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General News

2023 Turning Outward Cohort

There is still time to register for the 2023 MHLS Turning Outward Cohort Program Introductory Webinar taking place Thursday, December 8th, from 10:00 – 11:00 am. Libraries interested in participating in the 2023 MHLS Turning Outward Cohort Program are invited to join the introductory webinar, which will outline the value of “turning outward”, through community conversations, to seek public knowledge about community aspirations to better guide the future design of library services, programs, partnerships, and resource allocation. This webinar will also provide a brief overview of the program schedule and expectations for 2023.

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Safety on Spotlight: Addressing Threats in Public Libraries

Facing threats to our basic safety can often be traumatic and isolating. The Public Library Association (PLA)—in collaboration with the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL)—invites all library workers to join a free virtual event Safety on Spotlight: Addressing Threats in Public Libraries taking place Wednesday, November 30th, from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm.


Public libraries are increasingly responding to violent and inflammatory speech and targeted attacks on their buildings, workers, and patrons. Over the last two weeks of September, libraries in five cities faced bomb or shooting threats that resulted in canceled events and closures. These incidents also come directly on the heels of widespread intimidation related to censorship in the past year. Thankfully, no one was hurt in these recent threats, but the stress and disruption of service take a toll on library workers and the communities they serve. Panelists will participate in a facilitated conversation that explores effective policies and practices to improve safety and security for library staff and patrons, and invites questions and resources to be shared among all attendees. Click here to register.

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Director Resources

MHLS New Directors Meet Up

Register for the MHLS New Directors Meet Up being held in Poughkeepsie at the MHLS Auditorium on December 6th from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. New Directors (in your role for 3 years or less) will discuss relevant topics related to finding your path as a new director. Facilitated by MHLS Executive Director, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, author of the Handbook for New Library Directors in New York State & co-author of the Handbook for Library Trustees in New York State, this program will address questions submitted in advance by attendees, particularly in the areas of working with your board, planning, and project/time management.

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Sustainable Libraries Certification Program

The path to certification through the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program is designed to be flexible for libraries of different types, sizes, and budgets and guided by the communities they serve. The Sustainable Libraries Initiative is now enrolling public libraries throughout the United States. Each library that completes the program will select the benchmarks that best fit the needs of their library and community, resulting in a uniquely sustainable organization. Find out more information through their website (https://sustainablelibrariesinitiative.org/).

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Trustee Resources

Trustee Education

Join MHLS Executive Director, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, for Pathways to Sustainable Funding on December 12th, from 1:30 – 3:30 pm in the MHLS Auditorium in Poughkeepsie, NY.

One of the primary responsibilities of a library trustee is to secure adequate funding for the library. This requires both an honest assessment of the true costs to run a viable, vital, and visible library as well as a strong understanding of the legal funding mechanisms for libraries in New York State. This MHLS Trustee Education Series session provides an overview of key areas impacting library budgets as well as introduce the new toolkit released this year from the New York State Library, the Public Library District Toolkit: Strategies to Assure Your Library’s Legal and Financial Stability.

This in-person event requires advanced registration.

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Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Executive Director & Co-Author of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State is a monthly installment where Rebekkah will answer your questions! Feel free to submit your question here or to contact Rebekkah at rsmith@midhudson.org with the subject line: AMA Trustee Question.
Q. What does “digital equity” mean?
A. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) defines digital equity as “… a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy. Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.”

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