Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Journal of Library Innovation First Issue Published

The Editorial Team of the Journal of Library Innovation is proud to announce the publication of its first issue. This online, peer-reviewed journal can be viewed at:

There are no subscriptions necessary to read the journal. If you haven’t already done so, you may register as a reader in order to receive email notification whenever an issue is published. There is a bibliographic record in WorldCat too, if you would like to add it to your catalog!

The journal is a publication of the Western New York Library Resources Council.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Albany Business Forum

Presented by the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber in conjunction with Capitalize Albany Corporation, Central Business Improvement District, Downtown Albany Business Improvement District and Lark Street Business Improvement District.
April 14, 2010
Offices at 126 State Street
7:45 - 9 AM

The Albany Business Forum presents a unique opportunity for businesses in the city to hear from the mayor and city officials on economic development projects and the state of the public schools as well as invaluable time to interact with others who are invested in Albany's future.

Sign up Online
There is no charge to attend.
Street parking is available as well as
complimentary parking at Crowne Plaza garage.

The Latest on City Initiatives
Stay abreast of the latest progress in the city. Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and his staff will present a briefing on infrastructure projects and economic development initiatives.

Update on Albany Schools
Interim Superintendent Ray Colucciello, Ed.D. will provide an update on the city's schools and what's being done to improve student outcomes and prepare the future workforce.

Make Business Connections
Geared toward professionals who have a vested interest in Albany's success, this event is ideal to meet and connect with the city's business and community leaders.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Grand opening: Howe Library

Stolen feiom Stephanie Simon, APL

More than 1,000 people converged on 105 Schuyler Street in Albany's South End on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the newly renovated John A. Howe Branch Library. The 81-year-old building had been closed for 18 months during a $5.2 million renovation project. APL staff and leaders were delighted to share the grand opening day with the community that has been so supportive of this building for so many years.

Some highlights of the Howe Branch Library grand opening party were:
*A welcome ceremony with Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings, Library Board of Trustees President Dennis Gaffney, and Library Executive Director Carol Nersinger
*Ribbon-cutting by South End neighborhood and Giffen Memorial Elementary School children
*Gift presentation to the library by members of Siena College's 21st Century Leaders Society, which has been raising money for the Howe Library for several years

In case you missed the festivities, this story from Your News Now captured some of the highlights.

Features of the New Howe Library

The newly renovated Howe Branch Library has been restored to its original 1929 beauty and grandeur. The $5.2 million library renovation project was designed by CS Arch, built by Bunkoff General Contractors, and managed by the Dormitory Authority of New York State. The 12,000-square-foot Howe Branch Library features:
· 30,000-piece collection of new books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, magazines, and more
· 16 public access computers and building-wide Wi-Fi
· Separate spaces, collections, and computers for adults, teens, and children
· Two community meeting rooms and two small-group study rooms
· Energy efficient and cost effective "green" systems and construction
· A rear addition housing an elevator, stairs, restrooms, and ground-floor book drop
· Restored historic windows that offer expansive views and natural light
· Refinished original woodwork, shelving, and benches
Three down, two more to go. Our all-new branch libraries open very soon. The John J. Bach Branch Library on New Scotland Avenue celebrates its grand opening on May 15, and the Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library on Henry Johnson Boulevard has its party on June 12. Mark your calendars for these great neighborhood celebrations!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Reminder: the Census

March 2010
Dear New Yorker,

Census forms have arrived at your address, and I am writing to remind you to take 10 minutes to fill-out the 10 questions for each person living in your home, and mail it back today.

The Census is safe and confidential. By law, no one other than the Census Bureau staff is allowed to see your questionnaire for 72 years – not even the President. As you know, the census is a count of every person, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, living in the United States and its territories. It is required by the United States Constitution and is the foundation of our representative democracy.

The Census is important. Census data will be used to determine everything from how many representatives you get in our political system to how much money our State will receive from the federal government for essential services like education, affordable housing, and health care.

The Census is easy. I am asking all New Yorkers to fill out the census form for each person living in your home and mail it back today. If the Census Bureau does not receive your form, the Census Bureau workers will complete the count by knocking on the doors of households that did not return a census form.

If you need help completing your questionnaire, Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs) have been set up at community organizations and businesses throughout the state to make sure you have the necessary resources to complete your census form, including a staff person to answer census-related questions, language assistance, and Be Counted forms if you have misplaced or lost the original questionnaire. For information in English call 1-866-872-6868 or for help in the following languages call: Spanish: 1-866-928-2010; Chinese: 1-866-935-2010; Korean: 1-866-955-2010; Russian: 1-866-965-2010; Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010. The TDD telephone number for assistance is 1-866-783-2010.

Please visit to get up-to-date information on Census 2010 in New York State. You are New York, Make Yourself Count! Mail back your form TODAY!


David A. Paterson
Governor of New York State

Third of Americans Use Library Computers

A third of Americans -- about 77 million people -- use public library computers to look for jobs, connect with friends, do their homework and improve their lives, according to a new study released Thursday.

