Friday, February 27, 2009

2009 Price-Change Stamps Unveiled

Also, New Forever Personalized Stamp Envelope Introduced. Lots of romance with the 44-cent (1 oz) King & Queen of Hearts and Wedding Rings, plus a 61-cent (2 oz) Wedding Cake. Remember, rates go up on May 11, 2009, the day after Mother's Day.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Light Than Heat: Muslim-Jewish-Christian Dialogue on the Middle East

“Can You Hear the Other Side?” - A panel discussion on the Middle East, with particular reference to Israel and Palestine.

An experiment in non-confrontational dialogue on the contentious issues of Israel and Palestine will take place at the Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary at the College of Saint Rose on Sunday afternoon at 3.

Dr. Rashid Naim, a political scientist at Georgia State University who has appeared on CNN, NPR, BBC, and the Voice of America, will express a Muslim point of view while Dr. Ethan Bloch, a member of Albany’s Brit Tzedek v’Shalom (Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace) and a math professor at Bard College, will present a Jewish perspective. A Christian take on the issues will come from Dr. Karl Barbir, professor of history at Siena College.

The moderator for the session will be Paul Elisha, WAMC commentator and presenter of Performance Place.

The Interfaith Alliance of New York State, during the recent violence in Gaza, felt the need for calm dialogue in which the goal is to learn from each other rather than to score debating points. Co-sponsors are The Muslim Community of Troy, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom, Capital Area Council of Churches, Labor-Religion Coalition of the Capital District, and the Peace and Justice Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Albany.

The dialogue process is aimed at listening to each other as openly and sympathetically as possible in an attempt to understand the other person’s position as precisely and as much “from within” as possible. In contrast to a debate, this kind of dialogue includes the challenging assumption that the other person’s position could be persuasive enough to cause changes in one’s own views.

The particular model for this dialogue process is the “Dialogue Decalogue” by Leonard Swidler, first published in 1983 in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies. It has been translated into more than a dozen languages and can be found on the internet at www.usao.edu/~facshaferi/DIALOG00.HTML, slightly adapted for secular as well as religious dialogue.

Exploring a ‘Deep Web’ That Google Can’t Grasp

From the New York Times: "Now a new breed of technologies is taking shape that will extend the reach of search engines into the Web’s hidden corners. When that happens, it will do more than just improve the quality of search results — it may ultimately reshape the way many companies do business online."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Yorkers for Better Libraries' Fundraising Gala

New Yorkers for Better Libraries is holding its annual banquet and fundraising gala on Monday, March 9, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Albany on Wolf Road.

Please join NYLIBS-PAC for this special evening to support the library community of New York. The evening will begin with an open-bar cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. Buffet dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. This year’s program includes live entertainment, an up-to-the-minute legislative update, contests, and opportunities to win great raffle prizes. A good time is guaranteed!

Banquet Registration: Your $100 payment includes open bar cocktail hour, buffet dinner, 10 raffle tickets, and a contribution to your library PAC. Those who have already made a 2009 contribution to the PAC are invited to attend (dinner only) for $50.

To register and pay online, go to www.nylibs-pac.net. Click on “Make A Donation.” Enter “Banquet” on the Paypal screen under “Purpose,” and then complete and submit the online payment form.

Or send a $100 check to New Yorkers for Better Libraries, PO Box 795, Canton, NY 13617.

Or, to make arrangements to pay at the door, call 518-331-8382; fax 518-935-9007; or email bnr51@msn.com

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 who are in a position to effectively champion libraries. In 2008, we contributed $26,700 to 35 campaign committees. These contributions have brought us access to decision makers and have signaled a seriousness of intent within the library community.

For hotel registration: A group rate is available at the Holiday Inn Albany on Wolf Road. Mention the New York Library Association. Call 1-518-458-7250 to get a room reservation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

City of Albany Bicycle Master Plan Public Meeting 2/25

The City of Albany, in partnership with the Capital District Transportation Committee, is undertaking a Bicycle Master Plan to identify a network of bicycle routes to help make cycling a more viable way of getting around the City. You are invited to attend the first of two workshops to be held during this study. You may drop-in early to share your thoughts or attend the 6:30 PM presentation to learn more about the project.

