Friday, December 31, 2010

Joseph F. Shubert, NYS Librarian Emeritus

From: Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, New York State Education Department

I am sorry to tell you that Joseph F. Shubert, New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries from 1977 to 1996, died November 24, 2010 in Plano, Texas. The family has communicated that there will be a memorial service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, New York on Saturday March 12, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.

Joe Shubert began his professional career as reference and documents librarian at the Nevada State Library in 1951, and also served as State Librarian of Nevada and Ohio. From 1962 to early 1966, he was Assistant Director of the American Library Association International Relations Office. His tenure at the New York State Library was exceeded only by that of James I. Wyer, who was State Librarian from 1908 to 1938. Mr. Shubert was the 19th State Librarian since the founding of the Library in 1818.


Mr. Shubert's 19 years included continuous improvement of the nation's most comprehensive library system and the nation's most respected State Library. Under his expert leadership, State funding for library development programs and statewide library services increased by $56 million, from $26 million annually in 1976 to $82 million annually in 1996. Library development programs that were instituted or greatly expanded during Shubert's tenure included:

o State aid for award-winning public library outreach services which touch the lives of people who are homebound, unemployed, incarcerated, speakers of languages other than English or persons struggling to overcome disabilities and disadvantages.

o State aid to library systems for database development and technology for resource sharing and broader access to information among all types of libraries - academic, public, school and special.

o State aid to library systems for a stellar program of resource sharing resulting in New York's consistent record in out-distancing all other states in public library interlibrary loan.

o Establishment of school library systems based in the Boards of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) and the Five Big City school districts, leading to greater school library participation in resource sharing than in any other state.

o Establishment of the first comprehensive State-funded program in the nation dedicated to the ongoing conservation and preservation of rare, unique and fragile library materials for use by future generations.


As State Librarian of Ohio, Mr. Shubert was one of the three founders of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies in 1973. He was Chair of that organization and also chaired the legislative, statistics and other committees at various times. He also chaired the Legislation Committee of the 50,000-member American Library Association and was instrumental in advancing improvements in the federal Library Services and Construction Act.

For the Library of Congress, Mr. Shubert served on the Advisory Committee for the Center for the Book (1979-82) and as a member of the Network Advisory Committee (1981-96). He was a trustee of the Ohio College Library Center and OCLC Inc., served on the Depository Council to the Public Printer and was a trustee of the Northeast Document Conservation Center.

President Ford appointed him to the Advisory Committee for the 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services and he served on a planning group for the 1991 conference.


Mr. Shubert received distinguished alumnus awards from the University of Denver (1979), the SUNY College at Geneseo (1985), and the Distinguished Public Service award and medal from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University at Albany (1987). The American Library Association division, the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) honored him in 1985 with the Exceptional Achievement Award for "distinguished service in strengthening the role of the state library on the national level".

In 1991, the Ohio Library Association designated him for the Ohio Library Hall of Fame. In 1996, he received both the New York Library Association’s Distinguished Service to Libraries Award and the New York State Association of Library Boards’ Velma K. Moore Award.

On the occasion of his 1996 retirement, The New York State Board of Regents named him State Librarian Emeritus and adopted a resolution at their meeting expressing thanks for "distinguished leadership in library and information services for all New Yorkers."

In his post-retirement years, Shubert worked with others to found the Committee for the New York State Library (now the Friends of the New York State Library), a not-for-profit group of readers, library users, scholars, historians, and others whose mission is to stimulate government and public support for the nation's greatest State Library. He continued to be active with that organization for many years.


In recognition of Mr. Shubert's many contributions to statewide library service, the Regents Advisory Council on Library Services established the Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award which is presented annually to recognize achievements of small, medium, and large libraries and library consortia in New York State. The Friends of the New York State Library provides $1,000 for the winner of the Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award in honor of Mr. Shubert's leadership and his tireless advocacy and unwavering commitment to high-quality library services for all New Yorkers.

