Monthly Archives: September 2015

Friday is the Deadline!

Register today for the MHLS Annual Meeting!

Libraries Build Sustainable Communities will be the theme of the 56th Annual Membership Meeting of the Mid-Hudson Library System and you are cordially invited to join us!

The event will be held on Friday, October 16th, 2015 at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel (40 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601). Registration is required (

Sustainability speaks to our capacity to endure. We are part of our community’s “ecosystem” and must be attuned to sustainability beyond our own operations. Libraries speak to the triple bottom line of sustainability: we impact our local and global environment, contribute to a healthy economy and are a core community institution devoted to social equity. Sustainable libraries are only possible when our communities are also sustainable. Our role as a community partner should encompass a focus on the sustainability of our communities, as well as ourselves to ensure a bright future for us all.


8:30am Registration & Coffee

9:00am Hot Breakfast Buffet

9:45am Annual Meeting

10:45am Keynote Speaker

Our sustainability focus this year is brought to life through our keynote speaker, Paul Gallay the Hudson Riverkeeper and president of the Riverkeeper organization.


His talk is entitled “Do Try This At Home: Citizen Action for Cleaner Water and Sustainability.”

For more information and to download the registration form please visit:

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Public Library Administrator’s Certificate Program

Public Library Administrator’s Certificate Program in Westchester: The Westchester Library System is partnering with the Palmer Institute of Public Library Organization and Management to once again make this certificate program available through WLS and to customize the offering to address regional library realities and the needs of busy library administrators.
The challenges faced by today’s public library administrators require a solid foundation of training and experience. The Palmer School’s post-Master’s Advanced Certificate program in Public Library Administration is designed to develop and enhance the management skills and credentials of professional librarians working within the public library sector and to train the leaders of tomorrow. This certificate program is a five-course, fifteen-credit graduate-level public library management training program. This program is recognized by the New York State Education Department. You will receive an Advanced Certificate in Public Library Administration from Long Island University upon completion of the full program.

Each course will be offered in seven (7) half-day sessions. Classes will meet at the Westchester Library System, 540 White Plains Road-Suite 200, Tarrytown, NY 10591 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Wednesdays. The first course is expected to begin in the Spring 2016, with classes held March through early May. Exact dates will be determined once sufficient enrollment is confirmed.

Instructor: The primary instructors of the program will be Dr. Terry Kirchner, Executive Director of the Westchester Library System, and Jerry Nichols, Director of the Palmer Institute for Public Library Organization and Management, and former Director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System.

Cost: The Westchester Library System / Palmer Institute for Public Library Administration and Management partnership make this program available to library administrators at a group institutional discount rate. With the minimum number of participants (20), the tuition for each class will average $1,300 ($1,250 for 2015-16 academic year to $1,350 for 2017-18 academic year).

Here are some comments from previous participants:
• “This class has been invaluable to me. Every week I come away with ideas for improving my library or resolving current problems. The instructors are extremely knowledgeable! I’ve often wondered why they didn’t include a class like this in the MLS curriculum, but feel it is much more useful when you have some experience dealing with specific library management issues.”

• “I think the class is great! I’m learning a lot of background library things that I never knew/understood and the conversation is fabulous. I think professionally it is helping me for information (obviously), new ideas (or better ways), professional contacts and just knowing that someone else has faced or is facing whatever project I am is very reassuring.”

Interested participating? Please contact Elise Burke at the Westchester Library System ( by November 15, 2015.

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Trustee Essentials Workshop

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

Great 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).

  • Saturday, November 14
    10:15am – 12:30pm at Town of Esopus Library, 128 Canal St., Port Ewen 12466
  • Tuesday, November 17
    5:30 – 8:00pm at Desmond-Fish Library, 472 Route 403, Garrison 10524
  • Thursday, November 19
    5:30 – 8:00pm at Mid-Hudson Library System Auditorium, 105 Market St., Poughkeepsie 12601
  • Friday, November 20
    10:15am – 12:30pm at Germantown Library, 31 Palatine Park Rd., Germantown 12526

All attendees will receive a free copy of the brand new 2015 edition of the Handbook for Public Library Trustees in New York State – hot off the press!

Please register online at

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Dealing with Difficult Patrons

Every library employee encounters difficult patrons and users from time to time. Whether it’s a troublesome group of teenagers, a loud patron, an angry or even dangerous person, the experience of dealing with someone unpleasant is common for staff in libraries of just about all sizes and types.

Please join us for Dealing with Difficult Patrons, a group viewing of the ALA webinar by Dr. Steve Albrecht. Wednesday, October 14 from 2:30 – 4:00pm.


Register through the MHLS online calendar to attend this live webinar at one of the following locations:

●MHLS Auditorium
(105 Market St., Poughkeepsie 12601)

●Saugerties Public Library
(91 Washington Ave., Saugerties 12477)

●Mahopac Public Library
(668 Route Six, Mahopac 10541)