It confirms what public libraries have been saying as they compete for public dollars to expand their services and high-speed Internet access: library use by the general public is widespread and not just among poor people.

But researchers found that those living below the federal poverty line -- families of four with a household income of $22,000 or less -- had the highest use of library computers. Among those households, 44 percent reported using public library computers and Internet access during the past year.

More here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Writers Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony

New York State Writers Hall Gala and Induction Ceremony
April 9, 2010
6:00 PM - 10:30 PM
Crowne Plaza, Albany, NY

The Gala will showcase New York State writers, past and present, and induct the first honorees into the Writers Hall of Fame.

The New York Library Association established the New York Writers Hall of Fame to recognize New Yorkers living and deceased whose writings have made a lasting contribution to literature. The first inductees are Robert Caro and Mary Gordon, along with past writers James Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Isaac B. Singer, Edith Wharton, E.B.White and Walt Whitman.

The Gala kicks off the festival which will continue on Saturday with a full slate of free author talks, writing workshops, tutorials and storytelling.

To download an invitation, visit here or for more information.

Planning to stay overnight?
A block of rooms is being held at the Crowne Plaza, downtown Albany for the evening of Friday, April 9, 2010 at the rate of $109. Please call 1-877-462-4441 and mention reservation code BGG to get the negotiated rate. Please make your reservations by April 2, 2010. More information about the hotel can be found on the web

A Celebration of New York State Writers, Books and Literacy
Saturday, April 10, 2010
10 AM – 5:30 PM
Empire State Convention Center Meeting Rooms and Base of Egg, Albany

Keynote Address at 10 AM
Wicked Author Gregory Maguire
After his address, Gregory Maguire will be doing a book signing.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to meet the author!

Join us for author talks, panel discussions, writing workshops, "How to get published" tutorials, storytelling by children's authors and local librarians, local vendors and exhibits throughout the day.

Event is FREE and open to the public.

For more information, visit or call 518-432-6952 X105.

Amanda G. Wing
Marketing Coordinator
New York Library Association
6021 State Farm Road
Guilderland, NY 12084

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

State Librarian Update 9

Please feel free to pass along this update to colleagues, friends, and anyone you think would benefit from reading about library matters in New York State. This update and past updates are posted on the New York State Library’s website.

New York BTOP at THE TOP: While the champagne (New York, of course) hasn’t flowed yet (there are, after all, rules about that!), we are celebrating the major $15 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This will bring $9.5 million in federal stimulus funds to New York to support the expansion of broadband access in 41 upstate counties through public access computing centers in 30 public libraries and 5 e-mobile computer training units, including one operated by library systems and one community college. This is the largest library grant nationally in this program to date and we hope will set the pattern for a bold expansion of broadband access everywhere in the state. Additionally, the grant includes providing online job search and other skills enhancing resources to the targeted 41 counties. We hope to leverage these resources to permit statewide access to these online job resources. For more information on this important new grant, please contact Library Development Specialist and Grant Project Coordinator Mary Linda Todd at

Charter Actions: One of the unseen aspects of the State Library’s work revolves around “chartering”. Every one of the 755 public and association libraries in the State must have a “charter” (incorporation) from the New York State Board of Regents or from the Department of State and must be registered (licensed) by the State Education Department. Without a charter, a library cannot be recognized as a library to receive financial support. Without a registration certificate, which attests that the library meets minimum standards, a public or association library cannot accept local or state public funds.
“No charter/No library” - “No registration/No public funds”.
Sometimes the charters are provisional, sometimes absolute. The charters guide the governance of the state’s public and association libraries and codify the details of the library types, the library service areas, the number and length of terms of trustees, the use of assets, the elements of legal service and the provisions for dissolution should that ever be necessary. At the last Regents meeting eight (8) charter actions were approved. There are about nine (9) additional charter actions pending and it is rare that a meeting of the Regents passes without a library charter action. In 2009, the Regents approved 90 library charter actions. The Division of Library Development staff provides extensive background information about the proposed charter changes and the charters are usually approved by the Board of Regents with little controversy. The pending charter actions include a wide range of proposed changes ranging from changing a library’s name, to lengthening the term of trustee service to five years, to dissolving one association library and transferring its assets to a newly created school district public library. This important work, exacting and detailed, is conducted by Joseph J. Mattie and the Library Development Specialists serving on the Public Library, Public Library System and School Library Systems Team with the able assistance of Education Program Assistant Maria Hazapis. Should you have any questions about library chartering, there is excellent information on the State Library’s website.
. Your public library system is also available to assist with chartering. Each system has a complete set of official library charter documents for their member libraries on microfiche. You may also contact Maria Hazapis at and she will either answer your question or put you in touch with the appropriate Library Development Specialist.

