September is Library Card Sign-up Month - a time to remind everyone that a library card is the smartest card of all. Libraries around the country are reaching out to let people know about the power of their local library card. Experience has shown that people are often surprised by what a modern public library has to offer so don't forget to mention the basics!
Library cards from MHLS member libraries are made even smarter thanks to the working relationship between libraries in our System and the connection between libraries and the System. Patrons from any library have access to all 66 member library collections with their cards, they can request titles, pay fines online, freeze holds, save their favorite searches and more thanks to the cooperative catalog.
The "smartness" doesn't end there! The collection of databases (HOMEACCESS), is made possible by pooling resources so that all libraries can offer genealogy research resources, practice tests for college and career opportunities, the car repair database, language learning tools and more.
The Digital Download Center [http://mhls.lib.overdrive.com] is another way to connect patrons with what they want through their library card. Downloadable audiobooks have taken off in 2010! To date more than 2,200 patrons have registered for this service and have borrowed more than 6,500 items.
At the heart of the library card you give to your new patrons is the collaboration, consensus and forward thinking that comes from working together. Together we are stronger than we would be apart. That's why our advocacy message for the past two years to NYS Legislators has been "Don't Cut the Heart out of Our Community."
Help connect your community with all you have to offer! MHLS provides a professionally designed brochure, "Your Library Card: Always Valuable, Now Priceless," developed with input from the Marketing Advisory Committee to promote the power of a library card from a MHLS member library. Members may request this brochure in packs of 20 along with the standardized library card registration form through the MHLS Online Material Request Form at http://midhudson.org/forms/material_request.htm
Additional Promo Resources: There are even more resources available to you to promote September as Library Card Sign-Up Month from the American Library Association. NBA Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Dwayne Wade is the 2010 spokesperson!
- Press Release
- Print and Audio PSAs in English and Spanish
- Sample Letter to the Editor
-"52 Ways to Use Your Library Card"
Find these resources on ALA's web site at http://www.ala.org/
The Battle is ON! On Saturday, September 11th beginning at 9:00am, over 200 teens from twenty-three member libraries will come to the Hudson Jr. High School in Hudson, NY to compete for Battle of the Book Champion in the 6th Annual Mid-Hudson Library System Battle of the Books. Last spring the 23 participating libraries recruited 6th-9th graders to read 8 great titles chosen by the library coaches. To prepare for the regional battle, a trivia based contest, teams gathered over the summer to master the details of each story and engage in local battles with neighboring libraries. These local battles prepare the participants for the exciting final competition where all teams gather and face off for the final prize on September 11th! Even if your library isn't participating this year you are welcome to come and cheer on the teams!
Online Training: Practice Tests Database (Also known by the full product name: Testing & Education Reference Center.) Maximize the value of our subscription to the Testing & Education Reference Center with this online training event. Discover how to help patrons search for undergraduate and graduate school programs, locate assistance to help pay for college, access career exploration tools (resume builder, career profiles and assessments), preparatory tests, eBooks and more. September 15th from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Register online at http://tinyurl.com/2vh37qx This database is available through all member library web sites thanks to the MHLS HOMEACCESS program which provides remote access (that means that patrons can access the database from outside of the library).
Resource Sharing & Millennium
New Subject Headings: At this month's Directors Association meeting MHLS Automated Systems Manager Laurie Shedrick shared the news that there are two big subject heading changes from the Library of Congress that have kept Laurie and the MHLS Cataloging Department (Karen O'Brien & Kit Kassel) quite busy. Body-Human, has become Human Body, and Cookery has become Cooking and Cookbooks Genre has been added. Both of these changes make subject searching much more user friendly. MHLS Cataloging changed the authority records and subject headings of nearly 5,000 bibliographic records improving the accessibility to 18,250 of your items.
Patron Education Reminder: The "Freeze Holds" service recently turned on in the online catalog is pretty popular - within two weeks more than 1,500 holds were frozen. Directors are reporting a need to help patrons understand the limitations of this service. Help your patrons know that:
o 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.
o 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.
o 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.
o Holds that have an item in transit or on holdshelf/ "Ready for Pick up" cannot be modified and therefore cannot be frozen.
A bookmark to hand out to patrons is available through MHLS and help screens are built into the online catalog.
The SAM (Smart Access Management) User's Group meeting has been postponed. We've decided it will be more useful to meet after the new release of the software comes out so we can all learn the impact of that together. Stay tuned for a new date!
Librarian salaries jump 3 percent in 2010: The 2010 edition of the "ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian - Public and Academic" revealed average increases across all six position types, ranging from 2 percent for managers of support staff to 13 percent for directors of public and academic libraries. The survey is based on data from more than 580 library directors and human resources staff members who reported more than 11,000 salaries. In contrast to 2009's mean and median decrease, analysis of 2010 data for librarians with ALA-accredited master's degrees showed a 3 percent mean increase from $58,860 in 2009 to $60,734 and a 2 percent median increase from $54,500 in 2009 to $55,883. Salaries ranged from $22,000 (ALA minimum) to $302,500.
Administration & Management
MHLS has redesigned the MHLS Tech Support contracts to proactively cure problems in member library networks, create more problem-free public access computing and staff computing environments and to provide the resources libraries need to be able to overcome some typical problems quickly. If you are interested and want to know if it is a good fit for your library contact MHLS Interim Executive Director Merribeth Advocate at x217 or email@example.com.
Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: firstname.lastname@example.org. The MHLS Bulletin is available on line at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.