Those interested in honoring Mr. Shubert's memory are invited to make a donation to the Friends of the New York State Library in support of the Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award. Please send donations to the Friends of the New York State Library, PO Box 2247 Empire State Plaza Station, Albany, NY 12220 or to give online visit HERE. Please identify that the donation is in support of the Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award. The Friends of the New York State Library is a private nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NYS Military Museum Puts Info of 360,000 Civil War Soldiers Online

From an Oneida Daily Dispatch article:

As the Nation prepares to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the New York State Military History Museum and Veterans Research Center is making capsule histories of 360,000 New York Civil War Soldiers available online.

The entire roster of New Yorkers who served during the Civil War Years, 1861-1865, is now available online, as well as the five annual reports issued by the Bureau of Military Statistics from 1864 to 1868 that chronicle the accomplishments of New Yorkers in battle....

More than 360,000 Soldiers enlisted in New York regiments to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Capsule histories of those Soldiers military records were recorded from 1893 to 1906 in 17 volumes based on data from the New York Adjutant General's Office and the War Department, the predecessor to today's Department of the Army. These records have been posted in PDFformat and are searchable.

The Bureau of Military Statistics was established by the Legislature in 1863 to record the history of New York's volunteer Soldiers by collecting newspaper clippings, artifacts, and securing the battle flags of returning units. The Bureau published five reports summarizing the information collected and detailing the contributions made by New Yorkers during the Civil War. These records are also in searchable PDF format.

Direct to Roster of New York Volunteers During the Civil War

From the New York State Military History Museum and Veterans Research Center:
+ Additional Resources by Conflict

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country

By Leonard Kniffel
A gift from American Libraries magazine of one dozen ideals toward which libraries strive.

Americans love their libraries, and advances in technology have multiplied the ways in which libraries enrich the quality of life in their communities. Whether they are in an elementary school or a university, a museum or a corporation, public or private, our nation's libraries offer a lifetime of learning. To library supporters everywhere - Friends, trustees, board members, patrons, and volunteers - American Libraries magazine offers this gift of 12 ideals toward which librarians strive as they provide comprehensive access to the record of human existence.

1. Libraries sustain democracy.

2. Libraries break down boundaries.

3. Libraries level the playing field.

4. Libraries value the individual.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules

The American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and EDUCAUSE said in a joint statement that the new order "does not go far enough to ensure community anchor institutions' content and services can be equally accessed by the public."

The groups last week voiced significant reservations to the FCC about the new rules as they would relate to the use of paid prioritization, the definition of the word "consumer," the distinction between wireline and wireless networks, and the need for a judicial determination of what constitutes unlawful content.

The FCC did clarify "consumer" to leave no doubt that the rules will apply to libraries and other educational interests, but the measure still falls short of true net neutrality, the groups said.

"The order does not hold wireless to the same non-discriminatory standards as wireline access, despite the growing number of libraries, higher education institutions, and users that utilize wireless technology to access content and information," the groups said.

The complete article may be read HERE.

Also of interest:
Net Neutrality Advocates Decry FCC 'False' Solution and 'Squandered Opportunity' from Common Dreams
The FCC's weak new "open Internet" rules from Salon

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols

Woodrow Bynum, Music Director

2:30 p.m. Program of seasonal music presented by Lloyd Cast Organ Fellow, Graham Schultz and one of the areas top brass ensembles, Dominant Five.
3:00 p.m. Lessons and Carols

Choral works by Skellern, Ord, Willcocks, Darke, Preston, Howells, Hadley, Wood and James Bassi.

A reception follows in Pedersen Hall.

The Cathedral of All Saints
62 South Swan Street
Albany, NY 12210

The Cathedral is handicapped accessible.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oldest Librarian edition

In 2005, an article was written about a 99-year-old librarian named Martha Smith who has been working at the Coal Creek library in Vinland, Kansas USA since 1926. In 2008, a follow-up article was penned about Smith, then 102 and still working at the library, which functions more as a museum now than a public library.

A librarian recently asked the reporter who wrote the 2008 article how Smith is doing and here is what he said: "Martha Smith is still alive at 105! From what I could glean she still goes to the library most days, although mostly just to sleep. She is still mobile, but has lost most of her hearing and her sight. Understandably communication is difficult."

