Thursday, December 27, 2012

Advisory: Snow Emergency in Effect for the City of Albany

Please be advised that the City of Albany has issued a SNOW EMERGENCY that will begin at 8:00 PM on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at which time all normal parking rules and regulations are temporarily suspended.

During the first 24 hours of the snow emergency all vehicles must be parked on the even numbered side of the street.

Beginning at 8:00 P.M. Friday, December 28, 2012 all vehicles must be parked on the odd numbered side of the street for the next 24-hour period.

If you are parked on the wrong side of the street during the snow emergency your car will be ticketed and may result in it being towed.

After the second 24-hour period please stay tuned for further announcements. For SNOW EMERGENCY information, call 476-SNOW or log into the city of Albany’s website at www.ALBANYNY.GOV.

If your vehicle has been towed, call Albany Police Department at 438-4000 for information on how to retrieve your vehicle. Snow emergency brochures, which outline all of the Snow Emergency procedures, can be picked up at any City firehouse, police station or branches of the Albany Public Library. Thank you for your cooperation.

Snow Emergency Additional Parking

Due to the snow emergency declared for the City of Albany to start at 8:00 p.m. December 27, 2012, the City of Albany has made available additional parking located at various lots in the city the locations are as follows:





Thursday, December 20, 2012


Visions of sugarplums -- and New Year's Eve toasts -- dance in our heads

With Christmas and the New Year almost upon us, we want to remind you about the library's holiday schedule of service. All APL locations will be:

Closed all day on Monday, Dec. 24
Closed all day on Tuesday, Dec. 25
Closing early at 5:30 pm on Monday, Dec. 31
Closed all day on Tuesday, Jan. 1

From everyone at APL, have a safe and fun holiday season! And don't forget to stock up on great books and DVDs for those extra days off from work and school.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Get Through the Holiday Blues

The holidays aren't joyous for everyone. This time of year can bring stress and feelings of loneliness. Exercise, focusing on positive relationships, and doing things that you find rewarding can help with depression. Get tips on what to do if you feel depressed.

Keep in mind that winter depression could be a sign of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which may be caused by the lack of sunlight. Treatment for SAD is much like other forms of depression, but also involves light therapy.

Get more holiday tips.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CDTA to shift to exclusive use of monthly Rolling Swiper passes

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) will shift to the exclusive use of monthly Rolling Swiper passes beginning January 1, 2013. Rolling Swipers are offered at the same price as monthly passes while providing customers with more flexibility and convenience.

CDTA's 5-day and 7-day calendar passes will be replaced by their Rolling Swiper equivalents. A public education campaign entitled We're on your schedule now is underway to educate customers on the transition, and the added benefits of more flexibility, convenience and value.

The Rolling Swiper is a discounted monthly pass in 5-day ($55) and 7-day ($65) options, which are also available to eligible half fare customers. Rolling Swipers allow riders to start using their pass at any time, and customers who wish to remain on a calendar schedule just need to validate their new rolling pass at the beginning of the month. Rolling Swipers include a start date and end date printed on the back of the card for tracking convenience.

How Rolling Swipers work:
- Purchase either 5-day or 7-day Rolling Swiper at any CDTA sales
outlet or online
- Insert Rolling Swiper into the farebox for validation
- Swipe and go every time thereafter for a full month of rides
- Passes can be purchased and activated at any time
- Customers control their own schedule and maintain full value of
their pass
- Corporate partners have a simplified administrative process with
no returns

Improved technology over the past decade has taken CDTA customers from bus tokens to swipeable fare media. Rolling Swipers were first introduced in 2009 and now constitute 30% of pass sales across the system with more than half of CDTA customers using prepayment.

Rolling Swipers are available at, at area Price Chopper Supermarkets, Hannaford Supermarkets, and ShopRite supermarkets, select Keybank locations and the CDTA Sales Center at 85 Watervliet Avenue in Albany. Window hours at the Sales Center are Monday-Friday from 9:00am - 5:00pm)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NYCLU program on cable channel 18 in Albany

A program from the Project Liberty series produced by the NYCLU will appear on Channel 18 in Albany. The program will air on the following dates.

Wednesday December 12 at 3 pm
Thursday December 13 at 5 pm
Friday December 14 at 5 pm
Saturday December 15 at 2 pm

Here is the description from NYCLU:

Project Liberty, the New York Civil Liberties Union’s very own television show, is back and broadcasting across New York State. Our fourth episode highlights the NYCLU’s relentless fight to guarantee that New York’s criminal justice system respects the rights of all New Yorker’s, not just those who can afford their own Johnny Cochran.

This episode marks five years since we filed Hurrell-Haring v. State of New York – our landmark, class-action lawsuit challenging New York’s failed system for providing effective legal counsel to poor people accused of crimes.

It features two of our lead plaintiffs, Kimberly Hurrell-Haring and Jackie Winbrone, whose heart-wrenching stories provide viewers unique insight into how the state’s fractured and dysfunctional public defense system is ruining people’s lives.

On the advice of her now-disbarred public defender, Kimberly pleaded guilty to a much more serious crime than the one she committed. As a result, the mother-of-two lost her job and her home. Jackie’s assigned counsel was missing in action as she languished in jail for a crime she did not commit. Her husband died during the 52 days she was incarcerated.

NYCLU Senior Staff Attorney Corey Stoughton, lead counsel on the case, explains the over-arching consequences of New York’s five-decade long failure to provide a functional public defense system. Each day in courtrooms across New York, people face judge and prosecutor without a lawyer accompanying them. When lawyers do appear, they struggle under huge caseloads to find time to investigate accusations and properly counsel clients about their rights.

Barrie Scheck, co-founder and director of the Innocence Project, and Thomas Giovanni, counsel to the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, offer perspective on grave harms that occur when our adversarial process is permanently skewed to favor prosecutors.

The whole point of this process is to ensure that the right people go to jail. When the system breaks down, people’s lives are upended – just ask Jackie and Kimberly.

For more information or to find out when Project Liberty will air on your local cable access station, visit our website:

Friday, December 07, 2012

C-SPAN at UAlbany

The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is prominently featured on C-SPAN2’s BOOKTV show that will broadcast on Saturday December 8 at 12:00 noon on CSPAN2. The program is part of C-SPAN’s LCV (Local Content Vehicle) 2012 Cities Tour of all of America’s state capitals and will also be available on their web page later today. Here’s a link to the C-SPAN Local Content page for Albany.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sandy Update: Top Reasons You're Eligible to Apply for SBA Disaster Assistance

From SBA:

A month after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, homeowners, renters and businesses are dealing with the challenging task of rebuilding their homes, businesses and communities.

There’s a lot of information out there about different forms of federal assistance, and a lot of confusion about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s role in helping homeowners, renters and businesses recover. The SBA is committed to the long-term recovery of the people and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Don’t let misinformation keep you from getting an SBA disaster loan! Here are the facts:

You don’t have to be a business owner to apply for an SBA disaster loan. SBA makes low-interest loans to homeowners of up to $200,000 to repair or replace the residence. Renters and homeowners are also eligible to apply for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property – like furniture, cars, appliances – that isn’t fully covered by insurance.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A video about the hidden costs of soda

From here:

Americans drink more soda than anyone else on earth. And it’s no wonder we keep reaching for soda over water, coffee and juice–soda is addictive. From morning to night, many of us rely on a steady stream of sugary, caffeinated soda to power us through long hours sitting in front of steering wheels, computer screens, dinner tables and televisions. Like gas-powered cars and high-speed internet, Coke and Pepsi products are just another fixture in most Americans daily lives.

It may be time to confront our soda addiction. Just as lifestyle diseases like Type II Diabetes and obesity grow to epidemic proportions in the U.S., the average American now consumes 20 oz of soda every day.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

World AIDS Day is December 1 - Help Create an AIDS-Free Generation

World AIDS Day is Saturday, December 1. The 2012 theme is "Working Together for an AIDS-Free Generation".

It has been more than 30 years since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the U.S. HIV is still a reality for more than a million Americans. Nearly one of every five people living with HIV in the U.S. doesn’t know it.

