Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back to the New Branches

Swiped, yet again, from APL's Stephanie Simon:

Mark your calendars. We have set the grand opening celebration dates for our last three new neighborhood libraries. All grand opening parties take place on Saturday afternoons, during the branch library service hours of 1 to 5 p.m.

March 27 -- John A. Howe Branch Library at Schuyler and Broad Streets.

May 15 -- John J. Bach Branch Library at 455 New Scotland Avenue. This party will be held in conjunction with Spring Spree, the sixth annual event organized by the Woodlawn-New Scotland and Helderberg neighborhood associations in celebration of the New Scotland Avenue neighborhood and its merchants.

June 12 -- Arbor Hill/West Hill Branch Library at 148 Henry Johnson Boulevard.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jobs for Main Street Act - ask US Senators to include funding for hiring librarians

The American Library Association has requested its state chapters, such as NYLA, to mobilize library advocates in the states to contact their US Senators regarding the Jobs for Main Street Act.

The current draft of the Senate's $80 billion version of the Jobs for Main Street Act does not include librarians. However, the bill does include $18 billion for hiring and retaining teachers. Please call both of your Senators and ask them to write a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), requesting that the hiring and retaining of librarians be included in the $18 billion as well.

This bill could come up at any moment and it is critically important that you contact your Senators immediately and tell them to send this letter. Also, tell them what your library is doing to help people find jobs. We cannot let this legislation pass without the inclusion of libraries, and we have no chance of getting libraries into this legislation without your calls!!

Please call the US Senate switchboard today at 202.224.3121.


1. Libraries play a key role in getting America back to work again.Nationwide, the library is the only source of no-fee Internet access for 71 percent of Americans. With more and more job applications only being accepted online, the public library is becoming the center of most American’s job searches.

2. State Library Agencies reported in November 2009 that 77 percent of states cut funds that support local public libraries, which has meant layoffs, staff furloughs, and forced retirements. This has caused a 75 percent cut in services to the public including canceled statewide databases used for job searching, homework help, and cuts in 24/7 reference, which are used by small businesses and students.

3. Our proposal for saving libraries and helping America get back to work would be to provide a one-time $650 million to be distributed on a need basis through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

4. This proposal would create up to 13,000 library jobs in a few short months meaning this is a shovel-ready project.

5. The money would be used for library jobs that are focused on assisting patrons with getting back to work – thereby having the impact of assisting literally millions of Americans find employment. None of these funds would be used for facilities or equipment.

6. These funds would be distributed in a clear, concise, affirmative manner. Funds would be distributed to states using a formula through IMLS based 50 percent on population, and 50 percent on relative unemployment (similar to the Department of Labor’s Dislocated Worker Program).

7. The Chief State Library Officer in each state would be responsible for distributing funds to local public libraries based on their local needs.

8. A minimum amount of funding per library could offer one library staff job per building based upon need and a maximum of five full-time staff.

9. Funds would be limited to hiring back staff released due to budget cuts, recruiting new staff and/or expanding staff services around job searching and employment skills training.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Let's Turn Our Attention to Main

Purloined, again, from Stephanie Simon

The Main Library is still going strong. Each month, more than 45,000 people pass through its doors. They use our public access computers, which are busy throughout the day. They bring their own laptops and make use of our free Wi-Fi connection. They bring their children to story times. They attend lectures and performances. And, they borrow close to 60,000 items (from the latest hardcover novels to newly released DVDs) from the Main Library.

Starting Saturday, Feb. 6, the Main Library will offer free federal income tax preparation for people with household incomes of less than $49,000 annually. The tax help is provided by our partners -- IRS VITA volunteers and AARP Tax Aide volunteers -- and is available on Wednesdays by appointment and Saturdays on a walk-in basis. The free tax preparation service days run from Feb. 6 through April 14. Last year, APL's tax program filed 1,004 returns for Albany residents resulting in almost $1.3 million in refunds back to the community! For more information about tax help at the Main Library, call the Reference Department at 427-4303.

In other Main Library news, work on the new Local History Room started this week. The demolition and construction work necessary to turn the old Albany Center Gallery space on the second floor into our new Local History Room is expected to take several months to complete. During that time, customers should be prepared for noise coming from the second floor work area. There will also be an impact on the parking lot and garage with work vehicles and dumpsters. Please be patient with this work! At the end of the process, we'll have a wonderful space to house the extraordinary Pruyn Collection of Local History.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

G. Damm Challenge

Gene Damm, the President of the Friends of the Albany Public Library, announced this week that he will match any contribution made now through the end of February to the Friends. The money raised will be given to the Albany Public Library's summer programs.

