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General News

Be MediaWise: The Misinformation Resilience Toolkit for Libraries

With election coverage heating up, now is a great time to help our communities gain the skills and resources they need to build resilience to misinformation.

The American Library Association (ALA) teamed up with nonprofit journalism school and research organization, Poynter Institute, to create a collection of open educational resources to help library workers teach media literacy to audiences of all ages. The Be MediaWise : A misinformation Resilience Toolkit for Libraries officially launched at the end of June.

The kit is composed of eight modules that libraries can use to bring high quality media literacy education to the communities they serve. The modules are made up of:
• videos
• interactive activities
• premade slide decks

A facilitator’s guide is included, and the materials can be customized or used right out of the box. Users can also provide feedback on the use of the toolkit here.


MHLS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant Application Open

Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) member libraries that are interested in advancing equity and inclusion work to improve library services for their communities are invited to apply for the MHLS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant. This grant is in support of MHLS’ commitment to populations most impacted by censorship attempts through book challenges and library program challenges. MHLS established themselves as a Book Haven System on December 6, 2023 to uphold the public’s right to free and equitable access to information.

The American Library Association reported an unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2023, increasing in each of the past four years. The vast majority of challenges were to books written by or about a person of color or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. - ALA Book Ban Data.

Member libraries applying for the MHLS Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Mini Grant will need to demonstrate how your proposed project will invest in and support the work of promoting and advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in your library and the impact on your community. Examples of potential projects could include but are not limited to:
• developing accessible and/or responsive library collections and programs for underrepresented/underserved populations
• promoting inclusivity in library collections through audits, weeding, and inclusive collection development
• programming and/or training for library workers or community members on topics related to cultural competence; bystander intervention and de-escalation; creating safe spaces for all or similar topics.
• staff training that strengthens diversity, equity, and inclusion practices

Twenty-two (22) grants in the amount of $1,000 each are available. This is a competitive grant. One grant per library. For the complete list of requirements and to access the application please visit https://midhudson.org/outreach-mini-grants/. Applications are due July 22, 2024.

Questions should be directed to MHLS Outreach & EDI Specialist, Kerstin Cruger.

This grant is supported by New York State Outreach Categorical Aid funds received from the NYS Library Division of Library Development.

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Director Resources

PLS Award Opportunities for the 2024 NYLA Conference

The Public Libraries Section (PLS) of NYLA (New York Library Association) has announced the following awards for the 2024 NYLA Conference:
The PLS Conference Scholarship Awards encourage public librarians (professional degree not required) now in the field, or students in library school, to participate in the 2024 NYLA Annual Conference, taking place in Syracuse, NY between November 6th and 9th, 2024. PLS will award three Conference Scholarships of $600 each.

The PLS Innovative Program Award recognizes and honors innovative, impactful programming in libraries throughout New York State. The award consists of a plaque for your library and a cash prize of $600.

The PLS Building Award focuses on the impact that a new construction project has had on the library’s ability to provide services to its community. The selected library will receive a $1,000 cash award, a display plaque and an official press release from the Public Libraries Section of NYLA for the library to distribute to local media outlets.
The deadline to apply is August 1st. Questions may be sent to judith.wines@uhls.org.


NYS ConnectALL’s Digital Equity Technical Assistance Program

The NYS ConnectALL Office has released a Request for Applications for the Digital Equity Technical Assistance grant program. This program is a technical assistance funding program intended to help applicants advance their capacities in preparation for the Digital Equity Capacity Grant and Digital Equity Competitive Grant programs, which will be administered starting in 2025. Public libraries and public library systems are among the entities eligible to apply for the technical assistance funding, as well as for the DE Competitive Grant program.
Find more information on the Digital Equity Technical Assistance program here. The application window closes on July 30, 2024.

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Additional Director Resources

Trustee Resources

Trustee Oath of Office Reminder

Many library trustee terms began on July 1. This is an important reminder that New York State Public Officer’s Law §10 requires all public library trustees (but not association library trustees) to take and file an oath of office within 30 days of beginning their term. Public library trustees are public officers and the oath of office is required to officially undertake and perform the duties of a public library trustee. If a public library trustee does not properly complete and file an oath of office, the trustee’s position may be deemed vacant (see Public Officer’s Law §30(1)(h)).

For more information about how and why the oath of office is administered, and where to properly file an oath of office, please see the Trustee Oaths of Office on the New York State Library website.

Questions about Trustee Oaths of Office may be directed to Frank Rees, Public Library System Services Program Manager, Division of Library Development, New York State Library.


What’s new in the Trustee Handbook?

Hiring a New Director: New in the appendices is a breakdown of the steps for hiring a new director. From creating a Hiring Plan to the role of the search committee to advertising for the position, this section shares legal considerations as well as best practices to help guide your board through this opportunity for your library.

Trustee responsibilities are small in number but broad in scope. This monthly Bulletin feature is designed to point out sections that are new in the updated version of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State.

Purchase a bound copy of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State, 2023 edition from the Mid-Hudson Library System. Order Form.

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