If you want to help create an AIDS-free generation, participate in the Facing Aids Initiative, get resources to plan an event, read the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and more at

To get tested for HIV, locate a testing site near you by sending a text message with your ZIP code to "KNOWIT" (566948) or visit

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Men Can Register Online for the Selective Service


Most men between the ages of 18-25 must register with the Selective Service in order to be eligible to receive federal student aid and grants, including college work study.

Find out who is required to register with the Selective Service and do it online.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Absurd licensing terms imposed on public domain works by libraries and museums

From BoingBoing

"Keneth Cerws' published studies take copyfight to libraries and museums where restrictive - often absurd - copyright claims and licensing terms are forced on those requesting images of art works and scans of books and documents where the original work long ago entered the public domain, often decades or centuries ago. This raises relevent questions about fair use, academic and research use and how we treat copyright for new images and renderings, often digital images, of old works that many consider vital pieces our common human history, heritage and cultural commons."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Library closed Thursday

All Albany Public Library branches, including Main, are closed Thursday, November 15, for staff development day. They will reopen on Friday.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

President Obama Wins Reelection - Find Results by State

President Barack Obama won the 2012 Presidential election. According to major news outlets, he captured 303 electoral college votes, and won important battleground states like Ohio and Virginia.

Find a map of election results or results by state.

Obama will begin his second-term in office when he is sworn in at a public ceremony taking place on January 21, 2013. Learn more about the President and the inauguration.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Libraries and ebooks: YOU DON'T OWN IT

From Rapp on This by intellectual property lawyer Paul Rapp.

This issue [of ebooks] is getting especially dicey with libraries that want to do what libraries should do with ebooks, lend them out Publishers, which have always hated libraries, have no idea what to do. Remember, ebooks are tethered, so a library can’t just go online and buy an ebook, because it can only be read on one device, or one owner’s devices. So, for ebook lending to work, publishers need to provide libraries ebooks with looser controls, that can be moved across platforms, and shared with the public. Several publishers have simply refused to allow this, and have kept their ebooks off of libraries' digital shelves. Several publishers provide ebooks capable of being lent out, but gouge the libraries for as much as 300% of normal retail prices. One publisher doesn’t allow its ebooks to work on certain devices it doesn’t like, and another electronically limits its library ebooks to 26 loans. 26. One more than 25.

What a stupid mess.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bibliotheque Ideale

This artwork loads slowly but is neat if you appreciate "mere books and experts."

Monday, October 29, 2012

The impact of public access venues and the benefits of libraries

Public access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important role in development. Communities benefit when people can access information and communicate with experts and people in their social networks to learn about health, jobs, education, leisure activities, or whatever inspires them. When access to ICTs is public and available to everyone in the community, such as in public libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés, it can be an effective tool for those that need it most.

In some countries, public libraries deliver this core service. There are over 230,000 libraries worldwide, most in developing countries. Many of these libraries offer free computer and Internet access, sometimes the only options for free and reliable access, yet they are often overlooked when development agencies implement policies to promote public information and communication.

This brief describes some of the emerging findings of the Global Impact Study of Public Access to Information & Communication Technologies related to the impact of public access on development, including the unique benefits successful public libraries offer.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is moving up the eastern coast of the United States.

Use the National Hurricane Center's mobile website to track the storm on your mobile device or online.

Learn how to prepare for the storm by visiting

Follow the instructions from your state and local emergency management officials.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Outlawed by Amazon DRM

Linn travels a lot and therefore has, or should I say had, a lot of books on her Kindle, purchased from Amazon. Suddenly, her Kindle was wiped and her account was closed. Being convinced that something wrong had happened, she sent an e-mail to Amazon, asking for help. This was the answer...

More here.

(Hat tip to Steve Bissette)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Treasure-trove of maps headed to L.A. Public Library

From the Los Angeles Times:

When real estate agent Matthew Greenberg cleaned out the Mount Washington cottage after the occupant died, he couldn't bring himself to throw out a treasure-trove he discovered inside--all kinds of maps.

Instead, he invited the Los Angeles Public Library's map librarian to look at the find.

Stashed everywhere in the 948-square-foot tear-down were maps. Tens of thousands of maps. Fold-out street maps were stuffed in file cabinets, crammed into cardboard boxes, lined up on closet shelves and jammed into old dairy crates.

Wall-size roll-up maps once familiar to schoolchildren were stacked in corners. Old globes were lined in rows atop bookshelves also filled with maps and atlases. A giant plastic topographical map of the United States covered a bathroom wall and bookcases displaying Thomas Bros. map books and other street guides lined a small den.

The library's Glen Creason called the find unbelievable.

"I think there are at least a million maps here," he said. "This dwarfs our collection — and we've been collecting for 100 years."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Today

Medicare's Open Enrollment period is October 15, 2012 through December 7, 2012. If you have Medicare, you can change your health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2013 during this open enrollment period.

If you are satisfied with your current plan, then you don't need to do anything.

Visit Medicare's Open Enrollment Center for additional information.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Accepting applications for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The School of Business at the University at Albany, SUNY would like to announce a final call for applications for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy scheduled to begin on campus the first week of November. Launched at the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester with financial support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! takes students in grades 6-12 through the process of starting and running a real business over an eight month period. These student-run companies also have the opportunity to pitch their business plans to real investors!

To see highlights from the 2011 Investor Panel event, check out the YouTube video titled UAlbany Biz School Helps Young CEOs.

A $100 tuition discount is available to children and grandchildren of University at Albany faculty, staff, and alumni. Financial aid is also available for students who qualify.

Michael Hoffman and Brian Straughter, who represent Turf Hotels, Inc. have provided continuing support with helping us launch and grow this chapter.

Bill Brigham, the Director of our award-winning Small Business Development Center, will continue this year as the lead instructor.

To download an application, visit For further information, contact YEA! Recruitment Manager Jason Cotugno (jcotugno@ or YEA! Program Manager Sally Mills at 442-4272 ( in the School of Business.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Farmers Market hours change at APL Delaware Avenue branch

The Farmers' Market is now running from 3 pm to 6 pm on Tuesdays behind the Delaware Avenue branch of the Albany Public Library at 331 Delaware. The library also closes at 6 pm. Get there early to get tender just picked broccoli rabe. (rapini) There will also be plenty of veggies, fruit, jam, honey, eggs & baked goods. Shoppers who use EBT cards can now get a $2 dollar coupon each time they get $5 worth of Farmers' Market tokens.

Busy day at the library Wednesday, October 10. Start off with pre-school story time at 10:30 for stories, songs & play. After school teens can learn to draw Manga and enjoy Japanese snacks at 4 pm. At 6:30 pm participate in a free Pilates class that will strengthen your core & improve your balance. All at the happening place to be - the library at 331 Delaware Ave.

Monday, October 08, 2012


Bernard A. Margolis, Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and State Librarian, is pleased to announce that the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has approved New York State’s Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) 2012-2017 Five-Year Plan. The new LSTA plan took effect on October 1, 2012.

Susan Hildreth, Director of IMLS, labeled the Plan “an excellent framework for the future” and stated that the Plan “demonstrates a commitment to embrace new service opportunities as changing information delivery services, platforms, and information policies create new challenges in providing critical materials that are the foundation for all other services.”

Each of the four goals within the new LSTA Five-Year Plan is closely linked to the recommendations in “Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Service in New York State; Recommendations of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries to the New York State Board of Regents” and to one or more of the priorities of the federal Library Services and Technology Act.

State Librarian Margolis expressed his thanks and appreciation to the many individuals and groups involved in developing the new plan. In particular, he thanked the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries LSTA Committee (Jill Hurst-Wahl, Sara Kelly Johns, Bridget Quinn-Carey and Chairperson Louise Sherby) for their leadership. He also thanked the State Library staff and other Office of Cultural Education staff who led the plan development effort, gathering suggestions and feedback from New York’s library, education and cultural communities.

