Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Judges needed for Capital Region History Day competition

Are you interested in being a judge for this year’s regional National History Day (NHD) competition? The competition takes place on Saturday, March 24 at the New York State Museum from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. About 50 judges are needed. This year’s National History Day theme is “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.”

Please email by Friday, March 2nd if you would like to be a judge. If you know of someone else who might like to be a judge, please share this message with them.

If you are interested, and if you have a preference, please indicate what grade level and type of project you would like to judge. NYS Archives will do its best to meet your request. Choices for judging include: junior (grades 6-8) or senior division (grades 9-12); individual or group projects; and either papers, exhibits, performances, documentaries, or web sites.

The best NHD judges have several common characteristics, they are:
kind, fair, listen well, and most importantly, are able to let the students be the experts for the day, no matter how uniquely they may have interpreted history!!!

All judges will work in teams. The time commitment for judges is from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Awards are usually announced at 3:00 PM. If you can stay for the award ceremony, it is well worth the extra time. The energy and excitement are infectious!

Food will be provided for all judges.

If you would like more information about National History Day, here’s a link to the National site ( and the New York site ( The New York site will provide more information about the regional competitions.

This is a fun, but intense experience for the students and for the judges. Please consider sharing your time on this exciting day.

From Emily Allen
Archives and Records Management Specialist II New York State Archives Archival Services
9B31 CEC
Albany, NY 12230
(518) 473-9984
Look for New York State Archives on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

All things Library Advocacy Day 2012: March 6

Library Advocacy Day in Albany
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Empire State Plaza Meeting Room 6
Albany, New York

Library Advocacy Briefing WEBINAR
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This free webinar provides a detailed review of NYLA's 2012 Legislative Priorities and Talking Points, to better prepare library advocates for their upcoming legislative visits.

To register to participate in the webinar - click HERE.
Pre-Advocacy Day Activities 2012 – Monday, March 5, 2012
NYLA Institute is pleased to offer workshops to allow to you to make the most of your visit to Albany.
Courtyard by Marriott on Wolf Road - 189 Wolf Road, Albany, New York 12205
(see link for detail)
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 – Library Advocacy Day
8:00am - 9:30am - Legislative Meet & Greet: NYLA hosts an informal buffet breakfast for legislators and staff to meet with library advocates from around the state in Meeting Room Six in the Concourse of the Empire State Plaza. Legislators are also given the opportunity at this time to have their photos taken for the annual READ posters and bookmarks that are used to promote the Statewide Summer Reading Program.
9:30am – 11:00am - Advocacy Day Briefings: Briefings on the current status of budget negotiations and NYLA’s Legislative Priorities will be given at regular intervals in Meeting Room 6, Concourse Level of the Empire State Plaza.
11:30am – 12:00pm - Rally and Speeches: Library advocates rally in Meeting Room 6 to voice their support for library funding and provide a visual demonstration of the strength of the library community to legislators and their staffs. Various speakers are scheduled (elected officials, NYLA leaders, etc.).
Special Guest
Kenneth C. Davis is the author of Don’t Know Much About® History, which spent 35 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, and gave rise to the Don’t Know Much About® series, which has a combined in-print total of some 4.7-million copies. In June 2011, Don’t Know Much About History: Anniversary Edition was released in hardcover by HarperCollins. A newly revised, updated and expanded edition of the book that started the series, it now presents a complete survey of American history, from before the arrival of Columbus in 1492 right through the events of the past decade –from 9/11 through the election of Barack Obama and the first years of his administration.
To learn more about Kenneth C. Davis - Visit
Several publishers have donated books that will be available for free to Library Advocates who visit Meeting Room 6 on Library Advocacy Day.

