Thursday, April 30, 2009

Google Starts Begins Making Public Data Easier to Access, Visual

Google is adding search power to public data. The new public records search and visualization service (it's in the very early stages of development) went live Tuesday afternoon. Check it out.

National Library Week Snapshot Contest Winners

The New York Library Association is pleased to announce the winners of the National Library Week Snapshot Contest. Please feel free to contact Johanna at with any questions you may have.

Librarians as Teachers & Trainers
A Favorite Patron
By: Onondaga County Public Library

Librarians as Trailblazers in New Technology
Podcast-Twilight: Making some noise at out podcast – Library volunteer R. Twardy facilitating
By: Friedatoth

Most Humorous
DiGiovanniRP: Mrs. Monica DiGiovanni gets into character at the Rocky Point Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School. Rocky Point is located on the North Shore of Long Island in Suffolk County.
By: swilsonrp

Best Overall
There’s No Such Thing as Too Many Books: Elizabeth selecting books in the Teen Lounge at Webster Public Library
By: elizardkwik

Winners in each category will receive a $50 gift certificate to be used to purchase items in NYLA's Fundraising Store or toward registration costs for the 2009 Annual Conference or for a NYLA Institute.

Honorable Mention

Aiden Playing the Harmonica, Cohocton Public Library

Lynbrook Public Library, cleaning up the children’s room, kathydevoe30

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Springtime Art & Craft Show

Cathy Frank (formerly of Firlefanz Gallery) together with the Woman's Club of Albany, 725 Madison Ave in Albany NY (518 465-3626) is pleased to announce the second annual Springtime Art & Craft Show: Thinking of Mom and Tulips on May 1st and 2nd, featuring many artists (painters, photographers, ceramic artists, fiber artists and jewelers) The Woman's Club will again feature a little cafe with homemade sandwiches and sweet treats that was so successful last year.

May 1st, 5pm to 9pm-The show and cafe will be part of Albany's First Friday Art Events. The Woman's Club will be one of the stops on the event trolley line.
May 2nd, 11am to 5pm,show and cafe.

The show is free and open to the public. 10% of the sales from the show and all profits form the cafe will benefit the Club's programs.

Featured artists are:

Karen Greendale, Hope Konecny, Nancy Miller, Katie Nare, and Cathy Frank

Ceramic artists
JoAnn Axford, Victoria Crowell, Cathy Frank,, Liz Vigoda

Visual artists:
David Brickman, Robert Cartmell, Charlene Leary, Lori Lawrence, Sunghee Park, Jean Strausman, Liz Vigoda , Bill Wilson

Fiber artists:
Carol Crandell, Linda L. Harvey, Antoinette Indge, Roxanne Storms, Barbara Weingart

Metal works:
Georgianna Heller

About The Woman's Club of Albany

Founded in 1910, The Woman's Club of Albany began as a civic organization dedicated to helping women and children, and to improving conditions in the City of Albany. Those involved in the recent renaissance of the Club have expanded its mission to include maintaining an organized center for cooperation among women in the Capital District "for civic, literary and charitable works. The Club fulfills this mission by heightening public awareness of the historical, social and legal movements of women, and by promoting service and philanthropy. This includes raising funds for charitable organizations that serve needy members of our community, particularly underprivileged children and families in the Capital Region. For additional information about The Woman's Club of Albany and its historic building, please visit

For further information about the Arts & Craft show please call Cathy Frank at 518-456-1913,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Home Across Lands documentary

The screening of the Albany premiere of Home Across Lands refugee documentary, hosted by USCRI Albany, will take place at SUNY's Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue, on Wednesday, April 29 at 7:00 PM.

Home Across Lands chronicles the story of Kunaman refugees as they move from a refugee camp in Ethiopia to their new home in the US; it was made by an Emmy award-winning team of documentary filmmakers.

More information about the film, including how to purchase tickets, is available at USCRI Albany's website.

