Public Library Section (PLS) Update

Submitted by Deanna DiCarlo, PLS President

The PLS board met via conference call on 6/19/2018 and 7/17/2018, and we also met the evening  before our “Breaking Down Barriers” conference in Canandaigua on 5/31/2018.

Breaking Down Barriers Spring Conference

There were over 50 people in attendance at our one-day conference, and it was a great day for networking and pushing the envelope as to how we can make our facilities and our services more accessible. Check out Twitter archives for #PLSBreakBarriers and our Facebook group for some pictures and comments about the event. The always insightful Jessamyn West spoke about contemporary understandings of the digital divide. Our “Breaking Down Barriers” panel addressed eliminating fines and examining other policies that were written to police bad behavior or rooted in a time when books were scarce resources, and thus may not work in today’s libraries. Sady Fischer delivered an inspiring presentation entitled “Knowing Our Why and Owning Our Impact,” and made the powerful statement that “diversity is inviting someone to the party; inclusion is asking them to dance.” Conference evaluations were mostly very positive and gave the board a lot of food for thought for 2020. Thank you to everyone who presented and attended, and a giant shout out to First Year Director Jennifer Byrnes for serving as our Spring Conference Chair and organizing such a fantastic event for our members!

PLS Elections

The PLS board is excited to welcome our new members in November: Kelly Yim of New York Public Library will begin a three-year term as our President Elect/2019 Conference Curator; Amanda McCormick of the Buffalo Erie County Public Library will begin a three-year term as our First Year Director, Sarah Potwin of the Niagara Falls Public Library will begin a two-year term as Treasurer. We look forward to working with them! Thanks to Dan Hubbs, our Immediate Past President, for serving as PLS Nominating Committee Chair, and to Second Year Director, Patty Uttaro, and Third Year Director, Katie Hayduke, for serving on the committee.

PLS Awards

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application for a PLS award! We had 23 submissions for our five conference scholarships, five submissions for our new Innovative Program award, and two submissions each for our Building and Best Practices awards. Our Second Vice President Dawn Peters is chairing the Awards Committee, and we will announce the recipients next month.

PLS Fiscal Year

At our May 31 meeting, the board discussed changing our January to December fiscal year to align with NYLA’s July to June fiscal year, and approved that decision with a formal motion at our June 19  meeting. Treasurer Margo Gustina is leading a subcommittee to address a change in the PLS bylaws that is needed to make it official, and we look forward to submitting this change to NYLA Council for approval in the near future.