Friday, April 30, 2010

Friends Special Events in May 2010

Both free and open to the public at The Albany Public Library, Main Branch, in the Auditorium

May 20, Thursday, 7:00 pm- Annual Meeting
including officer reports, election of officers and members of the Board, and
a talk by Joe Donahue of WAMC.

May 22, Saturday, 1:30 pm- Spring Book & Author Event
featuring Claire Parham, Ph.D., a lecturer at Siena College who specializes in
modern American and world history, and her recent book,
The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project: An Oral History of the Greatest Construction Show on Earth.

Each event will be preceded by a meal at the University Club, for which reservations are required and a fee is charged. For details, contact Gene Damm, President of the Friends of Albany Public Library, Inc., (

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Arbor Hill/West Hill Opening Next in Line

Stolen (again) from Stephanie Simon

The stunning Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library at 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard will open on Saturday, June 12, with a free celebration for the entire community. Library supporters will have a chance to get a sneak peek at this impressive building -- which includes floor-to ceiling windows, an interior garden wall, colorful and contemporary design scheme, and bright and airy spaces -- on Thursday, May 27, at a special evening fundraising reception. Invitations will be going out soon, so watch your mail for details.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Closing in on Bach Branch Grand Opening

Stolen from Stephanie Simon, APL

Just 17 days and counting until the grand opening of Albany's newest neighborhood library. The John J. Bach Branch Library at 455 New Scotland Avenue (next to the Engine 11 Fire Station) celebrates its grand opening in style on Saturday, May 15. The free community party kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks by the mayor and library leaders. The Bach Branch party also includes musical entertainment, refreshments courtesy of Price Chopper, giveaways, and more fun for the whole family. Weather permitting, we'll be able to take advantage of the great front patio and rear story garden for many of the party activities. The library celebration is happening in conjunction with the New Scotland Spring Spree event, so there are plenty of reasons to visit the new library and surrounding neighborhood on May 15. Stay tuned for more details about the Bach party activities schedule.

Largest book in the world

Klencke Atlas, which is 350 years old, will be displayed as part of British Library exhibition on maps.

Library Budget Up for Vote May 18

Albany city residents go to the polls Tuesday, May 18, to vote on the Albany Public Library 2011 tax levy and to choose two new members for the Library Board of Trustees.

The proposed 2011 tax levy of $7,037,277 reflects a 4.9 percent increase in the annual library tax levy. If approved by voters, this increase would mean that the owner of a $100,000 home would pay approximately $5.71 more per year, or less than two cents a day.
Also on the ballot May 18 is the election of two members of the library’s Board of Trustees. Five candidates are running for two seats on the library board, both of which carry full five-year terms. The candidates, listed in ballot order, are: José Lopez of View Avenue, Mary (Mimi) Mounteer of Manning Boulevard, Roberta Sims of Northern Boulevard, Robert Chaumont 0f South Pearl Street, and Esther Patterson of Grandview Terrace. All five are running for seats that Mounteer and Patterson currently hold.

The public is invited to a budget presentation and candidate forum at the Main Library on Wednesday, May 12, at 7 p.m. Library leaders will present the proposed 2011 budget, and the five trustee candidates will speak to the public.

Albany Public Library is experiencing a period of unprecedented growth, with five branch libraries opening across the city in just eight months. The libraries that voters approved in 2007 are now emerging in the city and are fast becoming popular destinations in their communities. Fully renovated libraries opened in the Pine Hills, Delaware, and South End neighborhoods in November and December of last year and March of this year. Two newly constructed branch libraries are set to open in the New Scotland neighborhood in May and the Arbor Hill/West Hill neighborhood in June.

More HERE.

Not incidentally, the board of the Friends of the Albany Public Library passed a resolution supporting the library budget at its meeting on April 26.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Capital Region Housing Fair a Hit at Main Library

People looking for help buying, fixing, or saving a home had a great resource at the Main Library April 24 — the Capital Region Housing Fair. NewsChannel 13 reported a story about the housing fair on its newscasts over the weekend. The fair is an annual event.

