Monthly Archives: March 2016

Earth Day – April 22

NYLA-SI_SustainabilitySpotlightGearing Up for Earth Day 2016: In the spotlight from the New York Library Association’s Sustainability Initiative (NYLA-SI): “Libraries have long been in the reduce-reuse-recycle business. Way before the first Earth Day celebration kicked off 46 years ago, we’d been resource-sharing and reducing consumption for generations. Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd. Don’t miss this opportunity to show your community how the library honors and sustains our most precious resource, our planet. Here are 5 things you and your library can do to celebrate Earth Day this and every year!

1. Partner with your local community supported agriculture (CSA) and be a food pickup location, like the Valley Cottage Library (NY)

2. Engage your community to participate in a regional litter cleanup of parks and roads, like the Mundy Branch of the Onondaga County Public Library in Syracuse, NY

3. Craft using recycled and found materials, like the Daniel McHugh Library in Piermont, NY.

4. Work with your administration and board to sign a resolution like the Climate Smart Community Library Pledge like the Kingston Library, Kingston, NY

5. Help the Earth Day Network reach their goal of 3 Billion Acts of Green by reducing e-waste, beginning a composting project or ending use of disposable plastic in your library

The NYLA-SI Sustainability Spotlight provides weekly news items related to how New York’s libraries are and can be more environmentally sustainable, economically feasible and socially just.

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Courtesy Notices Started April 1st

A new patron-friendly feature was introduced on April 1 – Courtesy Notices! These notices are emails sent to library patrons alerting them to upcoming due dates on items they currently have checked out. This feature is helpful to patrons and can increase circulation figures through patron renewal of items they would like to keep a bit longer.


This new feature, approved by the MHLS Directors Association, was recommended by the MHLS Resource Sharing Advisory Council. Notices will be sent out daily, system-wide, to patrons who have items due in three days.

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Help Defend Education Law 259

dewitt The New York Library Community is stepping up efforts to support the DeWitt Community Library as it battles in court over a library’s right to go to the voters.

The DeWitt Community Library, is chartered as a free association library, and is located in the Town of DeWitt in Onondaga County. Like many free association libraries, DeWitt Community Library uses the provisions of Education Law 259 to place their budget levy before the local voters on the school district budget ballot.

In 2012, a local individual brought suit to challenge the statutory authority granted to DeWitt Community Library, and all free association libraries, to use the mechanisms found in Education Law 259 in placing a budget proposition on a school district ballot. This despite previous determinations by the State Comptroller, NYS Commissioner of Education, and the NYS Supreme Court that Section 259 does confer this right. In June 2015, the Commissioner affirmed this right exists. However, the petitioner in this suit raised novel issues of Constitutional Law, and that part of the suit is now before the NYS Supreme Court. If the court finds in favor of the petitioner on these constitutional issues, it would throw the primary funding mechanism for dozens of free association libraries across the state into disarray.

Because of the potentially destructive statewide impact an adverse finding in this case would have, the New York Library Association has agreed to provide assistance from the NYLA Legal Defense Fund to help defray legal costs. The DeWitt Community Library has already expended $35K defending this matter, and the potential further costs of this litigation are significant – particularly if the court finds merit in these novel constitutional issues, and the library is forced to litigate through the appeals process.

Debby Emerson, President of the New York Library Association, commented “NYLA is pleased to be able to step in and provide assistance to help defer the legal expenses for the DeWitt Community Library against this baseless litigation.”

In order to aid in this defense, you are invited to donate to the NYLA Legal Defense Fund.

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We’re almost there!

now-is-the-timeNow is the time for us to keep the pressure on!
The state budget negotiations are about to heat up, we need to ensure these numbers make it into the final budget. Please take a moment to speak up once again, even if you already have this legislative season. The New York Library Association has provided a new message to THANK legislators for listening to their constituents and to urge them to keep their eye on funding for libraries as the final budget takes shape. We need these numbers to appear in the final budget once negotiations are done.

Act now! Use the NYLA Online Advocacy Center to send a quick message to your legislators. Please share this link with everyone you can. This is our last chance to be heard!

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Erica Freudenberger Named “Mover & Shaker”

erica Erica Freudenberger, Director of the Red Hook Public Library, has been named a 2016 Library Journal Mover & Shaker! This industry award identifies emerging leaders who are “up-and-coming individuals from around the world who are innovative, creative, and making a difference.” Erica was cited for her leadership that has led to impressive increases at her library since 2010:
• 250% increase in annual visits
• 23% increase in circulation
• 102% increase in program attendance
• 97% increase in publicly-approved funding
How has she done it? “Collaboration, partnership, and community engagement,” she says. “We’ve chosen to focus on helping our community reach its aspirations, which has transformed how people feel about the library and our community.” MHLS congratulates Erica on this significant acknowledgement of her leadership and vision. Read the full article about Erica

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Questions About Sierra? Thomas has the answers!

sierraSierra Questions Webinar: Monday, March 21st at noon – MHLS Automation Coordinator Thomas O’Connell will talk about the Sierra Knowledgebase and answer questions. This session takes place via GoToMeeting and will last for about 45 minutes. There is limited “seating” so register today through our online calendar

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From March 17 – 31, American Sniper will be available for every patron that wishes to read it—no holds, no wait lists! The title will be available for unlimited access on the MHLS Digital Download page between midday March 17 and midday March 31 for the duration of the lending period.

By participating in the Big Library Read, your patrons can join a global movement of passionate readers and library patrons who support the availability of eBooks at libraries, and it’s a great way to increase circulation!

Get the word out! There will also be a promotional spotlight at the top of the MHLS Digital Download page. To promote the Big Library Read in your community there is a poster available and additional marketing materials (including Facebook and website graphics).
See also:

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Want to know more about state construction grants?

construction-plans-and-hat Introduction to the State Aid for Public Library Construction Grant Program (webinar)Tuesday, April 12th from 10:00 – 11:00am. Join MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich for this one-hour introductory webinar for an orientation for how to take the first steps to apply for the new grant cycle.

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Upcoming Sierra Upgrade

sierraThe Sierra software will be upgraded to version 2.1 the night of March 22nd. There will be approximately three hours of downtime beginning around 11:00pm and ending around 2:00am. No other disruptions are expected, however, clients may take longer than normal to start the morning of March 23rd. MHLS staff will be on hand to assist with reloading clients if necessary:

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There is still time to make an impact!

Advocacy Day in Albany may have come and gone but that doesn’t mean our work is done! Between now and April 1 intensive discussions are going on to decide the fate of library aid in the State budget. Don’t let up now! Speak up and encourage others to do so as well!

Step 1: Get up to speed on the issues:

Step 2: Get the word out and help others do the same!:

  • By Phone – call the local office of your State Senator and Assemblyperson and drive home the need for:
    • Full formula funding for Library Aid, absent that, the same increase proposed for Education (4.3%)
    • Increase the State Aid for Public Library Construction Program to $30 million
  • Through Social Media – use the New York Library Association’s Virtual Advocacy Day Activities support page to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the word out. Don’t forget to tag your legislators so they can see the level of interest among their constituents when it comes to supporting libraries!


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