Saturday, May 30, 2015

Albany (NY) School District needs candidates for vacant seat on Board of Education

The City School District of Albany Board of Education is inviting candidates to apply for its vacant seat.

Albany residents interested in filling the volunteer position can apply through the end of business June 10. Please visit the Board of Education section to find out how to apply.

Interested candidates will have an opportunity to make a five-minute public presentation at the board's June 18 meeting. The board could make an appointment as soon as its July 16 meeting.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Can books save us from what digital does to our brains?


When I think back on my life, I can define a set of books that shaped me — intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. Books have always been an escape, a learning experience, a saviour, but beyond this, greater than this, certain books became, over time, a kind of glue that holds together my understanding of the world. I think of them as nodes of knowledge and emotion, nodes that knot together the fabric my self. Books, for me anyway, hold together who I am.

Books, in ways that are different to visual art, to music, to radio, to love even, force us to walk through another’s thoughts, one word at a time, over hours and days. We share our minds for that time with the writer’s. There is a slowness, a forced reflection required by the medium that is unique. Books recreate someone else’s thoughts inside our own minds, and maybe it is this one-to-one mapping of someone else’s words, on their own, without external stimuli, that give books their power. Books force us to let someone else’s thoughts inhabit our minds completely.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

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

From Daily Kos:

As an American librarian I am glad to be living in the European Union where library funding isn't under attack to the extent that it is back home in the United States, because readership, literacy and an open based knowledge system that is publicly funded is still valued. In America, library budgets have become low hanging fruit for conservative local and state politicians.

Not only does t beg the question will your state be next but it asks the question what will you do when they come for your library and your kid's summer reading program? Do you really know how many books it's really going to take to make that special child or grandchild in your life a lifelong reader. Do you think you have anywhere near those numbers of books in your private collection?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Job opening: Manager, Adult and Outreach Services - Upper Hudson Library System (Albany, NY)

The Upper Hudson Library System (UHLS) has a challenging opportunity for a creative library professional to join our team. We are a cooperative library system headquartered in Albany, NY, providing services to enhance, support and connect the 29 independent public libraries in New York’s Albany and Rensselaer Counties.

Our new colleague will collaborate with UHLS staff and our member libraries to provide System services focusing on:
• adult services support and continuing education
• e-content collection growth and management
• resource sharing services (delivery, inter-library loan, etc.)
• outreach services

We are looking for a professional who:
• is passionate about public library service
• is ready to be a strong leader in helping our member libraries make a difference in their communities
• understands and seeks to further the important role public library systems play in strengthening library service

You should be able to demonstrate through your skills and experience:
• the ability to plan and organize multiple priorities effectively and efficiently
• resourcefulness and creativity as an approach to both relationship building and problem solving
• the ability to work effectively with other people in a variety of situations
• a confident and effective public presentation style
• an awareness of current trends in public library services, especially in digital collections and resource sharing
• engagement in professional organizations and activities

You must have:
• an MLS/MSIS degree from an ALA accredited institution; and
• a New York State Public Librarian’s Professional Certificate; and
• a valid driver’s license; and
• at least 5 years of relevant professional experience working in a public library, two years of which must include supervisory responsibilities.

This is a full-time position with a competitive benefits package, including participation in the NYS Retirement System. The starting salary range for this position will be $58,000-$63,000, depending on experience and qualifications.

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three professional references via e-mail to review of applications will begin on June 8, 2015, and continue until the position is filled.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do We Really Need Libraries?

Andrew Carnegie — in Johnny Appleseed fashion — planted 1,679 library buildings in communities throughout the nation between 1886 and 1919, according to the National Park Service. From Caribou, Maine, to Clarksdale, Miss; from Honolulu to Miles City, Mont.

Many of the structures are grandiloquent cathedrals — edification edifices, little Louvres for the intellect — designed to send the message: Learning is everlasting.

They also gave us the sense that we lived in the United Smarts of America.

Carnegie paid for the construction; the community was charged with providing upkeep and operating costs. Eventually, some of the buildings became obsolete and were repurposed or demolished. Some are still living, breathing libraries.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Albany school budget, library budget and library trustee vote Tuesday, May 19, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Voting for library board, the library budget, AND school budget will be held Tuesday, May 19, along with balloting for two tax-free facilities projects, including one that would provide a new turf athletic field at Albany High School.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. city-wide. The polls may or may NOT be at the same place one votes in the general election.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Librarians Versus the NSA

Under the Patriot Act, the government can demand library records via a secret court order and without probable cause that the information is related to a suspected terrorist plot. It can also block the librarian from revealing that request to anyone. Nor does the term “records” cover only the books you check out; it also includes search histories and hard drives from library computers. The Muslim-American who uses a library computer to correspond with family abroad, or the activist planning a demonstration against police brutality—those digital trails are vulnerable to surveillance, along with everyone else’s.

The government’s power to vacuum up our personal details seems unstoppable, but a lot of it depends on how much we give away. Alison Macrina wants librarians and library users to be less complicit.

More from The Nation.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Read APL children's librarian Christina Stenson-Carey's blog

A community of readers

“I sha’n't be gone long.—You come too.”
from “The Pasture” by Robert Frost

When I was a new children’s librarian I had the opportunity to listen to Sharon Creech, the Newbery Medal winning author, speak at a staff meeting. She used the above quote from Robert Frost to invite her audience on a short journey through all her wonderful books. Similarly, I would like to invite you along with me on this blogging journey.

As a librarian, the very best part of my job is talking with readers about books.

More from the Times Union.

She is the children's librarian at the branch nearest my home.