"USCRI Albany has been helping refugees begin new lives in the Capital Region since 2005. Refugees arrive having fled war and persecution, and must quickly adjust to new way of life in the United States."

Swine Flu

Swine Flu information from the US Centers for Disease Control and the NY State Dept of Health

The Web 2.0 Guide to Swine Flu from Salon
Should You Fear Swine Flu? from"No, but a healthy respect is called for."
The last great swine flu epidemic "This virus will kill 1 million Americans," declared the U.S. in 1976. The panic then has a lot to teach us today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Investigative Reporter Thomas Bass at APL

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Albany Public Library
Street: 161 Washington Ave.
City/Town: Albany, NY

Investigative Reporter Thomas Bass Explains The Vietnam War And Pham Xuan An's Dangerous Game

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The People's State of the City

Tuesday, April 28th
Albany Public Library
161 Washington Avenue

The evening will include a panel presentation of the Albany Neighborhoods First vision for the city of Albany, an open discussion, and a call to action.

Panelists include: Councilmembers Dominick Calsolaro, Cathy Fahey, and Barbara Smith

Sponsored by Albany Neighborhoods First


Citing the dire fiscal struggle of New York’s libraries in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and evidence that library usage by the people of New York has increased dramatically, the members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries have urged the Board of Regents to make state and federal funding for libraries a Regents priority budget and legislative item each and every year.

The Council’s 2009 annual report to the Regents, which includes this recommendation and others related to strengthening New York’s libraries is now posted on the Council’s webpage.

Libraries across the State and the nation are reporting that use has increased by as much as 10-20 percent on average and, in some communities, as much as 50% or more. Norman J. Jacknis, chairperson of the Regents Advisory Council pointed to consistent underfunding that has caused many libraries to dramatically reduce hours, eliminate staff and curtail resources – just when students, the recently unemployed, and other residents need them most. According to Mr. Jacknis, the library world is well past "doing more with less" and, at a time when New Yorkers are turning more than ever to them, libraries are being forced into "doing less with less".

The Council reports annually to the Board of Regents on library matters. The 2009 report also highlights the need for all schools in New York State, including elementary schools, to have school libraries and certified professional librarians. Dozens of studies conducted across the county have demonstrated that students with access to a well-stocked school library and a certified school librarian have improved test scores of 10 to 20 percent.

In recognition of the dramatic changes in the library world over the last decade, including the pervasive impact of the Internet, the Council also called upon the Regents to form a new Commission on Library Services to re-examine the future of library services in New York State. In the spirit of many of the new services already being offered by libraries, the Council suggested that this new commission could handle much of its work virtually.

The Council’s report also outlines recommendations to the Board of Regents for 2009 budget and legislative priorities for libraries.

Please contact Norman J. Jacknis, Chairperson, New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries with any questions concerning the Council’s 2009 report to the Board of Regents. For more information on the Council, including a roster of council members with contact information, please visit the State Library's website.

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries was established by the New York State Board of Regents on June 5, 1894. The Council advises the Regents regarding library policy, works with State Education Department leaders in developing a comprehensive statewide library and information policy and makes recommendations to the Regents concerning the implementation of the program.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

There is a story in yesterday's Washington Post about a new digital library being launched by the UN. You can view the library's website from a link in the news item. Also there is a link to the Library of Congresses website American Memory which sounds interesting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The New York State Board of Regents announced today that Carole F. Huxley has been appointed as Interim New York State Education Commissioner, effective July 1, 2009. Carole Huxley had previously served the Education Department as Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education for 24 years, retiring in November of 2006.

Carole Huxley will begin service on May 15, working alongside current Commissioner Mills until he steps down at the end of June. She will assume the office and duties of Education Commissioner and President of the University of New York on July 1, 2009.

“We are grateful that after such a long and distinguished career Carole Huxley was willing to temporarily place her retirement on hold to continue the critical work the Regents have put in motion,” said Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents. “Having Carole in place will ensure a seamless transition in leadership as the Board continues a wide and exhaustive search for the next Education Commissioner. Carole will be the bridge that connects the leadership of Rick Mills with the next Commissioner.”

