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.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

NYLA Seeks Next Executive Director

The New York Library Association seeks a dynamic leader to be its next Executive Director. The New York Library Association (NYLA) is the voice of the library community in New York. NYLA, established by Melvil Dewey in 1890, is the oldest state library association in the country and represents school, college, special and public libraries, library staff, trustees, and students from around the state. NYLA has a staff of 4.5 FTE with offices located in Guilderland, New York.

Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s Degree, excellent communication and public presentation skills, strong budgetary experience, demonstrated organizational, supervisory and management skills, and five years related experience in relevant areas such as government relations, grant writing/funding development, and association administration. The successful candidate must be able to work with a wide range of people and issues, manage multiple demands, and have a genuine passion for libraries.

Salary commensurate with experience, plus TIAA-CREF retirement, and an excellent benefits package.

The expected start date for the position will be on or before September 1, 2012.

Review of applications will begin on April 23, 2012 and will continue until an appointment is made. Please send cover letter, résumé, and the names and contact information for three professional references by e-mail to Matthew Bollerman, Chair, NYLA Search Committee at

For more information about this position please visit
Matthew Bollerman, Director
Hauppauge Public Library
(631) 979-1600

Thursday, April 12, 2012

State Library invites comment on 2012-2017 LSTA Five-Year Plan by April 27

Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian, Jeffrey W. Cannell, encourages New York’s library community to provide feedback on the draft New York State federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Five-Year Plan for October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2017. This plan identifies the major needs, goals and priorities for library services in New York State. The plan also describes potential statewide activities that will be implemented using the federal LSTA funds provided annually to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The draft plan is currently available. What do you think about the content of the plan? What role can your library, library system or organization play in the success of this plan? Please email all comments and suggestions to LSTACOMMENTS@MAIL.NYSED.GOV no later than Friday, April 27.

The LSTA Grants to States program is administered through IMLS. In order to receive these crucial funds, IMLS requires an eligible state to develop a plan every five years describing how LSTA Grants to the States will be used to support the state’s goals and priorities. These federal funds are allocated annually to state library administrative agencies. Due to budget reductions at the federal level, New York State currently receives $8.1 million annually in LSTA funding, a drop of $1.4 million from prior year allocations.

Although these federal funds represent a small part of library expenditures in New York State, they have a significant impact as they leverage state and local funds and fuel innovation. Highly-used and highly-valued statewide services such as NOVELNY and Summer Reading at New York Libraries are made possible through these federal funds. The State Library has also offered library systems LSTA Service Improvement Grants and LSTA Summer Reading Mini-grants in past years.

Learn more about how LSTA funds benefit New York, and view New York State’s current five-year plan.

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 Questions about the draft LSTA Five Year Plan may be directed to Maribeth Krupczak, Library Development Specialist, New York State Library at

New piano at Albany Public Library, thanks to Friends' bequest

As you may or may not know, The Friends of the Albany Library donated the money for a new piano for the Main Branch of the library. Recently, Sarah (introduced by Friends president Gene Damm) thanked us on behalf of the library by playing a brief piece by Chopin, which you can see (about 2 minutes) on YouTube or HERE.

The money came from a bequest to the Friends from the estate of Ethel K. Reineck Noiseux, a lifelong Albany resident, who died last May 13, at the age of 90. She graduated from Albany High School, and received her bachelors degree from Albany Teachers College, now UAlbany. She worked for the NYS Dept. of Civil Service for 40 years, and was a lifelong, faithful and very generous parishioner at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

NYPL History Blog

Bob Sink is "researching the lives of the 150+ librarians who headed a neighborhood branch of the New York Public Library during the first 50 years of its branch system, 1901-1950." He started a blog last year, NYPL-Librarians to report his research.

He writes:

"The blog will include information on my demographic study of the librarians; the autonomy the branch librarians (all but 6 were women) achieved within a male-run institution and then lost beginning in the 1930s; the process of racially integrating the staff starting in 1920; and the librarians' publication patterns.

