Vol.10-32   8.10.10

"Freeze" Holds Turned On

A new feature (long awaited by patrons!) has been turned on in the online catalog: "Freeze" Holds. This option allows patrons to further manage their holds queue, enabling them to put items requested "on ice" while they are on vacation, to ensure they don't get books in a series arriving out of order or to stem the flow of items they are receiving if they are getting too much at once.

This option is available in the patron record on our online catalog. Once logged in and in the View Requests (holds) display they will now see an option to select "Freeze" for each item that they have on hold (see graphic). Patrons check the box to the right of the title they wish to "Freeze" and then click the "Update List" button to apply it. They will be asked to verify this action. The title remains frozen until they reverse the process by unchecking the box and clicking the "Update List" button. While the item is frozen patrons will retain their position in the queue. If they make it to the first position, they will be bypassed until they "UnFreeze" the request.

The policies for "not wanted before" and freezing holds are the same:
- A hold cannot be frozen if there are available items. We think this is because the item pages the second it is placed. Freezing holds will not work like a wish list and unfortunately isn't as graceful as Netflix.
- Holds cannot be frozen that are more than 180 days old. That is hard coded into the system and at this time cannot be changed.
- Holds will remain frozen up to 244 days. We aren't kidding! This number is hard coded and we are unable to change it at this time.
- Holds that have an item in transit or on holdshelf/ "Ready for Pick up" cannot be modified and therefore cannot be frozen.

Last week all libraries received a bookmark to advertise this new feature to patrons, if you need more bookmarks just use the MHLS online Material Request Form to order more: http://midhudson.org/forms/material_request.htm

MHLS Announcements
To MHLS Directors: The next Directors Association meeting is on Thursday, September 2nd. It is very important that you attend, as New Business will include the System Funding Task Force recommendation for member assessment for 2012 and 2013.

The System Funding Task Force has been meeting on your behalf since 2008 to propose a fee structure for 2010 and beyond. The Task Force had a highly successful meeting July 23rd where positive plans were made and concerns you raised in this process were addressed. Your attendance at the September DA meeting will insure you have the information you need.

Thank You,
Merribeth Advocate, MHLS Interim Director

MHLS Libraries
The Heermance Memorial Library in Coxsackie is mentioned in the acknowledgements of the new book, Patton: The Pursuit of Destiny by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin. Ed Breslin is a local literary agent and author. "For essential and unstinting help with secondary source research, we thank the staff of the Heermance Memorial Library in Coxsackie, New York: Linda Deubert, Sandra Stephen, Jessica Kornheisl, Lynn Erceg, Lorri Field, Christine Reda, and Jacqueline Whitbeck."

Professional Development
Save the Dates! As summer winds down continuing education opportunities ramp up! Make sure you mark your calendar so you don't miss workshops that strengthen your library and make your life easier! There's something for everyone:

September
- 13: Orientation for New Library Staff & Circulation Essentials
- 14: Help Patrons Find the Answer - Great Reference Resources @Philmont
- 16: Essential Trustee Duties & Responsibilities (evening)
- 20: Help Patrons Find the Answer - Great Reference Resources @Coxsackie
- 22: SAM Users Group
- 23: Help Patrons Find the Answer - Great Reference Resources @Esopus
- 24: Help Patrons Find the Answer - Great Reference Resources @Patterson
- 25: Essential Trustee Duties & Responsibilities @Germantown
- 28: Essential Trustee Duties & Responsibilities (daytime)
- 29: System Tour
- 30: Adult Programmers User's Group
October:
- 1: MHLS Annual Meeting with Continuing Education session on Advocacy and keynote speaker Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project who will talk about "Libraries as Social Networks"
- 6: Roundtable for New Directors
- 18: Advanced Trustee Education
- 19: Millennium for Directors & Administrators
- 20: Friends Support Group
- 21: Fall Into Books Children's & Teen Literature Conference @ Mount Saint Alphonsus Retreat Center, Esopus
- 23: Advanced Trustee Education @Kingston
- 29: Talking Tech: Technology basics for understanding your library's computer network
November:
- 3-6 New York Library Association Conference @Saratoga
- 15: Children's Services Roundtable @Germantown
- 15: Teen Outreach Roundtable @Germantown
- 18: Children's Services Roundtable
- 18: Teen Outreach Roundtable
December:
- 7: Building Your Base Online with Nancy Dowd, Marketing Director for the New Jersey State Library

Youth Services
"Summer Must-Read for Kids? Any Book" was the title of an article from The New York Times Well Blog shared with Youth Services staff in member libraries last week by MHLS Youth Services & Community Connections Coordinator Christina Ryan Linder: "Several studies have documented a "summer slide" in reading skills once school lets out each spring. The decline in reading and spelling skills are greatest among low-income students, who lose the equivalent of about two months of school each summer, according to the National Summer Learning Association, an education advocacy group. And the loss compounds each year."
The article reported on new research that has proven a "surprisingly simple, and affordable" two part solution: Part 1: access to books. Part 2: allowing kids to choose books that most interest them. Hmmm… sounds familiar! Go libraries! Read the full article at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com

Administration & Management
Trend Spotting: Great article from the May 2010 issue of American Libraries, "10 Tips for Tracking Trends" by Elizabeth Doucett:
"As a public library director I spend a great deal of time searching out ways to keep my library relevant in today's fast-changing environment. I've found that one method to do this is to keep myself current about societal trends and to strategize regularly about how my library might ride the wave of those trends to better serve the needs of the library's users. This article explains the process that I go through to do this. It doesn't take long, it is invariably interesting, and I've consistently found that it produces results."
Read the full article at http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org

Making Budget Presentations: The American Library Association has a very useful toolkit on their site to help "take the fear out of library budget presentations." The toolkit walks you through six sections:
1. Laying the Groundwork
2. Preparing a Budget Presentation
3. Citizen Support - Rallying Stakeholders
4. Making the Budget Presentation - Do's & Don'ts
5. Follow Up
6. Budgeting Best Practices
This toolkit is part of ALA's new Advocacy University which you will be hearing a lot more about over the next few months in the MHLS Bulletin. Access the Budget Presentation toolkit at http://tinyurl.com/36udey7

Job Openings
Part-Time Clerk Position Available at Plattekill:
- Must have computer and office skill experience
- Able to pick up items weighing 50 lbs.
- Flexible work schedule
- Ability to follow written and oral directions
- Have strong interpersonal skills/sense of humor
- Available Nights and Saturdays
- Minimum High School diploma or equivalent
- Job starts in September
- Physical stamina required (stooping, standing, stretching, & use of footstool)
- Able to work in a busy and crowded environment
- Must be able to read spine labels from top shelf to bottom
- Answering directional questions from patrons
15+ hours/week including nights and Saturdays. To apply, send a resume Fax: 845.883.7295; Email: plattekill_lib@hotmail.com; Mail: Plattekill Public Library, 2047 State Route 32, Modena, NY 12548.

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.