“Now is a time of great challenges that we cannot set aside, but must confront. This is also a moment that presents great opportunities that we cannot set aside, even for a few months,” said Interim Commissioner Huxley. “I am eager to continue the work underway and to guide the progress ahead until new leadership is ready to take on the task.”

“Carole is an inspired choice to connect the current work of the Department with the Department of the future, said Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills. “I am certain that under her watch the Department will continue to move forward while preparing for the next Commissioner.”

New York State Library Job Information Web Page Helps Library Staff Help Job Seekers

Thousands of New Yorkers are seeking career counseling and employment-related assistance through their public libraries in these tough economic times. Libraries and library staff across the state are struggling to meet increased demands from the public for a wide variety of job-related services and web-based information.

To help libraries and library staff better help job seekers, the New York State Library has created a web page with links to important Job and Career Information resources.

Please visit the New York State Library's Job and Career Information web page for:
* Basics in job search resources
* Links to outstanding public library system and public library employment and education web pages
* State and national job and career links
* Recent media items on the importance of libraries for people who are unemployed and in need of job and career assistance and resources

According to the NYS Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in New York State is 8.1 percent, with the total number of workers unemployed at 792,000 as of March, 2009. To view these and other statistics see the New York State Department of Labor's site.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Arts critic Joseph Dalton at the Albany Public Library

Sponsored by the Friends of the APL.

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2009
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Albany Public Library
Street: 61 Washington Ave.
City/Town: Albany, NY

Dalton discusses his new book and the crisis facing arts critics as newspapers cut back copy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Library of Congress Appoints Kay Ryan to Second Term as U.S. Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed Kay Ryan to serve a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

Billington said, "Kay has been an uplifting presence as Laureate during the past year, and her poetry continues to awe and delight readers. In her appearances at the Library, Kay has captivated audiences with her fresh insights into the beauty, power and importance of poetry. We are looking forward to her announcement this fall of a project she hopes to establish, and we are glad she is available to serve in this important position in 2009-2010."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The State of America’s Libraries Report 2009

From the Report Summary:

The value of libraries in communities across the country continued to grow in 2008 — and accelerated dramatically as the national economy sank and people looked for cost effective resources in a time of crisis, according to the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual State of America’s Libraries report, released Monday as part of National Library Week, April 12-18, 2009.

The report states library usage soared as Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.4 billion times and checked out more than 2 billion items in the past year, an increase of more than 10 percent in both checked out items and library visits, compared to data from the last economic downturn in 2001.

However, public funding did not keep pace with use, according to a survey conducted by the ALA. Forty-one percent of states report declining state funding for U.S. public libraries for fiscal year 2009. Twenty percent of these states anticipate additional reductions in the current fiscal year.

+ Children are among the heaviest users of public-library resources. Children’s materials accounted for 35 percent of all circulation transactions, and attendance at library-based children’s programs was 57.8 million.

+ Individual visits to school library media centers increased significantly at the schools that responded to both the 2007 and 2008 surveys: up 22.7 percent for the 50th percentile, up 12.5 percent for the 75th percentile and up almost 25 percent for the 95th percentile. There were no major year-to-year differences in the responses with regard to the other variables.

+ Academic libraries maintain their leading role in partnering to scan and digitize print book collections, with the potential to provide unprecedented access to millions of volumes. Large-scale digitization initiatives include Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance and the Million Book Project.

Stimulus Watch

" was built to help the new administration keep its pledge to invest stimulus money smartly, and to hold public officials to account for the taxpayer money they spend. We do this by allowing you, citizens around the country with local knowledge about the proposed "shovel-ready" projects in your city, to find, discuss and rate those projects. These projects are not part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes."