More here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

$3.4 billion in college scholarships

From the Wall Street Journal: If You're a Tall Vegan Named Zolp, Your Tuition Worries Are Over; Students Scramble for Zany Scholarships; Duct Tape Prom Dress Scores $3,000 Prize

Thousands of American individuals, associations, foundations and corporations pony up more than $3 billion in private scholarships each year, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of, a Web guide to scholarships.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NYLA Awards -- Call for Nominations, due June 30, 2010

Call for nominations for two NYLA awards: Outstanding Advocate of Libraries and Outstanding Services to Libraries.

June 30th is the deadline for nominations for two important New York Library Association statewide awards. The NYLA Awards Nominating Committee encourages you to nominate a person or persons or group who have made a statewide impact as an outstanding advocate or provided outstanding service to libraries.

This award is presented to an individual who is not an employee, trustee or group primarily affiliated with library information services and yet has made a far reaching, sustained and significant contribution of these services to the people of New York State. Deadline for nominations - June 30, 2009. Use the form here.

Previous recipients include Vincent Gentile, NYC Council; Honorable Amy Paulin, NYS Assembly; Honorable Vincent Leibell III, NYS Senate; Ross Kitt & Phyllis Pittman Kitt; Honorable Sandra Galef, NYS Assembly; Nat Hentoff, Gordon Ambach, Laura Chodos. Citizens to Save Libraries, Buffalo, Elliot Goldstein. Brooke Astor, Harold Hacker, Claire Shulman, Major Owens, Dr. Barry Farnham, Anna Lobosco, De Witt Wallace - Readers Digest Fund, Marty Luster, The Regents Commission on Library Services, Senator Thomas W. Libous, Edward McCormick.

NYLA - Outstanding Advocate of Libraries Information and Nomination Form available here.

This award is presented to an individual or group who has performed through their direct affiliation as an employee or trustee of a library or information service a significant, sustained contribution to the development, promulgation, growth or extension of library/information services to the people of New York State. Deadline for nominations - June 30, 2009. Use the form here.

Previous recipients include: DJ Stern, Woodstock Public Library District; Prakash Upadhyaya, Otisville Correctional Facility; Tom Alrutz, NYPL; Dr. Annette Johnson, Dolores Marino, Mary Brown, Mary Rinato Berman, Richard Halsey, Lore Scurrah, Frances Dye Clark, Stanley Ransom, Andrew Geddes, Lucille Thomas, Peter Laux, Richard Panz, Daniel Casey, Marie Bruni, Janet Welch, Esther Lopato, Mildred Lowe (posthumous), Helen Flowers, David Cohen, Janet Decker, Carol Kearney, Timothy Healy (posthumous), Robert Barron, Shirley Lang, Joseph F.
Shubert, Randall Enos, John Hammond, Mary Jo Ketchum.

NYLA - Outstanding Service to Libraries Information & Nomination Form available here.

2010 Awards Nominating Committee
Jennifer Morris, Chair
Committee members Rosina Alaimo, Josh Cohen, Art Friedman, Carolyn
Giambra, Fran Roscello, Penelope Klein, John Shaloiko and Anne Hofmann.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ALA offers $250 in prize money for best online video

The American Library Association is holding a video contest. The first-place
winner will receive $175, and the runner-up will receive $75.

To enter, create a video, upload it to Vimeo, tag it “library advocacy day,” and send your full name, phone number, city, state & the url of your work to with the subject line “LAD video entry.”

Criteria, restrictions, etc.

Your video must
*illustrate the importance of libraries
*motivate people to attend the ALA’s rally for libraries during Library Advocacy Day
*include interesting visuals and quality sound design
*be no more than three minutes

Once you submit your video into the contest, ALA has a non-exclusive right to use it for promotional use without compensation. You also agree to allow ALA to contact you via email or phone.

All submissions must be uploaded, tagged and e-mailed by 12pm EDT, May 26, 2010. ALA will announce the winners and recipients of the prize money on Tuesday, June 1.

When putting together your video, please consider the Center for Social Media’s “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video” for guidance in using others’ material.

