NYLA 2017 | Conference Program Descriptions

Thursday, November 9

Program Slot  #1, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM

Fighting for Libraries, Fighting for Librarians

Sponsors: ASLS / ESLN
The core values of librarianship are often at odds with corporate efforts to improve efficiency and extract value from workers. Articulating the challenges posed by corporatization to libraries can help librarians locate sites of potential resistance. Organizing as library workers to fight for wages and benefits offers a concrete way to fight back against corporate incursions.

Track: Current Issues & Research
Emily Drabinski, Long Island University

Successfully Implementing Open Educational Resources (OER)

Sponsors: ILRT / ASLS, SMART
How can OER be implemented successfully? Panelists from SUNY OER explore the challenges of this question, including the role of the librarian, instructing faculty, and student responses to OER. Successful OER scale-up and full OER degree programs are a reality in SUNY and there is a strong foundation of system-wide services, experience mentors, and best practices available to support a rapidly increasing number of OER initiatives.

Track: Current Issues & Research
Mike Daly, Fulton Montgomery Community College
Leah Galka, SUNY College at Buffalo
Laura K. Murray, SUNY OER Services and CUNY OER
Anjali Parasnis-Samar, Monroe Community College

Tales of a Jailhouse Librarian

Sponsors: CORT / LAR, PLS
Former "jail librarian" and author, Marybeth Zeman, shares both personal experience and current research on how prison libraries impact inmates' lives.  Prison libraries focus on rehabilitation, not punishment and prepare for re-entry, not recidivism. Presenter will focus on: sharing her experiences as a librarian working with in a county jail and the benefits of building a library for that population, presenting current research and resources regarding benefits of literacy/library programs for the incarcerated, as well as discussing the problems associated with providing services to the incarcerated.

Track: Current Issues & Research
Marybeth Zeman,  


Cross-cultural Communication & Multicultural Competencies

Sponsors: ESRT / ESRT
Emergent bilinguals (EBs), English Language Learners (ELLs), and International Students (ISs) have become a presence in libraries.  Adopting multicultural competencies can facilitate providing effective library services to this diverse population.

Track: Accessibility, Diversity & Unique Populations
Bernadette Lopez-Fitzsimmons, Manhattan College


Level Up Your Productivity

Sponsors: LAMS / PLRT
Our personal productivity is in a constant state of exhaustion because of the endless tasks, email messages, and meetings we manage on a day-to-day basis. This presentation aims to reset our overwhelmed productivity systems by discussing specific methods that focus on setting priorities, creating action plans, and establishing a habitual review process.

Track: Administration & Leadership
Ron Kirsop, Pioneer Library System


Legal Issues in Financing & Building Libraries

Sponsors: PLS / LAMS
This program will provide an overview of common building related issues, including: public votes and when they are necessary; the various funding sources and financing tools available for building projects; bidding requirements; Wicks law issues; prevailing wage issues; permitting and SEQR; consultant contracts; construction contracts; real property issues; and common reasons for litigation.

Track: Administration & Leadership
Robert Schofield, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP
Ellen Bach, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP


Exploring Frontiers of Diversity

When libraries serve diverse populations the results can be invigorating and challenging! A true adventure! It can provoke a clash of cultures, bring up issues of safety and increased expenditures, and tempt libraries to become activity rather than literacy based centers. As libraries expand their scope to increase declining usage statistics, it also places additional responsibility on library staff. What is their scope of power in relation to new populations? As an example, in the Fluvanna Free Library one new population we are serving is the developmentally disabled. This group has presented challenging behavior to the staff who face situations they are not prepared or trained to handle. This has prompted meetings with community agencies to find cooperative solutions.

Track: Accessibility, Diversity & Unique Populations
Lyn Harris, Fluvanna Free Library


Podcasting Without Breaking the Budget

Podcasting is a fun way to educate and inform, but it can also be very daunting, especially for beginners who may not know enough about what equipment is necessary, or how web hosting works. This program will not only walk you through the entire podcasting process, from inception to recording and posting, but will also suggest very affordable and easy-to-use equipment that won't break the bank!

Track: Technology & Digital Information
Chris DeCristofaro, Sachem Public Library
Robert Johnson, Emma S. Clark Memorial Library


Landing a Learning Technology Grant

Sponsors: SLSA / SSL, YSS, ILRT
The Learning Technology Grant has awarded $3.285 million to libraries in the state for the past nine years. This grant has increasingly grown to be a "school library" grant. Seven school library systems received the grant this round. A panel of these School Library System grant recipients will discuss their experience in securing their grants, and their  impact on programs, school libraries and students.

