9. Each person race or races.
10. For each person; does he or she live elsewhere (and thus might be counted elsewhere)?
Oh and they'll be a question about the relationship of the first person listed to the subsequent people listed.

That's it.

The forms, which are postpaid (i.e., you don't need stamps), are coming late in March. If you mail it back during the first week in April, you severely minimize the need for the Census Bureau to have to send out costly enumerators to knock on your door.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Faure Concert

Click on image to make larger.
First Presbyterian Albany, Nov 15, 3 pm

Monday, November 02, 2009

Vote Tuesday, November 3 - 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

And if you need more information, contact the Albany County Board of Elections

Community Connections

On Thursday, November 5, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., The University Club Foundation is hosting Community Connections, a mixer for residents of Albany's five historic downtown neighborhoods. The University Club is located at 141 Washington Avenue at the corner of Dove Street.

If you live in the Center Square, Hudson/Park, Mansion, Park South or Washington Park neighborhoods, please drop by to learn more about the University Club, Historic Albany Foundation, the Albany Institute of History and Art, and the quarterly publication Capital Neighbors.

The cost of light fare is being underwritten by neighborhood business sponsors, and beer, wine and soft drinks will be available.

Reconnect with old friends and welcome new neighbors into our community, celebrate downtown living and build stronger connections among neighbors and groups!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Librarians Go Wild

Each year, limber librarians compete for the coveted gold book cart at the annual Librarian Book Cart Drill Championships. With elaborate dance, athletics and performance art routines, they vie to show that librarians can be hip.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pine Hills Post Office Public Meeting -Wed, Nov 4


When: November 4, 2009 (Wednesday)
Where: The Elks Club Corner of South Allen & Yates Street
(Across from the Post Office)
Time: Open between 4 pm and 8 pm
Purpose: To show public support to negate the proposed closing of this vital neighborhood resource.

You can keep our beloved Pine Hills post office open. Public support does make a difference; there are numerous examples of it. We all know what a vital element this particular Post Office affords our Pine Hills Community and only with the response of the public will it stay open. Please indicate your support between the hours of 4 pm and 8 pm on November 4th. This is your chance to make a difference.

If you cannot be at the hearing, write a letter of support to:
Consolidation Study
Consumer Affairs
30 Old Karner Rd.
Albany, NY 12288-9631

Thank you.

Pine Hills Neighborhood Association

Friday, October 30, 2009

Time Change Reminder and Halloween Safety


Don’t forget about the Time Change on Sunday, November 1. Set your clocks back one hour--the change officially starts at 2:00am on November 1. The majority of the United States observes daylight time, but there are some exceptions, including Hawaii and most of Arizona.
If your kids are going trick-or-treating, check out some Halloween Safety tips. They include:
Ensuring that your child's costume is flame-resistant.
Accompanying young children and ensuring that all children walk along sidewalks.
Instructing children not to enter homes.
Examining all candy before your child eats it.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Census Bureau Launches 2010 Census Campaign With New Web Site

The U.S. Census Bureau this week kicked off its communications campaign to reach every resident in America with the launch of its 2010 Census Web site, 2010CENSUS.GOV. The Web site will serve as a platform for a national dialogue about how the census develops a “Portrait of America.”

2010CENSUS.GOV features an animated marquee that symbolizes the Census Bureau’s place at the intersection of the American experience. By clicking on images representative of the population, visitors can view video vignettes that ease fears about the census and encourage participation in the once-a-decade population count. The marquee will evolve over time, bringing the diverse voices of America to the site.

Press release.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Friends of APL Plan November Programs

The Friends of Albany Public Library are offering a full slate of book-related programs in November. In addition to the regular Tuesday noontime book talks this month, the Friends are hosting a special Saturday event featuring a lecture by local author Julie Lomoe. All of the Friends’ events—which are free and open to the public—take place in the large auditorium of the Main Library at 161 Washington Avenue. For more information, call 427-4300.

Nov. 3, Tuesday, 12:15 p.m.— Poetry Reading
Poet, musician, and WAMC commentator Paul Elisha reads from his poetry collection Swash.

Nov. 10, Tuesday, 12:15 p.m.—Book Review
Bill Shapiro, attorney and lifelong student of international relations, reviews the book Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East by Robin Wright.

Nov. 14, Saturday, 1 p.m.—Book & Author Lecture
Julie Lomoe, Friends of Albany Public Library author of the year, lectures about her latest novel of suspense, Eldercide.