The funds for this contest are provided by the Eileen D. Cooke memorial fund. Cooke served as the director of the American Library Association Washington Office from 1972 to 1993 when she retired after 30 years of service with the association. Her indefatigable service in promoting library legislation and policy issues supporting our nation’s libraries was renowned. Eileen played a major role in the development, renewal and funding of key library legislation. Her admirable reputation on Capitol Hill positioned ALA to achieve innumerable successes. She was also instrumental in planning ALA’s National Library Legislative Day, helping to ensure that elected officials heard the voice of library supporters. Eileen passed away on April 30, 2000 at the age of 71. In her honor, ALA established a memorial fund to support legislative advocacy.

Good luck, happy producing, and we look forward to your outstanding entries.

You may view the latest post HERE.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Citizens for Public Transportation Meeting

Wednesday at 7:00 PM at the Albany Public Library, Washington Avenue

Guest Speakers: Paula Simpson, ARISE Member and President of Dot to Dot People
Glenn Robinson, Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Project.

Mr Robinson will discuss his program's Transportation Equity Toolkit to Lobby for Change

All are welcome.


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 urged the Board of Regents on April 19 to make state and federal funding for libraries a Regents priority. The Council’s 2010 annual report to the Regents, which includes this recommendation and others related to strengthening New York’s 7,000 libraries and library systems is now posted on the Council’s webpage.

Libraries across the State are reporting that use has increased by as much as 10 to 30 percent and, in some communities, as much as 50 percent. Bridget-Quinn Carey, chairperson of the Regents Advisory Council and Director of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, emphasized that now is the time to invest in the infrastructure that libraries provide to our society and educational systems. She pointed to consistent under funding that has caused many libraries to dramatically reduce hours, eliminate staff and curtail resources – just when the unemployed and distressed New York families need them most. According to Ms. Quinn-Carey, “Libraries are in crisis. The frequent announcements of library closings throughout the United States are chilling reminders that even though libraries are critical in times of economic distress, many are the victims of short sighted fiscal policies that gut library support in budget balancing efforts.”

The Regents Advisory Council reports annually to the Board of Regents on library matters. The 2010 report highlights the need for stable funding and adequate staffing for library systems and the New York State Library. In addition, the Council asks that the Regents take action to ensure that all schools in New York State, including elementary schools, provide students with school libraries and certified school librarians. Dozens of research 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 past decade, including the pervasive impact of technology, the Council also asks the Board of Regents to take the lead in calling for a discussion about best practices in library and library system administration, collaboration and cooperation in order to inform the next decade of progressive library service in New York State.

Please contact Bridget Quinn-Carey with questions concerning the Council’s 2010 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, the oldest continuing Regents advisory council, 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.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Sneak a Peak" at the Bach Branch Library

From Elissa Kane, APL:

You've been so patient! Lot's of you have been slowing down when driving by to see what's new and a few of you have been seen peaking in the windows to check out the furniture and new books.

Well, we're almost ready to open the Bach Branch Library to the public on May 15th. But before we do, we're giving you a special opportunity to "sneak a peak" and help raise support for the special children's and teen programs at the library.

We invite you to join:

New Scotland Area Neighbors
Dennis Gaffney, President of the Library Trustees
Andy Bechard, Library Trustee
Holly McKenna, Library Trustee
Lenny Ricchiuti, Library Trustee
Al DeSalvo, President of the Library Foundation

(on New Scotland Avenue, next to Engine 11 Fire Station)
Thursday, April 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
$50 per person — Families welcome for $125
For this special evening, each guest will receive a bookplate to place in a book of choice

RSVP Requested - 427-4346,, or mailed to APL Foundation, 161 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210
Secure Online Donations accepted at (just indicate "Bach Sneak Preview" in note.