Track: School & Youth Programs, Services, and Literacy
John Brock, NYSED
Pam Berger, Southern Westchester School Library System
Doreen Bergman, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison School Library System
Chris Harris, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership School Library System
Gina Bell, Yonkers City School Library System

YSS Membership Meeting featuring Todd Strasser

Sponsors: YSS / SCLA
Join us for a brief YSS Membership Meeting followed by a presentation from author Todd Strasser – author of more than 140 books for teens and middle graders including the best-selling Help! I’m Trapped In series, and numerous award-winning YA novels including The Wave, Give A Boy A Gun, The Accident, Can’t Get There From Here, Boot Camp, If I Grow Up, and Fallout.

Track: School & Youth Programs, Services, and Literacy
Todd Strasser,  


Program Slot #2, 2:15 PM-3:15 PM

New Web Literacy Tools for Learners

Sponsors: ILRT / RASS, PLRT
Learn to teach web literacy to library patrons and staff using free tools from the Mozilla Foundation. This session will include an introduction to the curriculum and to the badging platform, as well as a hands-on exercise.

Track: Technology & Digital Information
Matthew Kopel, National Digital Inclusion Alliance
Davis Erin Anderson, Metropolitan New York Library Council

Innovation and Disruption in Libraries

Sponsors: ESLN
The presenter will discuss technology disruption as it relates to library work with patrons and with managing access to knowledge. She focuses on the role of technological innovation in services offered—but also on the complexities and risks of balancing disruption narratives with the libraries' established roles in higher education and society at large. Finding a balance in this arena hinges on a better understanding of the difference between the larger relevance of library work as it is commonly perceived, and the ways in which this work has recently changed by and through technological disruption.

Track: Current Issues & Research
Jessamyn West, Harvard University


Passports@Your Library

Sponsors: GIRT / ASLS
Speakers from the Regional Passport Agency (US Department of State) and Passport Acceptance Facilities libraries in New York State will talk about how to become a Passport Acceptance Facility, what is involved in being a Passport Acceptance Facility, and their experiences as Passport Acceptance Facilities.

Track: User Services
Julie DeLisle, Chatham Public Library
Kristine Knapp, Buffalo Passport Agency
Sarah Potwin, Niagara Falls Public Library

Libraries & Confidentiality: Your Privacy is Our Business

Sponsors: IFRT / PLS
Society's approach to privacy has changed in the Google and Facebook era of social media dominance. Libraries operate under a different standard, but why? And should libraries change their philosophy of maintaining strict patron privacy? Join us as we review policies, statements, and law behind our current professional policies and participate in hands on activities  to think through your own approach to library patron confidentiality and privacy issues that impact all types of libraries.

Track: Current Issues & Research
Kate Ross, St. John Fisher College, Lavery Library
Nancy Greco, St. John Fisher College, Lavery Library

I STILL Don't Want to Talk About It

Whether you are a newbie or seasoned pro, personal interactions can be difficult and uncomfortable. Get tips and tools from experienced presenters who will discuss real scenarios and solutions involving personnel and patrons.

Track: Administration & Leadership
Gerald Nichols, Palmer Institute for Public Library Organization and Management
Lisa Rosenblum, Brooklyn Public Library
Mary Jean Jakubowski, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library


STEAMing Up Your Library Programs

Whether your library is large or tiny, well-funded or not, incorporating STEAM Programming shouldn’t be daunting, difficult or expensive. By offering STEAM programs to your community, your library can provide an opportunity for students to develop skills in communication, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and analysis. Children, families, and adults will be encouraged to ask questions, learn transferable skills, and delve into basic scientific concepts. Learn how to find talented and passionate instructors, and discover fun and easy ways to transform your existing library offerings into STEAM programs that will inspire creativity, laughter, and camaraderie!

Track: User Services
Leah Hamilton, Phelps Library and STEAM Lab Makerspace
Kimberly Grad, Brooklyn Public Library


I'm a Librarian, Ask Me Anything!

Is there anything you've ever wanted to know about libraries but have been too afraid to ask until now? Ask our panel of amazing librarians! Library rockstars Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (Mid Hudson Library System), Mary Coon (Albany Public Library), Christian Zabriskie (Queens Library), and Rachel Ivy Clarke (Syracuse University) discuss what they didn’t learn in library school, the strangest stories from the reference desk, as well as any other questions fielded from the audience.

