New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Executive Director's Report

Executive Director’s Report –December 2014

2014 Annual Report

December is the month of ‘Year in Review’ articles, and this is no exception.  During 2014 NYLA members, together with the NYS Legislature, rebuffed Governor Cuomo’s proposed cut to library aid, and passed two legislative priority bills.  Membership continued to grow in number and engagement, including the formation of a new roundtable.  NYLA continued to serve as a leader in the delivery of top quality professional development, to a number of different audiences, via a number of different formats.  All in all, a successful 2014.  I look forward to working with you all to make 2015 even better.

•    The enacted NYS budget included $1 million in additional Library Aid ($86.6M), $1.3 million in funding to those libraries impacted by the MTA Payroll tax (in lieu of exempting those libraries from the payroll tax), and the Library Construction Aid program was maintained at $14 million.
•    422 public libraries were included in NYS Senate Bullet Aid for a total of $2.5 million.
•    Obtained passage and signing into law of NYLA Legislative Priority bills:

  • o    Library Construction Aid & Matching Provisions    (S.6329 Farley / A.8732 Thiele) which retained the program guidelines on matching requirements to ensure libraries in economically disadvantaged areas are able to make needed capital improvements.
  • o    Maintenance of Effort Waivers   (S.2857-B Farley / A.8852 Thiele) which allows libraries to apply for maintenance of effort waivers to be granted by the NYS Commissioner of Education for a period of up to three years.

•    Another successful Library Advocacy Day; with over 800 attendees, a rally in the Legislative Office Building, and meetings with over 45% of the members of the NYS Legislature.

•    Ended 2013-14 Fiscal Year with 3,829 members. (Currently 4,057)
•    Distributed $3,000 in Disaster Relief Funds to libraries in need.
•    Established new roundtable for library assistants and support staff; the ParaLibrarians Roundtable (PLRT)

Professional Development
•    Held successful conference in Niagara Falls, September 25-28, 2013.
•    Offered 8 webinars on assorted topics serving over 100 participants.
•    Continued the successful Leadership and Management Academy and Library Assistants Training Program.

•    Hired Mike Neppl for the newly created Director of Government Relations and Advocacy position, who also serves as General Counsel to the organization.
•    Completed major capital improvement of replacing the front steps at the NYLA office building.
•    Developed and implemented Credit Card Processing Services for member libraries.
Center for the Book / Digital Literacy
•    Successfully held Annual NYS Writers Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as well as administered the Letters About Literature writing contest.
•    Continued in the second-half of the implementation of the Digital Literacy Project that provides $791,662 in federal stimulus funds over three years to train public librarians on state approved Digital Literacy Standards.  Conclusion of the project targeted for 1-1-2015.

NYLA Strategic Vision

At the 2014 NYLA Annual Membership meeting, a new mission statement was adopted:

“NYLA leads, educates and advocates for the advancement of the New York library community.”

On November 20, the NYLA Council adopted a Strategic Vision Statement to guide the organizations planning and development.

The Strategic Vision reads as follows:

NYLA will advance its mission, in partnership and collaboration with; public, school, academic and special libraries; library systems and staff; librarians and library staff; library trustees, and friends.

NYLA is committed to these Guiding Principles:
1.    NYLA advocates for the New York library community.
2.    NYLA advances excellence in New York libraries.
3.    NYLA enhances member engagement.

Further clarification of each Guiding Principle and defined goals for each:
NYLA advocates for the New York library community.
1.    Introduce and influence legislation and policy impacting libraries and library funding
2.    Assert the position of libraries as an essential part of New York’s education infrastructure
3.    Communicate the economic impact and contributions of all libraries
4.    Cultivate individuals who can champion libraries at all levels
5.    Promote free, open, and equal access to information
6.    Develop a comprehensive messaging strategy
Advocacy Goals
1.    Tie Library Aid funding to sustainable annual education increases
2.    Pass a bill requiring a certified school librarian in all schools (expanded for Elementary)
3.    Address eContent access issues
4.    Develop advocacy and communication calendar and create templates and toolkits
5.    Monitor Civil Service issues
NYLA advances excellence in New York libraries.
1.    Deliver top-quality professional development via a variety of formats

  • o    Conference
  • o    Webinars

1.    Promote exemplars and best practices
2.    Provide training for the development of leaders and leadership skills
3.    Encourage diversity of the library profession
Excellence Goals
1.    Evaluate effectiveness of organization’s professional development and continuing education activities
2.    Identify opportunities for partnerships to encourage diversity
3.    Create a unified NYLA-wide professional development and continuing education calendar
4.    Increase participation in, and awareness of, NYLA awards
5.    Identify opportunities to encourage sustainability in all aspects of libraries and library service
6.    Explore creating a NYLA program-planning institute
NYLA enhances member engagement.
1.    Create multiple opportunities and pathways for member involvement
2.    Provide and promote leadership opportunities within the organization
3.    Encourage inter-member communications
4.    Cultivate a diverse and robust NYLA membership via recruitment and retention activities
5.    Engage iSchools
Member Engagement Goals
1.    Attain 5,000 individual members
2.    Attain 500 organizational members
3.    Arrange informal regional events
4.    Develop NYLA Involvement Pathway Guides
5.    Educate members on communication options

Digital Literacy Project Comes to an End

New York Libraries: Leading the Way to Digital Literacy is a three-year project of the New York Library Association (NYLA), funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The project aimed to (a) create a basic digital literacy curriculum targeting patrons of New York’s public libraries and to (b) train public librarians in the use of the curriculum.   The program draws to a conclusion at the end of 2014.

Since the spring of 2012, 50 workshops have reached over 1000 participants from 58 counties and 393 libraries. The workshops have been located in all regions of the state and have included participants from rural, suburban, and inner city libraries.

The workshops have received overwhelmingly positive evaluations from the participants (84% of participants said they would be likely or very likely to recommend the workshop to colleagues). In turn, these participants and their coworkers have received overwhelmingly positive evaluations from their patrons for the training they provide in their home libraries.  The most recent survey results show that 85% of participants have shared the digital literacy curriculum with colleagues, and that at least 40% of those colleagues have used the curriculum in their own instruction activities.

I want to thank all the libraries and library systems that have hosted workshops, or sent staff to participate in the trainings.  I also want to acknowledge the tireless work of Project Coordinator Mary Anne Waltz, who has served as the backbone of this program.  Mary Anne personally presented every one of the workshops and owned every facet of the project.  As the Digital Literacy project draws to an end, so does the funding for Mary Anne’s position; it is with a heavy-heart they we bid her farewell.  Should you wish to share your well-wishes they can be directed to through December 19.

Looking Ahead

Library Assistants Training Program
Ramapo Catskill Library System, Middletown, NY
Tuesday, March 10, 2015    9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2014    9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday, March 24, 2015    9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

YSS Spring Conference 2015:
Inform, Inspire, Ignite!
Friday, March 27

Take Your Child to the Library Day
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Long Island Libraries and Pop Culture Conference
April 16, 2015

SSL Spring Conference:
Strengthening Our Impact
April 30 – May 2, 2015

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jeremy Johannesen
NYLA Executive Director
518-432-6952 Ext. 101