Join us for tasty treats from your favorite neighborhood eateries including:
+ Ragonese Imports
+ Graney's
+ Quintenssence
+ Layla's Pizza & Falafel
+ Perfect Blend
+ Isn't It Sweet

Preview the:
+ Beautiful view of the New Scotland neighborhood from inside the library’s signature rotunda
+ Inspiring, modern design by Hom & Goldman
+ Robust collection of books, DVDs, CDs, and more
+ Scholars Garden featuring a grove of old-growth black walnut trees
+ Outdoors brought inside via the expansive windows throughout the public spaces
+ “Green” construction of what is expected to be Albany’s first LEED silver municipal building
Enjoy the music of:
+ Geo

And the flowers by:
+ Clas Florist

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recession drives more Americans to libraries in search of employment resources

...but funding lags demand - April 11, 2010

CHICAGO – When jobs go away, Americans turn to their libraries to find information about future employment or educational opportunities. This library usage trend and others are detailed in the 2010 State of America’s Libraries report, released by the American Library Association. The report shows that Americans have turned to their libraries in larger numbers in recent years.
Since the recession took hold in December 2007, the local library, a traditional source of free access to books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs, has become a lifeline, offering technology training and workshops on topics that ranged from résumé-writing to job-interview skills.
The report shows the value of libraries in helping Americans combat the recession. It includes data from a January 2010 Harris Interactive poll that provides compelling evidence that a decade-long trend of increasing library use is continuing—and even accelerating during economic hard times. This national survey indicates that some 219 million Americans feel the public library improves the quality of life in their community. More than 223 million Americans feel that because it provides free access to materials and resources, the public library plays an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.
And with more businesses and government agencies requiring applicants to apply on line, job-seeking resources are among the most critical and most in demand among the technology resources available in U.S. public libraries. Two-thirds of public libraries help patrons complete online job applications; provide access to job databases and other online resources (88 percent) and civil service exam materials (75 percent); and offer software or other resources (69 percent) to help patrons create résumés and other employment materials.
However, the report also shows that increased library use did not lead to an increase in funding for libraries. Research by the ALA and the Center for Library and Information Innovation at the University of Maryland suggests a “perfect storm” of growing community demand for library services and shrinking resources to meet that demand. While library use soars, a majority of states are reporting cuts in funding to public libraries and to the state library agencies that support them.
Other key trends detailed in the 2010 State of America’s Libraries Report:
• Internet use continues to expand at public libraries, which have seen double-digit growth since 2007 in the on-line services they make available to their patrons. More than 71 percent of public libraries provide their community’s only free public access to computers and the Internet, according to an article in the November 2009 issue of American Libraries. Wireless access also continues to grow and is now offered at more than 80 percent of public libraries.
• Ninety-six percent of Americans feel that school libraries are an essential part of the education experience because they provide resources to students and teachers and because they give every child the opportunity to read and learn. School librarians play a crucial role in “keeping the digital doors open to help young people think about learning beyond the classroom,” according to one authority on online social networking sites. However, funding for school libraries also lags.
• America’s academic libraries are experiencing increased use, both physical and virtual. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports academic libraries have more than 20.3 million visits per week (1.5 million more than two years earlier), answered more than 1.1 million reference questions, and made more than 498,000 presentations to groups. Almost 95 percent of students use their academic library’s website at least once a week, according to one study of students and technology, and nine out of 10 college students surveyed in another study said they turned to libraries “for online scholarly research databases . . . for conducting course-related research, valuing the resources for credible content, in-depth information, and the ability to meet instructors’ expectations.”
• America’s libraries continue their efforts to support minorities and other underserved or disadvantaged populations. The ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program, for example, awarded 48 scholarships in 2009 to members of underrepresented groups to help them pursue master’s degrees; and the library community remained committed to sustained efforts on behalf of people with visual and other disabilities and adult English-language learners.
• The library community continues to defend a core value embodied in the First Amendment and the corollary right to receive and consider ideas, information, and images. Librarians nationwide encountered new challenges as a range of individuals and groups sought to have books or other materials removed from public access, and as the federal government debated extending the life of intrusive legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act.
• Library construction fared better in 2009 than many expected during the recession, especially given the unreliability of funding for programming, materials, and hours. The answer may be that money earmarked years ago was seeing construction through to conclusion. Many of the new libraries and renovations show a timely concern for the environment.
The full text of The State of America’s Libraries, 2010, is available here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

POSTPONED - Earth Day on the Plaza

The Earth Day event and environmental fair scheduled for April 21 on the Plaza has been postponed. The lack of a state budget precludes organizers from allocating staff and financial resources to this worthwhile event.

