Friday, March 28, 2014

All Over Albany Business Competition

The award-winning blog All Over Albany, which covers much more than Albany, is hosting a business competition - the top prize is a $1,500 Start-up Grant. If you are ready to launch - or if you have already launched and would like to go to another level - check out the contest here. Deadline is Friday, April 4th so get started on your application today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Dialing for Dollars scam

There’s a new scam going around – and if your family name is from South Asia, there’s a chance you already know about it. If the scam sounds familiar, that’s because it’s been around for years, targeting one group, then another. Right now, the people being targeted seem to be from India and Pakistan; tomorrow: who can say?

Here’s what’s happening: You get a call from someone claiming to be from the government – maybe the IRS, maybe a law enforcement agency, maybe the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The caller often has a foreign accent, and might even speak to you in Hindi or Urdu. The caller might have information about you – the last four digits of your Social Security number, for example. The caller tells you that you owe money, and that if you don’t pay, many bad things will happen (deportation for you and your family, freezing your assets, jail…you name it). The caller will tell you to pay using a prepaid card, and will threaten you if you protest.

If alarm bells went off for you as you read that last paragraph: good! There’s a lot there to set off alarms.

Read more HERE.

Monday, March 24, 2014

From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers–and beyond

The impact of digital technologies on public libraries is particularly interesting because libraries serve so many people (about half of all Americans ages 16 and older used a public library in some form in the past year, as of September 2013) and correspondingly try to meet a wide variety of needs. This is also what makes the task of public libraries - as well as... any other institution that is trying to reach a wide swath of the American public —so challenging: They are trying to respond to new technologies while maintaining older strategies of knowledge dissemination.

In recent years, public libraries have continued to add new technologies and formats to their holdings, with the goal of providing patrons resources in whatever form they prefer. Many libraries have also expanded into community centers, serving as unique gathering places in their towns and cities. Today, they offer many events and services, and are experimenting with providing the next generation of “expensive and scarce” resources, from 3-D printers to recording studios.

Work by the Pew Research Center has shown that print books are still central to Americans’ library use, just as they remain central in Americans’ overall reading habits. In fact, though more Americans than ever are reading e-books (28% of adults ages 18 and older, as of January 2014), few have abandoned print entirely; just 4% of readers read e-books exclusively. Still, many Americans say they would be interested in exploring a range of technological services at public libraries, from personalized reading recommendations and online “Ask a Librarian” services to media kiosks and mobile apps.

Libraries loom large in the public imagination, and are generally viewed very positively: 90% of Americans ages 16 and older say that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community. This means that many people have a stake in the future of libraries, and as the digital age advances, there is much discussion about where they are headed.

More from Pew HERE.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two Albany Public Library Board Seats Up for Election in May

The Albany Public Library Board of Trustees has two positions that are up for election on Tuesday, May 20.

The two open trustee positions carry full five-year terms that start on July 1. The library’s nine-member Board of Trustees is charged with making the rules, regulations, and policies under which the seven-location library system operates. The expiring terms are currently held by Holly McKenna and Andrew Bechard.

In order to run for a seat on the APL board, candidates must meet the following criteria: be at least 18-years-old, a citizen of the United States, a resident of the city of Albany, registered to vote in the November 2013 general election, and submit a valid nominating petition.

Nominating petitions are available at all Albany Public Library locations and online.

Completed nominating petitions (including at least 57 valid signatures) must be returned to the Clerk of the City School District of Albany by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 21.

The board is hosting an optional information session for people interested in running for library trustee on Saturday, April 5, at 2 pm in conference room #1 at the Main Library (161 Washington Avenue). Current trustees will participate in a moderated panel discussion about the work of the board, why they decided to run for office, and their experiences as candidates and board members.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

American Promise movie - free screening at Madison Theater, March 24

American Promise is an intimate and provocative account, recorded over 13 years, of the experiences of two middle-class African-American boys who entered a very prestigious—and historically white—private school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The Dalton School had made a commitment to recruit students of color, and five-year-old best friends Idris Brewster and Oluwaseun (Seun) Summers of Brooklyn were two of the gifted children who were admitted. The boys were placed in a demanding environment that provided new opportunities and challenges, if little reflection of their cultural identities.

For more information, contact WMHT here or HERE.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Words Recently Added to the Oxford English Dictionary


According to OED, the March 2014 update “includes revised versions of existing entries (which replace the older versions), and new words and senses both within the alphabetical sequence of revised entries and also across the whole A to Z range.”

Here are just a few of the newest words recognized by the OED:

bathroom break (n.): a short period of time within the duration of an activity (often of a prescribed or limited duration) taken to use the toilet.

beatboxer (n.): a performer who uses (amplified) vocal effects to imitate the sounds and rhythms of hip-hop music.

bestie (n.): a person’s best friend; a very close friend.

bookaholic (n.): a habitual and prolific reader; a compulsive book buyer.

crap shoot (n.): a situation or undertaking regarded as uncertain, risky, or unpredictable.

dead white male (n.): a dead Caucasian male writer, philosopher, etc., whose pre-eminence is challenged as disproportionate to his cultural significance, and attributed to a historical bias towards his gender and ethnic group.