For more details, click here.

U.S. Education Secretary Announces State-by-State Dollars

The U.S. Department of Education posted on-line state-by-state estimates of new education revenues included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan vowed to release a significant share of the $100 billion in funding in time to avert teacher layoffs.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Project Information Literacy

Project Information Literacy is national research project, based in the University of Washington’s Information School. We are currently collecting data from early adults enrolled in community colleges, pubic colleges and universities, and private colleges and universities in the U.S.

Its goal is to understand how early adults conceptualize and operationalize research activities for course work and 'everyday use' and especially how they resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age.

Progress Report February, 2009 (14 pages; PDF)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Look at Who Is to Blame

In a recent online poll, Time magazine asked its readers who was most to blame for the current economic crisis. Readers rated the guilt of 25 different people on a scale of 1 (innocent) to 10 (guilty). On that scale, the American Consumer rated an 8--even guiltier, according to the public, than George W. Bush or Alan Greenspan.

But is the American Consumer guilty as charged? Not necessarily.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The area's most influential events of the past 400 years

The Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce is asking for your vote. In celebration of the region's Quadricentennial, the Chamber has compiled a list of some of the area's most influential events of the past 400 years. The Chamber is asking Capital Region residents to vote on which milestones have had the biggest impact on our region. Voting will take place on the Chamber Website. Only one vote per person is allowed. Voting is open to the public and will be open through Thursday, February 26th.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love Your Library license plates


The Department of Motor Vehicles' Custom Plate Gallery for Causes and Organizations. Among them Love Your Library. $25 of the annual fee supports the NYS Library's Statewide Summer Reading Program.

Light From Ancient Africa

Join the Friends at their noontime program on Tuesday, February 17th.

Dr. Betty Patterson Shadrick, of the University of Albany will review Light From Ancient Africa by Na'im Akbar. In this book Na'im Akbar provides the reader with a clear and concise understanding of the African (Kemetic) origins of psychology.

Light Refreshments served. This event is open to the public but membership in the Friends is encouraged!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Black History Month Films

Mark your calendar for the Tuesdays in February (17 and 24) at 6PM. During the month of February, the Nation celebrates Black History Month and APL will be celebrating with a movie series.
The February 17th film is Cornbread, Earl and Me which is about a high school basketball star who is mistaken for a murderer. On February 24th, the film is Cabin in the Sky, based on some of the finest entertainers Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Lena Horne.

Call the Main Library for additional information at 427-4300.

Woman's Day seeks library stories

Woman's Day magazine has announced a call for entries on a timely topic: using the library to help save money. From February 17 through May 18, 2009, women ages 18 and up are invited to send in stories in 700 words or less for a chance to be profiled in the March 2010 issue. Up to four women's stories will be featured.

Visit http://www.womansday.com/Content/Family-Lifestyle/ALA-Contest-Info-Rules.

Librarians can download free tools to help collect local stories from the Campaign for America's Libraries website.

Lincoln’s notes fetch $3 million for Dryden library

Christie's auctions 1864 manuscript

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reading Radar

An automated reading list of bestsellers created by combining the New York Times Bestsellers API and the Amazon.com API.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

NOVELny databases FAQ for 2009/10

Information on the databases available through NOVELny beginning April 1, 2009 is now available on the novelnewyork.org site. Currently the FAQ includes the list of databases that will be provided through NOVELny, a list of databases that will not be continued, and a description of the database selection process. The FAQ will be expanded over the coming weeks. Please continue to check the site for updates. Any questions regarding the resources described above should be sent to: nyslnovel@mail.nysed.gov.