Nov. 17, Tuesday, 12:15 p.m.—Author Talk
Author Dan Valenti discusses baseball and his book Baseball Comes Home: A History of the Baseball Hall of Fame Game.

Nov. 24, Tuesday, 12:15 p.m.—Book Review
Donald J. Reeb, University at Albany professor emeritus of economics, reviews The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 by Paul Krugman

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Contact Your State Legislators to Reject Proposed Library Aid Cuts

From Michael J. Borges
Executive Director
New York Library Association

Dear Library Advocate, as you may know, the Governor has proposed mid-year budget cuts to close a $3 billion budget deficit. The proposal includes a 10% across the board cut to all state aid programs like Library Aid, which will result in a $3.3 million reduction in funding for library services. School Aid will be cut by 4.5%.

The proposed $3.3 million reduction in Library Aid is on top of the $8 million cut imposed back in April and the $3 million cut sustained last year. If the proposed cuts are approved, it will reduce Library Aid to $88 million or 1998 level of funding. With library usage continuing to increase and people of all ages depending on libraries to improve their literacy, computer and internet skills and the unemployed using libraries to search for new careers and employment, now is not the time for further cuts for library services.

I strongly urge you to contact your state legislators to ask them to reject the Governor’s proposed cuts. Libraries have already done their fair share towards reducing the state’s budget shortfalls, other alternatives need to be used before asking the library community to take further cuts. These proposed cuts impact all types of libraries and library systems, public, college, schools, etc.

Go to and click on Library Advocate icon to send fax/email to your state legislators. Please pass this message on to other library advocates.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Without Melvil

There was an article in the local paper last week that the Albany Public Library was going to do away with the Dewey Decimal System in favor of a system that's more like a bookstore, as I understand it. I have mixed emotions.

On one hand, I see why the library would want to utilize a system like that which the book-using public is used to. While I grew up using the Dewey Decimal System in the Binghamton Public Library, where I worked as a teen, it's not as though I'm wedded to it. Indeed, the books in the special library where I work uses the Library of Congress classification, an alphanumeric system even more arcane for the casual user than Melvil Dewey's categorization. Also, when I was going to library school, I quickly tired of the jokes about my devotion to the DDC.

On the other hand, the conversation suggests that DDC is complicated and that the bookstore model is "better". Maybe it's me, but I always find what I'm looking for in a DDC or LC library, while I'm more likely to have to ask for need help from a book store clerk. That's because the categories in some bookstores are not as helpful as they might be.

The example that immediately comes to mind is Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, by Douglas A. Blackmon. Last month, the Writers Institute and the Friends of the Albany Public Library sponsored Doug Blackmon to speak at APL.

For those of you not from the Albany area, the Writers Institute was co-founded 25 years ago by William Kennedy. Bill Kennedy is THE most noted writer to come out of Albany, and his fiction about Albany has been award-winning. I happen to particularly enjoy his nonfiction book, O Albany!

There was a dinner before the Blackmon presentation, and for reasons unknown to me, I had the pleasure to sit next to Doug Blackmon. We had a very interesting talk. One point that he made, relative to this current discussion, is how well or poorly his book sells in a given store depended, to a very large degree, on where his book was placed in said bookstore. If it was placed in the American history section - and the story certainly is an American story not often heard - then it sold all right. But if it were placed in the ghetto of the black history section ("ghetto" is my term) - as though the story were only important to, or applicable to black people - then it tended to do less well.

Now, a library book is not sold by the institution. But how often a book circulates certainly effects whether or not other books on that topic and/or books by that author.

I have no inside information just how this "bookstore" model is going to look until the Pine Hills branch - MY branch - reopens next month beyond what I've read here. But I'll be very interested to find out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bike Master Plan Meeting - 10/27

The City of Albany, in partnership with the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) is finishing a Bicycle Master Plan to identify a network of bicycle routes to help make cycling a more viable way of getting around the City. On Tuesday, October 27th, 2009, the final meeting will present the draft plan, concept goals and priorities, maps, and detail graphics to clearly and logically incorporate bicycling into the City and region's overall transportation network. The presentation of the final plan is from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Albany Public Library Main Branch.