NYSCIS In Flight: I have been talking about the concept of aggregating the acquisition of database resources on a state-wide basis. If information is the oxygen of the information economy then our job is to deliver to New Yorkers the most complete array of on-line information resources. The idea for the New York State Comprehensive Information System has taken wing in the form of new legislation drafted by the New York Library Association. The proposed legislation will benefit the entire state library community and provide the structure from which we can build on existing state resources to create an easily accessible oxygen source for everyone. This will build on NOVELNY and in the process expand the availability of resources in a cost-effective and cost-efficient way. I hope everyone will assist us as we move this idea from concept to operation. My special thanks to Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito, Chair of the Assembly Government Operations Committee, for her wonderful leadership and support on this issue.

Award: The Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award was created by the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries to honor long-serving State Librarian Joe Shubert. Joe’s 22 year service was characterized by great energy and great change. The award in his honor is intended to recognize achievements by New York State libraries and library consortia of all sizes and types. The award is given annually to individual libraries and to library consortia to recognize achievements that improve the quality of library service to their users. The Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award recognizes the many ways that libraries, through their programs, staff, and services, make a significant difference in their communities. The 2010 award announcement will be posted shortly on NYLINE and I encourage libraries and library systems to apply. For more information on the Award, visit
the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries website

Leadership Change: The distinguished Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver has tapped Assemblyman Jonathan L. Bing (Manhattan 73) to serve as the new Chair of the Committee on Libraries and Education Technology.
Improving library funding is one of Assemblyman Bing’s long-standing legislative interests. He successfully shepherded legislation to use the most current Census figures for the calculation of State Aid to Libraries. He has authored over 60 pieces of legislation which have passed the Assembly and over 2 dozen that have been enacted into law.
Please share congratulations with Assemblyman Bing on his selection to chair this important committee for libraries. We thank Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton for her important, though much too short, service as Committee Chair. She clearly understands the critical and central role played by libraries. She will now be serving as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Majority Steering Committee. We should probably expect another shift in Committee Chairs after the fall elections. Every time there is a change we have an important chance to educate another library champion and to expand the legislative knowledge base about libraries.

Lead in Books: The Consumer Product Safety Commission staff had previously informed me that they were at work on an advisory opinion informing libraries of how to handle older books in children’s collection which might exceed the new “lead” levels imposed by the latest changes to the Consumer Product Safety Statutes. I have just learned that the Commission has stopped its work after learning that California Congressman and House Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman is working on legislation to exempt books from the requirements. Again, there is no need to panic, to remove any books, or to change any acquisition or weeding policies or practices. We will keep you posted as legislation is introduced on this important topic.

Kirkus Not Yet Buried: Just as the last Update moved through the ether, a colleague shared the information that the famous Kirkus Reviews had been purchased and will continue. This is, of course, great news for those of us who believe that books will continue to be written, published, printed, bound, lent (sold), and read! I am glad that my report was at best premature.

School Libraries: Congratulations to Superintendent Philip Steinberg of the Pine Bush Central School District for his decision not to eliminate two elementary school librarian positions! Facing a very tough budget year, the elementary school positions were on the chopping block. Pine Bush’s leadership recognized the significant and positive impact of school librarians on student achievement. The study by Dr. Ruth Small at Syracuse University I School reaffirms the evidence that New York kids do better with great school libraries and great school librarians. These positions are worth fighting for and more importantly… our children and their learning success requires strong, capably staffed school libraries in every school. We can not let it be open season on school librarians. These positions are vital to learning!

April is: School Library Month and includes National Library Week
(April 11-17, 2010) with the theme: "Communities thrive @ your library®." Go forth and celebrate! April is also the time for the first Empire State Book Festival (April 9-10) at the Empire State Plaza. For more information, go to

Exclusivity in Online Publications: I have just learned that the Federal Trade Commission has begun investigating complaints stemming from the exclusive online distribution agreements for TIME Inc. publications. This is good news. My recent e-mails to Consumers Union, the New York not-for-profit organization which publishes Consumer Reports, and the publisher who began the recent trend of having only one online vendor source for popular magazines, brought an answer from Vice President Jerry Steinbrink. He informed me: “Our relationship with EBSCO is not exclusive, but we do not have the resources to manage more than one distributor”. Mr. Steinbrink has opened the lines of communication for more discussion and I will be talking with him soon.
In the meantime, if you happen to be a member of the Consumers Union you might want to suggest that they adopt a more enlightened market view when it comes to their own products and services. Jim Guest, CEO can be reached at or Vice President Steinbrink at

ALA Elections: The polls are now open. Please vote. I just voted for Sara Kelly Johns for President, Jim Neal for Treasurer, Frank D’Andraia for ACRL President Elect, and Mary Fellows for ALSC President Elect - all great New York leaders.