DIYer (n.): A person who engages in do-it-yourself activities; an amateur (in construction, repair, etc.).

do-over (n.): an instance or chance of doing something for a second or further time, after an unsuccessful or unsatisfactory first attempt.

honky-tonker (n.): a person who owns, works in, or frequents a cheap, sleazy bar or nightclub, typically one where country music is played.

scissor-kick (v): to perform a kick which involve a scissor-like motion of the legs, as in swimming or soccer.

wackadoodle (adj.): crazy, mad; eccentric.

For the full list, click here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The library is the last, best socialized institution in America today and you're about to lose it

From the Daily Kos:

People who don't grow up as lifelong readers grow up in an America living under a form of de facto censorship and what it means is that the censor, by withholding library funding, limits access to reading materials to children from a young age. So they don't get to see the other side of the coin and wind up developing a one-sided point of view which has been historically associated with sexism, homophobia, racial bigotry and other forms of intolerance and hate...

The library is a public good. It belongs to everyone but only for as long as you're willing to defend it. Public libraries due to budget cuts are cutting their operating hours, their services and yes too many are shutting their doors. Therefore this action diary asks you in support of your local library to write a letter to the editor today and to do it for yourself and do it for the special children in your life. Do it for your community and tell them that you support full community library funding today, tomorrow and forever.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

meeting re: the impact of school testing and how to refuse it

Come join fellow parents and learn more about the impact of testing and how to refuse the NYS ELA and Math assessments scheduled to take place in April. There will be a presentation by Tim Farley, one of the founding members of New York State Allies for Public Education.

Monday March 10th at 6:30 pm
Howe Branch Library
105 Schuyler St
Albany, NY
Parking is Available!!!

Presenter Tim Farley:
Tim Farley and his wife Jessica are the proud parents of four school-aged children. Tim is the Building Principal of Ichabod Crane Elementary and Middle School (Grades 4-8) in Kinderhook, NY. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education for Earth Science, a Master’s Degree in Special Education (K-12), and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration and Supervision. He has been in education for over 22 years and has been a Building Administrator for 15 years. Tim is also one of the founding members of the New York State Allies for Public Education and has been quite critical of the Regents Reform Agenda.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Obituary of Jerome Flax, former Friends of the Albany Public Library president

Flax, Jerome ALBANY Jerome Flax, 91, of Albany passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Jerome has finally gone to meet his beloved Jessie Amanda. Son of the late Julius and Alice Flax, he was born in Newark, N.J. on March 17, 1922, and moved to Hudson, at the age of five.

He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II for three years, and was awarded two Battle Stars. He was a 1949 graduate of Siena College, and earned a master's degree in 1950 from the State University of New York. From 1950 to 1965, he was an English teacher in Granville and East Islip, and then in Vernon-Verona, and Medina, where he also coached the debate team. From 1965 until his retirement in 1982, he was employed by the New York State Department of Education.

Jerome was an ardent supporter of many organizations that help others. He also was a member and past president of the Friends of Albany Public Library, and a member of the English Speaking Union, the Men's Garden Club, the Torch Club and the Torah Study Group at B'Nai Shalom Reform Congregation.

In addition to his parents and his wife, Jerome was predeceased by his siblings, Rose F. Seuss, Joseph Flax and Dorothea S. Schips. He is survived by his niece, Joann (Ed) Krawic and nephews, Marshall (Nancy) Suess and Mitchell (Michelle) Schips and his friend Fredda Peritz. Jerome loved to travel with Jessie and was a voracious reader, especially of non-fiction. He shared his love for books with his students and other children in his life. Jerome was the kindest of men. He believed that he had such a wonderful life and insisted on making contributions to those whose lot in life had not been so fortunate.

He was always grateful for Social Security, Medicare and the GI Bill, which he believed allowed him to meet Jessie, a fellow teacher, and share an incredible marriage. Jerome's life was filled with cherished friends, neighbors and the special "Ladies" (and a Gent) who cared for him until his last breath. We are especially thankful for the love, caring and generosity of Kathy and Joe Pingelski, Don Miller, Russell and Maria Greenman, Jeffrey Sullivan, Dr. Richard Propp, Rita Schachne, Oneika Miller, Barbara Davis, Maxine Lepak, Coleen Peart, Camille Johnson, Simone Foster, Dwayne Goldson and Maxine Maul. We are also grateful to Dr. Robert Kelleher for the special care and guidance he gave, and Community Hospice for their caring support.

Funeral services will be held in the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., Albany on Wednesday, March 5 at 3 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited, and may call at the funeral home Wednesday beginning 1 p.m. A Shiva minyan will be held at 7 p.m. at the home of Dr. Richard Propp, 13 Marion Ave., Albany. Interment will be held at a later date in Evergreen Cemetery in Fabius.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the Friends of Albany Public Library, Inc., 161 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12210; or to B'Nai Shalom Reform Congregation, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY 12208. To leave a message of condolence for the family, send a sympathy card, or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit

From Times Union obituary.