Meetings / Materials & Handouts
Library advocates can visit one-on-one with their legislators to inform them of NYLA's 2012 Legislative Priorities.
Organizing a Group or meeting with a Legislator? Please fill out the Library Advocacy Day Contact Form.
Advocacy Day Handout: Advocacy materials are distributed to Library Advocacy Day attendees to use in their meetings with legislators and staff.
Stop by Meeting Room 6 to pick up handouts.
Getting There & Getting Around
Directions & Logistics

Bus & Regional Coordinator Information - Find a bus heading to Albany for Library Advocacy Day! - Don't go it alone!
Security Information
Please plan for airport-like security measures in place in the New York State Capitol, the Legislative Office Building and its surrounding buildings. Please be prepared to pass through a metal detector and have your belongings go through an X-ray machine to enter. All adults (16+) must show a photo ID to enter - it is recommended that attendees carry a photo ID at all times. In addition, items that are sharp or may be construed as weapons are not allowed in any of the Empire State Plaza buildings (including "sticks" attached to Rally signs). Due to the security measures and the number of people expected in Albany that day, please leave yourself plenty of time to travel between Meeting Room 6 and meetings with legislators.
Who's going to gain?
• ALL NY libraries and citizens.
• ALL libraries and systems which receive direct state aid.
• Many libraries and systems which receive indirect state aid in the form of cooperative services and shared programs from their library system.
• Legislators who need to understand how libraries can help them.
What can I do now to support this effort?
• Call your legislator's office, either at his or her district office, or in Albany.
• Tell him/her how important your library is to the community—and its voting citizens.
• Tell him/her that increased funding for libraries is ESSENTIAL and CRITICAL.
• Use our helpful advocacy tools to help shape your personal message.
We have a great opportunity to speak out for additional funding for electronic resources, construction, and aid for all libraries. It's not hard—and we all need to do our part in strengthening New York's libraries, systems, and special collections.

Monday, February 27, 2012

20 Beautiful Private and Personal Libraries

From HERE.

We know it’s what’s inside that counts, but one simple fact just can’t be avoided: books are beautiful, and they sure do warm up a room — or, in some cases, an entire building. Plus, at the risk of being totally sentimental, we think that the best books are often the most beautiful: even if their spines are shabby, the exude a kind of well-loved glow, beautiful from the inside out. We’ve taken a look at gorgeous bookstores and amazing college libraries, so we thought it was time to bring you a little inspiration for the home library

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New York Research Analysis Documents Positive Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement

The New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC)/RMC Research Corporation, in consultation with the New York State Education Department, the New York State Library and the New York Library Association has produced a new publication entitled Informational Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement. This comprehensive brief provides a current and rigorous research analyses which demonstrates the positive impact that school libraries and school librarians have in advancing student learning.

The Executive Summary notes that “Based on the conclusions from the research cited in the brief, it is clear that school libraries play an important role in student achievement, curriculum development, and instruction. Through political and fiscal state support, effective school library programs can serve as consistent drivers for student achievement in times of constant change and churning educational reform.” Here is the full NYCC publication.

By referencing numerous studies conducted throughout the United States, the brief illustrates the importance of school libraries in the lives of all students, particularly when it comes to literacy, college and career readiness, assessment and graduation rates. The brief is framed around the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda. The Executive Summary will be published in the Spring edition of “In Transition,” the journal of the New York State Middle School Association.

The New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC) is one of 16 regional comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education. NYCC works with the New York State Education Department to support education leaders and encourage student achievement.

The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, state government and researchers from throughout the United States for more than 185 years. One of the nation’s leading library development agencies and research libraries, the New York State Library is a program of the New York State Education Department and is located in Albany, New York.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CDTA Route Restructuring Meeting

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) announced that it will add an additional public meeting in Albany to gather public input and share information about Phase Two of the proposed Albany Route Restructuring plan.

Tuesday, February 28th from 5:00-6:30pm
Albany Public Library, Main Branch
161 Washington Avenue
Discussion to focus on rural and suburban routes connecting to Albany

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Go away! I’m reading.

Some people just don’t understand that when you have your nose deep in a book, it means just that. You are deep in a book. You do NOT want to be interrupted.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How the New York Public Library works

Like bookstores, libraries need to anticipate literary appetites. Unlike bookstores, libraries do not have a financial incentive to feed those appetites immediately.

...They have to balance civic missions and budget concerns with the imperative to put books in people’s hands. Sometimes, patrons have to wait. While bookstore best-seller lists monitor only what goes out, lists of the library’s most-circulated and most-requested books reveal not only which books readers want right now, but which they’re willing to wait for.