Personal Privilege: Generally, except for a bit of ‘editorializing’ every now and then, I have kept these updates free of personal observations. Now, however, the Update may have to take a short hiatus and I wanted you to know why. I have been diagnosed with cancer and am actively pursuing treatment which I expect will include chemo and a bone marrow transplant. I am upbeat that I can win the fight. One of my great friends from Michigan, Jim Luke, has set up a website - - as a means of keeping anyone interested updated on my progress. It is also a place where people can post messages to me and where I can spout off. It is probably a case of technology gone wild but nonetheless is a great way to stay in touch. I hope to be back with my Updates soon.

Bernard A. Margolis
State Librarian

Follow APL on Twitter

From Stephanie Simon, APL:

If you're a fan of Twitter, make sure you sign up for the library's Twitter feed. We've been sending tweets for several months and have more than 150 followers. It's a fun way to keep up with library happenings on the go. You'll learn about great programs, new books coming out, updates on the renovated and new libraries, and other APL news.

If you don't have a Twitter account, it's easy, and free, to register for one.

Then check out APL's Twitter feed!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Howe Library Grand Opening

Swiped from Stephanie Simon

This free community party on March 27 features entertainment, refreshments, and giveaways for the whole family. The 71-year-old Howe Branch Library is at 105 Schuyler Street in Albany's South End.

Some highlights of party include:
* 1:30 p.m. Welcome ceremony with library leaders and elected officials and a ribbon cutting by neighborhood children
* 2 p.m. Vocal performance by Albany middle-schooler Arielle Patterson-King
* 2:30 p.m. Performance by Giffen Elementary School choral group
* 2 to 3:30p.m. Balloon animals by Mr. Magicman

Throughout the afternoon, partygoers will enjoy:
* Fun library giveaways and craft activities for kids
* Free books for children provided by the Junior League of Albany through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
* Refreshments and cake generously provided by hospitality sponsor Price Chopper

What's Different at Howe?

The newly renovated Howe Branch Library has been restored to its original 1929 beauty and grandeur. The $5.2 million library renovation project was designed by CS Arch, built by Bunkoff General Contractors, and managed by the Dormitory Authority of New York State. The 11,500-square-foot Howe Branch Library features:

* 30,000-piece collection of new books, DVDs, CDs, audio books, magazines, and more
* 16 public access computers and building-wide Wi-Fi
* Separate spaces, collections, and computers for adults, teens, and children
* Two community meeting rooms and two small-group study rooms
* Energy efficient and cost effective "green" systems and construction
* A rear addition housing an elevator, stairs, restrooms, and ground-floor book drop
* Restored historic windows that offer expansive views and natural light
* Refinished original woodwork, shelving, and benches

Young Learners Need Librarians, Not Just Google

by Mark Moran, Forbes
Intelligent Investing

A year ago The New York Times presented a multimedia, packaged gift to school librarians everywhere. With its profile of Brooklyn, N.Y., school librarian Stephanie Rosalia, at long last, a major newspaper had chronicled the 21st century school librarians role as Web curator and information literacy specialist.
Cut to the present, and librarian blogs tell a different story. Many absolutely clueless administrators still believe that a search engine is an adequate substitute for a trained research teacher. With the nation's schools budget-strapped, librarians--and even libraries--are being cut from coast to coast. Even President Obama, whose creation of a National Information Literacy Awareness Month suggests he should know better, left additional funding for school libraries out of his FY 2011 budget proposal.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy anniversary, Lennie and Naomi Tucker

The article from last year: A first dance 70 years long.

Community Connections II

Celebrate Albany's historic downtown neighborhoods at Community Connections II on Thursday, March 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the University Club, 141 Washington Ave., at Dove Street.

There is no cost to participate in the mixer, which will feature information on many of Albany's not-for-profit institutions, including: the Albany Institute of History & Art; Washington Park Conservancy; Girls, Inc.; The Albany Roundtable Civic Luncheon Series; Equinox, Inc.; Grand Street Community Arts; and the quarterly publication Capital Neighbors. Representatives will be on hand to let participants know how they can join or support these important organizations.

The Center Square, Hudson/Park, Washington Park, Park South and Mansion Neighborhood Associations will also have information available for those who would like to become members.

The cost of delicious appetizers will be underwritten by neighborhood business and individual sponsors, and beer, wine and soft drinks will be available.

The University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc. is hosting this event, dress is casual and one need not be a member to attend.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 Woman’s Day magazine library contest open through May 9

CHICAGO – Libraries have until May 9 to promote Woman’s Day magazine’s newest initiative, “why the library is important to my community.” The American Library Association (ALA) and Woman’s Day are looking for stories that showcase the importance and value of libraries within the communities they serve.
Women ages 18 and up are invited to send in their stories in 700 words or less to Up to four stories will be profiled in the March 2011 issue of the magazine or at

Librarians can download free tools to help collect local stories from the Campaign for America’s Libraries Web site ( Tools include a sample press release and newsletter copy.

A downloadable Web button that can be linked to the official rules on the Woman’s Day Web site ( is also available.