On each page are the "shovel-ready" projects the mayors of the states "submitted in the 2008 U.S. Conference of Mayors report. You can click on a project to read (and add to) its description. You can also discuss the project and vote on whether you believe it is critical or not."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Library is Job Search Central

In the continuing posting of stories about libraries and the economy (in the U.S. it has to be said) comes the latest story from the NY Times. This one is on the new Job Search Central that has been established at the Science, Industry and Business Library in NY.
Not only has the library put together a great list of resources etc. for job seekers but they are playing an active role in helping people navigate the resources etc. So have a look at this article.

Mobile Libraries Blog And Its Companion Global Facebook Group

The Mobile Libraries Blog Is Located At, while The Companion Facebook Group Is Located herr.

The Mobile Libraries Blog Is Devoted To Documenting Any and All Topics Relating To Services Provided By Libraries To Patrons Within Mobile Environments. Library Mobile Services Are Defined As Any And All Library Services That Are Provided Via Mobile Technologies.

The Companion Mobile Libraries Fb Group Is Intended To Primarily Serve As An Interactive Discussion Forum.

The Mobile Libraries Blog FeedBurner Feed Is here.

>>FIRSTS: The Musical Theme Of The Mobile Libraries Blog AND Fb Group Is
'Take Five' By The Dave Brubeck Quartet And The Artist-In-Residence For The Mobile Libraries Group Is Alexander Calder<<

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Update on ARRA

From: Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education

This is another in a series of updates related to State funding for education and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Please visit to read the latest memo, issued April 10, from the New York State Education Department.

An archive of the Department webcast on State funding for education and the ARRA held April 6 is also available on this site. The questions submitted both during and in advance of the webcast are being used in the development of an FAQ document. Please continue to submit your questions on the ARRA as it relates to education to the dedicated mailbox at .

ALA files comments on Broadband Technology Opportunities Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Library Association (ALA) submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), defining the position of libraries on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Citizens for Public Transportation meeting

Citizens for Public Transportation will be having its monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 15th at the Albany Public Library Main Branch (161 Washington Ave.) at 7 pm. A couple Mayoral candidates are invited to talk about transportation issues. A representative from CDTA is expected as well.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

“Worlds connect @ your library” in Second Life

In celebration of National Library Week, the American Library Association (ALA) will host a series of “Worlds connect @ your library” events in Second Life. “Worlds connect @ your library” is theme 2009 theme for National Library Week.
This year’s attractions and events in Second Life mark the second National Library Week to host “in-world” activities. Attractions open throughout National Library Week will include an ALA / Information Island Archipelago Treasure Hunt. Visitors are invited to explore the Information Island Chain while picking up fun and useful freebies along the way.

NYLA 2010 Book Fair Planning Committee

NYLA received a state grant from Senator Neil Breslin (D-Albany) to launch a NYS Book Fair in Albany on April 9-10th of 2010 (at the beginning of National Library Week). The two-day event will be held at the Empire State Plaza and Cultural Education Center (State Library/Museum). The NYS Book Fair is modeled after Brooklyn's Book Festival and Manhattan's We Are Book Country event.

NYLA is looking for people to serve on the Planning Committee who have experience in planning and implementing Book Fairs/Festivals or similar events and have connections with authors, publishers, etc. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in serving on the Planning Committee, which will entail several conference calls or in-person meetings in Albany (which will be reimbursed if necessary).

We are partnering with the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau and NYS State Library to host this event as well as other organizations that can contribute to the success of the event.

Michael J. Borges
Executive Director
New York Library Association
6021 State Farm Road
Guilderland, New York 12084
(518) 432-6952, ext. 101
(518) 427-1697 Fax

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

It's a Plot, I Tell You! Checking Out Books at the Library Will Never Be the Same.

By John Kelly, Washington Post, Tuesday, April 7, 2009; Page B03

"There's an old cliche that librarians are dusty, spinsterish women in twin sets and granny glasses shushing patrons who turn their pages too loudly.