“Every Day Is Earth Day” event may be rescheduled once a budget has been enacted.

Please note that DEC will still be collecting unused/unwanted household pharmaceuticals for proper disposal indoors on the south concourse from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on the 21st. The collection is part of DEC's "Don't Flush Your Drugs" campaign to raise awareness about the negative impacts of household drugs on water quality. All collected pharmaceuticals will be incinerated in a waste-to-energy facility. Sharps and mercury thermometers will not be collected.

Heather Groll, OGS Press Office
Office: 518-474-5987

Sensemaya Trio: Latin jazz free concert at 4pm, Delaware Branch Library

One-Third of Public Libraries Lack Adequate Internet Connections

A new national study says two things are not in doubt: Americans are using library Internet connections more, and one-third of libraries say they do not have adequate connections to the Web.

The study, conducted by the University of Washington Informational School, found that library computers are becoming increasingly important to people who are job hunting, doing class work or even looking for medical advice or appointments:

"40 percent of library users (about 30 million people) received help with career needs...
"37 percent focused on health issues...
"42 percent received help with educational needs...

"Library computers linked patrons to their government, communities and
civic organizations...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Amazon reviewers think this masterpiece sucks

From "The Grapes of Wrath" to "1984" -- some amateur critics just can't stand the classics.

National Library Advocacy Day - June 29, 2010

From Robert Hubsher, Executive Director
Ramapo Catskill Library System, Middletown, NY

For one year only, Library Advocacy Day will replace National Library Legislative Day (NLLD). On June 29, 2010, library advocates from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. will meet at Upper Senate Park on the U.S. Capitol grounds. The event, which will begin at 11 a.m., will feature guest speakers, photo ops, and a chance to cheer on libraries! After the rally, participants will meet with their elected officials and their staffs.

The states with the most people will be featured front and center, which means they are the ones that will be in the majority of pictures. Make sure your state is the most represented so your group can be in the most pictures! Here is the link to register for this important national event:

As the National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) Coordinator for New York State I will endeavor to keep you informed about activities and issues related to the Library Advocacy Day.

One issue that I believe will be part of advocacy effort in June is net neutrality. Earlier today (April 6) the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled against the FCC's authority to impose "net neutrality" obligations on Internet service providers (ISPs). This is a very big setback for libraries, schools, not-for-profits and small and medium businesses. (For information about net neutrality follow this link.)

I anticipate that the American Library Association (ALA) will be releasing a statement about this issue within the few days and expect that this will be one of the issues that will be at the top of our legislative agenda on National Library Advocacy Day, June 29, 2010 in Washington DC.

Here is a link to the New York Times article.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Some, but Not All, Savor Silence in the Stacks

"The library may be one of the last bastions of quiet in this pinball machine world, but some of these community institutions have broken the no-shushing laws that once ruled the land."


Keith Richards, Would-Be Librarian

Rock and Roll Living Legend Keith Richards Has a “Secret Longing” to Be a Librarian; Says Public Libraries are the “Great Equalizer”

Librarians Honored on the Floor of the U.S. Senate

On Monday March 22, three Library of Congress librarians, including former SLA President and 2009 SLA Hall of Fame Recipient Donna Scheeder, were honored.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Day in the Life of Baldwinsville Public Library

This truly was all shot on a typical day at the Baldwinsville Library. Not a busy day, or a slow day; not a day we planned for events to happen. Just a Thursday in February!

NYS Civil Service Announcements Now Exclusively Online

Examination postings by the NYS Department of Civil Service are now exclusively electronic. Approximately every two weeks an updated examination schedule is posted here.

Individuals may register to receive these postings automatically. To register, go here.

Both sites are also linked through the New York State Library's Job Information in Public Libraries site under the heading "Civil Service".

