Friday, February 26, 2010

State Library: 3-month extension to NOVELny license agreements

The New York State Library is pleased to announce that all of the products in the current NOVELNY initiative will be continued through June 30, 2010. This is a response to recommendations last year about improving the alignment of NOVELNY license agreements with the academic and school years.

State Library staff and the NOVELNY Electronic Collections Advisory Team of the Steering Committee are currently reviewing possible options for the 2010-2011 year (July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011). A separate announcement of 2010/11 products in NOVELNY will be made shortly.

If you have any questions, please send them to The NOVELNY Help Desk is available from 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday thru Friday by calling 877-277-0250 or, in the Capital District, 518-486-6012.

Provided by the New York State Library, NOVELNY is a pilot project for connecting New Yorkers to 21st century information through libraries. In 2010, over 5,600 libraries are participating in the statewide pilot project. NOVELNY is currently supported by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The New York State Library is a division of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.

Librarian, cybrarian appreciation is 'Overdue'

By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY

Who knew librarians had become so ... cool? [Well, of course...]

Marilyn Johnson is the author of the new This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All..., a humorous, unabashed love letter to the men and women who used to toil quietly in stacks but now circulate in cyberspace.

"They're smart and they're funny and they totally get it," says Johnson, whose respect for librarians grew tenfold when she was researching The Dead Beat, her acclaimed 2006 book on obituaries and obit writers. "They're not saints, but ethically and morally and every other good way, they're professionals. They're good people."

And possibly endangered.

"It turns out this is a good time to point out that we're shooting ourselves in the foot if we let these people go from our lives," says Johnson, 55, who lives in New York's Hudson Valley. "We need them more than ever."

The reasons are simple and multiple: "The middle class is squeezed and needs libraries more, information is multiplying at an alarming rate so we need librarians more, and the jobless are streaming to libraries in droves," she says.

Overall, the use of public libraries is up by 6% over last year, according to the Library Journal, while states and municipalities are drastically cutting back on aid to libraries, causing many to close. New York has just proposed its fifth cut to state library spending in two years. Ohio libraries were threatened with up to 50% cuts in aid last summer before thousands of patrons protested to legislators, who then cut state funding by 18%.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

“My Library” Option on Google Book Search Will Be Searchable Again

...users were discussing how you could NO LONGER keyword search just the books you saved in your own library. In other words, the ability to develop a collection of titles from Google Book Search and then limit/restrict a search TO ONLY those titles was gone.

ResourceShelf was able to contact Google and we received an answer about this issue...

From Google’s Response:

Last month, we launched a new My Library that enabled users to create and then share collections of books by adding them to “bookshelves.” In the coming weeks, we’ll be restoring the ability to search within My Library by enabling users to search across all of their bookshelves as well...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

School Payrolls Grew in 2008-09

Professional payrolls continued expanding in New York State school districts outside New York City last year, according to data posted today on, the government transparency website sponsored by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

Total spending on teaching and administrative salaries by districts outside New York City increased 5 percent statewide to $14 billion--a $670 million annual increase--in the 2008-09 school year...

The full text of this press release is available here.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen -518.434.3100

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Is your Cell Phone trying To Kill You?

Some studies link cell phone use to health risks
* By Greg Crowe, Government Computer News, Feb 19, 2010

Over the last decade, pretty much everyone got a cell phone. And in that time, every couple of years or so, the debate is raised over whether the little buggers are trying to kill us.

Sure, anyone who dodges swerving SUVs during the morning commute knows how dangerous cell-yakking drivers can be. But what we are talking about here is the electromagnetic radiation that our cell phones emit, and whether it has potential to increase certain health risks. A widely-cited 2008 study links cancers of the parotid gland (one of the salivary glands, located right behind the ear somewhere) to cell-phone use.

Underground Railroad History Conference

The 9th Annual UGR History Conference: Gender, Class, Race and Ethnicity in Abolitionism, on the Underground Railroad, and in the Struggle Since will take place February 26, 27, 28, 2010
Organized by Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.
Hosted by Russell Sage College, Troy, New York
In Collaboration with Rensselaer County Historical Society

February 26
“The Not So Underground Underground Railroad” Teacher Workshop
Rhonda Y. Williams, Ph.D. – evening guest speaker
“Railroads, Streets and Bridges – Black Women and Freedom Journeys”
February 27
Rosemary Sadlier–Mary Ann Shadd: Publisher, Editor, Teacher, Lawyer,
Workshops, cultural performance, vendors, poster displays

Join with scholars, artists, historians, preservationists, educators,
students, community members and others to explore how the forces of gender,
class, race and ethnicity have influenced the UGR and movements for freedom
that have arisen in its wake.

