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General News

Affordable Connectivity Program

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced a multi-agency initiative led by the New York State Department of Public Service to encourage eligible New Yorkers to sign up for the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program, a newly-launched program that provides discounts of up to $30 a month toward internet service for low-income families.

The Department of Public Service, in coordination with other public-facing state agencies and Internet service providers, will lead a statewide awareness and marketing campaign under the Governor’s ConnectALL Initiative to increase enrollment among eligible New Yorkers. For too long, broadband has been out of reach for many New Yorkers because it is not affordable. In addition to reducing costs for consumers through capital investments, the Governor’s pioneering ConnectAll Initiative aims to ensure that every New Yorker eligible to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program is equipped with the information and support they need to enroll and begin benefitting.


Discussion Leaders wanted!

Discussion Leaders wanted for the 23rd annual Fall into Books Conference! The Fall Into Books (FIB) Conference is an annual Children’s & Teen’s Literature event with a full day of discussion groups and speakers. This year the FIB will take place on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022 at the Best Western Plus Kingston Hotel and Conference Center. The planning committee is currently looking for volunteers to lead discussion groups for picture books, elementary, middle, or teen level books. If you are interested, please fill out the Google form and submit by February 7th.

A mandatory practice session for the discussion leaders will be held on Tuesday, June 13th, 2022, from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm (location to be determined). Conference registration and lunch will be complimentary for all discussion leaders.

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Director Resources

MHLS New Directors Forum

The MHLS New Directors Forum will take place on Thursday, February 3rd at 1:00 pm after the DA Business Meeting. The topic will be Grant Writing for Libraries. In this webinar, participants will learn how to incorporate grants as a part of a well-balanced basket of revenue streams; develop grant projects using community needs; identify library grant funding sources; and write a strong proposal with a realistic budget.

This webinar will be presented by Keturah Cappadonia. Keturah is the Outreach Consultant for the Southern Tier Library System (STLS) in Painted Post, NY. She has worked in public libraries for over twelve years in various roles. She has written a number of grant proposals; administers the STLS Outreach Mini-Grant program; and has served as a grant reviewer and consultant for various organizations, including the American Library Association.


Digital Navigators of the Hudson Valley

Digital Navigators of the Hudson Valley (DNHV) applications are due by Friday, January 21st. The DNHV program will prepare library workers with new skills and resources to perform the duties of a Digital Navigator including, connecting community members to resources and services to secure affordable broadband, computers, and devices, and providing basic digital literacy training and support in completing necessary paperwork and applications. As part of the program, Digital Navigators will receive training in identifying local resources and services, understanding learner needs, and collecting data.

For more information about this program visit the DNHV site or contact MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator, Casey Conlin.

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

Q. Does our board need to follow Robert’s Rules of Order during our board meetings?

A. Using Robert’s Rules of Order (RRO) is best practice. If the library’s bylaws specify it is used, then it should be used. Please be aware that Robert’s Rules of Order sometimes conflict with New York State Law, for example, in the area of calculating a quorum and executive session state law takes precedence over RRO. Check out the chapter on “Library Board Meetings” from the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State for more information on these issues.


MHLS Board of Trustees


The MHLS Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, January 11th. Highlights from the meeting included:

  • Appointment of Peter Carey to fill the seat representing Putnam County recently vacated by a resignation.
  • Review of the board’s 2022 Priorities;
  • A review of the new gender-neutral protocols for the board’s minutes;
  • Approval of the annual fiscal designations;
  • Approval of an amended Suspension of Services, Emergency Closing, or Early Release Policy;
  • Approval of a Memo of Agreement with the CSEA bargaining unit; and
  • A presentation on “Digital Equity & Inclusion” by MHLS Executive Director Rebekkah Smith Aldrich.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the MHLS Board of Trustees is on Saturday, March 12th at 10:00 am. All documents from the board packet are available at https://board.midhudson.org/

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