In January, four out of the [NYPL’s] five most circulated works—the closest thing the library has to a best-sellers list—came from well-known authors of genre fiction:

Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson
Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
Hotel Vendôme by Danielle Steel
The Drop by Michael Connelly

The outlier on this list is The Help, which was the second-most circulated title in the system last month, although the book first came out in 2009 and the movie based on it was released last August. When it was first released, The New York Times’ Janet Maslin called it a “button-pushing, soon to be wildly popular novel.” It has lingered on the Times’ best-seller list, too, in the wake of the movie’s release.

Not just in its predilection for 1960s homespun civil-rights nostalgia, the list of the library’s most circulated books has more in common with the Times’ bestseller list than those at indie bookstores. It reflects popular, rather than literary, tastes. But the list of the library’s most requested books has a different aura to it. It’s a bit celebrity-obsessed. Not in the manner of Perez Hilton: these are smart celebrities—Steve Jobs, and Diane Keaton, and Mindy Kaling.

Read more at Capital New York.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bookless at Madison Public Library

What would happen if we cleared all the books out of the Central Library, handed the debris-strewn three-story building over to a bunch of artists, live bands, and DJs, and invited the community to a giant one-day-only party?”

The answer was Bookless, which drew more than 5,000 people to the send-off event for Madison’s now-former downtown library.

Maybe if Albany ever gets a new main library...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Michael Borges leaving as NYLA Executive Director

Yesterday, NYLA Council accepted with regret, the resignation of Michael Borges, NYLA Executive Director for the past eight years. He will be moving on to become the Executive Director of the New York State Association of School Business Officials. His last day with NYLA is on March 9. The Council has appointed Jeremy Johannesen Interim Executive Director.

The Council wants to hear from the members about what it wants from its Executive Director, before, we begin to find a replacement. A current job description is included and we encourage all interested members to contact me or your Section leadership or Councilor at Large to express any opinions you may have about this important job. The Council and its Executive Committee will take it all into consideration as we plan to announce the search in April.

A list of the Council members and their contact information (section presidents, councilors at large and others) is available here.

I, along with the entire Council, thank Mike for his dedication to libraries in New York State and wish him well in his new endeavor.