Track: Core Knowledge & Career Development
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid Hudson Library System
Christian Zabriskie, Yonkers Public Library
Mary Coon, Albany Public Library
Rachel Clarke, Syracuse University

Everyday Advocacy@NYLA 2017

Sponsors: NYLA
Formed at the 2016 NYLA Conference by Barbara Stripling, the Everyday Advocacy Task Force has spent the last 12 months focusing on how to bring advocacy to the everyday interactions of front line staff, trustees, patrons, and students. This presentation will focus on discussing advocacy and how you can use conversations, connections, and empowered staff to gain allies in your day-to-day advocacy efforts.

Track: Administration & Leadership
Sandra Michele Echols, College of New Rochelle
Ben Himmelfarb, White Plains Public Library
Lisa Kropp, Lindenhurst Memorial Library
Rebecca Lubin, Albany Public Library

The Buddy System

Sponsors: RLRT / SSL, YSS
Expected to do more with less? You know what you do on a daily basis, but do administrators, colleagues and community members understand your value? Feel like you're drowning in a sea of demands with no one to help you to shore? You are not alone! Working with a buddy can help you improve your service, inspire your programming, increase your circulation and raise your profile. Join school librarian Katrina Williams and public librarian Annie Miller as we show you realistic ways to begin a partnership that can withstand choppy seas.

Track: Accessibility, Diversity & Unique Populations
Annie Miller, Greenwich Free Library
Katrina Williams, Greenwich Central School

Git and GitHub For Libraries

Sponsors: SMART / ASLS, NMES
Many non-coders are discovering how helpful Git and Github can be for any sort of distributed workflows. People have used Github for free personal webpages, project documentation, collaborative writing, or even home repairs. While Git can be unintuitive, it is a surprisingly simple and effective tool to manage changes and share documents among a large group of collaborators. Participants will gain knowledge of the typical uses of Git and Github for project planning and metadata version control. They will understand how to start and update a Git repository with basic Git commands, the Github desktop application, or just through a browser. Participants will also learn how to submit pull request to identify issues in other projects, and gain an overview of potential uses of Github Pages. Learn how to pull, clone, and fork your way to better collaborative projects. Computers or coding skills are not required, but participants are invited to bring a laptop for some hands-on introduction. Throughout the presentation, live examples will be shown for multiple skill levels, and participants will be invited to try some simple steps themselves, or just follow along with the presentation.

Track: Technology & Digital Information
Gregory Wiedman, University at Albany, SUNY
Mark Wolfe, University at Albany, SUNY

Program Slot #3, 4:15 PM-5:15 PM

Medical Humanities in Academic Libraries

Sponsors: ASLS / IFRT
Descriptions of medical humanities programs are analyzed using text mining and visualization in order to illuminate opportunities for library collaboration.  Drawing from diverse institutions, the presenters offer concrete examples of library services, collections, and spaces to support research and creative work in this diverse field.  These innovations can be extrapolated to inform the challenges posed by other kinds of interdisciplinary research and programs, as librarians provide guidance to scholars who seek to “choose [their] adventure” in this and other developing fields.

Track: Current Issues & Research
Kathleen Kasten, Stony Brook University Libraries
Jamie Saragossi, Stony Brook University Libraries


Budgets Behind Bars

Sponsors: CORT
Join a panel of corrections and public librarians to discuss strategies and best practices for working with budgets in the correctional facility library environment. Topics to be covered will include: allocation priorities, turning budget lemons into spending lemonade, and identifying and making the most of other available sources of funding and support.

Track: Administration & Leadership
Corinne Leone, DOCCS Central Office
Julieann Polasko, Sing Sing Correctional Facility
Andrew Maines, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

New Americans and U.S. Citizenship

Sponsors: ESRT / SCLA, LAR, RASS
Public libraries can be a key place for immigrants to find the information, support and encouragement they need to begin their path towards U.S. citizenship. We can play a critical role in avoiding confusion about the process by which refugees and immigrants can become citizens.

Track: Accessibility, Diversity & Unique Populations
Evanna M DiSalvo, Maplewood Community Library
Janice Owen, USCIS

Libraries are a Powerful Platform for Change

Sponsors: LAMS / PLS, ESRT, IFRT
Libraries are a powerful platform for positive change in the lives of those we serve. We can change the world, one library at a time. Raise your awareness and be inspired to own your role as a sustainability leader in your community. Our goal: Ensure that New York's communities thrive, bounce back from disruption and are infused with new and better life for everyone. Libraries can lead the way. This event will combine the conceptual with the practical. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how to position the library as a community leader, create mutually beneficial partnerships and inspire future investment in the library.

Track: Administration & Leadership
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Mid-Hudson Library System
Matthew Bollerman, Hauppauge Public Library


Engaging Adult Developing Readers

Sponsors: LAR / ESRT
A Feel for Books, the DC Public Library’s book discussion for adult developing readers, is now in its 26th year.  This session for library staff and adult literacy practitioners will provide: an overview of A Feel for Books; a discussion of the value of book discussions for lower-level readers; advice for planning and facilitating; and a list of books, stories, and other resources.

