Vol.10-41   10.12.10

Lee Rainie Speaks at 51st Annual Meeting

Approximately 120 library directors, trustees, staff members and special guests attended the System's 51st Annual Meeting at The Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home, Hyde Park, New York, on Friday, October 1.

Kathy Miller, 2009/2010 President of the New York Library Association & Executive Director of the Rochester Regional Library Council (shown left) and Jennifer Morris, recently retired Director of the Pioneer Library System and former NYLA President, presented a continuing education session, on advocacy entitled "Advocacy 101: the Five Keys to Effective Advocacy": Educate, Enthusiasm, Emotion, Psychology and Action. They encouraged everyone to "have a story to tell" to illustrate to decision makers how critical libraries are in people's lives.

During the business meeting portion of the event three trustees were elected to the MHLS Board:
- Janet Schnitzer from Columbia County,
- Roland Patterson from Dutchess County, and
- Caroline Profera from Greene County.

Each trustee was elected to a second five year term, commencing January 1, 2011.

Following the elections, Merribeth Advocate, Interim Executive Director, presented Employee Service Awards to five devoted staff members, including the entire MHLS Business Office who all hit their 10 year mark together:
20 Years: Peggy Winn, Administrative Assistant
15 Years: Christopher Herron, Delivery /AV/Building & Grounds
10 Years: Linda Vittone, Finance Office Manager, Doris Formby, Receptionist/ Bookkeeper and Joan Kay, Grants Coordinator

Merribeth reported on the recently released National Broadband Plan* that has identified public libraries as "anchor institutions" in communities throughout the country and noted what a bright future libraries have in the era of broadband. Merribeth shared her vision of the future of the System - to continue its partnership with the member libraries and help them remain relevant and valuable resources in their communities.

Keynote Speaker, Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, whose presentation entitled "Libraries as Social Networks" highlighted research findings about how the usage of new technology has changed the way Americans access and exchange information and how libraries can tap into the "information ecosystem" to interact with their communities in a positive way during this "feedback era." A lively question and answer period was incorporated into this informative and entertaining presentation.

Mr. Rainie's call to action above fits in nicely with MHLS's 2010-2011 Building Your Base Online (BYBO) project funded with federal Library Service & Technology Act funds administered by the New York State Library. The goal of our project is to assist member libraries:
- In understanding their level of effectiveness through their existing online presence
- To educate them as to current opportunities for online communication
- To connect with targeted segments of their community online
- To develop a spectrum of options to broaden their online presence presented in logical, progressive steps to help maximize their efficiency and effectiveness.

Save the Date! There will be a full-day Building Your Base Online workshop at MHLS on Tuesday December 7th with Nancy Dowd, Marketing Director for the New Jersey State Library and author of Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian.

MHLS Libraries
The Kingston Library is highlighted in the New York State Library's recent impact report for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Opportunity Online Hardware Grant, "Providing Opportunities Through Public Access Computing." The grant program (2007-2009) provided funds to public libraries serving communities that were both at risk of having outdated technology and had high concentrations of poverty. The program funded workstations, technical support and training. It also required dedicated local funding through a monitored and enforced escalating matching requirement.

"The grant helped the Kingston Library take a "giant step forward" with technology services for users, according to Director Margaret Menard. "Previously, our public computers were a hodge-podge of outdated and donated computers. We now have uniform, current technology so our patrons know that when they come to the library they will be able to accomplish what they need to do." Kinston was able to purchase 13 desktop computers as part of the grant."

Other MHLS Member Libraries that participated in the Opportunity Online Hardware Grant program:
D.R. Evarts Library (Athens)
Howland Public Library (Beacon)
Cairo Public Library
Catskill Public Library
Claverack Library
Heermance Memorial Library (Coxsackie)
Hudson Area Association Library
Hunter Public Library
Hurley Library
Livingston Free Library
Mahopac Public Library
New Lebanon Library
NorthEast-Millerton Library
Philmont Public Library
Plattekill Public Library
Poughkeepsie Public Library District
Rosendale Library
Stone Ridge Public Library
Town of Ulster Public Library
Valatie Free Library
Windham Public Library
Woodstock Public Library

Professional Development
Talking Tech: Technology basics for understanding your library's computer network Presented by Robert Drake, MHLS Network Specialist and Laurie Shedrick, MHLS Automated Systems Manager. Friday, October 29th from 10:00 - 12:00pmThis workshop is appropriate for library directors and all staff who work with the public, public access computers and on staff computers running Millennium. This workshop is designed to help demystify the computer equipment and wires in your building, boost your confidence when talking to tech support people and save your library money by providing simple troubleshooting techniques that can be done without calling your tech support people. Come and learn how the computers, cables and connections all work together in your library.
In this workshop we will:
- Demystify computer equipment and your library's internal network.
- Share best practices for supporting public access computers.
- Explaining the internet - understanding what the ISP provides.
- Help you create expandable solutions so you can keep up with community demand.
- Provide answers to the most common questions received by MHLS Tech Support staff.
Register online at http://calendar.midhudson.org/

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.