Vol.10-30   7.27.10

Help Patrons Dock @Kids' Port

Summertime brings many families to the library, parents and kids looking to have fun and (shhh...don't tell the kids) help kids' minds stay active over the summer. Kids' Port @your Library, http://kidsport.midhudson.org/ is the August Word-of-Mouth Marketing focus. The site was carefully designed by librarians in the MHLS for children from preschool to age 10 and their parents.

All libraries will receive materials from MHLS like a poster for the circulation desk with talking points for staff and a new promotional piece that fits on computer monitors to save precious square inches at the circ desk. At midhudson.org there's even more to help you get the word out - a sample newsletter article, staff briefing, press release, display ideas and more! Even if your job at the library doesn't involve youth services you have a great opportunity to point out resources to parents as they check out.

Kids' Port can help parents teach their children how to go online safely. It offers many fun sites for kids to explore. All of these sites either tie-in to educational resources provided by government agencies or have a relationship to children's literature. There are also links provided in each section that direct kids to great materials on the subjects they are looking for, found in the MHLS catalog.

MHLS Announcements
Reminder: Millennium Data Entry Training is coming up soon - Thursday, August 5th. Learn about the top 10 mistakes you may be making! The Directors Association recommends that at least one staff person from each library attend this training to ensure that our shared database be as accurate and efficient to use as possible. Register online at http://calendar.midhudson.org/

Professional Development
Job Information in Libraries and the Workforce System: Wednesday, August 11th at 2:00pm. A national webinar will be hosted on WebJunction and will present an introduction to the workforce system and the system's electronic tools which are most helpful to library staff. Free registration is open now. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) invests in resources and services to support national and local workforce development needs. ETA staff will join us for a 90-minute webinar to provide an overview of the public workforce system and present the electronic tools most helpful to library staff who assist unemployed workers. Attendees will learn how to direct patrons to the right tools for their needs and to find local Workforce System partners. The presentation will also include an online tour of the O*NET System, CareerOneStop.org and America's Service Locator including Occupational Crosswalks, job search/resume preparation and State Job Banks and Labor Market Information. Register and see additional details at: http://www.webjunction.org/

Marketing, Advocacy & Funding
Last week MHLS provided two workshops to help member libraries and Friends Groups diversify their fundraising strategies presented by MHLS Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability Rebekkah Smith Aldrich:
The Small Libraries Roundtable spent their quarterly meeting talking about grant writing best practices. Rebekkah segmented resources into four phases:
-The Pre-Planning Phase included tips for creating a "boilerplate" file of basic information about your library that is useful for writing just about any grant. The importance of having organizational priorities identified- using the MHLS Long-Range Planning process and the sample facility plan outline from MHLS libraries can identify the most critical items to seek grants for. The fourth tip in this section was to develop strong internal financial controls that include procedures for applying for a grant; this can help libraries avoid chasing money that "costs too much." (There is no such thing as "free money!")
-The Planning Phase included tips for defining a fundable project, seeking funders, and how to assess funders as a match for your project.
-The Writing Phase stressed the need to closely follow a funders submission guidelines, how to organize the writing process to maximize the available time to work on the grant (identifying those things you will need to get from others to finish the application and getting started on those things you don't control yourself early) and writing style tips (be brief and concise!)
-The Submission Phase is all about presentation, following the guidelines to the letter and following up after a decision is made about your application.

The Friends Support Group Fundraising Idea Exchange was lots of fun (as usual!), with twenty-five Friends and a few trustees sharing what has been working for them over the past year. There was an interesting discussion about "Give Back" events hosted by Friends that are not fundraisers but help increase the community's awareness of the Friends and how their work benefits the library and therefore the community. The Friends of the Heermance Library in Coxsackie reported that they credit a series of "give back" events (jazz night, plant swap, classical music evening) for a 30% increase in their annual appeal this year!

Speaking of giving back in a very big way…the President and Secretary of the Friends of the Red Hook Public Library, Sandra Martin and Loretta Campagna, joined the FSG meeting to share their experience with their highly successful Big Read project earlier this year. They spoke candidly about the amount of work and planning involved in the event and eloquently conveyed the major payoff they feel they produced through the massive amount of good will created and increased visibility for the library. Big Read Committee Chair Loretta said that from the beginning their ultimate goal was to make more people aware of the library and understand the library's value to the community - everyone in the room that night agreed that they have more than met their goals!

The handouts from both sessions are available on http://midhudson.org in the "Spotlight On…" area.

Administration & Management
New Book in the MHLS Professional Collection: What we learned (the hard way) about Supervising Volunteers: An Action Guide for Making Your Job Easier by Jarene Frances Lee with Julia M. Catagnus (This title was recommended by Peggy Wadsworth last month at the MHLS Volunteer Management workshop.) Other titles in the MHLS Professional Collection related to volunteer management:
-The Volunteer Management Handbook edited by Tracy Daniel Connors
- Leadership and Management of Volunteer Programs: A Guide for Volunteer Administrators by James C. Fisher and Kathleen M. Cole
- Volunteers: How to Get Them, How to Keep Them by Helen Little
To borrow books from the MHLS Professional Collection visit http://midhudson.org/mhls/professional_collection.htm

For libraries and Friends Groups with 501(c)3 tax exempt status from the IRS:
More than 292,000 nonprofit organizations-about 18 percent of the charities in the United States-may lose their tax-exempt status in the next year for failing to file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service, according to a report released on Thursday by the Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics.
-Chronicle of Philanthropy, 7.9.10

Want to brush up on your knowledge of exempt organization compliance requirements and ensure that your organization maintains its tax-exempt status? The IRS provides on-line training for tax-exempt organizations at http://www.StayExempt.irs.gov. The site includes a virtual workshop - web-based version of the popular Exempt Organization workshops - and a number of mini-courses on topics of interest to tax-exempt organizations.

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.