The initiative continues a nine-year partnership between the magazine and ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries that has generated millions of dollars worth of editorial coverage for libraries. Since 2002, Woman’s Day has asked its readers to write in about “how the library has changed my life,” “how the library helped improve my health” and “how the library helped me deal with the tough economy.”

Woman’s Day magazine is a Partner in the Campaign for America’s Libraries (, ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations that advocate the importance of the library in American society.

Other Partners include Carnegie Corporation of New York, Disney Book Group, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Univision Radio and Verizon.

Megan McFarlane
Campaign Coordinator
The Campaign for America's Libraries

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Updated Legislative Spending Posted On Internet

Office expenditures of individual state Senators and Assembly members for the six months ending September 30, 2009, the latest period for which data are available, have been posted in a searchable format on the Empire Center's government transparency website,

The full text of this press release is available here.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen

Census Bureau Director Delivers 2010 Census Message from James Madison's Montpelier Home

In recognition today of the 259th birthday of James Madison, the principal writer of the Constitution and the fourth President of the United States, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves visited Montpelier — Madison's colonial home near Orange, Va. Groves stood in Madison's library, the very room that one of the Founding Fathers used to draft the Virginia Plan that became the Constitution.

As each U.S. household receives a 2010 Census form, every resident is encouraged to participate in a process that is as old as the nation itself. That process is the decennial census, mandated in Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, mainly written by James Madison, one of our nation's founders and our fourth president. U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves recently visited Madison's historic home, Montpelier, in Orange, Va., and stood in the room that was the library where Madison drafted the Virginia Plan that became the Constitution. Groves paused to reflect on his own obligation to participate in the 2010 Census and to "ensure that we get it right."

Please view and share this video with family, friends, neighbors, and networking community.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Ends

Swiped from Stephanie Simon, APL:

For those of you who have been anxiously waiting for our used bookstore to reopen at the Main Library, we've got good news. Book Ends (the newly named and relocated used bookstore) is expected to open its doors in April. Employees from our Readers' Services and Reference Departments have been working hard going through donations and amassing a great collection of fiction and nonfiction items that we will sell from the new location on the first floor of the Main Library. Our Maintenance crews completely refurbished the space (the former café, for those of you library old-timers), adding shelving, repairing cabinetry, painting, and making it new again. We'll announce a grand opening date soon, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Howe Grand Opening Party

Swiped from Stephanie Simon, APL:

We're just two weeks away now. The Howe Branch Library grand opening celebration is Saturday, March 27, from 1 to 5 p.m. Please make plans to join us for this great community party. We'll have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. and family entertainment from 2 to 3:30 p.m. We'll also have free library giveaways and refreshments (courtesy of Price Chopper, the generous hospitality sponsor of all five branch library grand opening celebrations).

Grant Award for NYS Libraries


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has been awarded $9.5 million in a matching grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to expand computer access in public libraries across New York State. The funding is being provided through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

The grant will support the State Library’s Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project to help low-income, unemployed, underemployed, and other vulnerable populations in upstate New York. High unemployment rates, a distressed economy, and a lack of affordable public access to high-speed broadband services, education, training and technical support have been particularly acute in geographically isolated upstate communities. The grant will enable the State Library and its public library partners to purchase equipment to expand the public’s access to computers and teleconferencing.

Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary will provide more than 860 computers in 30 libraries and five mobile training centers across 41 economically distressed upstate New York counties with populations totaling 6,655,824 (2008 census). This grant will allow libraries to extend hours, provide 24/7 access to job search resources, and serve an estimated 50,000 additional users per week system-wide.
A list of partner libraries is found here, and includes Albany Public Library.

New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner said, "Libraries are vital to our communities and our economy. The increased broadband capacity, training and online resources funded through this grant will provide more New Yorkers with access to essential online information for work, healthcare, education, and citizenship as well as E-government resources."

"What librarians and libraries do everyday is vitally important work," said State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard Margolis. "Yet, even though New Yorkers turn to their public libraries more in difficult economic times, libraries themselves have suffered cuts and reductions to their valuable services. This grant will enable our libraries to continue to do critically important work and to expand the opportunities, education, and services that high speed Internet provides to the unserved and underserved in our communities."

The New York State Library, within NYSED, worked with partner libraries throughout the state and the New York State Office of the Chief Information Officer/Office for Technology (CIO/OFT) to submit the proposal for the grant. In order to participate in this matching grant, partner libraries must make an in-kind contribution to support the project. The total in-kind match is $5.4 million.

"CIO/OFT is very proud to continue supporting the innovative Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary project," said Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State CIO, Director of the Office For Technology, and Chair of the Broadband Development and Deployment Council. "In these tough economic times, access to free resources is critical for New York’s citizens. Many times, computers located in libraries are the only point of broadband contact for many citizens. Those who do not own a computer or have access to the internet often go to the library, where it is available for free. And for those who have never used a computer help is available. These grants will help ensure our libraries can continue to provide high-speed, reliable internet services and digital literacy training programs for our communities."

