NYLA 2018 | NYLA Pre-Conference CE Workshops

NYLA’s Continuing Education Committee (CEC) coordinates the presentation of these in-depth programs.  Immerse yourself in a half or full day program that provides an opportunity to explore a topic in a way that is not possible in the standard conference program format.

CE-A: Community Empowerment Through Wikipedia

Sponsor: NYLA Continuing Education Committee (CEC)
Half Day AM: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

With over 5.5 million articles in English and nearly 400 million visitors each month, Wikipedia has become an important source for information worldwide. Edit-a-thons are typically centered around a pre-selected theme and designed to improve Wikipedia's content, while fostering a sense of community among editors. This workshop will teach you how to edit Wikipedia, explain how to host a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, and discuss the role that editing Wikipedia can play in designing dynamic class assignments. During the first part, we will explore Wikipedia's core principles and systemic biases including gender and racial imbalances. Participants will learn Wikipedia editing basics and be given the opportunity to make live edits to the site. The second part will explain the role of Edit-a-thons and share the process followed by RIT Libraries in hosting its annual Women on Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. Examples of Wikipedia-based class assignments will also be discussed.  NOTE: This class will include hands-on exercises; please bring your own laptop/device.


Frances Andreu is the Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She manages RIT Scholar Works, RIT’s Open Access repository, and is involved with various scholarly communication, digitization, and digital preservation projects. Frances has been on the planning committee for RIT’s Women on Wikipedia Edit-a-thon for the past two years. In her spare time, she enjoys expanding existing Wikipedia articles as well as creating new ones—typically on personal interests as well as Rochester culture and history.
Lara Nicosia is the Liberal Arts Librarian at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).  In this role, she provides research and instructional support to both students and faculty for a variety of humanities and social science disciplines.  Lara regularly supports a Wikipedia editing assignment for a women’s history class and has helped plan RIT’s Women on Wikipedia Edit-a-thon for the past two years.  She is a casual Wikipedian, fixing entries when she notices errors and working on new content as time allows.
Wendy Way is the Circulation Services and Outreach Librarian at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She manages the students that work at the Circulation desk, supports several multi-disciplinary departments with research and instruction, and provides outreach to the general RIT community. Wendy’s participation in the Women on Wikipedia Edit-a-thon includes training volunteers and answering editing questions during the event. She contributes to Wikipedia primarily by copy-editing articles and reviewing pending changes to protected pages.

CE-B: The All of Us Research Program and Public Libraries

Sponsor: Reference and Adult Service Section (RASS)
Half Day AM: 9:30 AM -12:30 PM

The National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine have partnered to support public libraries in meeting the health information needs of their patrons and engaging their communities around the All of Us Research Program. This preconference will provide an overview of the program, precision medicine, and the partnership.

The discussion will revolve around programming ideas, funding opportunities, and community engagement for public libraries around issues of health literacy, precision medicine, and All of Us. Attendees will explore how to create fun and informative health-related programming for different ages and special populations through hands-on interaction and idea-sharing. They will also learn about core health resources, tips for helping library users evaluate health materials, and an action plan to put your new expertise to work.

The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program is an unprecedented effort to gather data from one million or more people mirroring the diversity of the United States to accelerate research and improve health. By taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology, researchers will uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine.                                                                                  

In this workshop, participants will:

  1. Define precision medicine and the goals of the All of Us Research Program.
  2. Gain knowledge of consumer health resources and confidence in providing information to patrons.
  3. Brainstorm and participate in health programming ideas and community engagement strategies around All of Us related topics that will appeal to your community.
  4. Learn about opportunities for funding and training to develop and deploy health programming at your library.

There is no registration fee to participate in this preconference program, which is limited to 30 attendees. Attendees will also be eligible to apply for funding to implement the presented programming ideas at their own libraries.