February 28
2-hour tour of Troy’s UGR and African American heritage sites

A complete listing of pre-conference activities, workshops, speakers,
accommodations, sponsors and directions is available

REGISTER at or 518-432-4432

Previous conferences:
2009 The Underground Railroad, Its Legacies, and Our Communities
2008 The Underground Railroad - How It Worked: Two Centuries of Escape,
Resistance, and the UGR Across the Continent".
2007 Underground Railroad: Uncovering the Voices of Women
2006 The Underground Railroad: Connecting Pathways to Liberty
2005 The Underground Railroad: Discoveries and Emerging stories
2004 The Underground Railroad: Quests for Freedom
2003 The Underground Railroad: Movement And Context
2002 Telling the Untold Story: The Underground Railroad In Albany and the
Surrounding Region

I mention this every year for only three reasons:

1. I've gone to these events in the past and they are always very worthwhuile attending.
2. The subject matter, I believe, is important.
3. Mary Liz and Paul Stewart, the organizers of the event, and indeed the co-founders of the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, are good friends of mine.

I have a fourth reason this year: I'm doing one of the workshops on Saturday afternoon. So sign up already!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Feb. 25 forum on prevention

An "Ounce of Prevention:” A Dialogue with Albany County officials, Thursday, February 25, 2010, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

When seniors fall in their homes, children are prey to abuse and families are forced to live in remote motels for months at a time, the social fabric that binds our neighborhood together is torn. The livable communities we treasure are threatened in these difficult times, and the services we depend on are no longer guaranteed.

“An Ounce of Prevention,” a forum on Feb. 25 sponsored by Albany County Executive Michael Breslin and Westminster Presbyterian Church, will look at the impacts of the recession from the perspective of the elderly, children at risk and homeless families. This will be an opportunity to dialogue with public officials and not-for-profit service providers about how to prevent everyday tragedies in every neighborhood in Albany.

The event takes place at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 85 Chestnut St. in Albany from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.. There is ample parking at the church, which is located between Dove and Swan streets. Speakers will include the commissioners or deputy commissioners of the Albany County Departments of Social Services, Aging and Children, Youth and Families. Other speakers from the community will address prevention issues in the community in the three topic areas. There will also be time for discussion about next steps.

People wishing to speak may call Westminster at 436-8544. No registration is required to attend and participate.

African American Newspapers: Catalysts for Social Change

Thursday,February 25th, 12:15 - 1:15 PM
Location: Librarians Room, 7th floor, Cultural Education Center, Madison Avenue, Albany (New York State Library)
Register Online

African American newspapers provided vital information to the African American community by reporting stories from a perspective often ignored by their counterparts. During the Great Migration era, many subscribers in the south depended on news reports from northern publications for an accurate picture of northern life and opportunities for African Americans. In this presentation, Cordell Reaves, Historic Preservation Program Analyst at the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, will explore the impact of some of these publications and how they shaped African American life primarily during the early to mid-1900s. Bring your lunch.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New York State Constitution

Most of us are familiar with the provisions of the United States Constitution. But who knows what's in the New York State document? Well, HERE IT IS.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Discarding Books

While I’m talking about Libraries... Rosemary Armao

Sometimes books end up in the trash.

Wikipedia wins the Google lottery - But Why?

Guardian Technology Blog

The Wikimedia Foundation - the organisation that runs Wikipedia- scored its own unexpected windfall yesterday, when it officially announced that Google was giving it a $2m grant.
For the website, the donation comes as the icing on the cake. Over the last few months, Wikipedia's been on a rather relentless fundraising drive that ended up bringing in $8m of cash to keep it going.

And it shouldn't be a complete surprise that Google is dipping into its pocket - after all, the internet goliath is not above supporting projects that help its users in some way. In the past it has pumped money into projects like Mozilla's Firefox and various university research projects.

But why Wikipedia?

Well, in general Google focuses on giving money to causes that will help make life better or easier for its users. That might be opening up a database that improves search results, offering a browser that is faster or more flexible than others, or finding new ways to collect and disseminate information.

Seen in that light, the Wikipedia grant is simple: the site's vast database of articles and search-engine friendly approach means it gets featured heavily in Google's results pages.

What is good for Wikipedia - making the site faster, more reliable and more accessible - helps Google's users get what they want, and is therefore good for the company itself. It's not a grant, it's an investment in making sure it can keep dominating search.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Penalty and Interest Discount tax program

As a reminder, the Penalty and Interest Discount (PAID) program gives taxpayers with older unpaid bills the chance to save up to 80% of the penalty and interest they owe.

One can save:
- 80% of accrued penalty and interest on unpaid bills issued on or before December 31, 2003
- 50% of accrued penalty and interest on unpaid bills issued after December 31, 2003 and on or before December 31, 2006.