Date and Time: Tuesday, October 27th, 2009; Presentation from 7:00 to 8:00 PM
Location: Albany Public Library - Main Library, 161 Washington Avenue
Room: Large Auditorium (First Floor)

For more information on the Bicycle Master Plan: City of Albany, Department of Development & Planning, 21 Lodge Street, Albany, NY 12207 Phone: (518) 434-2532 x33


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Loss of Lever Voting

The ARISE Voting Equipment Task Force will meet 6pm tomorrow (Tuesday 10/20) at Albany Public Library main branch at 161 Washington Avenue in the Large Auditorium. The meeting is open to the public.

The group is concerned about the plan to replace New York's lever voting booths after next month's general election. Lever voting has been a trusted process of voting for decades in NYS. After Nov. 3rd, voters in our state will be forced to rely on programmable scanners to provide a trusted tally of our votes. In fact, these infamous optical scanners have now arrived and are already being tested across NYS in a controversial Pilot Program.

Though these scanners have not even been certified to our state standards, they are already being "tested" in this year's elections across our state without the verification from hand counting that was originally offered.

The group is promising "exclusive video of the new voting process with actual footage of the scanner shutdown process after polls closed on Primary Day last month." More information can be found here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Come See Your New Pine Hills & Delaware Libraries

(Purloined from Eliisa Kane of APL)

Even though everyone's invited to the Pine Hills Grand Opening Celebration on December 5th and the one at Delaware on January 9th, we know there are lots of you who can't wait to get into the libraries before they open.

So, we've arranged for your very own Sneak Preview of both the Pine Hills and Delaware Branches on Thursday, October 29th, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., before we open to the public. This fundraising event, hosted by the Albany Public Library Foundation, gets you inside with the freedom to check out all the nooks and crannies. You'll marvel over the skylights and windows at Delaware and the huge light monitor and staircase at Pine Hills. All the while enjoying the tasty treats from New World Bistro Bar and Café Madison & Juniors.

It's easy to register online - right here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New York State Assembly supports 2009 Teen Read Week

New York State Assembly members support Teen Read Week and encourage teens to read and visit their local libraries.

The assembly has created a Teen Read reading list based on the 2009 theme, “Read Beyond Reality@ your library.” It encourages teens to read something “out of this world,” just for the fun of it, including sci-fi, fantasy, virtual realities, and much more.
In addition, written materials urge teens to visit their local public libraries.

Teen Read Week, October 18 – 24, is a national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It is aimed at teens, their parents, librarians, educators, booksellers, and other concerned adults.

Contact your local Assembly members with information about your library’s Teen Read Week activities and encourage him or her to work with the library in support of teen reading.

To find the Assembly member for your library, visit here and enter your library’s zip code.

For more information on Teen Read Week, visit

Medieval Faire October 24th

The Medieval Faire this year is on October 24th from 10 - 5 and features a number of musical groups. Of special note, several consorts specializing in early music.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

By The Book: RA in a Dynamic World

A Readers' Advisory Conference
Albany Public Library, Albany, NY
November 13, 2009

Is your library considering going Dewey-free? How do you provide RA services to kids when there’s no children’s librarian available? What does the future of RA look like?

Join Albany Public Library in celebrating the sixth annual By the Book Readers’ Advisory Conference! The featured speaker is Cynthia Orr, winner of the 2004 American Library Association Margaret E. Monroe Award for service to adults and an editor of The Reader’s Advisor Online, a website and blog aimed at readers’ advisory and collection development for public libraries. With an exciting sequence of programs for professional and paraprofessional staff scheduled for Friday, November 13th, 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.

Cynthia Orr has over 30 years of experience with four different library systems in the areas of collection development, public service, management and readers’ advisory service. She is the former Collection Manager at Cleveland Public Library and has also been Fiction Selector and Director of Technical Services at Cuyahoga County Public Library in Ohio. She teaches Readers' Advisory Services for Kent State University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Ms. Orr is a member of the advisory board for Libraries Unlimited's The Reader's Advisor Online, and editor of its blog as well as a consultant for OverDrive.

Cynthia Orr will begin the morning session with a presentation on what library professionals should know about the reading habits of the public. Ms. Orr will also present an afternoon session on how to stay current in a rapidly changing environment and lead a breakout session about the future of readers’ advisory.

Attendees may choose to participate in two breakout sessions. Other topics, each led by APL staff, include conducting readers' advisory on the move, readers' advisory for children if you are not a children's librarian, and going Dewey-free. These sessions are designed to give attendees the opportunity to discuss current issues with colleagues facing the same challenges.

