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Library Programming
Summer 2003

Across the Board | Summer 2003 | Topic: Library Programming
The Mid-Hudson Library System's Quarterly Newsletter for Public Library Trustees

Enhancing Your Library’s Value Visibility in Your Community
Programs at libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System reflect the variety and diversity of the communities and patrons that are served. As libraries grow and stretch to meet the needs of their patrons, library programming has evolved into a main attraction in many communities. Meeting rooms are filled to capacity, newspaper’s pick up the story and libraries bring different worlds into their local communities. Listed in the display text above are some of the great programs going on in MHLS member libraries. Below are some other great examples of library programs: the Patterson Library (Putnam County) has done a popular “Big Trucks” Program. With the support of the local fire, police and highway departments, a variety of trucks were brought to the library for children to explore. As an added bonus the library invited a costumed celebrity character, Bob the Builder, to meet the children. Bob was the library’s only out-of-pocket expense. Books about trucks, heavy equipment and more were on display for the children to borrow. The Howland Public Library in Beacon (Dutchess County) hosts the AARP Tax-Aid, a free, volunteer-run tax preparation service for middle-to-low income taxpayers with special attention given to those age 60 and over. The Desmond–Fish Library in Garrison (Putnam County) is known for its wideranging library programming. Recent events included an eBay Seminar, designed for both the novice and more knowledgeable collector and seller. The presenter discussed the use of digital cameras and demonstrated using scanners to post items for sale through this virtual marketplace. At the Woodstock Library (Ulster County) the Friends Group sponsors the “Library Forum” every Saturday at 5P.M. Upcoming Forum events include: “The Human
Face of the Iraqi People
”; a talk by Steve Clorfeine on Nepal; the Woodstock Poetry Festival; and a reading by Deborah Artman and Lydia Davis. The Claverack Library (Columbia County) holds an annual poetry series. This year poet and playwright Cornelius Eddy opened their 2003 Distinguished Poets Series. The Catskill Public Library (Greene County) held it’s first annual Street Fair in June to kick off their Summer Reading Program. The Fair included pony rides, a petting zoo, food vendors, a book sale and lively
entertainment provided by the Community Center Drum Corps. The event attracted overr 300 people and more than 100 kids signed up for the SRP.

Steps for Library Programming

Programs could highlight a particular strength at your library—maybe you have a unique local history collection, adaptive technology or a special collection devoted to a local author. Programming is a great publicity opportunity—always issue press releases announcing upcoming programs and invite the press in for coverage. The rewards of offering good library programs are many: heightened awareness of the library in the community, healthier communities, staff satisfaction and happy, involved patrons.
Resources for Library Programming are available on the MHLS Website at Included is a link to the EZ Library Program Database, where library staff can share and search for library programming ideas in many categories including topic, audience, cost and program type.

Success Story Guidelines
Trustee Success Story Recognition Award
Purpose: To highlight an effort by a library trustee that resulted in a positive outcome for the library. Award: $200 to the trusteefs library and a certificate of recognition for the trustee. One in each county served by the Mid-Hudson Library System. Criteria: Entries will be judged on what the result was for the library, and how easily the project can be replicated. Application Procedure: Applications should be in the form of a letter, two pages maximum, to the Trustee Services Committee c/o Peggy Winn at MHLS.
Include the name of the person being recognized; the name and address of the library, including name of county; the director's name; and a description of the successful effort. Backup documentation, if available, should also be submitted at this time (for example news releases, published articles, pictures). Deadline: August 15, 2003 (winners will be notified in early September). Awards will be presented at the 44th Mid-Hudson Library System Annual Meeting on November 1, 2003 at the Casperkill Country Club in Poughkeepsie.

True Education Sessions
Trustee Essential Education Sessions
(formerly Basic Trustee Education)
Each year, MHLS provides an education series specifically for member library trustees. Many of those who have attended commented on how valuable it was to meet with and discuss library issues with trustees outside of their own library board. There is a $100 incentive grant to libraries if at least one of their trustees attends a Mid-Hudson Library System Trustee Training. The System will mail checks based on attendance. Essential sessions are designed to educate public library trustees in the background and structure of
libraries in New York state, the roles and functions of a board and running effective meetings. Trustees who attended in the past said: This workshop opened my eyes to many trustee responsibilities and duties. I learned a great deal of information that I will share with fellow members $100 incentive was a great idea. Very well done. Covered many basic areas. I learned a
lot! Well run and informative. All was most helpful—will share info with my board.I hope you will offer this annually. (See calendar and registration information below.)*

In addition to the education series, a listing of the Trustee Consultations available from MHLS can be found on the MHLS web site at Topics include Sustainable Funding, Policies, Long-range Planning, Friends Groups, Roles and Responsibilities of the Trustees and Director, Space Planning and Running Effective Meetings. These consultations are meant to address your board's specific needs at a time and place of your choosing. Please Note: This and other information is available through Rebekkah Smith, Coordinator of Member Information. You can reach Rebekkah at 845.471.6060 extension 239 or


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