Monthly Archives: March 2015

“In Praise of Libraries”

“The public library is the only civic institution in my community that is uncompromisingly successful.”

rotarianThe Rotarian, the official magazine of Rotarian International, recently featured an articled entitled, “In Praise of Libraries: A salute to society’s most successful civic institution.”


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Celebrate Library Workers!


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Government Efficiency Plans

The State budget includes a temporary (2014-2016) state financed property tax freeze rebate. Libraries that fall under the tax cap are potentially eligible to trigger a rebate for their taxpayers if they meet certain criteria*

Property Tax Freeze Criteria: An eligible library (meaning one that falls under the tax cap) is able to trigger a rebate for taxpayers if:

  • Year 1: Fiscal Year (FY) starting in 2015
    • Library must not exceed the tax cap.
  • Year 2: Fiscal Year (FY) starting in 2016
    • Library must not exceed the tax cap AND
    • Library must develop a Government Efficiency Plan or Shared Services Plan that must be approved by the NYS Division of Budget

For more information about developing a Government Efficiency Plan please visit the NYS Division of Budget’s web site.

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Registration for Outside the Lines 2015


Registration for Outside the Lines 2015 (September 13-19, 2015) is now open. Time to get people thinking – and talking – about libraries in a whole new way! Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. Whether your library is large or small you can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign that:
1. Gets people thinking – and talking – about libraries in a different way
2. Showcases the library out in the community as well as in the library
3. Highlights how your library is relevant to people’s lives
4. Represents your local community
5. Is active versus passive – gets people engaged
6. Is extraordinary and unexpected
7. Most importantly, is fun!

To register, learn more and to connect with others thinking about this visit

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OverDrive Big Library Read


MHLS member libraries are participating in the sixth OverDrive Big Library Read, the global digital book club where millions of people from around the world have the ability to read the same eBook at the same time. This time around, MHLS Digital Download users will be able to read Shakespeare Saved my Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard, by Laura Bates, without any wait lists or holds.

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The Library Freedom Project

library freedom

The Library Freedom Project teaches librarians about privacy rights, law, and tech tools to protect patrons from dragnet surveillance.

“Threatened by surveillance from corporations and governments, our right to access information is chilled. As stewards of information and providers of Internet access, librarians play a central role in meeting the information needs of communities and are in an obvious position to educate patrons about how to shield their privacy from surveillance threats.”

The Library Freedom Project is a partnership among policy experts at the American Civil Liberties Union, tech-activists at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and an IT librarian. The project was recently honored by the Knight News Challenge as a way we can leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities

Project partners will be presenting a workshop, “Digital Privacy Rights and Technology Training with The Library Freedom Project,” on Friday, April 17th from 1:00 – 4:00pm at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY).

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Understanding Your Leadership Style

The MHLS Leadership Circle will meet on Wednesday, April 8th from 12:30 – 2:30pm (after the DA meeting) Topic: Understanding Your Leadership Style. This event is designed for MHLS member library directors to provide an opportunity to discuss the opportunities and challenges of being a library leader.

At this event, our second meeting of this group, we will discuss:
• Leadership style self-assessment
• Understanding how your style impacts your team
• “Stories from the Frontlines” related to developing a higher understanding of how your leadership style impacts your library’s culture

This session will be facilitated by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability.

Please register online.

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Act Now!

Negotiations are underway between the NYS Assembly and Senate to decide how much library aid will be in this year’s NYS budget. Will the Senate’s proposed increase, which matches their proposed increase to Education Aid – exactly what we asked for – be matched by the Assembly, who currently has proposed less than half that amount? Please participate by calling your Assemblyperson to ask them to match the Senate’s proposal and by helping to direct other library supporters to the New York Library Association’s Online Advocacy Center where it takes less than 2 minutes to send a message to your legislators in Albany to advocate for an increase to library aid!

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Teleforms Action Memo Due March 20

Teleforms Action Memo Due March 20: All member libraries are asked to respond to MHLS Action Memo #15-01 regarding your library’s plans to use the Teleforms. Teleforms, also called “TNS,” is an automatic phone messaging system for hold pickup and overdue notices. The actual price charged will depend on the number of libraries that would like to participate. If your library does not respond, even if you are a current subscriber, we will assume you no longer wish to use this service.

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Summer Reading Program Mini-Grants

NYS SRP Summer Reading Mini-Grants: This year the summer reading mini-grants are focused in two distinct areas. Member Libraries can apply for one:

  • Inquiry Based Programming for Families: 20 mini-grants of $500 each are available to MHLS member libraries to incentivize collaborations with agencies that affect their community, and provide interactive inquiry based programs for families.Applications must be received by April 9, 2015. Information & Guidelines This is funded through Family Literacy Library Service Program funds, received from the NYS Library Division of Library Development for “Summer Reading at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems”. 
  • Expanding Adult Literacy through Digital and/or Arts Programming: 10 mini-grants of $500 each are available to MHLS member libraries to incentivize collaborations with agencies that affect their community, and expand adult literacy through digital and/or arts programming.Applications must be received by April 9, 2015. Information & Guidelines This is funded through Coordinated Outreach Services Program funds, received from the NYS Library Division of Library Development.
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Upcoming Events