The LSTA Five Year Plan, which is required by IMLS, describes potential activities that will be implemented using the federal LSTA funds provided annually to the New York State Library by IMLS and has four major goals:
1) All New Yorkers will have improved access to library resources that advance and enhance their personal, educational and working lives;
2) The New York State Library, library systems and libraries will deliver new and improved library programs that anticipate and meet New Yorkers' constantly changing needs for library services;
3) New Yorkers of all ages will perceive libraries as community learning spaces offering high-quality lifelong learning, literacy, and knowledge creation;
4) All New Yorkers will benefit from statewide programs and services of the New York State Library that effectively leverage private and public funding through collaboration and partnerships and maximize value in order to achieve goals one, two and three.

For more information on the federal LSTA program and its importance to New York State’s libraries and all New Yorkers, please visit the New York State Library’s website. Questions about New York State’s LSTA program may be directed to Mary Linda Todd, LSTA Coordinator, Division of Library Development, New York State Library at .

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Proof That Science Books Can Be Beautiful

Or, conversely, Disbinding Me with Science, another example of book "mutilation" in the furtherance of beauty. Welcome to today's introduction to Arts and Science.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Bill Moyers: The Bane of Banned Books

Bill Moyers addresses banned books and ALA's Banned Books Week

When I was growing up in East Texas we didn't have any money for books. My reading room was the small local library run by an organization of business professional women. To this moment, I can remember checking out my first two volumes - one was Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days; the other was a primer on Greek and Roman mythology (don't ask me why.) Years later, when I walked into the much larger library at the state college as a freshman, I was practically overwhelmed. I looked down row after row of books and periodicals and thought: "Wow! All this for me?!” Some of the best hours of my life were spent in that library. I even considered majoring in library science, so that I could be near those books.

Which is one reason it pains me today that even in this modern day and age, some folks in communities across America are saying: "No. That Book ISN'T For You” and for reasons that have nothing to do with the community, the school, or the reader - and everything to do with prejudice.

The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom reports 326 attempts last year to remove or restrict books from school curricula and libraries. Add those to thousands of formal complaints filed with a library or school in the last two decades - complaints about a book's content or appropriateness. Can you believe some people don't want other people to read Brave New World, The Color Purple, To Kill A Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, The Kite Runner, A Wrinkle in Time, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Light in the Attic, the Harry Potter series, and – ironic if not surprising – Fahrenheit 451.

Think of it: some of the most inspiring and mind-opening words ever written, threatened with removal because they offended a self-deputized vigilante over who wants to deny an entire community's curiosity and passion to learn.
Censorship is the enemy of truth - even more than a lie. A lie can be exposed; censorship can prevent us knowing the difference. This is one reason that on my public television broadcast, Moyers & Company, we call out the censors every time we can. And it's why we're so grateful to the ALA – as well as the librarians, writers, booksellers, publishers, and neighbors who stand with the Association in observing the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, taking place this year from September 30 – October 6."

Read the rest and watch the video.

Friday, October 05, 2012

2012 Census of Governments


The Census of Governments identifies the scope and nature of the nation's state and local government sector; provides authoritative benchmark figures of public finance and public employment; classifies local government organizations, powers, and activities; and measures federal, state, and local fiscal relationships.

The data are available by:

level of government (state, local, or state and local combined),
type of government (state, county, city, township, special district, school district), and
category of governmental activity

Thursday, October 04, 2012

New List of Privacy Resources and Sites on the Internet


Privacy Resources and Sites on the Internet is a comprehensive listing of privacy resources currently available on the Internet. These include associations, indexes, search engines as well as individual websites and sources that supply the latest technology and information about privacy and how it relates to you and the Internet.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Internet Archive Launches News Search Service with 350,000 Broadcasts

From Internet Archive blog:

This service is designed to help engaged citizens better understand the issues and candidates in the 2012 U.S. elections by allowing them to search closed captioning transcripts to borrow relevant television news programs.

The collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over 3 years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C. The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired. Older materials are also being added.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Libraries, Patrons, and E-books

From Pew Research:

Some 12% of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year.

Most e-book borrowers say libraries are very important to them and their families and they are heavy readers in all formats, including books they bought and books lent to them. E-book borrowers say they read an average (the mean number) of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who do not borrow e-books from a library. Perhaps more striking, the median (midpoint) figures for books reportedly read are 20 in the past year by e-book borrowers and 12 by non-borrowers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 Voter’s Guide: The Library Advocate’s Guide to the Voting Records of the New York State Legislature

The New Yorkers for Better Libraries PAC has released its 2012 Voter’s Guide: The Library Advocate’s Guide to the Voting Records of the New York State Legislature.

The Voter’s Guide, published since 2001, grade NYS legislators on their voting records concerning library funding and legislative issues.

Scores are calculated based on library aid in the state budget; sponsorship of library priority legislation; recorded votes on library legislation, and letters of support (in the Assembly). The grading scale is based on the number of total points each legislator receives in each category. More details can be found within the Guide.

The guide has also been posted on the New York Library Association’s website,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Education in Finland

In a piece in Metroland, Solidarity With Chicago by Miriam Axel-Lute, she talks about the mixed results of charter schools. Then she indicated:

But it also made me think of a stunning article from last December in the Atlantic about Finland, called What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success, Finland, on account of its startlingly high scores on international comparisons of educational attainment (even compared to its demographically similar Scandinavian neighbors), has become a bit of a mecca for education reformers. We have oohed-and-aahed at how they don’t push standardized testing, don’t push early reading, encourage play-based learning longer.

But, according to the Atlantic article, what we can’t seem to get our brains around is that the foundation of the current Finnish education system is almost the opposite of our beloved idea of “school choice.” It’s this: equity. “The main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location,” says the Atlantic. They feed all the kids healthy meals and give them access to health care. They have no private schools at all. They give their teachers “prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility” (and independence). Schools with high numbers of immigrants . . . do just as well as other schools.

They don’t aim for excellence. They aim to bring everyone along and level the playing field. And they get . . . excellence.

11 Amazing Librarian Tattoos

There are plenty of literary tattoos out there, and plenty of tattooed librarians. A bit less common are librarians with tattoos celebrating their career choic

Read the full text here -- brought to you by mental_floss!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

U.S. Public Libraries Weather the Storm

From BoingBoing:

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, and the woman seated next to you on the plane could smoke her Virginia Slims all the way from Chicago to L.A., libraries were fully-funded and considered an essential for every community. Then came the financial crash, and the slash-and-burn began for library budgets. The American Library Association's handy infographic shows the impact that library budget cuts have on the communities they serve—and shows how libraries are weathering the storm...

Read the 2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access study, produced by the ALA and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Public Meetings Tonight and September 12 re Albany Reapportionment

Tonight, Aug. 28 at 5:30pm at the Albany Public Library main branch on Washington Avenue, the City of Albany Reapportionment Commission (chaired by Vicente Alfonso) will be holding its first public forum to receive input on reapportionment related issues.

Here is a link to the Commission's webpage, which also includes the Commission's workplan timetable and other data elements.

There will be an additional public forum on September 12 for the commission to receive input.

Here is a link to the article in today's Times Union about the redistricting commission.

Below is some information from the redistricting website that describes the work and purpose of the Commission. The Commission consists of eight volunteer Albany residents who were appointed by the Albany Common Council. Unlike the last reapportionment commission, there are no Common Council Members who serve on the current commission.

City Wards & Redistricting


In accordance with the City Charter, the City of Albany is divided into 15 legislative districts, or Wards. Each Ward is represented by a City Common Council Member who is elected by their constituency to serve a four year term. Each Common Council Member functions to regulate and protect the interests of residents within their Ward.

Collectively the members comprise the Common Council which serves as the legislative branch of Albany’s government. The Common Council is authorized to adopt, amend or repeal local laws, ordinances, resolutions and regulations pertaining to property and government affairs within the City.

Ward boundaries are established by the Common Council to best represent the demographics within the City and are based primarily on Census information.


Redistricting refers to the process by which census data is used to redraw the boundaries of electoral districts, or in the case of the City of Albany, Ward boundaries. Redistricting impacts the weight of your vote and involves making difficult decisions constricted by complicated local, State and Federal laws. In the City of Albany, this process is conducted every 10 years, and is based on the latest Federal Decennial Census information. The City's Ward boundaries were last finalized in 2003 based on Census 2000 data, and are currently undergoing review per the 2010 Census. Redistricting represents one of the most important undertakings of our democracy.


