April 2024: Executive Director's Report


I’d like to start this update with some exciting news! NYLA has hired a new intern who will begin work with us on May 9, 2024. Anna Maria Varney is currently serving as a Graduate Assistant for the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security at the University at Albany’s College of Emergency Preparedness while earning her degree to become a Certified School Library Media Specialist.  In her current role, Anna does research, reviews communications, and supports the department in various marketing projects. Before that, she headed the Account Management department at Overit, a local marketing and advertising agency, where she oversaw all client marketing plans and communication. Anna is very interested in becoming more involved in NYLA’s advocacy and educational activities and joined NYLA in January 2024 for this very reason. We are thrilled to have Anna joining us at NYLA and in the field of librarianship. This is also the first paid internship NYLA has offered to my knowledge, and we’re hoping Anna gets as much out of this experience as we do. She’ll be working part-time at the office from May through November and will be joining us at all NYLA events, so be sure to introduce yourselves and give her a big library land welcome.

In other news, we are rapidly approaching our Spring on the Hill event, which will take place at the Albany Capital Center on Tuesday, April 23.  This single-day mini-conference is focused on advocacy, which is a year-round job for us all. Max and I have put together a fantastic schedule of speakers, including special guest Lisa Varga, Executive Director of the Virginia Library Association and Library Journal Librarian of the Year 2024. If you thought you had missed out on your chance to participate, it’s your lucky day!  While we had planned to close registration yesterday, we have extended registration through this week, so check out the full schedule on our website and reserve your spot today.

NYLA’s brand new Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee is off to a running start with a merchandise campaign on Bonfire. The group came up with a design to celebrate reading and intellectual freedom, and you can get t-shirts and hoodies for adults and kids in a bunch of colors. I went with a red hoodie, which with the white and blue graphic looks very patriotic! What librarian doesn’t need another library t-shirt? If you’re interested in supporting our association and your right to read, and looking stylish while doing it,  check out the campaign here.

As we march through April, I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage everyone to join our new member database. Remember, in our new database, everyone is new! We need all members to create accounts on the new website and by the end of May, all members will need to renew their accounts. If you renewed less than a year ago, Lauren can help to prorate your membership, but you still need to complete the online form before the end of May. This marks the move to our new fixed membership year, June 1 – May 31. Renewal will be at the same time for all accounts moving forward. Remember, NYLA is of, by, and for members, so invest in your profession and support the organization that supports you!

I usually end my articles by inviting you to write me if you want to get more involved, which I still want you to do! But I also want to say that I have been busy traveling to see members all over the state since I started in February 2022 (see this cool map of my visits below), and if you want me to come to your area, your library, or system, I’d love to visit!

I can come to speak about advocacy, what NYLA does and why we do it, or simply to take a tour and listen to what you are up to in your corner of the state. If you have an event coming up or want me to speak to your group, send me an email at: [email protected]. My favorite part of my job is seeing all of you and being part of the amazing work you do every day. I hope to see you all soon!

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