In fact, most librarians are liberal, forward- thinking public servants, always pondering ways to do their job better.

And for this, I hate them."

Actually, APL has already sucumbed to this nefarious plot.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

BiblioTech and Program Guide Now Online

The April issue of BiblioTech is now online. This month's newsletter features updates on our Branch Improvement Plan, details about the upcoming board of trustees election, and information about a variety of library programs. Check out the April BiblioTech online here.

Book reviews. Movie screenings. Smart money workshops. Computer classes. Spring break activities. Game nights. Storytimes. Albany Public Library has a ton of great events scheduled in April. Our new program guide highlights many of these free events. You can pick up the guide at any of our locations. You can also read the program guide online here.

Please check out the latest BiblioTech and program guide, and make plans to join us at the library.

National Library Week Haikus

In preparation for National Library Week (April 12-18), Oxford University Press's publicity team recently asked its staff to writeNiko Pfund about their library experience for use in a promotional campaign. “Think quick and snappy, fun, happy, or tragic,” the note encouraged. Casper GrathwohlNiko Pfund (r.), academic group’s publisher, and Casper Grathwohl (l.), reference group’s publisher, had been in the middle of a “mean haiku emailing session” when the note from publicity arrived, so their 5-7-5ing quickly turned to the topic of libraries.

Library Journal, 4/3/2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Library Finds Copy of Schindler's List

Australian researchers sifting papers belonging to the author of "Schindler's List" discovered a yellowing roll of 801 men saved from the Holocaust by the German industrialist — the very copy the writer used to bring the story to the world's attention, a curator said Monday.
The 13-page document is a copy of one of Oskar Schindler's famed compilations of names that eventually included 1,100 men and women he saved by employing them in his factories in World War II Germany.

Spring Break Fun for Kids

There's something fun for kids to do at our locations every day during spring break. In addition to our regular storytimes and game nights, there are a number of special events scheduled.

Main Library (427-4310)

+ Online Gaming: April 13; 1 to 4 p.m.; ages 11-14
+ Kite Making: April 14; 2 to 3 p.m.; registration required
+ Board Game Day: April 15; all day
+ Beads Galore: April 16; 3 to 4 p.m.; registration required
+ Online Gaming: April 17; 1 to 4 p.m.; ages 11-14
Delaware Branch (463-0254)

+ Delaware Puppies: April 13; 6:30 p.m.
+ The Tale of Despereaux: April 16; 2 to 4 p.m.
North Albany Branch (463-1581)

+ Spring Break Craft: April 14, 15, 16, 17; all day; ages 6 & up

Click here for the April program guide..

Sunday, April 05, 2009

GPO gets its own YouTube channel

"The U.S. Government Printing Office's (GPO) core mission, Keeping America Informed, dates to 1813 when Congress determined the need to make information regarding the work of the three branches of Government available to all Americans. This is the inherent function of Government which GPO carries out for Federal agencies on behalf of the public. GPO is the Federal Government's primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing and preserving published information in
all its forms."

U.S. Government Printing Office: Sustainable Environmental Stewardship [Government Publishing Makes the Silver Screen of the YouTube Variety]

Thinkfinity @ your library features new online resource to help supporters advocate for libraries

Add It Up: Libraries Make the Difference in Youth Development and Education” is a new web-based resource that helps advocates make the case for libraries. The site contains talking points, statistics, and links to research that equip library advocates with information to speak articulately on behalf of the impact libraries have on school age children.

To learn more about the “Add it up” web site, visit, a collection of resources featuring librarian specific content from ALA. is the Verizon Foundation’s comprehensive program and online portal to 55,000 standards-based, grade-specific, K-12 lesson plans and other educational resources provided in partnership with many of the nation’s leading educational and literacy organizations. Content for is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation’s leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy.