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hearts 4 Haiti

The Palace Theatre welcomes some of the area's finest musicians in a concert to raise funds for Albany Medical Center's Hearts 4 Haiti campaign. Performances begin at 7:00 p.m. on February 11th and include: David Malachowski and The Woodstock Allstars, Jill Hughes, Sirsy, Slick Fitty, and The Audiostars. Visit the Palace Theatre's website for tickets and more information.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TV Interview: Why NYS Cuts to Libraries Hurt

NYLA Director Michael Borges and Guilderland Public Library Director Barbara Nichols Randall were interviewed Saturday, January 23, by CapitalNews9's Sabina Kuriakose about the problems faced by New York State libraries as a result of the cuts proposed by Governor Paterson's 2010-2011 budget. This report explains why library advocates say the cuts couldn't come at a worse time.

To view the video, please click here.

If this link does not work, please copy and paste this into your web browser:

Monday, January 25, 2010

NOW at the Opalka

January 19 - February 21, 2010
Reception, Friday, 2/5, 5-9pm
140 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12208

Lynn Caprisello, Beau Comeaux, Jean Dahlgren, Melody Davis, Melanie Printup Hope, Sean Hovendick, Kelly Jones, Harold Lohner, Matthew McElligott, Timothy M. Martin, Kent Mikalsen, Linda Morrell, Sally Packard, Gina Porcelli, Gary Shankman, Janus Welton

Monday- Friday 10-8, Sundays Noon-4

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Albany 2030: Your Future

Albany 2030: Your City, Your Future is a process to create the City's first Comprehensive Plan. The Albany Comprehensive Plan will include the City's collective vision for the future, as well as maps, policies, and guidelines that describe how to achieve that vision...The City has many completed and ongoing planning initiatives, including neighborhood revitalization plans, redevelopment programs, economic development plans, housing initiatives and studies, and recreation and greenway plans. Many City residents have been extensively involved in these planning efforts. Part of the Albany 2030: Your City, Your Future process is to build on this momentum and create a cohesive vision for a sustainable future for the entire City.

Albany 2030: Your City, Your Future Kickoff Community Forum
Albany High School, 700 Washington Avenue Thu, 01/28/2010 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm
North Albany YMCA, 616 North Pearl Street Fri, 01/29/2010 - 9:00am - 12:00pm
Hackett Middle School, 45 Delaware Avenue Sat, 01/30/2010 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Friday, January 22, 2010

Scamming the Better Business Bureau re: the Census

When a “warning” from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) about how to avoid census scammers started circulating on the Internet, many educated and otherwise savvy people bought the message and passed it along. Several well-meaning friends sent the missive to me, asking in an innocent effort to be helpful (and maybe to impress their census-crazed friend), “Is there anything we should add before sending to our e-mail list?”

My answer: TRASH IT, before this doctored message hoodwinks more unsuspecting readers!

More here.

2010 Census Posters to be displayed in Post Offices Nationally

The USPS will be displaying this poster nationwide from Feb 19 - May 31, 2010.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thrall Special Coverage Guide: Haiti Earthquake

Mary Climes, Head of Reference at the Middletown (NY) Thrall Library, and Thrall reference librarian Robert Tiess have created (and continue to update) a resource guide concerning the earthquake crisis in Haiti.

They have done so, as they have done "in the past with other guides in our Special Coverage Center, for the dual benefit of our local library system members and the larger world of online users."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Times to Charge for Frequent Access to Its Web Site

Starting in early 2011, visitors to will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for access.

But executives of The New York Times Company said they could not yet answer fundamental questions about the plan, like how much it would cost or what the limit would be on free reading. They stressed that the amount of free access could change with time, in response to economic conditions and reader demand.

Read More HERE.

Update on BPA for Use in Food

Studies employing standardized toxicity tests have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA. However, on the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children. In cooperation with the National Toxicology Program, FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research is carrying out in-depth studies to answer key questions and clarify uncertainties about the risks of BPA.

More HERE.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Citizens for Public Transportation Meeting Wed. Jan 20th

Citizens for Public Transportation will meet this Wednesday at 7:00 PM at the Albany Public Library, Washington Ave.

