Monthly Archives: May 2015

Spring Cleaning in Sierra

Spring Cleaning workshops offered in June! Two workshops presented by Thomas O’Connell, MHLS Automation Coordinator, will help member libraries to clean up patron and item records in Sierra.


Sierra Data Entry – Spring Cleaning:
This workshop will be beneficial for any staff responsible for creating and updating item and/or patron records in Sierra. You might be surprised by some areas where errors are often made – let’s work together to fix them!

The Directors Association recommends that at least 1 person per library attend this data entry training session to ensure the accuracy and efficiency of the shared Sierra database.

The workshop will cover:
• How to identify some of the most common errors.
• Best practices to improve accuracy.
• How to spot the ‘quirky’ things lurking in your records.
• How to clean up records, making sure the correct data is in the correct field.

Register for one of the following sessions through the MHLS online calendar:

Thursday, June 4 from 10:15am-12:15pm at the MHLS Auditorium (105 Market St., Poughkeepsie 12601)

Monday, June 15 from 10:15am-12:15pm at the Germantown Library (31 Palatine Park Rd., Germantown 12526)

Friday, June 19 from 10:15am-12:15pm at the Kent Public Library (17 Sybil’s Crossing, Kent Lakes 10512)

Monday, June 22 from 10:15am-12:15pm at the Kingston Library (55 Franklin St., Kingston 12401)

Using Sierra Create Lists to Efficiently Clean Up Records: Every library is responsible for the accuracy of their records in the Sierra database. This workshop is a companion to the ‘Sierra Data Entry: Spring Cleaning’ workshop, and is designed for staff who create and update item and/or patron records, and are looking for efficient ways to clean them up.

Attendees will learn how to develop queries in Create Lists and export data specifically designed to locate records with the most common errors that are lurking in your library’s item and/or patron data entry. The workshop will cover:
• What information can be accessed through Create Lists
• How to build efficient Queries for Create Lists
• Getting specific with your search to find the data you need

Attendees will benefit the most if they are either: regular users of Sierra Create Lists and familiar with creating and running basic reports; OR have attended the ‘Sierra Create Lists to Increase Circulation – Level 1’ training; OR have reviewed the 1 hour MHLS ‘Create List – Level 1’ webinar at
Register for one of the following sessions through the MHLS online calendar:

Thursday, June 4 from 1:15pm-3:15pm at the MHLS Auditorium (105 Market St., Poughkeepsie 12601)

Monday, June 15 from 1:15pm-3:15pm at the Germantown Library (31 Palatine Park Rd., Germantown 12526)

Friday, June 19 from 1:15pm-3:15pm at the Kent Public Library (17 Sybil’s Crossing, Kent Lakes 10512)

Monday, June 22 from 1:15pm-3:15pm at the Kingston Library (55 Franklin St., Kingston 12401)

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Library Champion Bookmarks

librarychampionHelp the New York Library Association (NYLA) Help Your Library! NYLA and the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) have partnered to create a “Library Champions” bookmark useable year round to build our list of library advocates that are interacting with the NYLA Online Advocacy Center (OAC). Our Government Relations expert at NYLA, Mike Neppl, has challenged the library community to build our list, we need more than double the number of advocates currently enrolled in the OAC to make more of an impression during budget negotiations at the state level. The bookmark is appropriate for use year-round. NYLA will provide a letter in the OAC that can be sent at any time of year so that people new to the interface can take action right away, not just January – April. A pack of these bookmarks will be coming to your library, we ask that you help NYLA help you by distributing these to your trustees, Friends, patrons and staff who are not current users of the OAC.

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Trustee Essentials Workshop


Essential Trustee Duties and Responsibilities
Presented by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability & Merribeth Advocate, MHLS Assistant Director

Especially for new board members, but open to all. Library board members looking for essential, baseline information to increase their effectiveness in serving on a library board will benefit from attending this session.

Attendees will learn effective ways to carry out the nine essential library trustee duties and responsibilities (everything the library board does either falls within one of these duties or is done in support of them).

What people are saying:

  • I expected this to be very dry & frankly a bit boring. Not so. It was absolutely enlightening. Enjoyed it and learned a lot. Thanks so much!
  • Excellent program that inspired action steps to introduce to my own library.
  • This was great! Although I have been a board member for a long time, I needed this.

Please register online for one of the following sessions:

Saturday, June 13
10:15am – 12:30pm at East Fishkill Community Library
348 Route 376, Hopewell Junction 12533

Tuesday, June 16
5:30 – 8:00pm at Kingston Library
55 Franklin St., Kingston 12401

Wednesday, June 17
10:15am – 12:30pm at Phoenicia Library
48 Main Street, Phoenicia 12464

Friday, June 19
10:15am – 12:30pm at Starr Library
68 West Market St., Rhinebeck 12572

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MHLS is a cooperative of 66 member libraries and communication is key to cooperation.
With hundreds of library staff and thousands of library trustees and Friends to keep up-to-date we offer a variety of ways to learn about MHLS news and exchange ideas with your peers. We also use online communication tools to facilitate material requests and tech support.

We have added a new page to the “About Us” area of the web site called eCommunications that pulls together all of our eCommunication channels to ensure you stay connected to the news and support you need to help your library thrive!

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Are telephone calls or emails a violation of the Open Meetings Law?

A regular feature of the Library Trustees Association of New York State (LTA)’s newsletter and web site, “Ask Joe Eisner” answers questions that frequently come up for member library boards. Here’s the latest question:

Q: Are telephone conversations, letters or emails between library board members a violation of the requirements of the Open Meetings Law?

A: click here to read the answer…

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Weeding Workshops

Part of the MHLS Increasing Circulation Initiative


The Weeding Workshop You Have Been Waiting For!: Weeding for Packrats, “Would”-chucks, and the Rest of Us presented by Jo-Ann Benedetti and Mary Fellows, consultants at the Upper Hudson Library System will be offered as part of the MHLS 2015 Increasing Circulation Initiative!

Weeding is hard. It’s time-consuming, intellectually challenging, physically taxing, and sometimes dirty. That’s enough to put weeding last on many librarian’s To Do list, even though we know it’s essential.

In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn to:
• Overcome your reluctance to weed
• Establish practices for keeping up with weeding
• Make informed decisions about each item in your collection
• Judiciously dispose of weeded items

Please register for one of the two sessions being offered this June:

Tuesday, June 2nd
MHLS Auditorium (105 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601)


Wednesday, June 3rd
Saugerties Public Library (91 Washington Ave., Saugerties, NY 12477)

Please register online for the workshop that best fits your schedule.

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Speak Up! Washington Needs to Hear From You!

nationallegweekVirtual Library Legislative Day on the Federal Level: All this week library supporters are asked to contact their federal legislators electronically and by phone about key library issues. Your personal, real world library experience is the key to helping federal-level legislators understand how the policies and legislation they are working on can impact library patrons – you know, the people who vote for them! Please join us for Virtual Library Legislative Day 2015: If you’re a Twitter user, join YALSA’s Tweet Your Congressman campaign

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Upcoming Events