The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, funded by ARRA, provides matching grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. Funded at $4.7 billion, BTOP will also advance ARRA’s objectives to spur job creation and stimulate long-term economic growth and opportunity.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to fund projects that will expand access to and adoption of broadband services. NTIA plans to announce all grant awards by September 30, 2010.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tee Time @ Crandall Public Library

Fore! On Saturday, March 20, 2010 Crandall Public Library will host its first annual Tee Time @ Crandall Public Library benefit event, presented by Glens Falls National Bank & Trust Company. For this one day only, the Library interior will be transformed into an 18 hole, playable mini golf course, starting at the Children’s Library on the second floor, winding through the first floor, and ending at the Folklife Gallery in the basement. For a green fee of only $5 per person, the public is invited to play the complete 18 hole mini golf. Tee times are offered all day long between the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm. Crandall will be open for regular Library business during the event, but patrons should be prepared for a louder than usual atmosphere on this one extraordinary day!
For more information about Tee Time @ Crandall Public Library, visit the Library web site at or call 518-792-6508, extension 284 to speak with our Development Director Lynn Shanks.

AHS FIRST Robotics Club

The FIRST Robotics team at Albany High School is looking for a volunteer with Java programming expertise to help with its next robot, to be ready to program in January 2011.

The AHS FIRST Robotics Club meets Mondays and Wednesdays 2:50-3:45pm. Albany High School is located at 700 Washington Avenue.

For more information contact Richard Kissane .

Patrons Get Sneak Peek at Howe Library

Swiped from Stephanie Simon, APL

More than 70 library supporters got a sneak preview of the newly renovated Howe Branch Library on March 4 as part of a fundraiser hosted by the APL Foundation. Party-goers enjoyed champagne (donated by Delaware Plaza Wine & Liquor), chocolate (courtesy of Cravings), and strawberries (donated by Hannaford and the Madison Fruit Garden). They also dined on hors d'oeuvres donated by South End neighborhood restaurants (V&R Ristorante, Café Capriccio, and Lombardo's). Attendees were entertained by a duo from the Capital Chamber Artists. Patrons toured the refurbished library, noting such wonderful features as: the Rip Van Winkle Moravian tile fireplace in the children's room, original quarter-sawn oak bookcases and woodwork, glass room dividers (called for in the original 1920s design, but never installed), and the new addition housing an elevator and bathrooms. The party was a wonderful way to help us kick off our Howe opening celebrations.

Citizens for Public Transportation meeting

Citizens for Public Transportation meeting 3/17 at 7pm at Albany Library, 161 Washington Ave, Albany.

They will discuss the 2030 Albany Plan, which deals with ways to improve Albany. There are forms on this to be filled out. There is also a letter writing to the State legislature campaign that will be initiated at this meeting.

Call Lucille at 436-1944 for more details.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Two Seats Open on APL Board of Trustees in May Election

The nine-member Albany Public Library Board of Trustees has two positions that are up for election on Tuesday, May 18. The library’s trustees are charged with making the rules, regulations, and policies under which the (soon-to-be) seven-location library system operates. The two open trustee positions carry full five-year terms that start on July 1, 2010.

In order to run for library trustee, candidates must meet the following criteria:
+ Be at least 18-years-old
+ Be a United States citizen
+ Reside in the city of Albany
+ Have been registered to vote in the previous year’s general election
+ Submit a valid nominating petition

Starting Friday, March 12, nominating petitions will be available at the Reference Desk of the Main Library at 161 Washington Avenue. Interested candidates can pick up a nominating packet at the Main Library Reference Desk during regular library hours.

Completed nominating petitions (including at least 80 valid signatures) must be returned to the Clerk of the City School District of Albany by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 19.

More information HERE.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sales Tax Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup

If you have a mail order/Internet business in New York State, and you have NYS customers, you need to charge sales tax on the eligible items at the rate of the location of the purchaser. This can seem quite onerous.

Fortunately there is an electronic Sales Tax Jurisdiction and Rate Lookup. You type in the street address and ZIP Code and it will generate the correct rate. Incidentally, trying to find a list of sales tax rates by ZIP Code would be fruitless, since ZIP Codes are no respecters of county boundary.

One thing this lookup does NOT do, however, is to indicate which counties have set aside, at the county level, the sales tax on individual clothing items that cost $110 or less. You need to check this chart.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2009 State Payroll Posted Online

New Yorkers today can search the complete 2009 state government payroll on, the government transparency website. The updated database includes names, titles, base pay rates and total pay received by the 298,247 people who worked in the state's executive, legislative or judicial branches at any point last year.

The full text of this press release is available here.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen. 518.434.3100

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Phone Box Has New Life as Library (UK)

A traditional red phone box has been recycled into one of the country's smallest lending libraries, stocking 100 books. Full story here.

