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Executive Director's Report

Executive Director’s Report – December 2012

Writing Our Next Chapter – Another Successful NYLA Conference

Thank you to the over 900 members of the library community who joined together in Saratoga Springs November 7-10 to participate in our Annual Conference. 

We had a lot to offer to attendees this year.  Conference goers enjoyed the thought-provoking presentation of David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard Law's Berkman Center for the Internet & Society.  On top of that, with over 75 individual programs, there was something for everyone, and this year’s programming was exceptional. 

Those who participated in the Scholarship Bash had the chance to play a round of miniature golf inside the clubhouse at the Saratoga National Golf Course, and with their help enough funds were raised to ensure another year for the NYLA Dewey Scholarship program.

At the Annual Inaugural Banquet and Awards Ceremony, NYLA’s top awards were presented (complete details can be found here.  The banquet also saw the end of Matthew Bollerman’s term as President and the start of the term for Carol Anne Germain. 

The conference was brought to a close by author Rebecca Stead, who’s titles include When You Reach Me, First Light, and Liar & Spy.

We were saddened by the nearly 100 colleagues who were forced to cancel their planned attendance due to Hurricane Sandy.  Donations to NYLA’s Disaster Relief Fund were collected throughout the conference, as well as at a fundraiser sponsored by the Urban Librarians Unite (ULU).  You can contribute to the Disaster Relief Fund online – click here.

Mark your calendar now for the 2013 NYLA Annual Conference – ‘Libraries Spark Imagination’ – September 25-28 in Niagara Falls.

e-Content in the Library

Given the ongoing challenges between libraries and the publishing industry regarding the purchase and use of e-content, at the November 7 meeting of the NYLA Council the following resolution was passed:


WHEREAS, school and public libraries have been legally established for many years in the United States to support our citizens’ right to read, regardless of socioeconomic background, to preserve and disseminate information, and to educate our citizenry; and

WHEREAS, librarians have a professional responsibility to provide a broad range of reading materials for all of our citizens and to support reader’s rights; and

WHEREAS, librarians support publisher and writer profits and fair prices during these times of transition, be it

RESOLVED, that the New York Library Association proclaims that, the one book one reader model should continue to be available for all e-books, both print and audio, copyrighted in the United States; and be it further

RESOLVED, that all e-books, print and audio, should be available for no more than their retail price to all public and school libraries.

Drafted for consideration by:
Richard J. Naylor, Director
William K. Sanford Town Library

The resolution and other news items related to the e-content issue can be found on the NYLA website – Click here.

Advocacy Never Ends

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability at the Mid-Hudson Library System, NYLA Councilor-at-Large and member of the NYLA Legislative Committee reported on the November 29, New York State Assembly's Standing Committee on Libraries and Education Technology hearing on Funding Public Libraries in New York State:

“Last week in Albany the Library leaders from around the state testified as to the burden the 20% cut in library funds since 2008 has put on New York's library systems and local libraries. Jeffrey Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Bernard Margolis, New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries were the first to testify and did an excellent job of orienting committee members as to the scope and scale of New York's library system and information infrastructure. Carol Anne Germain, President of the New York Library Association shared her own, personal library story, of how she transitioned from working as a waitress in the late 1980s to her recent accomplishment of earning her Ph.D. in Informatics at the University at Albany and what a crucial role New York's library systems played in her formal educational advancement. Representatives from all types of library systems shared their accomplishments in using the dollars invested in their organizations to find efficient, cooperative and effective access and empowerment solutions for the citizens of New York. Committee members were particularly interested to hear about cost efficiencies achieved through cooperative efforts in library systems, how libraries are helping get people who are unemployed back to work and the role libraries have played in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. The Committee will provide a report to the full NYS Assembly on the impact of cuts and convey the library community's message that a full restoration to $102 million for library aid is called for in the 2013-2014 State budget.”

Mark your calendar for March 5, 2013 – NYLA’s Library Advocacy Day 2013.  Join advocates from across New York State as we converge on Albany and deliver the message that libraries are an essential part of the Empire State. 

How Many Friends Do You Have? EFR Friend’s Group Census

Working in collaboration with the Empire Friends Roundtable (EFR), NYLA is conducting a census of library Friends groups across New York State. The goal is to gather information on the Friends groups (should they exist) for all 756 public libraries. (A future census will be conducted on Friends groups supporting school, academic and special libraries.)

This online survey can be completed by either a representative of the library or a representative of the Friends group. The process will collect details on the group including contact information, non-profit status, annual budget, number of members and typical activities.

All libraries or Friends groups that respond will be entered into a raffle for a free one year organizational membership for their Friends group, a $50 value. (If the winning group is already a NYLA member, their organizational membership term will be extended by one year.)

Please click here for the survey.  Responses are being accepted through 12-31-2012.

I Love My Librarian Award

This year, three of the winners of the 2012 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian winners are from New York State.
Join your colleagues and friends from the New York library community on December 18, 2012, for this uplifting library event.  Special guest at this year’s event will be award-winning author Robert K. Massie.

Please click for your invitation and to RSVP

New Council Members

I would like to welcome 4 new Council members to the 2012-2013 Roster.  Each new member began their position during the Conference last month.

Sara Kelly Johns will serve as President-Elect until November 2013, when she will assume the role of NYLA President.  Johns is a longtime school librarian, adjunct professor for bibliographic instruction at SUNY Plattsburgh and former trustee and board president for the Saranac Lake Free Library.   “I am ready to be the spokesman and leader for NYLA’s future work on your behalf,” Johns stated.

Tim Burke, Executive Director of the Upper Hudson Library System, has left his post as Councilor-at-Large and will serve as Treasurer-Elect until November 2013, serving as NYLA Treasurer from November 2013-2015.

In addition, NYLA welcomes two new Councilors-at-Large.  Susan Considine, Executive Director of the Fayetteville Free Library in Fayetteville, NY and Marcy Strong, Metadata Creation and Enrichment Library at the University of Rochester will both serve until November 2015. 

Please click here for a full Council roster.

Voting was open to NYLA members in July, so be on the lookout to make your voice heard in the next election!

Closing Out 2012

As 2012 draws to a close many of you will make end-of-the-year donations.  I ask that you all consider contributing to one of NYLA’s funds.  From The Fund for the Future to the Disaster Relief Fund each offers an opportunity to target your support to the causes that matter most to you.  Best of all, every dollar is 100% tax deductible.  To donate to one of NYLA’s Funds – Click Here.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am looking forward to an amazing year with the library community in 2013!

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