New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Executive Director’s Report

2015 Annual Report

As reported at the 2015 Annual Membership Meeting


  1. The enacted NYS budget included $5M in additional Library Aid ($91.6M), $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.
  2. 460 public libraries were included in NYS Senate Bullet Aid for a total of $3.7M million. (Up $1.7M)
  3. 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.
  4. Obtained passage and signing into law of NYLA Legislative Priority bill:

MTA Tax Exemption for Public Libraries & Public Library Systems (S.214 Martins/A.218 Abinanti): This permanent exemption applies to all public libraries and public library systems within the MTA taxing district. Signed into law by Governor Cuomo Chapter 59 of 2015.


  1. Ended 2014-15 Fiscal Year with 3,705 (down 3%) (Currently 3,836)
  2. Established new Section; Friends of Libraries Section (FLS)
  3. Established new roundtable for those interested in the maker movement and STEAM education; the Making and Steam Roundtable (MSRT)
  4. Established new roundtable for those interested in pop culture; the Pop Culture Roundtable (PCRT)
  5. Established NYLA Student Chapters are Syracuse University and University at Albany

Professional Development

  1. Held successful conference in Saratoga Springs, November 5-8, 2014 (1295 attending – exceeded budgeted income)
  2. Continued the successful Leadership and Management Academy and Library Assistants Training Program.


  1. Hired Dana Willbanks for the redefined Communications and Marketing position, with an expanded priority on social media.
  2. NYLA Library Tour – Visited 65 libraries, covering 1600 miles during an 11 day barnstorming tour.
  3. Completed a NYSERDA energy audit of the NYLA headquarters.

Digital Literacy

  1. Completed the implementation of the Digital Literacy Project that delivered 50 workshops; reaching over 1000 participants from 58 counties and 393 libraries; training public librarians on state approved Digital Literacy Standards.

Changes at the NYS Department of Education

After nearly a decade of service, Jeffery Cannell has left the NYS Department of Education, Office of Cultural Education.  During his tenure, Jeff was a tireless advocate for New York’s libraries and museums, as well as for the NYS Archives and Public Broadcasting.  As the Department moves forward with filling the open seat, NYLA has penned the following letter to Commission of Education MaryEllen Elia:

Dear Commissioner Elia:

The New York Library Association believes that the Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education is critically important as a leader for our state’s libraries and cultural institutions, and as a national exemplar for democratic principles and lifelong education.  As you contemplate the appointment of the next Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education we strongly urge you to appoint a certified, professional librarian with the following competencies:

  1. experience as the Director/CEO of a library serving the public and/or research community;
  2. expertise in the management of digital assets;
  3. an understanding of scholarly research and scholarly communication;
  4. communication, marketing and resource development skills; and
  5. vision, entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to collaboration.

With the understanding that the Deputy Commission for Cultural Education is responsible for the NYS Archives, the NYS Museum, and Public Broadcasting, in addition to the NYS Library, the next Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education will be the spokesperson and a partner in the State’s library and cultural community, requiring an understanding of the integral role these institutions play in formal and autodidactic education, economic development, digital fluency and community cohesion.  These skills are incumbent upon a professional librarian, and are the foundation of the operation of each of the component divisions of the Office of Cultural Education.

Diversity and inclusion are foundational values of the library profession and essential elements in the provision of library resources, services, and staffing. We therefore urge also that, in making this appointment, strong consideration be given to a nominee who is a library leader reflective of the diversity of New York State.

The New York Library Association strongly believes that the opportunities for lifelong learning and personal betterment that our state’s libraries and cultural institutions provide hold the power to transform people’s lives. The next Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education must be a strong advocate for those opportunities, and a champion for equitable access and inclusion.  It is our view, and one we hope that you share, that a professional, career librarian is best suited to understand this role and serve as the next leader of the Office of Cultural Education.

We look forward to working with the next Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and will report once an appointment has been announced.

Looking Ahead

Library Assistants Training Program
Plans are underway to bring this program to the Buffalo area and the North Country in the Spring of 2016.

Take Your Child to the Library Day
Saturday, February 7, 2016

Library Advocacy Day
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Long Island Libraries and Pop Culture Conference
April 14, 2015

YSS Spring Conference 2016: Find Your Stride!
Friday, April 25

Long Island Library Conference
May 5, 2016

SSL Spring Conference: Capitalizing on the Past, Revolutionizing our Future
May 5 – May 7, 2016


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

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