"I’m also writing short profiles of the librarians and post them on their birthdays. The hope is that a descendant doing family history research might contact me after coming across the entry, and I may be able to get access to additional personal data, or reminiscences or even letters.

"I’ll also use the blog as an outlet for interesting vignettes, such as the post about a librarian’s assessment of the impact of the Milton Berle TV show on the High Bridge neighborhood in the Bronx in 1950.

"I welcome any comments or suggestions you might have."

Friday, April 06, 2012

Spring Break Activities for Kids and Teens at Albany Public Library

APL has lots of fun and FREE programs for kids and teens during spring vacation. Join them for movie showings, arts and crafts, games, puppet shows, story times, and more.

The spring break flier outlines all of the activities. For more details, check the online calendar of events.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Paul & Mary Liz Stewart on WebTalkRadio re: Underground Railroad .

Founders of the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region in Albany, Paul and Mary Liz Stewart discuss how they became interested in the Underground Railroad and the discoveries they made on the inaugural episode of From Slavery to Freedom, with Tom Calarco, on

The Stewarts also discuss what the Railroad was, why it is important today, and the struggle of Americans to live up to the vision of freedom and equality as it was intended in our Constitution, a struggle that continues. They also discuss their annual Underground Railroad conference that is being held this year at Russell Sage College in Troy, April 13-15.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Albany School Board OKs 2012-13 budget proposal

The City School District of Albany Board of Education approved a $207.7 million 2012-13 budget proposal Tuesday night. The proposal includes a 1.5 percent tax-levy increase and, according to the district, "maintains academic, extracurricular and social-emotional programs for all of the district's 8,700 students." You can visit the 2012-13 Budget News section of the district website to read more.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Peter and the Wolf Puppet Theatres

The Albany Symphony Orchestra will be performing Peter and the Wolf on May 1, 2 & 3. Many children are not yet familiar with Prokofiev's story or music. Members of the Vanguard/Albany Symphony, Inc. are hoping to enrich children's experience by reading the story in schools and libraries during April. The Albany Public Library is offering children and their parents the chance to make their own Peter and the Wolf cereal-box-size puppet theatre when they attend a special story time at the Main library on Tuesday morning, April 10 at 10:30 AM. They can act out the story with their stick puppets while Dale Gogan of the Vanguard reads it aloud. Supplies are limited, so APL is asking parents to register online or by calling 427-4310.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Do You Remember How to Use a Card Catalog?

When you walk into the Reading Room of the Law Library of Congress, you might notice something you haven’t seen in a while. A card catalog that is still in use, though no new cards have been added since December 1980. More HERE.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

APL Position Announced – Public Computer Center Manager – 6 month term

The Albany Public Library seeks a full time Public Computer Center Manager to manage and coordinate the expansion of its library-based public computing center. This is an independent contractor position funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) through October 31, 2012. The selected candidate will report to the Head of Reference Services. The candidate should be a highly motivated, self-starter who can work with direction and minimal supervision. The PCC Manager will work through the completion of the grant and reporting period, with the main focus being developing a plan for continuation of service, and searching for additional funding sources beyond the end of the grant.

Summary of Position:

· Develop a plan for sustainability of PCC services after the end of grant funding, including identifying and partnering with sources of volunteers (i.e., SUNY, Literacy Volunteers, etc.)

· Ensure that funds are spent in accordance with program requirements; all reporting requirements are met on time and with accuracy; all grant goals and objectives are met and completed

· Provide Training and Assistance to PCC Trainers, Albany Public Library staff, community partners and volunteers

· Coordinate the scheduling and staffing of the PCC and its services in concert with already-established Albany Public Library programs

· Identify vulnerable populations and implement audience-specific training programs

· Promote the PCC and the library’s services through a variety of measures, including attending meetings and preparing publicity

Minimum qualifications:

Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master’s Degree. Post-degree professional work experience is preferred, especially in either fundraising/grant writing or volunteer coordination.

The salary for this full time independent contractor position is $29.14 per hour. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To apply send resume, letter of interest, and the names and contact information for three professional references to:

Chris Sagaas/ Head of Reference Services
Albany Public Library
161 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210