Track: Accessibility, Diversity & Unique Populations
Marcia Harrington, DC Public Library, Adult Literacy Resource Center

Fostering Digital Literacy with Kids

Kids are constantly being monitored and managed on computers. Perhaps families feel that the home computer needs protection from harm, or the school computers, as a valuable resource, are safeguarded in order to service other students. Because of the control placed on their technology, kids are not learning transferable skills to help them understand how a computer works or how to innovate with software and hardware. Through donations of old equipment to public libraries, kids can learn the basics of computer science and engineering safely. Learn how to establish this easy program with a zero budget.

Track: User Services
Pam McCluskey, Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES


Librarians Learning Online to Teach Online

Sponsors: NYBLC / ASLS
Online instruction provides libraries of all types a way to reach a wider audience with increased opportunities for learning. In order to be successful, library workers must develop new skills to provide high quality instruction online. This presentation will introduce Design for Learning, an IMLS-funded series of free self-paced online modules for library staff to learn how to teach online through a well-rounded approach specific to library instruction. Receive online teaching tips and examples of how each of the modules builds on the others to work toward a final project, so that all learning is immediately applied to a real community: Orientation, Instructional Design, Technologies, Diversity, Community Engagement, Social Media, and the final Capstone project.

Track: Core Knowledge & Career Development
Arden Kirkland, Design for Learning Program, SCRLC
Mary-Carol Lindbloom, South Central Regional Library Council

Hybrid Vigor in the Library

Sponsors: PLRT
Hybrid vigor is a biological term used to describe the enhanced viability that results from heterogeneous breeding. In short, it means that mutts are healthier than purebreds. Albany Public Library and Red Hook Public Library have both embraced the benefits of hiring staff from a wide variety of disciplines. We not only hire librarians, we hire scientists, journalists, psychologists, musicians, artists, nurses, teachers, moms, athletes, and even bouncers. In this program we talk about how skills outside the MLIS are modernizing library service and how all libraries can capitalize on the passions and broad backgrounds of their staff. The results are unique programs that interest the community, open minds, get people talking, and keep the library doors swinging. This presentation addresses how and why to look beyond the MLIS, how Masters-prepared librarians can stand out among similarly educated candidates, and how to turn a group of diverse employees into a dynamic team.

Track: Administration & Leadership
Dawn Jardine, Red Hook Public Library
Scott Jarzombek, Albany Public Library


Funding Campaigns for Small and Midsize Rural Libraries

Sponsors: RLRT / PLS
Small and midsize rural libraries are wholly underfunded. Most operate on an annual budget of less than $100,000. The more rural the library, the less capacity it has to secure sustainable and supplemental resources. This program will offer a step-by-step approach to working with your library system to improve library services by leveraging stable funding within your rural community. Real testimony from successful campaigns will give participants the conviction to lead a grass roots initiative for stable public funding far into the future.

Track: Accessibility, Diversity & Unique Populations
Brian Hildreth, Southern Tier Library System
Margo Gustina, Southern Tier Library System


Beyond Bilingual, Making ELL-Friendly Storytimes

Sponsors: YSS / ESRT, LAR, SCLA, SSL
There are over 200 languages spoken in New York State and libraries are seeing a growing number of immigrant families at their programs. What do you do when storytime leaders and storytime families don't speak the same language? Learn how Brooklyn Public Library has developed simple strategies and techniques to make storytimes for young children friendly to parents and children who are English Language Learners by creating visual schedules, incorporating simple props, using translated resources, using Plain Language, and more! Discover how to incorporate multilingual content into your programs even if you do not speak the language of your families. Hear about BPL’s lessons-learned about presenting storytimes in eight languages throughout the borough.

Track: School & Youth Programs, Services, and Literacy
Rachel Payne, Brooklyn Public Library
Eva Raison, Brooklyn Public Library
Jessica Ralli, Brooklyn Public Library


Politics Required

Sponsor: NYLA
If New York's libraries are to remain viable, we all need to be political actors.  Learn how NYLA, New Yorkers for Better Libraries, and librarians across the state are working from within the political system to make sure libraries are a priority to our state lawmakers.  And if you're not already engaged politically to ensure the future of libraries, consider this your call to arms. If New York's libraries are to remain viable, we all need to be political actors.

Track: Core Knowledge & Career Development
Lauren Moore, Pioneer Library System
Cassie Guthrie, Greece Public Library
Mike Neppl, New York Library Association