The Reapportionment Commission is appointed by the Common Council to review Ward boundaries within the City of Albany. In order to accommodate population changes and demographic shifts reported in current Census surveys, the Commission strives to maximize the legal principle of "one person, one vote," consistent with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and subsequent case laws.

The Commission also has a responsibility to maximize public participation in the process of redistricting in the City of Albany, and to ensure the Ward maps best represent protected groups and community of interests within the City. The Commission obtains public input on representation and boundary adjustments through public meetings, hearings and other community outreach. A finalized plan will be presented to the Common Council for their review and approval.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Legal Services for the Underserved: Referring Public Library Patrons to Local Legal Resources

Reference Services at the Albany Public Library is pleased to present the following free professional development workshop:

Thursday, September 20th, 2012
10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Albany Public Library's 1st Floor Auditorium
161 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210

In these tough economic times, public library staff who work the reference/information desk are finding themselves more frequently referring patrons who need legal assistance and/or wish to conduct legal research. The workshop's speakers will highlight the resources and services provided by three local libraries and two legal services organizations. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion after the presentations. Participating organizations:
• Frances Bergan Law Library (Albany County Public Access Law Library) and the Supreme Court Library (Rensselaer County Public Access Law Library)
• The Schaffer Law Library of the Albany Law School
• The New York State Library
• The Legal Project of the Capital District Women's Bar Association
• The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.
Continuing Ed Contact Hours: 2 Contact Hours; Certificate provided.

Coffee and light refreshment will be served.

There is some free parking in our lot behind the library at the Elk Street entrance; there is also long-term metered parking along Elk Street. Elk Street is one-way; access Elk via Swan or Hawk from Washington Avenue. CDTA stops at Washington and Lark (next door to or across the street from APL). Google Maps.

Paraprofessionals/library assistants and MLS/MSIS graduate students are also especially welcome!

Please RSVP to Deanna DiCarlo by September 14th.
(518) 427-4301

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Naples Library Plundered

NAPLES, Italy — For months now, the alarm has been resounding throughout the insular and competitive world of antiquarian books: beware of volumes bearing the stamp of the storied Girolamini Library in Naples. They could be hot.

The library’s former director, Marino Massimo De Caro, was arrested in May, accused of systematically despoiling the library he had been charged with keeping safe, stealing books and selling them on the open market or directly to collectors. And sharp sleuthing on the part of a professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta has raised questions about Mr. De Caro and the sale of other, possibly forged, books.

More here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Libraries, Patrons, and E-books

According to Pew Research:

Some 12% of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year.

Most e-book borrowers say libraries are very important to them and their families and they are heavy readers in all formats, including books they bought and books lent to them. E-book borrowers say they read an average (the mean number) of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who do not borrow e-books from a library. Perhaps more striking, the median (midpoint) figures for books reportedly read are 20 in the past year by e-book borrowers and 12 by non-borrowers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Profession​al Assessment of Twilight Sparkle as a Librarian

From Neatorama:

In “The Return of Harmony,” the demon Discord threatens to destroy Equestria. Twilight Sparkle’s friends are picked off one by one, until she alone is left to find a means to defeat him. She immediately runs to her library and searches her collection for the answer. She finds inside one volume the mystical Elements of Harmony, which she uses to banish Discord.

It's a great metaphor for the value of libraries and librarians in an information age. The hero of the tale is Twilight Sparkle, the librarian of Ponyville and the protagonist of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. She is undoubtedly intelligent, considerate and brave. But is she, from a professional’s point of view, is Twilight an effective librarian? What follows is an assessment of her in that capacity.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Citizens’ Police Review Board vacancy

City of Albany Common Council


Citizens’ Police Review Board

The Albany Common Council is seeking nominations of qualified residents of the City of Albany for the following position:

Title of Position:
Member, Citizens’ Police Review Board (CPRB)

Term of Appointment:
To fill a vacancy expiring 10/26/13

Appointees are eligible for reappointment at the end of their term to an additional term of three years.

Position Responsibilities/Duties:

The CPRB is an independent body established by the City of Albany in 2000 to improve communications between the Police Department and the Community, to increase police accountability and credibility with the public, and to create a complaint review process that is free from bias and informed of actual police practice. In addition to review and determination on completed investigations of complaints made by citizens against officers of the City of Albany Police Department for alleged misconduct, the nine member Board may make recommendations to the Common Council and the Mayor regarding police policies and practices relevant to the goals of community policing and the exercise of discretionary authority by police officers. Board members are appointed by the Mayor (4) and the Common Council (5). The Board is required to, among other things, undergo significant training, and engage in public outreach and education.

Members of the CPRB shall reside in the City of Albany and possess a reputation for fairness, integrity and responsibility and have demonstrated an active interest in public affairs and service. The Common Council and the Mayor shall endeavor to reflect community diversity in their appointments, including income level, race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and experience and shall, in their appointments, solicit recommendations from the community. Officers, current employees of the City of Albany and the immediate relatives of officers and employees shall not be eligible for appointment.

Members shall be appointed for three-year terms. No members of the CPRB shall serve for a period which exceeds two consecutive terms. Completion of an orientation program concerning the goals, powers and procedures of the CPRB is required before a member may participate as a voting member. In addition, graduation from the Albany Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy within six months of the start of the member’s term is required. Members are also required to undergo continuing education on issues related to the interaction between civilians and police officers from the perspectives of both the citizen and the police officer.

The CPRB meets once per month and Board members are required to take responsibility in preparing cases for presentation. Board members also participate in community outreach efforts.

Additional information on the CPRB is available on their web site maintained by the Albany Law School’s Government Law Center.
Statutory Authority:

The CPRB is established in accordance with Article XLIV of Part 33 of Chapter 42 of the Code of the City of Albany (sections 42-332 through 42-352). A copy is available on the CPRB web site (see above) or by contacting the Common Council’s office (see below).

Application Requirement:

Applicants are requested to submit a letter of intent describing qualifications and include a current resume to:

Cashawna Parker
Senior Legislative Aide
Albany Common Council – Room 206
City Hall
Albany, NY 12207

Tel: 434-5087
Fax: 434-5081

Applicants will be interviewed by a selected committee of the Common Council prior to appointment.

Deadline for Applications: August 13, 2012

Calling all Hands to the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence Work Party!

The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence and associated URHPCR properties need
your help.

Join us to weed, mow, tend the Dr. Thomas Elkins garden, and continue working
on the UGR walking path begun by Summer Youth Employment teens.

When - Saturday, August 4 from 10am - 12noon
Where - Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence
194 Livingston Avenue, Albany 12210

Gloves and tools will be provided, but please bring your favorite tools if you

Refreshments will be provided

See you Saturday, August 4 from 10am-12noon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

State Library Offers Training Webinars

Bernard A. Margolis, New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, is pleased to announce a series of free training webinars for JobNow, an online workforce development tool offered through the NOVELny Portal or through your local library.

JobNow is funded by federal ARRA funds through the State Library's Broadbandexpress@YourLibrary Project and is an online resource tool for job seekers that features the following services: live interview coaching, resume/cover letter assistance, and access to both statewide and nationwide job resources. It includes an Adult Learning Center that offers test preparation (including the GED and the U.S. Citizen Test), an expert writing lab, study tools, and a unique academic skills center featuring live, online tutors.

The following is a list of webinar dates and times, with a link to registration information for each session. Space is limited, but registrations will be accepted up to the day of each webinar. Registrants will receive an email confirmation and webinar information.

Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

Date: Thursday, August 2, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Date: Monday, August 6, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

Date: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Date: Monday, August 20, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

Date: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Computer System Requirements

PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Albany Schools' 2012 Summer Celebration July 28

You're invited to the City School District of Albany's 2012 Summer Celebration presented by ShopRite of Albany this Saturday, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Krank Park in the South End.

