Vol.10-04   1.26.10

Handbook for New Directors

The Handbook for New Directors in New York State by MHLS Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, is now available through the MHLS web site: http://midhudson.org/directors_handbook.pdf

The handbook is intended as a jumping-off point, to aid a new public library director in New York State to get the "lay of the land' both in the library and within the New York library community, to understand the basics and to get down to the business of providing quality library service to the community. Contents include:
- Checklists for the first days, weeks and months on the job;
- The structure of libraries in New York State;
- Library Laws & Regulations;
- Tips for providing Quality Library Service;
- The Director - Board Relationship;
- Managing Growth; and
- Acronyms & Abbreviations

Jerry Nichols, author of the Handbook for Library Trustees in New York State, announced the release of the Handbook via NYLINE - the statewide email list for New York Libraries earlier this month:
"This "New Directors' Handbook", developed as a companion to the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State, is an essential resource for everyone who is given the responsibility to manage a public library; or anyone who aspires to. Aimed at those just beginning in this challenging career, the Handbook focuses on the critical first steps toward success and follows through with a practical approach to continued organizational and professional growth. Though written for the newest administrator, even those with many years as a director will benefit from this fresh review of the job."

In the acknowledgements, Rebekkah has dedicated the Handbook to MHLS' Member Library Directors: "This Handbook for New Public Library Directors in New York State is dedicated to the member library directors of the Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS). Their hard work, dedication and perseverance have been the drive behind the creation of this handbook."

MHLS Announcements
List Transition: MHLS email communication lists are one of the primary ways the System communicates information with member library directors and staff and a great way to keep everyone in the loop so libraries have the latest information about Millennium, Youth Services, Funding issues, upcoming workshops and what's going on in neighboring libraries. In February MHLS will be pursuing a cost-savings measure by working to transition our email communication lists (MHLS-Main, MHLS-YS, & MHLS-MILLENNIUM) from a paid service, LSOFT, to a free service, Google Groups. The transition will take place through February with our goal being to continue to use the current lists until the end of February and then switch over to the new lists in March. Instructions to help all member library staff with the transition will be posted to each list but we wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a few things.
1. You are not required to have a Gmail account to establish your subscription or access the archives. You may use your existing email address to set up a Google account.
2. As per the MHLS-MILLENNIUM List Policy, at least one staff member from every library must be on the Millennium list.
3. If you are subscribed to more than one list, you will need to respond to more than one invitation to renew your subscription. 1 per list.

Should questions arise during the transition please contact the specified MHLS staff person:
- MHLS Main: Rebekkah - rsmith@midhudson.org or x239
- MHLS-MILLENNIUM: Laurie - lshedrick@midhudson.org or x221
- MHLS-YS: Christina - clinder@midhudson.org or x235

Professional Development
The Roundtable for New Directors will meet after the March 3rd Director's Association Meeting from 12:30 - 2:30pm in the MHLS Auditorium. Our topic will be Collection Development & Weeding. Joining us for this topic will be Lisa Karim, Director of the LaGrange Library who will share her processes for selecting, ordering and processing materials; Kara Lustiber, Director of the West Hurley Library who will share her expertise in the area of inventory and weeding; and Karen Sovik, Technical Services Supervisor at the Howland Public Library in Beacon who will talk about how her library uses the Millennium Acquisitions module. This roundtable is designed for MHLS library directors who have been in their position for 3 years or less to give you the opportunity to meet with others dealing with similar situations and to find answers and contacts to help you in your day-to-day life at the library. Register online at http://calendar.midhudson.org

Youth Services
Reminder to all Directors & Youth Services Staff: The Kids' OPAC Survey will be open until Friday, January 29th. Help us make the Kids' interface as good as it can be! Contact Christina: clinder@midhudson.org with any questions.

MHLS Performers' Showcase: Looking for new performers to bring into your library? Look no further! The MHLS Youth Services Department Performers' Showcase on Friday, February 19th from 9:00am - 1:00pm in MHLS auditorium will offer member libraries an opportunity to preview a variety of acts suitable for programs for children and families. Each performer will have 10 minutes to demonstrate the essence of his/her act and many performers will remain throughout the program so library staff can talk to them about bookings. The performers this year will include: Puppetry, Clowns, Magicians, 2 Bands, a Musician, an Artist Workshop, Juggling, and Wildlife Education. There will be flyers available from not only those performers at the Showcase but also others who are not taking part. Register for this program on the MHLS calendar at http://calendar.midhudson.org/

P.S. For those of you with children, feel free to bring them to the Showcase; the performers love to see kids in the audience and feel it enhances their performance, since that's their normal audience.

Plan Ahead for Programming: Registration is now open for YALSA's annual Teen Tech Week (TTW), March 7 - 13. Teen Tech Week is a national initiative aimed at teens, librarians, educators, parents, and other concerned adults meant to encourage teens to take advantage of libraries' non-print resources. The 2010 theme - Learn Create Share @ your library - fosters teen creativity and positions the library as a physical and virtual place for safe exploration of the many types of technology available at libraries, including DVDs, music, gaming, video production, online homework help, social networking, tech workshops, audio books and more. Be creative and take the theme in a direction that works for your library and teens! To register, learn more and to find out about grant opportunities visit http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/teentechweek/ttw10/home10.cfm

Marketing, Advocacy & Funding
Save the Date: NYLA Library Lobby Day is Tuesday, March 2nd in Albany. Trustees and Library Friends are particularly encouraged to attend. Legislators need to hear from library supporters more than ever this year after allowing a fourth cut to library funding in less than two years to go through at a deeper level than even the Governor proposed. Library Lobby Day is all about the 2 "Ns": Numbers & Noise! More information about transportation, talking points and appointments with legislators coming soon!

February is Library Lovers' Month! Watch the Bulletin and Midhudson.org for the February Word-of-Mouth Marketing topic which is a combo of Library Lovers' Month and the MHLS New York State Advocacy message: "In Tough Economic Times Libraries are Part of the Solution."

"There needs to be no second class citizens in the democratic communities of the digital age." This is the opening line of the new report from the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. The report is particularly interesting in light of their three main objectives, all of which speak to public libraries:
- Maximize the availability of relevant and credible information to all Americans and their communities.
- Strengthen the capacity of individuals to engage with information; and
- Promote individual engagement with information and the public life of the community.
Recommendation #7 in the report: Fund and support public libraries and other community institutions as centers of digital and media training, especially for adults. "Libraries need additional resources to serve the public's digital needs." The recommendation goes on to focus on the role libraries can play in digital literacy.

Reference & Collection Development
Empire State Book Festival: April 9 & 10, This event will bring together authors, illustrators, librarians, storytellers, publishers and booklovers to celebrate the literary heritage of New York State. The event will be free and open to the public. It will be held in The Empire State Convention Center and adjoining meeting rooms, where readings, author signings and special presentations will take place. In conjunction with the festival, the New York State Writers' Hall of Fame will be launched. Five writers who are either native New Yorkers or have lived a significant part of their lives in the state will be inducted into this pantheon with an additional five being inducted annually.

Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: bulletin@midhudson.org. The MHLS Bulletin is available on line at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.