Programs & Grants Committee | February 14, 2001

Present: Directors: P. Alt (Philmont), L. Deubert (Coxsackie), L. Eaton (Beekman), B. Flach (Greenville), M. Steinberg (Brewster), M. Schalansky (Carmel) [chair]; MHLS Staff: M. Advocate, B. Clapp, J. Cohen, M. Keefe, K. Litwin, R. Smith

Materials Distributed:


Issues and Discussion:

Five Year Plan of Service
Area III: Identify special client groups and the means for meeting each groups needs

q       Adult Literacy: Adult Literacy Services Grant to be explored, MHLS would submit application for interested member libraries. M. Advocate will investigate successfully funded ALS grants and circulate possible grant ideas by committee email.

q       Project suggestions from the committee: GED Reading/Discussion groups; rotating parenting collections in Spanish and for low level readers; family reading groups; foster relationships with literacy volunteer workers, GED and ESL class providers.

q       In the area of outreach in the Five Year Plan suggestions included: continuation of non-English, rotating children’s collections; creation of mentoring relationships between libraries that have received Outreach grants in the past and libraries that have not applied before.

q       The Outreach Department is developing “Health Kits,” designed for all members of a family with a special focus on low reading levels the first kits will cover asthma, arthritis, alzheimer’s and diabetes. The kits will be made up of books, handouts, videos and information on related agencies.

q       Suggestion was made for MHLS to create of an agency resource manual, possibly online, with contact information on area health and community agencies (i.e. Family Partnership Center, Alzheimer’s Association, YWCA/YMCA’s, etc.)

q       Distribution of Department of Health multi-lingual brochures to all member libraries; explore display options for brochures.

q       Youth Services: M. Keefe and M. Advocate were applauded for their efforts on the Youth Services Web Page. Continued development of the site was suggested.

q       Plans for a directory of both adult and children’s programs: Submission form of successful programming in both print and online format was discussed.

q       Continuation and updating of the performer’s showcase was discussed, as this is time sensitive information the committee agreed it should be published online.

q       The committee advocated for more system-wide workshops directed at children’s programming in two locations.

Area VI: Awareness and Advocacy

q       Suggestion was made to use annual report data in a template for each library to visually represent library funding;

q       Create a catalog of library marketing ideas; Develop publicity tips and help portion of MHLS web site;

q       Development of professional collection in the area of marketing;

q       Advocacy network development, Advocacy Action Alert newsletter for library staff, trustees, and friends.

Area VII: Communication and cooperation among member libraries

q       The committee would like to see more resource sharing amongst member libraries.

q       Discussion of geographic issues as related to programming.

q       Continuation and promotion of listservs and other communication venues (web site and bulletin).

q       Develop an outreach initiative for new directors.

Area VIII: Cooperative efforts with other library systems

q       Suggestion was made for more shared workshops.

q       Pool programming ideas to benefit more libraries.

q       Expansion of the Lifelines web site to benefit a wider group of counties.

q       Replication of RCLS’ “Fall into Books” program for our system, invite UHLS to participate.

q       Explore cooperation with libraries in other states

Discussion of video conferencing and web broadcast capabilities, as they apply to programming, made possible through the Verizon Foundation grant to MHLS: from system to member libraries; from member libraries to patrons; from library to library.

LSTA Grants

q       Economic Development: Workforce Development Project, presented by Kirstin Litwin: ideas presented built on what has already been accomplished and established through the past two years in the Libraries & Labor Project.

q       Family Literacy Category: Homework Help Centers in Focal Libraries, presented by Margaret Keefe: committee brainstormed on this grant, project suggestions included: “Read To Me” program, targeting teenage mothers, basic empowerment of the parent to take an active role in the intellectual development/stimulation of their child; Latch-Key Kids program, teens in the library; online reference help, online homework help.

q       MHLS Staff will develop the grant ideas further and pass them on to the committee for review and input.

Library-School Contact

q       The committee expressed a desire to have a better working relationship with area schools. Suggestions included the homework assignment form (“Heads Up Homework Form”) posted on the MHLS Listserv, the development of more proactive measures to get homework assignments and reading lists from the schools, and a form for parents who are unsuccessful in getting the needed info for their child’s assignment at the library. P. Alt will investigate how the Chatham Library communicates with their school library. 

The MHLS member libraries’ Service Page was distributed, comments and suggestions from the committee will be sent to Rebekkah Smith by March 14th.

Discussion Threads:

q       The committee would like to see a programming and grant participation made simpler by pre-packaging by system staff, minimizing library staff’s investment of time.

q       The committee would like to see better publicity of what MHLS member libraries have to the community at large (general public, schools, community agencies).

q       Enhancement of the public school/public library relationship.

Future Committee Meeting Dates for 2001: April 25, September 26, and December 12

Submitted by Rebekkah Smith, February 20, 2001