Dr. Elizabeth Gross Cohn loves libraries and grew up in a number of them on Long Island and New York where she spent her formative years among the stacks and reading all manner of books.
She was named by President Obama as a White House Champion of Change in Precision Medicine for her work at the intersection of precision medicine, public health and health equity. She is the Rudin Professor of Community Engaged Research at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing and was the Inaugural Executive Director of the Center for Health Innovation at Adelphi University. She leads Community Engagement for the All of Us New York City Consortium as well as the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at Columbia University and Cornell University.
She has had funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and New York State Department of Health. As an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars Program, she works to transform lives with both her award-winning teaching and her research. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, in The Atlantic and in Men’s Health.
Dr. Cohn received her Associate’s Degree from Nassau Community College, her Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York at Purchase, her Master’s Degree and Nurse Practitioner from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her Doctorate from Columbia University.
Veronica Leigh Milliner is the All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine - Middle Atlantic Region based in Pittsburgh, PA. She works with public libraries to build capacity to provide health programming, improve health literacy of their patrons, and education & awareness around the All of Us Research Program. She is a librarian who has previously worked in public libraries, both within the United States and abroad, with a focus on programming, youth development, outreach services, and staff training. She is interested in exploring the role of the public library as a community asset and nontraditional library programs and services that improve lives in their communities.

CE-C: Save the Books! Preservation on a Budget

Sponsor: NYLA Continuing Education Committee (CEC)
Half Day PM:1:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Learn how to preserve your fragile and unique items for years to come using affordable tools and easy techniques! A brief presentation will explain how to evaluate and preserve items based on their place in the library collection, with the majority of the time dedicated to a hands-on lab focusing on simple to advanced preservation techniques. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn document cleaning and repair, tightening book hinges, sealing decaying leather, encapsulating documents, rehousing options for fragile items, and more.

Participants will experiment first hand with tools like bone folders, wet and heat-set rice papers, different kinds of erasers and document cleaners, and other tools and equipment to discover what tools and techniques will work best for their library’s collections and budget. Handouts will be provided, and participants are encouraged to bring their own sample materials to work on and bring back to their home libraries. Discarded library books in poor repair will also be available for attendees to practice techniques on and bring back to their home libraries.


Arielle Hessler is the Preservation Technician & Bookbinder at Stony Brook University Libraries, and the small business owner of Ash & Elm Press. She has a B.A. in Ancient and Medieval History from Stony Brook University, and a M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University at Buffalo. Arielle has taught workshops and given presentations on historical and modern bookbinding methods, and has co-presented on archival preservation methods for the LILRC Archives on a Shoestring Preservation Series and at the annual NYLA conference. She also gives lectures on book and art history, and is currently researching the scandalous history of paints and pigments throughout the ages.  

CE-D: What's the Big Idea?  Helping Patrons Protect their Intellectual Property

Sponsor: NYLA Continuing Education Committee (CEC)
Half Day PM: 1:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Ever wonder why, when you make an Orange Julius at home, it doesn't taste like the one at the store? Do you think you could make a Coke if you had the ingredients? Is there an Occupant Propelled Land Vehicle in your garage? This hands-on workshop teaches intellectual property principles before diving into sample patent and trademark searches. Attendees will look at the US Patent and Trademark database, as well as Innovation Q, a powerful patent-searching database subscribed to by the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County. Learn why confidentiality is the greatest asset, the mistakes people commonly make when trying to secure their patent or trademark, and valuable resources available to the public for little or no cost. Bring your great ideas and see if they can be patented or trademarked!


Kate Meddaugh has been the Manager of the Chester F. Carlson Patent and Trademark Center for over ten years. She holds US Patent #8533621, and has self-published two books, securing a federal copyright for both.  She has been a public librarian for almost 20 years, spending most of those years in the Science and History division of the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County. She enjoys reading and gardening, as well as spending time outdoors with her husband and three-year-old son.

CE-E: Data-Driven Decision Making

Sponsor: Leadership & Management Section (LAMS)
Full Day: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

How do you make decisions in your library?  This full-day workshop will demonstrate how using data makes decision-making processes more strategically focused and improves outcomes. Participate in a panel discussion with academic, school, and public librarians sharing how they gather and analyze data to make decisions. After lunch, learn how Brooklyn Public Library created BklynSTAT, an interactive method of providing staff throughout the organization with access to key metrics. Learn how staff was trained to use those metrics, and ultimately how organizational culture was influenced. NOTE: This class will include hands-on exercises; please bring your own laptop/device.