Source: American Libraries Association

Saturday, April 04, 2009

ticTocs (A Wondeful Free Service)

Publisher: University of Liverpool and the ticTOCs Consortium
Cost: free
Tested: March 18-23, 2009

ticTOCS is a splendid, state of the art version of the traditional current awareness services from RSS feeds of the Table of Contents pages of more than 14,400 scholarly journals. It takes the pain out of learning about the content of the most recent and even upcoming issues of journals. It has some lacuna in journal coverage in spite of its wide scope, and a few software shortcomings. Even in its infancy, this service helps greatly in centralizing, personalizing and filtering the flood of information. It saves a lot of time, and offers a lot of gratification to researchers free.


Tuesday, April 7
12 p.m. at Main Library

Attorney Bill Shapiro reviews The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals by Jane Mayer. The book examines both the controversial excesses of the war on terror and the home front struggle to circumvent legal obstacles to its prosecution.

Sponsored by the Friends of the APL. Light refreshments are always served. This event is free and open to the public.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sunday Cinema Presents

BOYS TOWN - Sunday, April 5, 2 p.m. at Main Library

Spencer Tracy won an Academy Award for his stern, compassionate performance as Father Flanagan, an idealistic priest hoping to give tough, young city boys a chance. Mickey Rooney is Father Flanagan's most incorrigible youth who gets into a bad scrape that threatens the future of Boys Town. The movie is not rated. (94 minutes; 1938)

Sunday Cinema is free and open to the public.

New York State Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology


Among several dozen New York State Assembly committees is the Committee on Libraries and Education Technology. Recent press releases and reports from the committee are available on the Internet.

Hearing transcripts and reports from the Committee on Libraries have also been collected in the New York State Library's digital document management system. For example, the Annual Reports from the committee from 1997-2008 can found along with hearing transcripts from 1997.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Business and Economics Online Plus

Per Hill Library

If you're seeking subject guides for online resources on topics such as banking, business ethics, marketing research, or technology trends (plus many more), check out Business and Economics Online Plus (BEOnline+) from the Library of Congress.

Business and Economics Online, or BEOnline, was created to identify Internet resources of interest to the practice of entrepreneurship, small business, and economics. In 2000, BEOnline became BEOnline+ to reflect its expanded coverage to include topics in the social sciences and humanities.

Each subject guide contains a list of relevant resources with titles, links, and publisher information. In addition to subject guides, BEOnline+ also offers a title guide at

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Microsoft Shuts Encarta, Wikipedia Gives up on Wikia Search

No joke.

Chris Keall | Wednesday April 1 2009 - 09:31am

The National Business Review

Microsoft will close the book on its online encyclopaedia on October 31. Wikipedia bares some of the blame, but has its own problems.

During the 1990s, Microsoft's Encarta encyclopaedia, using content licensed from little-known Funk & Wagnalls, shook up the print industry.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica struggled against Microsoft's upstart, which was delivered on CD-ROM with many new consumer PCs.

But the new decade saw Encarta move online, but on the web it has been overwhelmed by the community-generated Wikipedia, which has millions of articles to Encarta's 50,000.

But Wikipedia is not having things all its own way. Today, the sites founder, Jimmy Wales, announced that is spin-off crowd-sourcing search engine, Wikia Search, will be shut down.

March 31, 2009
Microsoft accepts defeat to Wikipedia and kills off Encarta
Murad Ahmed, Technology Reporter
Times[of London]

Microsoft has announced it will kill off Encarta, its encyclopaedia software and website, later this year, which has crumbled in the face of competition from Wikipedia, the leading encyclopaedia on the web.

After nearly 15 years since it arrived on shelves, Microsoft announced on its website that Encarta will stop being available by the end of the year in most places worldwide.

The move is a tacit acceptance that Microsoft could no longer compete with the overwhelming popularity of Wikipedia, the free online website that launched in 2001. In January, Wikipedia got 97 per cent of the visits that web users in the US made to online encyclopaedias, according to Hitwise, the internet tracking company. Encarta trailed in second, with 1.27 per cent.


The complete articles may be read at the URLs provided for each.