Consultants Give Back: Open Office Hours

As a value-added bonus to the 2015 NYLA Annual Conference, a select number of library industry experts have volunteered their time to offer brief (20 minute) consultation sessions.

These 'office hours' will take place on:

Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23, times vary by consultant

at the Olympic Conference Center in Lake Placid, NY.

You must sign up by Monday, October 19 using the links below.
You will receive a confirmation and the meeting information via the e-mail address you submit when signing up.

The following experts have agreed to participate:

Paul Mays: Construction Project Planning

Thursday, October 22  1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
With over twenty years' experience Paul is an accomplished designer, presenter, and research specialist. His design process
incorporates diligent information gathering and creative insight to produce a thorough and precise building design, which places particular
emphasis on reflecting the community in which it is located. He is currently a Trustee for the Southern Adirondack Library System along with several other professional and civic organizations, and a Principal of Butler Rowland Mays Architects, LLP, a library design firm.

Sign up for a time slot with Paul Mays ALL TIME SLOTS BOOKED

Mike Neppl: Budget Vote Campaigns

Friday, October 23  2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
These session are intended for members of the library community to seek insights from NYLA's Director of Government Relations and Advocacy on effective strategies for managing your local budget vote.
A graduate of Albany Law School, Michael Neppl has been with NYLA for two years, and has extensive experience working on political campaigns.

Sign up for a time slot with Mike Neppl ALL TIME SLOTS BOOKED

Claudia Depkin: Civil Service

Thursday, October 22  1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

These sessions provide an opportunity to connect with the chair of NYLA's Civil Service Task Force to pose your specific questions, and make suggestions for future Task Force actions.

Sign up for a time slot with Claudia Depkin

FLS Section Officers: Focus on Friends of Libraries

Thursday, October 22 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Members of the Friends of Libraries Section’s Executive Board will be available to discuss questions related to Friends groups.


  1. Starting a Friends Group
  2. NYLA’s Administrative Support Services to Library Friends Groups
  3. Revitalizing a Friends Group
  4. Membership and Volunteer Recruitment
  5. Updating By-Laws
  6. Maintaining Good Working Relationships between Library Staff and Friends

Lisa C. Wemett, MSLS, is President of the Friends of Libraries Section.  After more than 30 years working in public libraries, Lisa retired in 2009 from the Webster Public Library, located in a suburb of Rochester, where she was the assistant director.  For 9½ years, Lisa served as staff advisor to the Friends of WPL, helping the organization grow their membership numbers substantially and securing their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS.  Lisa has extensive background in training and development for staff and volunteers, program planning, marketing, and supervision of personnel.

Marcia Elwitt is Treasurer of FLS and has served on the Empire Friends Roundtable (now FLS) Board since 2006.  She was a librarian in the Rochester City Schools for 24 years.   In 1998, Marcia joined the Friends of Brighton Memorial Library in suburban Rochester.  She has served as Vice President and Treasurer and two terms as President.  Marcia is currently responsible for Library Advocacy and has previously chaired the committee for the Friends Books Sandwiched In program, the Teen Literary Contest, and the Friends of Libraries Week Celebration.

Susan Swanton is a Member At Large on the FLS Executive Board.  She has been continuously involved in the Empire Friends Roundtable since 2003, serving as newsletter editor for 11 years.  She is the secretary for both the Friends of the Avon Free Library and the Friends of the Gates Public Library.  During her 37 years as the Library Director at Gates, she helped Friends groups organize two times.  Sue helps to coordinate the Friends Council of the Monroe County Library System, where representatives of local Friends groups meet twice yearly to share best practices.

Sign up for a time slot with the FLS Section Officers