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MHLS Board Meeting

25Board of TrusteesThe MHLS Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, September 16, in the Community Room of the Town of Esopus Library and:
• completed their first review of the Moving Forward assessment report of Coordinated Outreach Service;
• reviewed the Proposed MHLS Planning Process for the Library System Five-Year Plan of Service 2016-2021;
• reviewed the initial letter from attorney, Ellen M. Bach, in response to correspondence received by MHLS from the Town of Union Vale’s attorneys, regarding the implementation of the loan restriction of non-print materials to Union Vale residents;
• agreed to review at the October 16 Board meeting a proposed second letter from attorney, Ellen M. Bach, in response to correspondence received by MHLS from the Town of Union Vale’s attorneys, regarding the implementation of the loan restriction of non-print materials to Union Vale residents;
• presented the proposed MHLS Board’s 2016 Slate of Officers, for approval at the December meeting;
• reviewed and approved the System’s 2015 adjusted mid-year budget;
• approved the MHLS Capital Fund Policy;
• authenticated the System’s Construction Grant Project Application for 2015-2016;
• approved recommendations for 2015-2016 member library Construction Grant awards;
• accepted the resignation of Ulster County Board representative, David Rolfe;
• approved the following dates for its 2016 meetings: Saturday, January 23, (snow date, Tuesday, January 26) ; Saturday, March 19, (snow date, Tuesday, March 22); Wednesday, May 11; Wednesday, July 13; Wednesday, September 14; Friday, October 14; Saturday, December 10 (snow date, Tuesday, December 13). The Annual Membership Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, October 14;
• approved the System’s Family Literacy and Adult Literacy final grant reports;
• approved a Resolution for MHLS to participate in an RFP with the Mid Hudson Joint Management Team (MHJMT) to solicit bids for bandwidth connectivity to the Internet for MHLS and MHLS member libraries;
• went into Executive Session for the purpose of a personnel matter regarding a particular person’s employment;
• were presented a report on Ulster County libraries by Julie Dempsey, Director of the Highland Public Library, and 2015 Chair of the Ulster County Directors Association.

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Orientation for New Staff

Orientation for New Staff: Wednesday, October 7th from 10:00am – 12:00pm in the MHLS Auditorium. Presented by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability and Merribeth Advocate, MHLS Assistant Director, this program is designed for new library staff and volunteers, but open to all who would like to attend.

This workshop provides introductory, baseline information about working effectively in a public library and in the Mid-Hudson Library System.

The workshop will cover:
• The role of the public library in our communities;
• How your library fits into the library structure of New York State;
• Your role as a library representative;
• Helping patrons find what they want;
• Overview of the online catalog, HOMEACCESS database and interlibrary loan; and
• System-wide resource sharing concepts and issues.

Please register online for this event through the MHLS online calendar

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MHLS Trustee Elections @Annual Meeting

mhls_vufind The election of MHLS trustees will be an item of business at the MHLS Annual Membership Meeting (You’re invited! Friday, October 16th at The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel).

MHLS is governed by a fifteen-member board, three trustees from each of the five counties served.

Procedures for Election of Trustees:
Article II. Nominations:

Section 2.01 -The county library association of each county for which a trustee is to be elected shall meet for the purpose of selecting a candidate from their county to nominate at the MHLS Annual Membership Meeting. The chair of the county library association shall submit to the MHLS Executive Director the name of the county library association’s nominee no later than two months prior to the Annual Membership Meeting.

Section 4.03 – Each member library is a voting unit having one vote.

Three seats, one seat in three of our five counties (Columbia, Dutchess and Greene), will be vacant and new representatives need to be elected for a five-year term (2016-2020):

The Columbia County Library Association has nominated Sharon Davis for a five-year term. Ms. Davis’ extensive service to libraries started in the mid 1980’s when she began her career as a Library Media Specialist at the Taconic Hills Central Schools and subsequently held similar positions at the Germantown and Goshen Central School Districts. Ms. Davis has also served as a Children’s Summer Program Coordinator for both the Cornwall Public Library and Guilderland Public Library.

The Dutchess County Library Association has nominated Barry Ramage for a five-year term. Mr. Ramage was appointed to the Red Hook Public Library Board of Trustees in 2005, and has served as Board President for the last eight (8) years. Under his leadership the library has successfully passed two chapter 414 budget referendums, and two chapter 259 budget referendums. In addition, Mr. Ramage worked to facilitate the Red Hook Public Library’s expansion project. He is currently a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor/Financial Advisor for UBS Financial Services in Albany, New York.

The Greene County Library Association has nominated Debra Klein for a five-year term. Debra has extensive knowledge of cataloging, graphic design as well as management skills and has worked since 2007 as Assistant Visual Curator, at the Visual Resources Center of Bard College, and, as a Cataloging, Student Assistant, at the Imaging Center at Smith College. Library affiliations include volunteer work for libraries in Sarasota, Florida, Arlington, Massachusetts, and Dutchess County (Red Hook Public Library).

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Tax Cap Refresher Webinar

On Wednesday, September 30, 2015 from 10:00 – 11:00am please join MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability Rebekkah Smith Aldrich for a webinar designed for library directors and trustees who would like a refresher, or an introduction, to the New York State Property Tax Cap law and regulations. This law impacts all libraries that a) have their own board of trustees and b) have ever had a public vote on their budget (yes, even 414 libraries who have not recently had a vote). Please register online for this event through the MHLS online calendar

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The Battle is On!

Battle of the Books

The 11th Annual Battle of the Books will take place Saturday, September 12th at George Fischer Middle School in Carmel, NY. Opening ceremony is at 9:30 am. To learn more about the program or get directions to the event visit

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Construction Grant Awards Announced!

The FY2015 State Aid for Public Library Construction Grant Program Awards have been announced and eleven MHLS Member Libraries, along with the Mid-Hudson Library System, have been awarded funds. The application process began well over a year ago so these libraries have been waiting a long time for this announcement!

2015 Awards in the Mid-Hudson Library System

The application process for the next round of construction grants is already well underway. Eligible libraries were identified through the Construction Needs & Intent to Apply action memo sent to directors in April. The MHLS deadline for applications was in early August. Thinking about applying for the next round (2016-2017)? Questions can be directed to MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich: or x239.

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