Librarians, library school students, and paraprofessional staff are all invited to join for By The Book: RA in a Dynamic World. The fee for registration is $65.00 (includes lunch). Student registrations are available for $25 (student ID required).

Registration must be received by Friday, November 6, 2009.

For more information, visit here or contact Amy Maurer McLaughlin, Program Manager,, 518-427-4334.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ghoulishly Ghoud Fun at APL

Do the Monster Mash at APL Oct. 23, 6:30 to 8 pm., Main Branch.

Henry Louis Gates at The Egg

The Archives Partnership Trust 2009 Empire State Archives and History Award with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Harold Holzer
Monday, October 26, 7:30 pm, The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany
Tickets: $10, Call the Egg Box Office at 518-473-1845

The 2009 Empire State Archives and History Award will be presented to Henry Louis Gates, Jr., America's foremost scholar in the field of African American Studies. Trust board member and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer will interview Gates as part of the program.

Contact the Archives Partnership Trust at 518-474-1228 or visit for more information about a private reception to meet
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. An additional fee applies.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dewey Free

Purloined yet again from APL's Stephanie Simon:

Most of our library patrons are browsers. They wander the stacks, pulling book after book off the shelves, checking out titles, scrutinizing story descriptions, looking at author bios, and skimming pages. All in a search for just the right book to take home for a few hours of entertainment.

Here at APL, we're about to make the library browser's search for that perfect book so much easier. All you need to remember are two little words: Dewey free.
So, What is Dewey Free Anyway?

Dewey free is the common name for a library collection classification system that uses words instead of numbers to categorize and organize nonfiction books. Instead of using the traditional Dewey decimal system of numbers, books are organized, labeled, and shelved by subject areas -- just like in your neighborhood bookstore.

Albany's branch collections are just the right size for Dewey free to work and make a customer's library experience more intuitive and user friendly. Dewey free allows us to group similar subjects together and make more natural selections for displaying complementary books. Ample signage, a well-trained staff, and computer terminals will point customers in the right direction to find just what they need.

We've been working hard on the Dewey-free system. Staff members have been recategorizing and relabeling the existing branch collections, which will be moved into the renovated sites soon. We also have a big shipment of new books from Baker & Taylor arriving at Pine Hills next week. Things are also moving along at the other four branches under construction and renovation. The North Albany Branch Library will be converted to Dewey free sometime next year.

APL staff is committed to making Dewey free work at our branch libraries and helping our customers get the most out of their library experiences. Other libraries that have gone Dewey free have seen great success in terms of increased circulation and customer satisfaction.

We expect you're going to love the new Dewey-free branch libraries!
Our first renovated library -- the Pine Hills Branch Library at 517 Western Avenue -- is having a grand opening party on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. Come check it out and see how great a Dewey-free library can be!

From one bookworm to another,

Stephanie Simon
Albany Public Library

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Update on Google Book Settlement

From NYLA:

The New York Library Association joined the Open Book Alliance (OBA), a coalition of organizations and companies seeking changes to the Google Book Settlement. NYLA supports efforts to making books more searchable, readable and downloadable, but believes the settlement was deeply flawed and benefited only a select few libraries who have signed their own deals with Google. For this reason, NYLA working with other members of the Open Book Alliance sought changes to the Google Book Settlement that would insure competitive pricing, improve access to all types of libraries and protect patron privacy. NYS Librarian Bernie Margolis also sent a letter to ALA voicing similar concerns with the deal.

The U.S. Dept. of Justice filed objections with Federal District Court Judge Denny Chin, who is overseeing the settlement case, that reflected many of the concerns raised by the Open Book Alliance. As a result of this outpouring of concern from author and library organizations, the U.S. and foreign governments, the parties to the Google Book Settlement are going back to the negotiating table to rework the deal.

Last week, the Federal Judge gave the parties until November 7th to address the concerns raised. Although it is good news that the original flawed deal is dead, the short time frame to revise the settlement and the lack of input from library representatives to the revision process is not a good sign. NYLA agrees with the Open Book Alliance that an issue of this magnitude should be dealt with in an open forum with the participation of all affected parties.

NYLA will continue to work with the Open Book Alliance and other groups to insure that any revised settlement addresses the concerns of the library community. Stay tuned!

Michael J. Borges
Executive Director
New York Library Association