This second annual community event once again will include a celebrity softball game with radio personalities from JAMZ/96.3 -- a rematch of last year's 12-12 tie! The Summer Celebration also will include fun summer activities for the whole family, including a cookout, face-painting, a bouncy-bounce, games, the popular Latino NY snow-cone machine, information about Albany's public schools and community organizations, and more.

And there is Krank Park's popular spray park to beat the heat on a hot summer day.

Please join us this Saturday for the 2012 Summer Celebration!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Albany schools make superintendent selection

From SNN:

The City School District of Albany Board of Education has selected Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D., to become the district’s next superintendent. The board voted Tuesday night to ask the New York State Department of Education to grant Dr. Vanden Wyngaard a School District Leader certificate that would allow her to serve in that capacity.

Dr. Vanden Wyngaard is deputy superintendent in the Paterson (N.J.) Public Schools. Although she currently does not hold a School District Leader certificate in New York, state education law allows the commissioner to grant a certificate to those “whose exceptional training and experience ... qualify such persons for the duties of a superintendent of schools.”

The board strongly believes Dr. Vanden Wyngaard meets those standards, President Dan Egan said. Visit the District News section to read more.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

City School District of Albany’s Hall of Fame Class of 2012

A United States ambassador, the first African-American woman elected to the Albany Board of Education, an orthopedic surgeon and Albany High School’s only New York State Miss Basketball recipient are among the eight people selected for the City School District of Albany’s 2012 Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2012 will be inducted during ceremonies on Homecoming weekend in October. Visit the Hall of Fame section to read more about this year's inductees as well as past classes, and to find out how to nominate candidates for the Class of 2013.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Air quality alert in effect from 11 am to 11 PM EDT Tuesday in eastern NYS


The New York state department of environmental conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties...

Dutchess... Ulster... Columbia... Greene... Schoharie... Albany... Rensselaer... Saratoga... Schenectady... Washington... Fulton... Montgomery... southern Herkimer.

Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for the pollutant of ozone. The air quality index... or aqi... was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the aqi value, the greater the health concern.

When pollution levels are elevated... the New York state Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very Young, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician.

A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is: 1 800 535-1345.

Perfume that smells like a freshly printed book

Karl Lagerfeld teams with Wallpaper for scent Paper Passion: The scent of of 'freshly printed books'

'I am a paper freak. It's a physical passion," writes Chanel's Lagerfeld. "I cannot live without paper. Touching perfect paper has something sensuous about it."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Albany Public Library Board Swears in Trustees, Elects Officers

The Albany Public Library Board of Trustees has three new trustees and a slate of new officers.

Three new trustees, who were elected in May, were sworn into office at the July 10 meeting at the Howe Branch

More HERE.


State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard A. Margolis and Chair of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries Gerald Nichols announced today the launching of a new webpage focused on the implementation of Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Services in New York State.

“We invite the library community and other interested stakeholders to bookmark this new webpage and to help us implement this exciting new vision and statewide plan for library services,” said Nichols. “This plan sets a new course for the future and recognizes that, in spite of economic challenges, quality library service must be available to every child and every adult in New York.”

Information about implementation activities, events and strategies will be posted on the State Library’s new Creating the Future webpage and shared broadly with the library community and other stakeholders. There is a Latest News link to a new Creating the Future blog. The blog is intended to keep readers up-to-date on how library leaders and champions across New York State are going about implementing the sixty recommendations listed in Creating the Future. Readers will find out how to join Regents Advisory Council members Jill Hurst-Wahl, Gerald Nichols, John Hammond and others on LinkedIn to share and discuss implementation ideas and strategies.

Library leaders are encouraged to send information about upcoming planned events or discussions focused on the implementation of Creating the Future to Council Vice-Chair John Hammond ( ). Events will be posted on the webpage. Library leaders are also encouraged to send ideas and suggestions for implementation strategies or action steps to John Hammond ( or Gerald Nichols (

The New York State Board of Regents accepted the new vision and plan as statewide policy for libraries at their April 2012 meeting. Members of the Board, the State Librarian and the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries will provide an opportunity for further discussion concerning the Plan and its implementation during the November 2012 New York Library Association Conference in Saratoga Springs. Questions about implementation or about Creating the Future may be directed to Gerald Nichols (

Thursday, July 12, 2012

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES FOR Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Services in New York State.

State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard A. Margolis and Chair of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries Gerald Nichols encourage the library community and other interested stakeholders to discuss and recommend implementation strategies for Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Services in New York State.

“We invite the library community and other interested stakeholders to help us implement this exciting new vision and statewide plan for library services,” said Nichols. “This plan sets a new course for the future and recognizes that, in spite of economic challenges, quality library service must be available to every child and every adult in New York.”

The New York State Board of Regents accepted the new plan as statewide policy for libraries at their April 2012 meeting. Members of the Board, the State Librarian and the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries will provide an opportunity for further discussion concerning the Plan and its implementation during the November New York Library Association Conference in Saratoga Springs. The Council would like to incorporate implementation ideas from the library community and others.

“The Board of Regents has directed me to work with the Council and the library community to develop an implementation strategy and detailed action plan,” said Margolis. “The strategy will identify which of the recommendations will be implemented through Regents action, which may require changes to legislation and some other type of action by the State Library, the library community and/or other key stakeholders.”

“Library leaders, associations and other groups are scheduling various summer and fall regional and statewide discussions focused on the plan and strategies for implementation. My hope is that these discussions will occur in every corner of the state,” said Nichols. “For example, the New York Alliance of Library Systems will be focusing on the Plan’s recommendations concerning library systems during its annual retreat in East Greenbush on August 17th, and the NY3Rs Association is convening a statewide summit concerning academic and research library information infrastructure in Saratoga Springs in September.

Library leaders are encouraged to send information about upcoming planned events or discussions focused on the implementation of “Creating the Future” to Council Vice-Chair John Hammond ( Information about implementation activities and events will be posted on a new “Creating the Future” webpage on the State Library’s website and shared broadly with the library community and other stakeholders. Library leaders are also encouraged to send resulting ideas and suggestions for implementation strategies or action steps to John Hammond ( or Gerald Nichols (

Questions about implementation or about “Creating the Future” may be directed to Gerald Nichols (

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Libraryization of a Walmart


The International Interior Design Association recently selected the McAllen Public Library as the winner of their 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. The city inherited the former Wal-Mart after the retailer closed the store and abandoned it. The decision was made to reuse the structure and create a new main library within. Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. of Minneapolis were selected to design the interior of the building which the city required to be functional, flexible and affordable to construct. For a library, the existing 124,500 square foot space is huge. That’s the size of about 2 1/2 football fields making the new library the largest single-story location in the US.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NY3Rs Newsletter

The NY 3Rs Association, Inc. is pleased to announce the publication of the Association’s new monthly email newsletter, Reference, Research, Resources. This newsletter will highlight the latest news about how NY 3Rs is working to help the libraries of New York State improve their services through collaboration and education.

The first issue of the newsletter is now available.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Start a book discussion group for children at your library

“Summer Reading at New York Libraries” has been expanding their partnership with the New York Council for the Humanities to include exciting new training opportunities for librarians. The first opportunity, which was held in June and announced on the blog Summer Reading News, trained 70 librarians throughout the state on how to start and maintain a quality Summer Reading book discussion group.

Presented and created by Erika Halstead from the New York Council for the Humanities, the webinar focused on training librarians to develop a “Big Idea” for discussion and start activities that trigger further discussions in the book group. Librarians walked away from the webinar with definite insight and enthusiasm for starting a book discussion group or adding to an existing program.

Here are visuals and text from the presentation. You can click through with the arrows or use the "More" tab to view it in full screen.

The link is also available on the New York State Library Development website, along with other helpful training information.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Americans Still Want to be Homeowners

Source: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

A recent survey by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars finds that despite the bursting of the housing bubble, an overwhelming majority of Americans still feel that homeownership is both important to them and a part of the American Dream. A majority also said homeownership should be a national priority.

Despite the importance placed upon homeownership, however, more than 40% of respondents also said the federal government was too involved in developing policies to assist with homeownership. Only 29% of respondents favored the removal of the federal government from mortgage financing when they were informed that this would increase the cost of home loans and eliminate the availability of 30-year mortgages.