To take advantage of the program's savings, you must make all payments by March 15, 2010. If you don't pay in full by that date:
- your opportunity for these savings will be lost forever
- any unpaid tax debts will continue to accrue interest at the full statutory rate.

Invitations to taxpayers eligible for PAID were sent in January. Eligible taxpayers who didn't receive a notice because they couldn't be reached through the mail can still participate. See the Web site to learn how to get PAID up.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Upper Hudson Library System

The Board of Trustees of the Upper Hudson Library System (UHLS) is seeking applicants for the position of Executive Director due to the retirement of the 10-year incumbent. UHLS is a cooperative system of 29 public libraries with an annual budget of $1.8 million and a staff of 10 FTE. UHLS is headquartered in Albany, NY, an urban hub with easy access to New York City, Montreal, the Berkshires and the Adirondack Mountains. Applicants must know and understand public library and administrative practices, fiscal management, and automated systems. Position reports to the UHLS Board of Trustees and is responsible for implementation of Board policies and for the general supervision of the System staff. Applicant must be willing to travel to the member libraries and to work together with their directors and trustees, consolidating the member libraries’ needs into a System-wide plan.

The position requires:
1. Creative leadership and consensus-building capabilities;
2. Familiarity with library automation systems and current technologies;
3. Ability to advocate convincingly on behalf of public libraries and work within a complex State bureaucratic structure;
4. Ability to lead and inspire System staff;
5. Commitment to flexible and creative solutions within the current economic situation while continuing the high quality of services provided to the member libraries;
6. Developing a broad knowledge of New York State's library systems and the ways in which they serve their member libraries.

1. Masters Degree in Library Science (MLS) from an ALA-accredited institution
2. Eligibility for a New York State Public Librarian’s Professional Certificate
3. Eight or more years of increasingly responsible public library experience (post MLS) including three or more years in an administrative capacity.

Hiring range $80,000 - $90,000. Generous benefits including New York State Retirement.
Deadline for applications: March 31, 2010. Start date August 1, 2010.

Send letter, resume and three references to: Mary Muller, Chair, Search Committee, 207 Second St., Troy, NY 12180; email:

Job description and information available at:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

WNY Legacy web site gets a facelift!

The Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC) is pleased to announce a makeover of the Western New York Legacy (WNYLegacy) web site, WNYLegacy is freely available online, and contains thousands of digital images, documents, letters, maps, books, slides, and other items reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Western New York. The new site has been redesigned to include a new color scheme, a slideshow on the home page, improved searching capability, and an option to create a search box on your own web site.

Two collections are currently featured on the WNYLegacy home page: the Love Canal Collection from the University at Buffalo Libraries and the Bentley Snow Crystal Collection from the Buffalo Museum of Science. Visit today for access to these collections and much more from libraries and historical agencies in Western New York.

WNYLegacy is a project managed by WNYLRC in partnership with member libraries and institutions throughout the region. WNYLegacy also partners with and contributes to New York Heritage,, an online site with access to digital collections from all over New York State.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Capital Lit, Albany's First Lit Mag & Small Press Fair

Attention Albany Lit Lovers! Start 2010 off right with all the literary magazines and books you can carry off from CAPITAL LIT, CLMP’s first-ever Albany Lit Mag & Small Press Fair.

The fair will take place on Saturday, February 20, from 12pm-6pm, in Saint Joseph Auditorium, 985 Madison Avenue, on The College of Saint Rose campus.

Hundreds of regional and national independent literary publishers will converge to sell their journals for only $2 an issue and books for $4 each. Many publishers will attend in person to meet Albany’s eager readers, so don’t miss this opportunity to discover literature you are unlikely to find in a single store, and meet the publishers and editors who do the real work of keeping American Literature vibrant and vital.

An offering of Frequency North, the aggressively eclectic visiting writers reading series at Saint Rose, and the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, CAPITAL LIT will bring to Albany hundreds of regional and national independent literary publishers who will sell their journals for only $2 an issue and books for $4 each. The all-day festival includes a panel discussion on publishing, readings by three of the region’s notable authors and, that evening at Valentine's music hall, the Albany debut of Karaoke + Poetry = Fun!

Admission is free and open to the public. This program is made possible in part through support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses

Here is the schedule of events:

12-6 Book Fair, Saint Joseph Auditorium
1pm Potlach with Colie Collen
2pm Indie Publishing Panel Discussion
5pm Reading and discussion with Shane Jones, Tobias Seamon and Barbara Louise Ungar

7pm Karaoke + Poetry = Fun
17 New Scotland Avenue
Featuring Eric Auld, Cara Benson, R.M. Englehardt, Geof Huth, Murrow, Tara Needham, Mary Panza, Tobias Seamon, Alifair Skebe, Dan Wilcox

Come and sign up to read and sing!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The 2010 Census - A Great Way to Earn Extra Money NOW

Please note that the US Census Bureau, an Equal Opportunity Employer, is recruiting NOW to hire over 1400 applicants for temporary part-time census takers for the 2010 Census in the Capital District. The sooner you apply, the sooner you will be hired.