In addition, the Department of Civil Service, Recruitment Services Unit, engages in targeted recruitment for specific examinations from time to time. Through these targeted recruitments, Civil Service reaches out to individuals and organizations across New York State to inform the public on examination opportunities in a specific field (for example, exams for positions with the Division of Veterans' Affairs).

For more information, please contact: Cassandra Artale, New York State Library / Division of Library Development, 518/474-1479, or Jessica Rowe, New York State Department of Civil Service / Recruitment Services Unit, 518/474-6231,

Earth Day at the Plaza

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bike Summit

The New York Bicycling Coalition would like to invite you to the inaugural New York State Bicycle Summit on Wednesday, April 21st from 9:00-3:00 P.M. in the Well of the Legislative Office Building (Empire State Plaza, Albany).

DEC Household Pharmaceutical Collection Event

April 21, 2010
Empire State Plaza & Harriman Campus

Concerned about the proper disposal of expired/unused drugs in your medicine cabinet? You are invited to participate in a FREE one-day household pharmaceutical collection event sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

W. Averell Harriman State Office Campus
1220 Washington Avenue
Building 3
Albany, NY 12226
9 a.m. - 1 p.m.


The Empire State Plaza (Plaza Level)
Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12224
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
*Rain location: ESP Concourse Level

Materials accepted: Unwanted/expired prescription and over-the-counter medications including vitamins and supplements. Controlled substances will be collected. All drugs collected will be incinerated in a waste-to-energy facility immediately following the event.

Note: Sharps, mercury thermometers or other household hazardous waste will not be collected at this event. This event is for households only – No Healthcare Facilities!

For more information on proper disposal of household prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, visit Don't Flush Your Questions? Contact Dennis Lucia at (518) 402-9469.

Rochester libraries celebrate National Library Week

2010 “GREAT AREA LIBRARIES” WINNERS ANNOUNCED: Celebrating National Library Week

The Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC) has announced the winners of the 2010 RRLC Library of the Year Award, which is offered this year for the first time.
Please visit the RRLC homepage to find the list of our winners, and be sure to stop by each day this week to take a photo tour and watch a video of the day -- each day this week will feature one RRLC “Library of the Year”.

Do You Need a Census Form?

Give your answers over the phone or request a form be sent to where you live. Do it today, to ensure you can mail it back in time to avoid a census taker coming to your door. Don't be left out of the count for your community.
Telephone Questionnaire Assistance (TQA)
• ENGLISH - 1-866-872-6868
• Chinese: 1-866-935-2010
• Korean: 1-866-955-2010
• Russian: 1-866-965-2010
• Spanish: 1-866-928-2010
• Vietnamese: 1-866-945-2010
• TDD (Telephone Display Device for the hearing impaired): 1-866-783-2010
• Puerto Rico (in English): 1-866-939-2010
• Puerto Rico (in Spanish): 1-866-929-2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Looking at National Intelligence: Perspectives of a Former Outsider

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 12:25-1:30pm

Levitt Room, Milne Hall, UAlbany Downtown Campus
135 Western Avenue, Albany, NY

Guest Speaker
Richard Willing
Senior Analysis Projects Coordinator
Office of the Director of National Intelligence

From March 2008 to February 2009, Richard Willing was press secretary and public affairs director for the Director of National Intelligence. He is currently senior projects coordinator for the DNI's Directorate of Analysis. As a reporter, Willing covered war, science and the law, national security, and the auto industry from Washington, D.C for 21 years. Beginning in 1997, he was a national reporter at USA TODAY, specializing in civil law and criminal cases involving DNA evidence. He also covered intelligence. His beats included the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court, three presidential campaigns, the American auto industry, pro football charities, and the National Hockey League. Special assignments included the 1990-91 Gulf War, Northern Ireland's "Troubles," a biography of Detroit's first black mayor, the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, and the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's human skull archive.
Willing was raised in suburbs of Chicago, Detroit and New York, and holds honors degrees from Yale College and the Kiplinger Program of The Ohio State University. In 2007, Willing was made an honorary citizen of the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Dr. Jim Steiner, Public Service Professor at Rockefeller College, will provide commentary. Dr. Steiner teaches graduate-level courses in the craft of intelligence, with emphasis on intelligence analysis for homeland security. Policy Conversations are open to all. There is no admission fee. Please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch and join the discussion.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