Respondents also had unfavorable views of mortgage institutions Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Libraries, patrons, and e-books

Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project

Some 12% of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year.

Most e-book borrowers say libraries are very important to them and their families and they are heavy readers in all formats, including books they bought and books lent to them. E-book borrowers say they read an average (the mean number) of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who do not borrow e-books from a library. Perhaps more striking, the median (midpoint) figures for books reportedly read are 20 in the past year by e-book borrowers and 12 by non-borrowers.

But most in the broader public, not just e-book readers, are generally not aware they can borrow e-books from libraries. We asked all those ages 16 and older if they know whether they can borrow e-books from their library and 62% said they did not know if their library offered that service. Some 22% say they know that their library does lend out e-books, and 14% say they know their library does not lend out e-books.

These findings are striking because more than three-quarters of the nation’s public libraries lend e-books.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Four Reasons to Visit Your Local Library This Summer

You don’t have to be outdoors to have a fun summer. In fact, some of the most gratifying and enriching activities might happen within the four walls of one of our country's 123,000 public libraries. If you haven't been to the library lately, you should check it out.

Here are four reasons why you should visit your local library this summer.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User

Source: Online Publishers Association

Summary Findings:

1. Tablet usage is exploding.
2. Tablets have become embedded in people’s lives.
3. Content consumption continues to dominate tablet usage.
4. Tablet users have an appetite for paid content.
5. After seeing tablet ads, tablet users are driven to actions.
6. Tablet content purchasers and cross-platform tablet users are more positive about tablet ads and are more likely to purchase products from their tablets.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

SummerFest Party is Saturday, July 7 at APL Delaware Branch

Enjoy fun in the sun with APL at the third annual SummerFest outdoor family party on Saturday, July 7, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Delaware Branch Library (331 Delaware Avenue). This free outdoor party features bounce houses, activities, games and prizes, magic, music and dancing, and snacks.

SummerFest is the major event in the library’s Summer Reading Program, which encourages literacy by rewarding kids for reading. The party gives children a chance to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and sample the activities and books available at the library.

The SummerFest party is so big that the library is closing all branches—except for Delaware and the Main Library—on July 7. The Delaware Avenue neighborhood is also participating in the festivities with a street fair, special sales at many businesses, food and activity booths, and a garage sale.

More HERE.

July 4th Oration: What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

"What To The Slave Is the Fourth of July" is a Reader's Theater presentation of the political analysis of Frederick Douglass on the experiences of slavery and the hypocrisy of the principles espoused as the reason for celebrating the 4th in the historical present and post-racial context.

Reader's Theater will be followed with refreshments and conversation. Join us
for a rich, reflective July 4th experience!

Please bring your own chair.

Wednesday, July 4
11am - 1pm
Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence
194 Livingston Avenue
Albany, New York 12212

For more information, go to, or call

Monday, July 02, 2012

Jeremy Johannesen is the new NYLA Executive Director

Jeremy Johannesen is the new Executive Director of the New York Library Association. He began on July 1. A full announcement is here.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Why e-books will soon be obsolete

E-books will be obsolete within five years. Crippled by territorial license restrictions, digital rights management, and single-purpose devices and file formats that are simultaneously immature and already obsolescent, they are at a hopeless competitive disadvantage compared to full-fledged websites and even the humble PDF.

More HERE.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pinterest for Libraries

In the May 2012 issue of SEARCHER magazine, there is an article by Irene E. McDermott about Pinterest, which, thanks to favorable coverage in TIME went from "120,000 users in January more than 11 users in January 2012..." According to advertising tools, "over 97% of Pinterest's Facebook fans are women."

Here is Kelly Lester's links to "advice to make Pinterest pay off for a small web-based business."

The New York Public Library ( "showcase[s] its current events and pictures of the day, but also...merchandise it sells in its [gift] shop." Also check out the pages for the Muncie (IN) Public Library and the Westerville (OH) Library.

In a sidebar article, "Pinterest and Copyright: We May Have a Problem" notes that there is a metatag () that "webmasters can insert into their headers to keep Pinterest from copying and pinning their content."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Brilliantly changing the conversation to save a library

"So the local Tea Party in Troy, MI decided enough was enough and decided to stop those evil libraries from enforcin' book learnin' on the community by stopping a 0.70% tax. Yea, that's right. A POINT SEVEN PERCENT INCREASE IN TAXES SO PEOPLE COULD HAVE FREE BOOKS. To prevent them from being selfish and ruining education for kids without access to books, the opposition came up with a brilliant solution. BOOK BURNING PARTAY!?!?!"

Save the Troy Library "Adventures In Reverse Psychology"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Booklist for Young Readers

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), with help from the American Library Association, presents its 25th annual Summer Booklist for grade K-3, 4-6, and 7-8. All of the books meet the standard of having "lasting value."

Getting ready for college? The NEH has you covered, too.

Bonus hint for grown-ups: The books in the 7-8 list make pretty good beach reads, and they're easy to find at your local public library.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What is the Purpose of the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence - a Conversation

Monday, June 25
The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence
194 Livingston Avenue
Albany, NY 12210

The Underground Railroad Workshop is looking for your participation in helping URHPCR articulate the uses and
purpose of the Myers Residence. Continued restoration and fundraising decisions
rest upon how the Myers Residence will be used. Please join us for an hour of
conversation about this important topic.

Questions or thoughts? Call at 518-432-4432 or email at

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Garage Bands in the Garage Concerts are Back!

The award-winning Garage Bands in the Garage concert series returns to the Albany Public Library, Main Library this summer. The all-ages, after-hours shows feature live music by great local bands playing in the garage of the Main Library (at the Elk Street parking lot entrance). All shows run on select Friday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. and also feature a CD/DVD garage sale with $1 items.

For more info, go here.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ray Bradbury, friend of libraries and reading

From HERE:

Bradbury’s greatest skill was his ability to inspire readers to reflect deeply on our society and values, even when his books dealt with Mars or the future or some other tried-and-true genre concept.

With book burnings and repression of ideas still part of our daily news, Bradbury’s most famous novel has much to teach us even today. You may remember “Fahrenheit 451″ — or the celebrated film François Truffaut made from it — for the disturbing scenes of “firemen” whose job is no longer to put out blazes but to start them, consigning all literary works to the flames. But Bradbury’s story has other lessons to teach us. What you may have forgotten about “Fahrenheit 451″ is that communities only started burning books after they had lost interest in reading and the exchange of ideas. Their immersion in entertainment compromised their engagement as citizens. That lesson may be even more timely in modern America, where flames are hardly necessary to undermine our political and civic institutions.

Bradbury lived up to his ideals in other ways. He was a longtime champion of book culture and reading. “Libraries raised me,” Mr. Bradbury once commented. “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries.” He often spoke at libraries and campaigned to keep them open and well funded.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

25 New Recordings Added to National Recording Registry

The Library of Congress' National Recording Registry annually adds recordings that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and preserves them for future generations. This year they added recordings such as "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and "Rapper’s Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang.