The goal is to have at least 7,000 qualified applicants from which to choose. The field staff pay ranges from $15.00 to $16.50 depending upon the job, the hours are flexible, and the work is close to home. CALL 1-866-861-2010 toll free to apply.

To do your best on the Census qualifying exam, applicants may want to take the practice test which is available here:

Census taker jobs are excellent for retirees, college students, persons who want to work part-time, persons who are between jobs, or just about anyone who wants to earn extra money while performing an important service for their community.

Every 10 years, a census of our population is conducted. The results help determine your representation in government, as well as how federal funds ($400 Billion ) are spent in your community on things like roads, parks, housing, schools, and public safety. As a census taker, you'll play a vital role in making sure that everyone is included.

All census takers must be able to speak English, but bilingual skills in English and other languages are needed in communities that have a large number of residents who speak a language other than English. Spanish testing is available if required. If you have such skills, we encourage you to apply.

Besides good pay, you'll have flexible hours, paid training, and the chance to work within your own community. You'll earn a place in history, as well as work experience you can add to your resume.

For additional information, go to:

Tests will be offered in the basement of Draper Hall at the downtown UAlbany campus. Please call to register beforehand at the local office (can be obtained by calling 1-866-861-2010). There will not be any tests offered next week but they will be offered again as of February 22 on Monday and Friday mornings at 10:00 am. Always register beforehand!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Vacation Fun at APL Feb. 13-20

Parents looking for fun things for their kids to do during winter break should look no further than Albany Public Library. The five APL libraries have plenty of programs planned for Feb. 13 through 20 to keep kids busy.

Here’s a small selection of APL’s winter vacation week activities for children. All programs are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Reminder: Matching Challenge

Any contribution made now through the end of February to the Friends will be matched. The money raised will be given to the Albany Public Library's summer programs.

Make checks payable to Friends of Albany Public Library, and mail them to:
Gene Damm
22 Fairlawn Avenue
Albany, NY 12203

Underground Railroad Conference

The 9th Annual Underground Railroad History Conference, Friday, February 26 at 8:30am through Sunday, February 28 at 2:00pm at Russell Sage College, Troy, NY, where I'll be one of many presenting on that Saturday. Register now!

Monday, February 08, 2010

November 2009 Checklist of Official Publications

The New York State Library has posted the November 2009 Checklist of Official Publications of the State of New York. Links to individual monthly issues in 'rich text format' as well as the annual cumulations in HTML are also available here.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Unfair credit card industry practices continue

Credit card companies are busy crafting new tricks and traps to bypass both Federal Reserve Board rules and new federal law set to take full effect in late February 2010, a new research report from the Center for Responsible Lending finds. Entitled “Dodging Reform: As Some Credit Card Abuses Are Outlawed, New Ones Proliferate,” the report explains why the nation’s 80 million families with one or more credit cards continue to be hit with arbitrary, unfair interest rate hikes and fees.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Legislative Office Expenditures

Office expenditures of individual state Senators and Assembly members for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009 have been posted in a searchable format on the Empire Center's government transparency web site,
The full text of this press release is available here.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

ACHA Black History Month Program

The Albany County Historical Association (ACHA) announces a special program in celebration of Black History Month. ACHA is pleased to host Sherrill D.
Wilson, Ph. D., Saturday, February 20 at 1:00 pm, at Ten Broeck Mansion, 9 Ten Broeck Place, Albany. This Speakers in the Humanities event is free and open to the public, and made possible through the support of the New York Council
for the Humanities’ Speakers in the Humanities program. Dr. Wilson’s
topic is “Celebrating Freedom”.

For questions or information call 436-9826 during regular business hours.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Black History Month in Downtown Albany

Look no further than these scheduled events as you celebrate Black History Month!

Infomavens' Desktop

A blog described as "informing, never boring," Infomavens' Desktop "is a fun and insightful (hopefully) blog maintained by a lawyer and a librarian, with diverse interests and backgrounds!"

Recent posts include a list of librarians dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller video (1/31), Southern California schools banning Merriam Webster’s 10th edition dictionary (1/27), the (possible) effect of social media on democracy (1/27), and a piece called Stop Freaking Out and Head to the Library! (1/20).

I found it, BTW, when ID started following me on Twitter (infomavensblog).