Dr. Jen Cannell serves as the School Library System and Arts Coordinator for Capital Region BOCES in Albany, NY.  Through this position, she provides services and support to school librarians, teachers, and administrators across 24 school districts.  Jen’s professional career began in Fairport, NY, where she was a middle school librarian.  While in Fairport, her colleagues awarded her the Crystal Apple for teacher of the year.  Learning is her passion, and Jen is proud to have completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at The Sage Colleges. 
Rachel Fox Von Swearingen is an associate librarian at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. As a subject librarian, she is responsible for collection development, instruction, outreach, and research services for her assigned subjects as well as participating in library-wide collections projects. Rachel led a team of librarians in a year-long collections analysis in 2016, developing criteria for deselection, data-driven de-selection, and data-driven storage for the 200,000-volume science and technology collection. Rachel received her BM in Music Theory from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and her MLIS from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She is active in the Music Library Association, presenting at local and national conferences and currently serves as a Member-at-Large (2018-2020) for the MLA board.
Brian Hasbrouck is the Library Information Supervisor at the New Lots Branch of Brooklyn Public Library. He uses his experience doing outreach work in jails and conducting oral histories to provide robust services to his community. Helping people and connecting communities to resources are Brian's passions, and he makes good use of available data and statistics to enable his staff to make a difference in their community.
Timothy Furgal  serves as a board member of the Leadership and Management Section of NYLA, in addition to his role as chair of the New Members of NYLA Subcommittee. Tim is currently pursuing a Master of Information Science with a focus on information management from the State University of New York in Albany.
Diana Plunkett, Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives at Brooklyn Public Library has a background in technology and is a key member of BPL’s Strategic Planning team. She manages innovative systemic changes, and takes great pleasure in conceiving and implementing new ideas at the library. She describes her job as “interesting work, with very smart people, doing something that matters to make a difference in many people’s lives.” Her current focus is on BklynSTAT, an interactive way of providing staff throughout the organization with access to key metrics. Her love of data has spanned at least four careers. 

CE-F: Mental Health First Aid

Sponsor: NYLA Continuing Education Committee (CEC) / Public Library Section (PLS)
Full Day: 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis, select interventions and provide initial help, and connect people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. This 8-hour public education program introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help someone who is in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.

The course teaches participants the common risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants learn to support others developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan. Each participant will receive a certificate and 3-year certification as a Mental Health First Aider (which is similar to CPR certification). Lunch will be provided.


Martha Lynch, M.A., NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselor, worked for many years as a mental health therapist with children and adults, specializing in the treatment of trauma. She was also a program supervisor for an adult community mental health clinic. Martha is a firm believer that education regarding the signs and symptoms of mental illness is a powerful tool to reduce stigma and barriers to treatment. When not teaching, spending time with her family in the Adirondacks is her favorite past time (preferably with a tall pile of books).
Patricia McKinny, MS, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, has worked in community mental health for over thirty years as a therapist and clinic manager. Her career primarily focused on treating individuals whose lives were profoundly impacted from serious and persistent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. Mostly retired now, when not seeking gentler challenges such as climbing Adirondack high peaks, she has remained committed to reducing the negative stigma associated with mental illness through community education.

Registration rates for this program are underwritten in part by the NYLA Public Library Section.

CE-G: New Web Literacy Resources from Mozilla and Friends

Sponsor: Section on the Management of Resources & Technology (SMART)
Full Day: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Join us for a fun and interactive workshop on Web Literacy!

This workshop offers public and school librarians, digital literacy specialists, and educators for any age group an opportunity to experiment with innovative methods of teaching web literacy skills. Participants will engage in offline and online activities that offer a conceptual understanding of the Internet, search engines, cookie files, and privacy issues.  We will feature resources from the Mozilla Foundation, which participants can remix or use as-is for students, staff, and patrons in their organizations. 

Attendees will:

  1. Gain a deeper understanding of how the Internet works
  2. Construct search algorithms
  3. Evaluate web resources
  4. Classify tracking files
  5. Take measures to ensure optimal online privacy

This workshop is great for library staff, educators, and for learners who are interested in using the web more effectively.

NOTE: This class will include hands-on exercises; please bring your own laptop/device.


Davis Erin Anderson is Program Manager - Technology, Culture, and Libraries at the Metropolitan New York Library Council. She has been a Mozilla Web Literacy Leader, an SLA Rising Star, and a Library Journal Mover & Shaker. In 2016, Davis collaborated with Ray Pun to edit a collection of essays entitled Career Transitions for Libraries: Proven Strategies for Moving to Another Type of Library, published by Rowman Littlefield.
Sherry Lehane works as a Training Specialist at Providence Public Library in Rhode Island teaching digital literacy skills, English as a second language, and employment readiness skills.  In addition to teaching, she leads several educational technology initiatives in the state including a recent project on Web Literacy skills in collaboration with the Mozilla Foundation and IMLS.