Provided by the New York State Library, NOVELNY is a pilot project for the Statewide Internet Library connecting New Yorkers to 21st century information. NOVELNY is supported with temporary federal Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

I have noted some complaints about the timing of the switch, in the middle of the semester, with one individual wondering if the contract might be changed to expire in the summer instead.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tax Dept Website, Automated Phone Service Helps Taxpayers Track Refund Check Status

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Robert L. Megna reminds taxpayers that they can track the status of their state income tax refund checks on the department’s website or by calling the automated refund status hotline.

Taxpayers who expect state income tax refunds can call the department’s Refund Hotline at 1-800-443-3200 or 518-457-5149, or online at www.nystax.gov. Tax filers will need to know their social security numbers, the amount of the state refund claimed, and which New York tax forms they filed.

More info here.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Digital Archivists, Now in Demand

"The people entrusted to find a place for this wealth of information are known as digital asset managers, or sometimes as digital archivists and digital preservation officers. Whatever they are called, demand for them is expanding."

See the full text in the NY Times. (Free registration may be required.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

New Yorkers for Better Libraries' Fundraising Gala

New Yorkers for Better Libraries is holding its annual banquet and fundraising gala on Monday, March 9, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Albany on Wolf Road.

Please join NYLIBS-PAC for this special evening to support the library community of New York. The evening will begin with an open-bar cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. Buffet dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. This year’s program includes live entertainment, an up-to-the-minute legislative update, contests, and opportunities to win great raffle prizes. A good time is guaranteed!

Banquet Registration: Your $100 payment includes open bar cocktail hour, buffet dinner, 10 raffle tickets, and a contribution to your library PAC. Those who have already made a 2009 contribution to the PAC are invited to attend (dinner only) for $50.

To register and pay online, go to www.nylibs-pac.net. Click on “Make A Donation.” Enter “Banquet” on the Paypal screen under “Purpose,” and then complete and submit the online payment form.

To make arrangements to pay at the door: Call 518-331-8382; fax 518-935-9007; email bnr51@msn.com

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 who are in a position to effectively champion libraries. In 2008, it contributed $26,700 to 35 campaign committees. These contributions have brought access to decision makers and have signaled a seriousness of intent within the library community.

For hotel registration: A group rate is available - you will need to mention New York Library Association. Call 1-518-458-7250 to book.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

STATE LIBRARY ANNOUNCES ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS AVAILABLE ON NOVELNY

New York State Librarian, Bernard A. Margolis, is pleased to announce the electronic products that will constitute the NOVELNY (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) statewide collection for April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010. The following databases will be available to library patrons of over 5,500 public, school, academic and special libraries registered for NOVELNY and to individuals who are residents of New York State that visit the site and log on with a driver license ID or a non-driver ID.

The following products were competitively selected after substantial input from the library community through a 2008 statewide online survey of priorities and with the advice and consultation of the NOVELNY Steering Committee subgroup charged with database evaluation. The goal was to provide the broadest array of desired content for the best value given current resources.

New: Products from ProQuest and Grolier! The general reference and periodical database for NOVELNY will be ProQuest Platinum. It provides access to over 2000 magazine and journal titles in a broad scope of subject areas. Grolier’s core databases (Encyclopedia Americana, the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia and the New Book of Knowledge) collectively will be of interest to all audiences, elementary through high school and general public library audiences.

In addition, NOVELNY will continue to provide access to EBSCO’s Primary Search (including the Searchasaurus interface) designed specifically for elementary school libraries and to Gale Newspapers (InfoTrac Custom Newspapers, National Newspaper Index, and New York Custom Newspapers), Gale Business and Company Resource Center, Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center, and Twayne’s Authors Series. Any questions regarding the resources described above should be sent to: nyslnovel@mail.nysed.gov.

Provided by the New York State Library, NOVELNY is a pilot project for the Statewide Internet Library connecting New Yorkers to 21st century information. NOVELNY is supported with temporary federal Library Services and Technology Act funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Growing Your Own: Building the Capital Region Economy

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the New York State Association of Counties and the New York State Department of Labor invite you to join top elected officials, business leaders, educators and policy experts for a special Policy Forum on February 11, 2009 from 9:00 – 4:30 at The Desmond in Colonie. The topic is "Growing Your Own: Building the Capital Region Economy Through Targeted Workforce Development.”