Here’s what was added, in reverse chronological order
25. “Purple Rain,” Prince and the Revolution (1984)
24. “Rapper’s Delight,” Sugarhill Gang (1979)
23. “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer (1977)
22. Barton Hall concert by the Grateful Dead (May 8, 1977)
21. “Mothership Connection,” Parliament (1975)
20. “Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton (1971)
19. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Vince Guaraldi Trio (1970)
18. “The Continental Harmony: Music of William Billings,” Gregg Smith Singers (1969)
17. “Forever Changes,” Love (1967)
16. “Green Onions,” Booker T. & the M.G.’s (1962)
15. “Bo Diddley” and “I’m a Man,” Bo Diddley (1955)
14. “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1954, 1958)
13. “Let’s Go Out to the Programs,” The Dixie Hummingbirds (1953)
12. “I Can Hear It Now,” Fred W. Friendly and Edward R. Murrow (1948)
11. “Hula Medley,” Gabby Pahinui (1947)
10. “The Indians for Indians Hour” (March 25, 1947)
9. International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Hottest Women’s Band of the 1940s (1944-1946)
8. Debut performance with the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein (Nov. 14, 1943)
7. “Artistry in Rhythm,” Stan Kenton & and his Orchestra (1943)
6. “Fascinating Rhythm,” Sol Hoopii and his Novelty Five (1938)
5. “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” Patsy Montana (1935)
4. “Voices from the Days of Slavery,” Various speakers (1932-1941 interviews; 2002 compilation)
3. “Ten Cents a Dance,” Ruth Etting (1930)
2. “Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star,” Lillian Russell (1912)
1. Edison Talking Doll cylinder (1888)

Friday, June 01, 2012

The most courageous, intrepid, industrious, forward-thinking, brilliant, and, yes, sexy individuals in all of academia: the librarians

From Rapp on This:

"The librarians are saying no to the absurdly inflated prices of these journals and the particularly heinous publisher practice of bundling multiple journals together so libraries are forced to buy three overpriced journals it doesn’t want or need in order to get the one or two that it does. University libraries simply can’t afford these obscure titles any more.

"What is happening, and quickly, is that librarians and scholars are creating open-source web-based journals with their own peer review standards...

"You can help push this open access policy to all publicly-funded research by signing the petition at the White House’s “We The People” page at . This site’s functionality is surprisingly sucky, but I found I could get in by using a Firefox browser. Go vote for the future."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Buried Albany history

In 2005, an unmarked cemetery was accidentally discovered during construction along Route 32 (Broadway) in the town of Colonie. Based on historical research and skeletal analysis, it is believed the burial ground was used by enslaved Africans owned by the colonial Albany Schuyler family.

You are invited to a public meeting to discuss the proper burial and commemoration of human remains of African descent uncovered in Colonie.

Albany Public Library - Main Branch
161 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY
Main Conference Room - June 2nd
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rare print find at Brown University's John Hay Library

Day after day, a tall, shy woman weaves her way unnoticed through the earnest and learned campus swirl of Brown University. She enters the hush of a library, then promptly vanishes from sight.

Down goes Marie Malchodi, 48, who attended but never graduated from Brown, down to the library’s subterranean warrens, where she works as a “book conservation technician.”...

A few weeks ago, Ms. Malchodi opened yet another leather-bound book, one of more than 300,000 rare volumes in the hold of the John Hay Library. With surgical precision, she turned the pages of a medical text once owned by Solomon Drowne, Class of ’73 (1773, that is). And there, in the back, she found a piece of paper depicting the baptism of Jesus. It was signed:

More HERE.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

REMINDER: Albany City Schools closed Thursday, Friday

A reminder that the City School District of Albany's two unused snow days are being added to the traditional Memorial Day weekend and all schools will be closed Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25 in addition to Monday, May 28.

School will resume Tuesday, May 29.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian, Jeffrey W. Cannell, extends his warm appreciation to Chairperson Sarah Conrad Weisman and all current and former members of the NOVELNY Steering Committee as the work of the committee comes to a close effective May 15, 2012.

“The New York State Library is committed to building on the outstanding work of the Steering Committee going forward and will seek to continuously improve and expand the e-resources available to New Yorkers through this high value/high impact statewide program in the coming years,” said Cannell.

Announcement of New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVELNY) electronic resource offerings for 2012-2013 will be made in the near future.

On April 24, the Board of Regents enthusiastically accepted a new statewide policy document for library services: Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision and Plan for Library Service in New York State; Recommendations of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries to the New York State Board of Regents.

“With the adoption of a new statewide vision and plan for library services, this seems like a good time to bring the work of the NOVELNY Steering Committee to conclusion,” said Weisman. “The Board of Regents has directed the State Librarian to work with the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and others to develop implementation strategies and an action plan,” said Weisman, “and I anticipate that there will be numerous opportunities for the library community to contribute ideas, time and talent going forward.”

Leaders from all types of libraries have participated in the Steering Committee’s work since then State Librarian Janet Martin Welch appointed the first NOVELNY Steering Committee in 2002. The Steering Committee played a key role in assisting the State Library with implementation of NOVEL New York Online Virtual Electronic Library: Libraries Expanding Information Access for New Yorkers in the New Century. The creation of NOVEL was the first recommendation in the 2000 Regents Commission on Libraries report "Meeting the Needs of All New Yorkers."

The Steering Committee worked tirelessly to evaluate database products, survey users for feedback and represent the interests of New York’s diverse library community. Several notable efforts were conducted with the advice and assistance of the Committee, including, but not limited to:
o development of a statewide communications plan and publicity toolkit materials for the database program;
o driver license access and fashioning of the NOVELNY portal;
o testing of federated search; and
o the creation and revision of the NOVELNY Ready Levels Table.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Regents Advisory Council on Libraries Seeks Nominations for Membership

The New York State Library is seeking, by June 30, recommendations for membership on the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries.

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries advises the New York State Board of Regents on State policy regarding the New York State Library, library development programs, legislation and library aid programs. The Council works with the officers of the State Education Department in developing a comprehensive statewide library and information policy and makes recommendations to the Regents concerning the implementation of the program.

The Board of Regents will appoint three Regents Advisory Council members to serve five-year terms from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2017. The Council meets a minimum of four times a year: January (conference call), April (Board of Regents meeting in Albany), September (conference call) and December (New York City). Members of the Regents Advisory Council are leaders in a wide variety of endeavors across the State, including business, human services, education, and libraries. For more information.

The State Library particularly encourages recommendations of representatives of New York State's broadly diverse population, including but not limited to African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic origin/ancestry and people with disabilities.

Please send nominations and a brief biography or resume for the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries by June 30 to: Paula Paolucci, Office of the State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries, New York State Library, 10C34 Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230; e-mail: .

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Albany School, Library Budget Votes, plus Library Trustee Election May 15

Albany city residents go to the polls Tuesday, May 15, to vote on the City School District of Albany budget, the Albany Public Library 2013 levy, and to choose three new members for the library Board of Trustees. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Your voting location may have changed this year due to New York’s congressional redistricting plan. While the school district will have the same 18 voting locations as in the past, your location may have been moved to another ward or district. Follow this link (PDF) to find your voting location.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pine Hills Community Day Saturday

All are invited to enjoy the Pine Hills Elementary School Community Day Open House on Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will feature student performances and student work on display, hot dogs for lunch, a gently used book sale, a plant sale, information about community resources and more.

We hope you'll be able to stop by to check out the great things that are happening at Pine Hills Elementary School, 41 North Allen Street in Albany!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

2012 New York State Teen Video Challenge Winner

The New York State Library is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Teen Video Challenge for New York State. Katherine Brownfiel, Nicholas Davis, Michelle Joseph, Philip Rossillo and Jenna Zier, from the Longwood Public Library, Middle Island, NY made up the winning team of teen video creators with their engaging video, “Night Creatures.” Chosen from entries from across the state, the teens will receive a cash prize of $275 from the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), sponsor of the competition. The Longwood Public Library, Middle Island will also receive $100 from CSLP plus a $50 gift certificate from Highsmith.

This video competition is in its second year of encouraging teens to get involved with promoting summer reading and public libraries with a focus on the CSLP 2012 slogan, “Own the Night.” Each participating state selected one winning video to be named the official CSLP Teen Video Challenge state winner for 2012. Twenty-three states and over one hundred teens participated in the creation of these winning videos.

“Night Creatures” is featured on the “Teen NY” Facebook page, “Summer Reading at New York Libraries” website, along with the top three finalists from New York State and selections from across the county. To see all the state winning videos visit the CSLP “Winner’s Page,” All winning videos can be used by teens and public libraries to promote summer reading nationwide.