NY Public Libraries Going Green

The New York State Library recently awarded 10 libraries a total of $556,036 through the 2009-2010 Public Library Construction Grant Program for the purpose of installing alternative energy resources in the form of solar photovoltaic panels or geothermal wells. Since 2007-2008, a total of $1,717,414 has been awarded through the Construction Grant Program to 24 public libraries for projects involving the installation of alternative energy resources. Some of the projects involve new library buildings or buildings with substantial additions, but many are for existing buildings with no physical expansions involved. A more detailed account of New York's public libraries "going green" can be found on the NYS Library's website at

For information about the Construction Grant Program, please contact Grace Kelly, Construction Program Manager, at

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Info For Out-Of-State Tax Filers Affected By Spring Storms, Flooding

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced guidance for taxpayers who are unable to file their personal income tax returns - including partnership and fiduciary returns - by April 15 because of last month's severe storms and flooding in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

To view the entire document please visit HERE.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Celebrate National Library Week!

The NYLA Public Awareness Committee would like to remind everyone that National Library Week is April 11-17. ALA has prepared a toolkit with press releases, PSA messages, website buttons and activity suggestions. Please use this opportunity to share how "Communities Thrive @ your library."

Don't delay! Check out National Library Week suggestions on the ALA website and build awareness for all that your library has to offer.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dean Straussman to Moderate Rove vs. Dean Debate

The University at Albany Student Association (SA) has named Dean Jeffrey D. Straussman of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy the moderator for its upcoming World Within Reach Speaker Series debate between political heavyweights Karl Rove and Howard Dean. "I am honored to be asked," said Straussman. "This debate promises to be both spirited and informative about the many challenges that face our great nation, now and in the future."

SA Programming Director Reuben Ingber, a senior political science major from Queens, described the dean as "the optimal choice" to referee the match between Rove, Bush Administration Senior Political Advisor, and Dean, former governor of Vermont and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. "Dean Straussman has the knowledge necessary and he is able to put his own personal beliefs aside to insure that we can hear from these two political giants from their own perspectives," Ingber noted. "We're excited to have him as moderator."

Straussman's role, according to Ingber, will be "to keep the conversation going, to ask the tough questions and to make sure those questions get answered." The participants will be seated around a table on a set much like Meet the Press. Ingber hopes Dean Straussman will "get as many questions in as possible." Questions will be a combination of the dean's and those submitted by UAlbany students.

The Rove vs. Dean Debate is the second installment in the World Within Reach Speaker Series. Last fall, the Student Association presented former Secretary of State Colin Powell whose talk on "Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust & Values" was attended by more than 3,500 members of the UAlbany community. "We want to provide opportunities for students to engage in conversations outside of their classes," said Ingber. "Karl Rove is a huge name in the political community. Howard Dean is a big name in Democratic politics. We wanted to offer two people who are as far apart as humanly possible on all issues. Both are great spokesmen for what they believe. That allows the students to understand issues from all sides and be able to make up their own minds."

The debate will take place at the SEFCU Arena on the uptown campus of the University at Albany on Thursday, April 8 at 8pm. Doors open at 6:45pm. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff planning to attend must register online in advance.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Twitter tweet from the Census Bureau

Form lost/missing? 1) Wait until 4/12; you may get mailed another, 2) On 4/12, call 866-872-6868 and request replacement.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All

Book review: 'This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All,' by Marilyn Johnson

In researching her previous book, "The Dead Beat," which celebrates the pleasures of obituaries, Marilyn Johnson discovered that, with few exceptions, "the most engaging obit subjects were librarians." Motivated by "the idea that libraries were where it was happening -- wide-open territory for innovators, activists, and pioneers," Johnson has now turned her attention to librarians, whom she refers to variously as "natural intelligence operatives" and "enablers," with the good ones possessing "all of the skills and characteristics required for that work: curiosity, wide-ranging knowledge, good memories, organizational and analytical aptitude, and discretion."