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Executive Director's Report

Executive Director’s Report – August

Legislative Session Wrap-up

For the third consecutive year, the Legislature and Governor agreed on an on time State Budget.  The budget agreement included $4 million in additional Library Aid as well as $1.3 million in funding to those libraries impacted by the MTA Payroll tax (in lieu of exempting those libraries from the payroll tax).  In addition, the Senate distributed $2.5M in Education Bullet Aid to 367 public libraries across the state.

The following three library-related items have been signed into law by Governor Cuomo:

Library Card Info Distributed to Students S.2018 Farley / A.3560 Nolan
This bill will require school districts to disseminate informational materials about applications for public library cards to students, when such materials are provided by the public library.  This item addresses the prohibition in some schools against distributing information for any outside group, and promotes access to publicly funded library resources by public school students.

Library/BOCES Contracts for High-Speed Internet S.5706 Valesky / A.1398 Gunther
Authorizes boards of cooperative educational services to enter into contracts with public libraries for high-speed telecommunications services.

Creation of the Reed Memorial Library District S.5560 / A.6414 Katz
This bill paves the way for the creation of the Reed Memorial public library district in the town of Carmel, New York; giving local library patrons a voice in their library’s budget.

Another library bill that passed in both the Senate and Assembly awaiting action by the Governor:

Streamlining of Conservation / Preservation Aid Program S.2856 Farley / A.4664 Kellner
This action will amend Education Law 273 (7) in order to streamline and modernize the Conservation Preservation Program which impacts the Big Eleven Research Libraries for library research materials.

Other items that were successful in passing in the Senate, but did not reach the floor in the Assembly;

Maintenance of Effort Waivers S.2857 Farley
Allow libraries to apply for a maintenance of effort waiver for a duration to be determined by the NYS Commissioner of Education.

Digital Literacy S.2855 Farley
Substitute language in Education Law, allowing school librarians to offer instruction in grades k-12 on “digital literacy", as opposed to the dated and limited term “internet safety”. Digital literacy entails the skills needed to use technology, the internet and information in the 21st century.

This legislative success is a result of years of hard work by library advocates and building a compelling case for supporting libraries to the State Legislature.  Have no doubt that your efforts in attending Library Advocacy Day and contacting your elected officials played a role in these victories.

Special thanks to our library champions in the Legislature:

Senator Hugh T. Farley
Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco
Senator Joseph E. Robach
Senator David J. Valesky

Assemblyperson Micah Kellner
Assemblyperson Sandy Galef
Assemblyperson Aileen M. Gunther
Assemblyperson Andrew Hevesi
Assemblyperson Catherine Nolan
Assemblyperson Steven Otis

Also many thanks to NYLA’s Legislative Committee, chaired by Kevin Verbesey, Director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System, and their collective efforts in advancing this year’s agenda.

Also thanks to John Hammond, Chair of the New Yorkers for Better Libraries PAC and all PAC contributors for supporting our advocacy efforts and those legislators who champion our cause.

Thank you to all of NYLA’s Library Advocates for your efforts in raising the profile of library related issues.  It is your hard work that has allowed these items to gain the attention they deserve from the New York State Legislature.

NYLA Council Election 2013

The New York Library Association is pleased to announce the results of this year’s Council Election, and to report a 37% increase in participation over last year.

Geoff Kirkpatrick will serve as President-Elect, from Sept. 2013 – Nov. 2014 and then as NYLA President from Nov. 2014 – Nov. 2015.

Sheryl Knab and Jennifer ‘Charlie’ Kelly will each serve as Councilor-at-Large from Sept. 2013 – Nov. 2016.

Rocco Staino will serve as ALA Chapter Councilor, from Sept. 2013 – Nov. 2016.

(All terms start and end at the given years Annual Conference.)

Congratulations to each of our new Council members!

Bios for each of the new elected Councilors remain available – click here.

Thanks to all who participated in the election process; your vote has helped to shape the future of NYLA.

Many thanks to our other candidates:
Christine McDonald
John Myers
Danielle Yeomans

The ballot question regarding the formation of a NYLA regional chapter in partnership with the Suffolk County Library Association (SCLA) was approved, 416 to 26.

A Little Help for Our Friends

In an ongoing effort, the Empire Friends Roundtable is circulating an electronic petition seeking approval for a change in status from Roundtable to Section. Friends of Libraries are essential to the well-being of libraries across the state and nation. As funding sources change and shrink for all types of libraries, Friends of Libraries play an essential role in advocacy, volunteer service, and funding for libraries.  Please consider signing this petition to show your support for Empire Friends to transition from a Roundtable to a Section in NYLA.  It is not too late to add your name!  For complete details – click here.

Welcome to New NYLA Staffers

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Neppl, Esq. as Director of Government Relations and Advocacy, and General Counsel.  This newly created position is responsible for the development and delivery of ongoing advocacy and communications to elected officials and library advocates about the value of libraries to education, economic development and as centers of community.

A graduate of Albany Law School, Michael Neppl comes from the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he has served as Director of Public Information and Correspondence for the past two years.  Prior to that, Mr. Neppl served as Counsel to Senator Eric Schneiderman, and was named to the 2011 “Rising Stars: 40 under 40” list by The Capitol.

I would also like to welcome our new Administrative Support Specialist, Ashleigh Whitfield.  She is a recent (May 2013) graduate of the SUNY Albany MSIS program and is offering a hand to projects throughout the organization.

Proposed Changes to the Organizational Dues Structure

At the Annual Membership Meeting at this year’s conference, NYLA members will be asked to vote on important changes to the dues structure for organizational members.  These revisions will reduce dues for the smallest libraries, and increase dues for those with budgets of $100K or more.  To balance the increase in dues, the proposal calls for organizations to receive a bundle of individual memberships, in proportion to their budget size.  Complete details on the proposal can be found on the website – Click here.

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

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