Matt Bollerman, NYLA President, 2011-2012
The goal of the Executive Director is to implement programs and activities approved by the Association to ensure that the objectives of the Association are attained, plans fulfilled, and member needs met, by fulfilling duties in the following areas:
Role of Chief Executive Officer Supervision
• Plan, formulate, and recommend to the Executive Board basic policies and programs
which further the objectives of the Association, and participate in the formulation of new policies.
• Develop procedures to implement the general policies established by Council.
• Execute all decisions of Council as appropriate.
• Adeptly motivate and collaborate with the members to achieve economical and productive performance of the Association’s activities.
• Ensure that the Council, the Executive Board and officers are kept fully informed on the conditions and operations of the Association, and on all important factors influencing them.
• Execute contracts and commitments authorized by Council.
• Participate in the development and implementation of fund-raising activities.
• Attend all meetings of the Council and Executive Board, and the annual conference.
• Attend other meetings as deemed necessary in consultation with the officers of the
• Assist in the planning and execution of all communications to the general membership, including general mailings and newsletters.
• Answer or refer all correspondence.
• Arrange for all Executive Board, Council and Business meetings, notify members, and prepare the agenda in consultation with appropriate officer.
• Speak for the Association to the media.
• Serve as Executive editor of all Association publications.
• Oversee staff efforts at maintaining the content, structure, and look of the Association website.
• In tandem with the appropriate Association committees, plan and coordinate Association public relations programs.
Association Membership
• Promote interest and active participation in the Association’s activities.
• Help to plan and organize membership promotion and retention programs, evaluate results and recommend policies, procedures and action to achieve membership goals.
Annual Conference
• Oversee all annual conference activities.
• Oversee all contract negotiations.
• Under the direction of the NYLA President, identify and negotiate high-profile speakers.
• Investigate and view conference sites and make recommendations to Council.
• Oversee staff efforts involved with managing the conference budget on all arrangements in order to meet financial objectives.
• Plan the annual Membership Meeting at Conference.
Role of a Liaison
• Provide necessary liaison to sections, roundtables, and committees to enable them to perform their functions effectively.
• Maintain relationships with national and state library associations, consortia, systems, and other state and local agencies within the library community of New York state.
• Represent the Association and its legislative priorities to the Legislative and Executive branches of government.
• Define and implement a grassroots lobbying strategy.
• Monitor legislative and regulatory activities which relate to librarianship .
• Review bills in the Legislature and determine positions as appropriate.
• Work with the appropriate NYLA units to coordinate the Association’s response to
legislative issues.
• Serve as a resource to legislative members and staff on library issues.
• Monitor legislative hearings, write testimony, and present it when appropriate.
• Write legislative pieces for the Bulletin, Nyline, and the NYLA website.
• Maintain an awareness of federal issues that affect libraries and respond when necessary.
• Maintain the institutional memory of NYLA’s legislative history.
Management Responsibilities
• Personnel
• Recruit, hire, train, evaluate, and when necessary, terminate Association staff.
• Clearly define staff duties, establish performance standards and work schedules, conduct performance reviews and maintain competitive salary structure.
• Administer employee benefits programs.
• Develop and recommend an annual budget in conjunction with the Finance Committee.
• Operate the Association within the annual budget as approved by Council.
• Ensure that all funds, physical assets, and other property of the Association are
appropriately safeguarded and administered, and maintain Association financial records.
• Maintain official minutes of Council, Executive Board and other official meetings of the Association.
• Provide security for all files, legal documents, memberships and mailing lists.
• Maintain statistical membership records and produce timely reports.
• Oversee the preparation of manuals and reports as deemed important.
• Transfer historical documents to the State Library Archives when appropriate.
...Carry out other general responsibilities as may be delegated by Council.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Free Tax Help at the Library

APL should be your first stop for income tax assistance and resources this tax season.

On select days from Feb. 4 through April 14, the Main Library at 161 Washington Avenue will offer free federal income tax preparation for people with an annual household income limit of $50,000. The income tax preparation services are provided by APL's partners-volunteers from the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the AARP Tax-Aide program. For more information about the free tax services available at the Main Library, call the Reference Department at 427-4303.

Last year, APL's tax program filed more than 1,200 returns for local residents resulting in over $1.6 million in federal refunds back to the community.

Here is the schedule of free income tax assistance programs available at the Main Library:

Walk-In Tax Assistance
Saturdays from Feb. 4 through April 14
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Assistance is on a walk-in basis only. No appointments or reservations will be taken.

Appointment-Based Tax Assistance
Wednesdays from Feb. 8 through April 11
Assistance is available by appointment only. Call the Reference Desk at 427-4303 to schedule an appointment.

In addition to the tax preparation services available at the Main Library, most Albany Public Library locations stock basic federal and New York State income tax forms for individual tax filers. Librarians are helpful in connecting people to information that will help answer their tax questions. And, the library's website has a special section dedicated to tax information.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A new Google Crisis Response project

Google Public Alerts is a platform designed to bring you relevant emergency alerts when and where you’re searching for them.

If a major weather event is headed for your area, you might go online to search for the information you need: What’s happening? Where and when will it strike? How severe will it be? What resources are available to help?

More HERE.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

2012 Dream Big READ! Summer Reading at New York Libraries

The 2012 Audio (radio spot) promoting Summer Reading at New York Libraries, "Dream big READ!", is now available for download from Click on “audio and video spots (in the blue box).

Use these fun, foot-tapping music downloads to enhance summer reading experiences at libraries, at home, or anywhere. Play them for your children as they get ready to visit the library or sit down to read a book. Add them to your blogs, podcasts and websites. Enjoy them as a download to your computer.
You can also send these summer reading promotional spots to your local radio stations for broadcast –a short “script” of text about your library can be added to the end.
The 30-second spot is available in both English and Spanish.