Guest speakers will be two members of a newly formed group in Albany's South End, called A Village. The group was formed by concerned citizens seeking to organize for changes in bus service. All are welcome!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New survey shows U.S. public libraries in financial jeopardy

Cuts reduce hours, staffing at thousands of libraries as patron demand escalates

CHICAGO – Libraries have been on the front lines during the recession. U.S. public libraries have expanded available job resources, and more people are turning to libraries for technology access and help in applying for jobs and government assistance online, according to a new library survey. The survey also found, however, that half of states have reduced funding to public libraries and to state library agencies, and close to one-quarter of urban libraries have reduced open hours. Adequate staffing is the leading challenge to aiding job seekers.

More than three-quarters of all public libraries reported increased use of their public Internet computers over the past year, and 71 percent reported increased wireless use, according to the survey conducted by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Center for Library and Information Innovation at the University of Maryland in fall 2009.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of all libraries reported that staff members help patrons complete online job applications and offer software or other resources (69 percent) to help patrons create resumes and other employment materials. The vast majority of libraries surveyed provide access to job databases and other online resources (88 percent) and civil service exam materials (75 percent). Forty-two percent of urban libraries report offering classes related to job seeking, and about 27 percent collaborate with outside agencies or individuals to help patrons complete online job applications.

But just when people need their public libraries the most, funding for this valued resource is decreasing, as governments cut library budgets as a way of addressing state and local deficits. More than half of responding state library agencies (52 percent or 24 states) reported cuts in state funding for public libraries between FY2009 and FY2010; and 11 of these states reported cuts were greater than 11 percent, double what was reported last year. In addition, nearly 75 percent of state library agencies also have received cuts resulting in fewer available staff, reduced funding for library materials and subscription databases, and continuing education for public library staff and trustees.

More here.

The study is funded by the ALA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Tax Guide Features Recovery Tax Breaks; Helps People Save on 2009 Taxes

Taxpayers can get the most out of new recovery tax breaks and get a jump on preparing their 2009 federal income tax returns by consulting a newly revised comprehensive tax guide now available on

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Free Events At The Empire State Plaza

From Black history Month to celebration of the Saints Valentine and Patrick are noted here (PDF).

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Inaugural Albany Chefs' Wine & Food Festival

Mayor Jerry Jennings & the City of Albany are thrilled to kick off this brand new event featuring more than 20 chefs renowned in the Capital Region & beyond. Three days of events - January 7 thru 9 - will celebrate Albany's All-America City award. Proceeds benefit Capital Repertory Theatre.

Libraries see more visitors

This time, it's the Southeast Steuben County Library in downtown Corning, NY. The need is greater, even when the resources are not.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Governor Paterson to Deliver State of the State Address

Governor David Paterson will give his second State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 1:00 P.M. To watch a live webcast of the speech, please visit the Governor's website at

Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online

The Federal Trade Commission is offering a FREE publication, "Net Cetera," to help parents talk to their kids about safely navigating the online world. Available in English and Spanish. Visit to request a copy.

Monday, January 04, 2010

World Trade Center Cases in the New York Workers' Compensation System

The New York State Workers' Compensation Board released a report entitled, "World Trade Center Cases in the New York Workers' Compensation System" in September 2009.

The report points out that, so far, "As a result of the World Trade Center disaster, 11,627 workers' compensation claims were filed with the New York State Workers' Compensation Board."

Nearly half of claims were from rescue, recovery, and clean-up workers while over half of claims were for respiratory related issues. Twenty-six tables compare data on a variety of details including the nature of injuries, demographics, and attorney fees by claim type.

This analysis is available from the Worker's Compensation Board web site.

The deadline to register World Trade Center rescue, recovery and/or clean-up service in order for the extended claim filing period to apply is September 11, 2010. A registration form can also be found at the WCB web site.

This notice is one in a series of regular announcements that the New York State Library is posting to NYLINE to improve access to New York State government information. These messages contain a brief description of a New York State document of interest and links to related online information.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Hours for North Albany Branch

Starting Monday, Jan. 4, the North Albany Branch Library at 616 North Pearl Street will adopt new hours. Please make note of the new schedule.

North Albany Branch Library 463-1581

Monday & Wednesday 12 to 8 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday & Friday 12 to 6 p.m.
Saturday 1 to 5 p.m.