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General News

NYLA Association Call for Annual Awards Nominations

Every year, the New York Library Association (NYLA) honors individuals and organizations for their tireless support, leadership, and advocacy for libraries at their Annual Conference. Nomination forms are open now for those deserving of recognition for one of these annual awards:
Mary Bobinski Innovative Public Library Director Award
NYLA’s Distinguished Achievement Award
Librarian of the Year Awards: Academic/Special Librarian of the Year, Public Librarian of the Year, and School Librarian of the Year

It’s quick, easy, and painless to nominate someone with their shortened nomination form. Please note the deadline to submit nominations for ALL awards is July 12th.


Awards will be announced at the 2024 NYLA Annual Conference, Leadership at Every Level: Fund-Protect-Empower, in-person at the Oncenter in Syracuse on November 6-9.

REMINDER: Applications are open for the Mid-Hudson Library System’s (MHLS) NYLA Conference Scholarship to attend the Annual Conference. Please complete the Application Form and send it to Laura Crisci, MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator by Friday, June 21st by email at lcrisci@midhudson.org. Recipients will be notified in July to ensure they can take advantage of the early bird registration deadline for the conference.

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NYLA Conference Scholarship

The New York Library Association (NYLA) Conference Scholarship from the Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) is designed to help provide new library directors and new library staff with the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference of the New York Library Association by matching funds provided by the library to underwrite conference attendance. “New” is defined as serving in the role of director or at the library as a staff person for three years or less.

This is a competitive scholarship. One application per library will be accepted. Maximum request: $500. Minimum request: $250. Member libraries applying for the grant must agree to at least match the awarded amount.

Eligibility requirements:

  • A “new” director or staff person must have been in their role for three (3) years or less.
  • The member library’s board must designate the eligible staff member and authorize the library to apply for this award. This action should be recorded in the board’s minutes.
  • The attendee must provide a personal statement that answers the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in attending the NYLA annual conference?
    • How do you think attending the NYLA annual conference will assist you with your library responsibilities?
    • How do you plan to share what you have learned with others?


Please complete the Application Form and send it to Laura Crisci, MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator by Friday, June 21st by email at lcrisci@midhudson.org. Recipients will be notified in July to ensure they can take advantage of the early bird registration deadline for the conference.

For more information, see the MHLS NYLA Conference Scholarship page. Contact MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator, Laura Crisci, with any questions. 

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Director Resources

State Aid for Library Construction

The New York State Library has announced that the application portal for 2024/2025 State Aid for Library Construction is now open.

• The MHLS deadline for application submissions is Friday, August 9th. There will be no extensions granted for his deadline.
• For information and tips on how to successfully login and apply online for State Aid for Library Construction funds, please visit the State Library’s website: State Aid for Library Construction: Division of Library Development: NYS Library (nysed.gov). Please note that passwords expire periodically and may need to be reset. For username/password questions or help with login, please contact LibDevGrants@nysed.gov. The link to the application login is posted on State Aid for Library Construction webpage.
• Anyone planning to apply is advised to attend the MHLS Construction Grant Technical Assistance Workshop scheduled for Thursday, June 20th at 10:00 am.

For information on applying, please visit the MHLS State Aid for Library Construction Program web page.
Is this your first time applying or it has been several years since applying? Book time with Laura Crisci, Library Sustainability Coordinator, to discuss your project and ensure you are clear on the eligibility of your project and the steps involved to apply.

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New Directors Forum

The next New Directors Forum is scheduled as an in-person event directly after the June 11th Director’s Association meeting in the MHLS Auditorium. Lunch will be provided. Register for this event here.

Our topic for this session will be the Administrator’s Sierra Checklist with Laurie Shedrick, MHLS Assistant Director and Technology Operations Manager.

As always, we will also reserve some time to tackle new directors’ questions on any topic, not just our focus for this instance of the forum. Submit your questions through this form.

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Trustee Resources

Ask Me Anything 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 contact Rebekkah at rsmith@midhudson.org with the subject line: AMA Trustee Question


Q: When there is a separately incorporated Friends of the Library Group of a library with a library board that also does fundraising, who takes the lead in setting fundraising goals?

A: This can get complicated, so communication is key! Ideally, the library board is securing adequate, sustainable funding for the library’s service program and facilities through a public vote. The State Library advises that at least 90% of a library’s revenue come through a public vote to ensure the library is successful. However, not every library is there yet which means some library boards are still heavily engaged in fundraising. In this case, where this is also a Friends of the Library Group, the Friends should be focused on things that would enhance services, programs, and the facilities based on a prioritized list provided by the library director and board. An annual meeting between the leadership of the board, Friends and the library director is advised to everyone is clear on the goals for the year. 

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Upcoming Trustee Education Opportunities

Join Mid-Hudson Library System Executive Director, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich for any of these informative sessions about library trustee roles and responsibilities. Each session is live, online from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.

Trustee Essentials | Wednesday, June 5| REGISTER  OR Thursday, September 5 | REGISTER
Particularly for new board members, but open to all. Library board members looking for essential, basic information to increase their effectiveness in serving on a library board will benefit from attending this session. Attendees to these sessions will receive a coupon code that can be redeemed for a FREE print copy of the 2023 Edition of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State.

Finance & Fiduciary Responsibility | Monday, June 10 | REGISTER
This intermediate-level course is for trustees who have been on the board for at least a year.

Libraries for the Future: An Introduction to Sustainability as the Newest Core Value (Trustee Handbook Book Club) | Tuesday, June 18| REGISTER
At each session, trustees will take a deeper dive on a topic relevant to their role and responsibilities as a library trustee.

Policies 101| Monday, September 23 | REGISTER
This event will include a review of the Core Values of Librarianship, how those values translate to the work of the board, particularly in the area of policy making, and a specific look at the policies mandated by the Division of Library Development (DLD).

Governance Structure: The Role of Board Officers and Board Committees (Trustee Handbook Book Club) |Tuesday, October 15| REGISTER
At each session, trustees will take a deeper dive on a topic relevant to their role and responsibilities as a library trustee.

Financial Planning | Monday, October 28 | REGISTER
This session features a review the Office of the State Comptroller’s multi-year financial planning process and helpful data sources to help strengthen your library’s financial position and ability to meet community needs.

Stay tuned for information on in-person sessions being planned in partnership with county library associations for 2024.

You can access the full Trustee Handbook Book Club series resources online at https://midhudson.org/trusteebookclub/

Please note: all programs listed here are pre-approved to help trustees comply with the new Trustee Education Requirement from New York State. Prerecorded sessions are available for viewing 24/7 in the MHLS Training on Demand Platform.  

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