There is no charge for this event, and lunch will be provided. You are welcome to join us for the entire day, or any individual sessions of particular interest. Please RSVP to Arraya Anderson, aanderson@nysac.org.

Growing Your Own:
Building the Capital Region Economy
Through Targeted Workforce Development

February 11, 2009
The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, Colonie

Agenda

9:00 – 10:30 The New York State Economy: What Does the Future Hold? (Plenary Session, NYSAC Legislative Conference)
Hon. Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller
James Orr, Assistant Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Reaction Panel
Frank Mauro, Executive Director, Fiscal Policy Institute
Ken Pokalsky, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Business Council of New York State
Hon. Thomas Santulli, Chemung County Executive
Moderator: Robert Ward, Deputy Director, Rockefeller Institute of Government

10:30 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 4:30 Greater Capital Region Workforce Policy Forum – Town Hall

11:00 – 11:10 Welcome and Introductions
Steve Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties
Hon. Mike Breslin, Albany County Executive
Hon. Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer County Executive

11:10 – 11:40 Regional Industry Sector Strategies: A Good Approach?
Bruce Herman, Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development, New York State Department of Labor

11:40 – 12:40 – A Capital Region Promising Industry Sector: A Case Study
Susan Christopherson, Cornell University Research Group
Ned Rightor, Cornell University Research Group
Isabelle Andrews, New York State Association of Counties
Peter Neenan, Director, NYS Department of Labor, Division of Research and Statistics (invited)
Moderator: Susan Arbetter, Host, New York Now, WMHT-TV

12:40 – 1: 30 Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 Business Leaders Speak Out: Our Workforce Needs, Now and in the Future
Kevin Lake, Philips Medical Systems
Peg Murphy, Espey Manufacturing
Larry Treen, Sixnet
Ed McGrath, AMD (invited)
Moderator: Peter Wohl, Regional Director, Empire State Development.

2:30 – 3:20 Elected Leaders Panel: Our Priorities for our Communities
Hon. Mike Breslin, Albany County Executive
Hon. Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer County Executive
Hon. Jerry Jennings, Mayor, City of Albany
Hon. Earl Van Wormer, Chair, Schoharie County Board of Supervisors
Moderator: Susan Arbetter, Host, New York Now, WMHT-TV

3:20 – 4:10 Workforce Preparation Panel: Our Plans to get the Workforce Ready
Dustin Swanger, President, Fulton-Montgomery Community College
Karen Coleman, Director, NYS Department of Labor Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions
Gail Breen, Fulton-Montgomery-Schoharie Workforce Investment Board
Charles Dedrick, District Superintendent, Capital Region BOCES
Ed Murphy, Workforce Development Institute
Moderator: John Twomey, Executive Director, NYATEP

4:10 – Wrap- up, Next Steps: Robert Ward, Deputy Director, Rockefeller Institute of Government

4:30 – Adjourn

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Business Brisk at Area Libraries

Yet another link to an article about how "In Bad Times, Free Resources Are a Hot Commodity" that was in this week's Washington Post.

Save Our Libraries

The Suffolk Cooperative Library System has set up a Save Our Libraries advocacy page. This page contains information on Library Legislation Day, contacting legislators, and signing up for e-mail alerts.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Worth of Your Library

The latest issue of the Mid-Hudson Library System newsletter for member library trustees focused on The Worth of Your Library. Interesting header notes that libraries during the Great Depression actually expanded, not contracted.

Read past issues of the newsletter, Across the Board here.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hudson River Panorama

The Albany Institute of History & Art present Hudson River Panorama: 400 Years of History, Art, and Culture. The Exhibition is on display from February 7, 2009 thru January 3, 2010 and commemorates the remarkable narratives of the Hudson River and the people, events, and ideas that have shaped its history. Click here for details.