Monday, March 08, 2010

New York’s Libraries are Essential

Albany Public Library is participating in a New York Library Association advocacy campaign, called “NY’s Libraries: Essential,” to raise awareness of libraries and all that they offer to their communities. Dozens of libraries from across the state are compiling statistics and sharing them, along with photos of their libraries in action, at The goal is to provide lawmakers, decision makers, and our patrons with a snapshot of a-day-in-the-life of New York State’s libraries.

More HERE.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Help Promote Census Jobs in Your Community!

Census time is here! Questionnaires are being delivered this month and the Census Bureau continuing to recruit for full-time and part-time census workers. It offers great pay at $12.25 per hour minimum, flexible hours, paid training and reimbursement for work-related expenses, like mileage. Census needs your help in ensuring that there are census workers from all neighborhoods. It hires locally, because local workers know their communities best! Please encourage your clients, constituents, customers, friends and family members to consider working on Census 2010.

All Census applicants are required to take a 1/2 hour basic skills test. Links to the application materials you will need (including a practice test that you can share) can be found here. Census applicants are also required to bring 2 forms of identification to the test session. For a list of proper identifications and for more information on Census jobs, vist the website at
To sign up for a test, call our toll-free Jobs Line number at (866)

If you have questions or would like more information, please call the Partnership department at (617) 223-3610.

Thank you for your help in supporting the largest civilian mobilization in history. "Together we can make a difference. It's in our hands."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Get your NYS income tax return prepared for free

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE) offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. You can now find a VITA location in New York convenient to you with our easy-to-use online service. Simply type in your address and ZIP code to find nearby VITA locations to serve you, including Albany Public Library.

VITA offers trained community volunteers who can help with special credits, like the earned income tax credit. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, most sites also offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program can receive their refunds more quickly compared to returns filed on paper - and even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into one's bank account.

Empire State Book Festival - Call for volunteers

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help make the first Empire State Book Festival a fantastic success! They need friendly, enthusiastic book lovers, ages 18 and older, to escort authors, greet guests, monitor events, run errands and assist with many other tasks at the Festival.

For more information on the Book Festival, go to the Festival web site.

They will need volunteers on the day of the Festival, Saturday, April 10 beginning with set-up at 8:00 am and ending with take-down through 6:30 pm.

If you'd like to help at the Book Festival, please let them know by filling out the Volunteer Registration form.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Anne Waltz at

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

APL in the News

Swiped again from Stephanie Simon, Albany Public Library:

The March issue of the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce's monthly magazine, Visions, features APL on the cover. Several of our administrators -- Executive Director Carol Nersinger, Assistant Director Tim Burke, and Automation Services Librarian Marcia Middleton -- were interviewed at the new Pine Hills branch in January for the cover story about libraries and technology. The three-page article features APL's new branch libraries and how technology has impacted the way we do business. Several other area libraries -- Menands Public Library, William K. Sanford Town Library, and New York State Library -- are also included in the story. You can read the article online at the Chamber web site.

APL is also featured as the cover story of the Winter 2010 New York Library Association (NYLA) Bulletin. Head of Collection Management Services Mary Coon was interviewed for a story about implementing a Dewey-free classification system at Albany's branch libraries. You can read about the "APL categories" classification system for nonfiction books at the NYLA web site.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

14 Sexy Librarians

What do you think of when you think of librarians:

•Shhhh...hide your overdue books!
•Bom chicka wah wah...what would happen if she took off her glasses and let her hair down?

...we've compiled trivia about men and women who break the stereotype of the nerdy librarian, who are not afraid to shake out their hair and show us their wild sides!

Who knew that J.Edgar himself was a library clerk that modeled the FBI's filing system after the Dewey Decimal System? And you always thought the most interesting thing about him was that he wore women's clothing.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Family Literacy Library Services Grant Awards Announced by NY State Librarian

State Library Announces 2009-2011 Family Literacy Library Services Grants
March 1, 2010

Family Literacy library projects will be offered in nineteen New York State counties with the help of grants from the New York State Library, Bernard Margolis, New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, announced today. Ten grants to public libraries and public library systems totaling $510,169 over two years will be awarded to support Family Literacy Library Services projects in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

“New York State’s Family Literacy grants help public libraries and public library systems develop or expand library services to parents, children and caregivers,” said Mr. Margolis. “All of the programs will reach out to families of diverse backgrounds and will provide materials and activities to help them enjoy early literacy experiences together.”

The program theme for 2009-2011 projects is early literacy for children from birth-5. Each project will provide research-based programs, workshops, activities and resources for young families. Parents and caregivers who participate in these projects will have the resources they need to provide rich early literacy experiences at home. Their children will have a better opportunity to enter school ready to read and ready to learn.

Libraries will partner with schools and other community agencies to reach parents and children who are most in need and to increase awareness of the importance of early literacy experiences and resources in young children’s lives. Use of public libraries can provide the early exposure to literacy activities that is crucial for success in school and beyond.