The judging for the New York State 2012 Teen Video Challenge “Own the Night," was a two part process. Two panels of judges were assembled to review the entries, decide on the finalists, and choose a winner. The first panel of thirteen New York State public librarians narrowed the field of twenty-four down to four finalists who submitted their entries through the Pittsford Community Library, the Queens Public Library for Teens, the Briarcliff Manor Public Library, and the Longwood Public Library, Middle Island. The second panel of seven ‘celebrity’ judges consisted of Jeffrey W. Cannell – NYS Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian; Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - Kid’s hip-hop artist and 2010 & 2011“Summer Reading at New York Libraries” official spokesperson; Jackson Murphy - film critic for YNN television; Frank and Caroline Mouris - Academy Award Winning animators; Jackie Negri, Executive Director of the Association of New York State Youth Bureaus and NYS liaison to the Boys and Girls Clubs, and Dan Judson - Filmmaker/Producer for Digital Foundry. After a close vote, the second round judges chose “Night Creature” to be the winning video for its overall production value, and message that libraries are great places to find a wealth of interesting materials and have fun too.

The New York State Library is very pleased with the second year of the “Teen Video Challenge” and plans to participate in the CSLP sponsored competition in future years. Please check the Summer Reading at New York Libraries website ( later this summer or in early fall for information on the 2013 Teen Video Challenge.

Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 Summer Reading at New York Libraries to launch beginning in May

2012 Summer Reading at New York Libraries is "ready to launch" in early May after months of hard work and preparation on the part of the State Library and its many partners. Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian Jeffrey W. Cannell will be kicking off press events at library locations across the state in May and June. The first launch on May 10 will be in the Capital Region at the Bethlehem Public Library in Delmar. This event will be followed by 4 other launch events to take place around the state: Plattsburgh Public library (May 16), Onondaga County public Library and the Robert P. Kinchen Central library in Syracuse (June 12), Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (6/13), and The Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library in Watertown (June 27).

The State Library has forged many partnerships that add to the summer reading program carried out in public libraries across the state. The State Library and the State Legislature collaborate to encourage all children to read and visit libraries during the summer months, school districts statewide work with their local public libraries to promote the summer reading program, in addition, the State Library partners with other statewide organizations to provide added resources to libraries for their summer programming. They include: the Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H, the New York Council for the Humanities, and Hunger Solutions New York. Hunger Solutions will be offering libraries in low income areas opportunities to provide healthy snacks and meals during summer reading activities. Working with the Office of Public Broadcasting, the State Library has also reached out to childcare providers statewide with new Early Literacy summer reading materials, offering a robust summer reading program for kids from birth to school age for the first time. The long range goal is to increase annual participation in Summer Reading at New York Libraries to 1.8 million young people by 2017. To learn more about summer reading partnerships and resources please visit and select “Librarians and Educators” from the drop down menu.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What Is It About Books?

What is it about books that is so comforting to some of us? I’m not talking so much about reading – one can read in many types of media. As [Alberto] Manguel reveals in...A History of Reading - the methods, entitlements, and habits of reading have changed greatly over the course of written history. The outcry about the “loss of books” to electronic media is misplaced. Electronic media provide reading: printed ink-on-paper books provide a mystique in their sheer physical presence that is not transmitted to cold plastic.

How to explain the feeling you get in a bookshop or a library - public or private - where you are surrounded by printed volumes, of there being something special there for you and you alone? Something waiting for you to find it, or to find you by serendipity. The feeling that makes you say “ahhhhh” when you step into the presence of a room filled with books.

More HERE.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Libraries will borrow from another library for you

Not all information is available for free on the Internet. Sometimes you simply need a book or journal article. So you go to the library. What if your library doesn’t have it? Simple. It has an office to borrow what you need from another library. It’s called interlibrary loan, or ILL.

Yes, libraries borrow books from each other. They’ve been doing that for generations.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The library and customer care

Many people – me included – have pointed out the disaster of customer service at every level – business and government – many times. It probably serves no purpose, other than the fact that venting makes you feel better. What is needed is a solution, and I think I have found one.

Everyone should hire librarians.

Every time you hear about budget cuts and cutbacks on hours, it seems like our libraries, and librarians, are the ones suffering. But these places, and these people, must be the most helpful, the most informed, and the most knowledgeable resources on the planet. If they hired librarians to be clerks at the DMV, everyone would get their license plates on time and walk out of the office looking forward to renewal time. If librarians ran health care, people might still get sick, but not tired.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New York Public Library Defends Plan to Renovate

Very interesting article in the Monday, April 16, 2012 p. C1, C5 New York Times on the proposed renovation of the Fifth Avenue and 42nd St NYPL. The comment section is also well worth reading where public library users-- scholars, writers, academics,and users of other branches-- write in about the importance of the research mission of the public library. Some excerpts from the article and comments:

New York Public Library Defends Plan to Renovate By ROBIN POGREBIN

"The New York Public Library is engaged in a public-relations blitz to address criticism from scholars and writers who object to the library's plan to reimagine its Fifth Avenue flagship building at an estimated cost of $300 million.
In the past few weeks the library's president, Anthony W. Marx, has written articles for The Huffington Post and Inside Higher Ed, appeared on radio and television and assembled an advisory panel that includes people skeptical of the plan. Several scholars have published criticisms of the project, known as the Central Library Plan. On Friday others began circulating a letter of protest among academics; more than 200 have signed so far, including Mario Vargas Llosa, the Nobel Prize-winning writer, and Lorin Stein, the editor of the Paris Review. "

excerpt: "The project would convert the main library, now strictly a reference operation, into a hybrid that would also contain a circulating library, many computer terminals and possibly a cafe. The Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library would be sold and their operations folded into the main building. To accommodate the new
services, up to half of the three million volumes in the stacks under the main reading room would be moved into storage in New Jersey. Critics say that the money would be better spent refurbishing deteriorating branch libraries, and that the changes will diminish the library's role as a leading reference center, essentially turning it into a glorified Starbucks."

Comments make the case for unique resources of low demand and having subject specialists who can help researchers, writers, scholars--even if they are connected to an academic institution with a fine academic library-- that there is the need for a great public library to fulfill a research mission.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Katrina-Damaged Libraries Reopen

Officials cut the ribbon on the newly constructed East New Orleans Regional Library last week, the fourth branch to open within a four-week span, and another major step forward in making the New Orleans library system whole again following catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It’s been an almost giddy spring for New Orleans Public Library Executive Director Charles Brown, his branch managers, library staff members and patrons, all of whom had to make do with trailers, bookmobiles and temporary storefront locations while the rebuilding project moved ahead.

More HERE.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Plan a trip to one of New York's state parks

From the The Office of the Governor

Our state is one of the most beautiful in the nation - from the shores of Long Island to the mighty Niagara Falls, from the Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks, and everything in between. New York's 178 state parks offer countless opportunities to explore your natural environment and experience exciting new adventures.

As the weather warms up, we hope you consider planning a trip to one of New York's stunning state parks. Imagine pitching a tent near the St. Lawrence River or one of the state's many lakes, waking up surrounded by the majesty of the woods, bicycling through the mountains, or cooking breakfast in a cabin overlooking the "Grand Canyon of the East."

You are one of the many lucky New Yorkers with some of the state's most spectacular scenery in your own backyard - the Catskills and Adirondacks, which offer 50 different campgrounds. Click here to view a map of the campgrounds and to learn more information about the sites. Want to stay closer to home? Visit one of the state park campgrounds in the Saratoga region.

Here's a list of campground openings near you:

· Cherry Plain: May 4
· Moreau Lake: May 4
· Thompson's Lake: May 4
· Northampton Beach: May 4
· Glimmerglass: May 11
· Bear Spring Mountain: May 18
· Devil's Tombstone: May 18
· Little Pond: May 18
· North/South Lake: May 18
· Lake George Battleground: May 18
· Luzerne: May 18
· Max C. Shaul: May 25
· Betty & Wilbur Davis: Open Year-round

Click here to explore the interactive New York Camping Guide for 2012 and learn more about the parks near you and throughout the state. To make a reservation to camp at a New York state park near you, click here. You can also see what adventures await you by searching for events by region, park, or activity in the New York State, Recreation and Historic Site's system. For more outdoor activities and information specific to campgrounds in the Catskills and Adirondacks, click here.

We encourage you to take advantage of all this state has to offer. Now is the time to discover somewhere new or revisit somewhere special.

Join us in celebrating the natural beauty of this great state.