Thanks to Help A Librarian.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New York State Archives Expands Digital Collection

The New York State Archives has been posting digitized primary documents on its website for a number of years, for use by researchers, teachers, students and the interested public. Recently, the Archives has begun to place audio collections online, adding to the images and videos already available on their website. The material includes records from the Archives’ collection as well as instructional recordings from workshops and conferences.

Recordings currently on the website include Gov. Rockefeller’s first State of the State address in January 1959, Dr. Harlan Hoyt Horner’s interview in 1961 about the 1911 Capitol fire, and the opening of the NYS Senate debate on adding an equal rights amendment to the NYS Constitution in 1975. All audio files include a transcript.

Primary audio and video sources are important documentary evidence of 20th and 21st century New York history. The Images and Video section was added to the State Archives’ homepage in October 2009 as videos were being placed on the Archives’ YouTube channel.

The Archives plans a monthly release of either video or audio materials to their website, including materials from the first Cuomo administration. To explore the collection, please visit HERE.

(excerpted from VOCE, The Voice of Cultural Education, December 3, 2010)

Monday, December 13, 2010


Liber8 is "An economic information portal for librarians and students" provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It includes links to the International Economic Statistics (IES) Database, plus economic data and research articles. The "browse by subject" function is most useful.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A Suitable Quotation

The only true equalisers in the world are books; the only treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth which will not decay is knowledge; the only jewel which you can carry beyond the grave is wisdom.
-- J. A. Langford

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Local Authors Discuss/Sell/Sign Their Books

APL has two events coming up where local authors will read from their work and sign books. The featured books will also be available to purchase at these events. D. Alexander Holiday will read from his book, "In the Care of Strangers: The Autobiography of a Foster Child" on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m. at the Delaware Branch (331 Delaware Avenue). Holiday was born in New York City and raised in foster care. He later earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University at Albany. Times Union writer Paul Grondahl will read from "The Story of Albany" on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library. The book features a number of Albany remembrances penned by Albany residents, workers, and supporters. Paul will read from the book, which was produced by the Times Union last year and sponsored by APL.

Happy Anniversary Pine Hills Branch

The Times Union wrote that the numbers tell the story of the success of the Pine Hills branch of the Albany Public Library. well, perhaps in part. But I don't know how one quantifies how wonderful that space has turned out to be. Here's the library's take.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Everett Road blood donation center

Effective December 1st, the Everett Road blood donation center has expanded its hours, now open later on Mondays and also open on Thursdays to better meet donor needs.
Monday: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 6:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Thursday: 12:00 p.m - 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Saturday: 6:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Sunday: 6:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Donation appointments are required.

To schedule an appointment to donate at blood at the Everett Road donation center or to find out about other donation opportunities in our community, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or go to

All presenting donors who donate in December can enter to win one of four Home Theater entertainment packages donated by Best Buy!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Huge Book/Music/Movie Sale Dec. 4

Bargain hunters looking for gently used books, movies, and music at very low prices should head to the Main Library on Saturday, Dec. 4. The Bookends Used Book Store clearance sale will take place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the small auditorium of the Main Library at 161 Washington Avenue. Admission is free from 11 a.m. until close. Early admission is $5 from 10 to 11 a.m. For more information, please call 427-4349.

Thousands of items will be on sale:
· DVDs are $3 each
· Antique books are $2 each
· Oversized and hard cover books are $1 each
· Soft cover books and music CDs are two for $1
· Pocket books are four for $1
· VHS tapes and LPs are 5 for $1

Bring your own bag for the special bag sale that runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Fill your bag with as many items as it will hold for just $5. Oversized bags will be charged accordingly.

A small quantity of used computer monitors will also be for sale. The 15-inch, LCD, flat-screen monitors will be sold for $25 each, as is. The library will provide no technical support, and will accept no returns.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Information Overload in the 16th Century

Here's an interesting article on information overload from Ann Blair, professor of history at Harvard University. Apparently, information overload was also a worry as a result of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. The evolution of the card catalog is also explained.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

World AIDS Day

An estimated 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, and yet one out of five don’t know it. World AIDS Day (December 1) is an opportunity to take action.