For more information about the grant program, see this page or contact Cassandra Artale, Library Development Specialist, New York State Library/Division of Library Development, (518) 474-1479, or

Following are the public libraries and public library systems that will receive NYS Family Literacy Library Services grant awards:

Brooklyn Public Library (Kings County) $75,728 - Brooklyn Builds Readers: Read Together, Play Together, Learn Together

Brooklyn Builds Readers (BBR) will help families integrate play into early literacy activities. A borough-wide public library campaign in collaboration with children’s services providers will highlight the importance of play for childhood learning and the importance of parents as their child’s play partner. Parents and caregivers will be introduced to early learning games during the library’s Babies & Books and Toddler Time sessions and at the library’s First Five Years workshops.

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (Erie & Niagara Counties) $71,760
- Ready-to-Read, Ready-to-Learn at the Library

The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, with Project Flight and the Buffalo News, will establish a task force to coordinate regional early literacy initiatives, promote community awareness of the importance of early literacy, and provide continuing education to librarians, caregivers and educators. Library Literacy Centers in the Central Library and three branch libraries will provide research-based programs and services to at-risk, underserved families so that their children will be prepared to enter school Ready-to-Read and Ready-to-Learn.

Dormann Library (Steuben County) $65,526 - My First Teacher

My First Teacher will provide resources and programs for families in Steuben County to encourage reading early and often with children.
Programming will be offered in the library and at Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics that serve 500 at-risk families. During the clinics, staff will present literacy activities for mothers and children and give participants a Read to Me bag to take home. Little Red Bookshelves and two early literacy computer workstations will be placed in high-use community service agencies with waiting rooms to provide parents with teaching opportunities on-site and with books to take home.

The New York Public Library, the Branch Libraries (Bronx, New York and Richmond Counties) $75,728 - Daddy and Me @ the Library

Daddy and Me @ the Library will provide important resources for The New York Public Library to reach a traditionally underserved population:
fathers and male caregivers of young children. Recent research indicates that children are better readers and perform better in school when their
fathers have read to them. In partnership with Literacy Inc., the
library will reach out to male caregivers in a wide array of community groups and teach staff how to make these men feel welcome in the library. New programs and materials will be developed to encourage fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, adoptive or foster fathers, teen fathers, brothers, uncles, and other male caregivers to visit the library more frequently and read to their young children.

Olean Public Library (Cattaraugus County) $25,935 - LEAP Forward at the Library

Project LEAP (learn, explore and participate) is a partnership of the Olean Public Library, the Olean Family Connection Even Start, and Parent Education Healthy Families Cattaraugus. Programs and activities will teach pre-reading skills to young children and provide support for parents and caregivers to continue these activities at home. Families will have access to an expanded library collection of early literacy and parenting materials in a variety of media.

Potsdam Public Library (Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and Saint Lawrence Counties) $19,391 - Science in the Library

Potsdam Public Library will partner with Head Start and family literacy programs in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties to build young children’s early literacy skills through science education.
Teachers will learn how to implement science-based literacy programs and will be connected to core science collections in eight public libraries.
Parents will learn how to be their child’s first teacher and enjoy science-based literacy activities at home. Science in the Library is a research-based program supported by SUNY-Potsdam staff and students who will provide science expertise, programs, and support for families
entering projects in an early literacy science fair.

Queens Library (Queens County) $63,026 - Early Literacy Enrichment Program

Queens Library will promote early childhood literacy to new immigrant families. Workshops on early childhood development, toddler reading programs, and support materials will be developed in multiple languages-Spanish, Bangladesh, Chinese, Portuguese and English. The program will be part of Queens Library’s Literacy Zone project to promote life-long learning with a focus on ages one through five.

Richmond Memorial Library (Genesee County) $26,982 - Eat, Read, Grow

Eat, Read, Grow will address two significant early childhood needs:
development of pre-reading skills and healthy nutritional habits. In partnership with Cooperative Extension nutritionists and master gardeners, the library will present programs that teach early literacy skills through hands-on activities, books, songs and finger plays that focus on healthy eating. A guidebook of objectives, materials, activities and resources will be created at the end of the project and distributed through Cooperative Extension and the Nioga Library System.

Seneca Falls Library (Seneca County) $25,750 - Raising Readers

The Seneca Falls Library will partner with local daycare centers, preschools, schools, and other community organizations to implement Raising Readers and to promote the library as an essential early literacy resource. Raising Readers will teach parents and caregivers how to develop reading readiness skills when they read stories to their children. Programs will be held in the library and at partner sites.

Southern Tier Library System (Allegheny, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates Counties) $60,342 - Beginnings

Beginnings is an early literacy project that will strengthen family involvement in language and pre-reading skills for children from birth to age five. Staff from eight Southern Tier member libraries and their partner agencies will attend workshops on how to use research-based Every Child Ready to Read activities to enhance existing programs.
Following the workshops, the libraries and their partner agencies will work together to introduce parents to activities that are fun and will help their children get ready to succeed in school.