Executive Director's Report
by Jeremy Johanessen, NYLA Executive Director
‘Oh I LOVE my library!’
I get that one all the time. I bet you do too. When people learn that you are in some way tied to the library community, they profess their love for their library. (A few don’t, but we’ll leave them for another column.)
Why does that seem to be so universally true?
I would argue that those that profess their affection aren’t simply wooed by the size of the collection, or the welcoming staff, or spacious meeting rooms, or speedy WiFi – but that they are connecting to something deeper. What so many feel but don’t express is what the library stands for – and what it means to their community. Library lovers are optimists that believe in the inherent goodness of human nature. They believe that if given open access to information, that people will opt to partake, improve themselves, their condition, and the condition of their community. People who support libraries believe in the value of investing in open resources that are available to all members of the community – that when given tools people build bridges.
I LOVE my library – and I bet you do to.
Help NYLA Keep On Keepin’ On
With the end of 2016 rumbling toward us, I would be remiss if I didn’t make the obligatory pitch for year-end giving. Your donation to any of NYLA’s many funds are 100% tax deductible! If you are throwing some dollars around to keep them out of the hands of Uncle Sam, NYLA will put them to good use! Donations can be submitted online – Click HERE
2016 Annual Report
As reported at the 2016 Annual Membership Meeting.
- NYLA lead an outstanding Library Advocacy Day on March 2, 2016, with over 800 attendees, a rally in the Legislative Office Building, and meetings with over 54% of the members of the NYS Legislature.
- NYLA’s Online Advocacy Center: Participation increased during the 2016 Legislative Session by 23K actions (+40%), totaling over 77K letters sent; 2000 new advocates to a total of 34,679. Communications reached all but three Assembly offices, and every Senate office. Over 8K messages were sent to the Governor Cuomo.
- The enacted FY2016-17 NYS budget included $4M in additional Library Aid ($95.6M). The 4.3% increase in State Library Aid is on par with the 4.4% increase in school foundation aid. In the two years since we implemented our messaging strategy of “Libraries Are Education”, State Library Aid has increased in proportion to increases in school foundation aid.
- Final rebate of MTA Payroll Tax ($1.3M) for impacted libraries. (Permanent exemption now in place.)
- State Library Construction Aid: Funding increased by $5M to $19M in FY2016-17, this is the first funding increase in nearly a decade.
- NYS Senate Bullet Aid: 541 public libraries were awarded a total of $4.9M million. (Up by 81 libraries / $1.2M)
- Obtained passage and enactment of Narcan in Libraries Bill: S7860 Amedore/A10364 Gottfried
This legislation was written by NYLA after fielding reports of opioid overdoses in several libraries; permits public libraries to maintain Narcan kits, and permits any library employee to voluntarily, after receiving training, administer Narcan to anyone suffering an opioid overdose in the library. It is important to note that the law’s provisions are strictly optional – no library or library employee is required to participate.
- After 40 distinguished years in the State Senate, as a consistent advocate for the library community, sponsor of every significant piece of library-related legislation and champion of hundreds of millions of dollars in library funding, Senator Hugh Farley announced his retirement. The NYLA Council has renamed NYLA’s award honoring excellence in library advocacy, The Senator Hugh Farley Outstanding Advocate for Libraries Award.
- NYLA’s Legal Defense Fund supported the defense of Dewitt Community Library in a suit challenging Education Law 259(1)(a) in NYS Supreme Court.
- NYLA ended FY 2015-16 with 4,833 members (up over 7%). Since July 1, membership has continued to expand and has now exceed 5,000 for the first time ever.
- Bulk purchasing of Organization Memberships via Library Systems has been a leading contributor to this growth.
- Individual members now have the ability to add Sections and Round Tables to their existing membership via the Online Membership Center, providing greater accessibility for participation.
- NYLA Sustainability Initiative was launched; a committee and donation fund were established to support the Initiative and the team has completed a printed Road Map to Sustainability and an accompanying mobile application.
- The 2015 Annual Conference was held in Lake Placid, from October 21-24, 2015 and was a huge success, with 1243 in attendance, and profits in excess of $33K above budget.
- The NYLA e-Institute offered 6 webinars on assorted topics serving over 75 participants, and continued the successful Leadership and Management Academy, and Library Assistants Training Program.
- PLS, SCLA, SSL and YSS all mounted conference events across New York State.
- NYLA125 Capital Campaign yielded over $35K in support toward reducing NYLA’s mortgage obligation.
- Kelsey Dorado was hired in March 2016 for the Communications and Marketing position.
- Becky Cznorobil was hired in June 2016 to the newly created part-time position of Membership Services Associate.
- NYLA Executive Director Jeremy Johannesen and son embarked on a second statewide library tour, visiting 35 libraries, during an abbreviated five-day barnstorming tour.
Fantastic professional development opportunities abound in 2017!
Take Your Child to the Library Day
Saturday, February 4, 2017
A library near you!
Library Advocacy Day
March 1, 2017
YSS Spring Conference
April 28, 2017
State Theatre of Ithaca, Ithaca, NY
Long Island Library Conference
May 4, 2017
Melville Marriott, Melville, NY
SSL 2017 Conference
May 4-6, 2017
Millenium Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
NYLA Executive Director
518-432-6952 Ext. 101