New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

NYLA 2013: Libraries Spark Imagination Recap

"When I ask the girls I grew up with what they remember most about me, they always say they remember me going to the library. We weren't residents or members of the library, but I just kept going. One day a librarian suggested I take out some books, as many as I wanted. Without a library card! For this I will always be grateful to the Malverne Library. It opened the door that lead me into the rest of my life, and I'm certain that without the library I would have never become a writer." – Alice Hoffman, Keynote Address, NYLA 2013

In September, NYLA gathered for the 60th time at the Annual Conference & Trade Show in Niagara Falls.  The weather gods smiled down on more than 800 of us, as we gathered to demonstrate just how “Libraries Spark Imagination.”
More than 70 workshops were offered this year, thanks to our many dedicated programmers.E-books once again were “trending.”  Another hot new topic was the concept of the “Human Library,” (link to human library page). In between our diverse programming, more than 90 vendors were on hand to offer insight, products and services to help enhance your library. All in attendance got the chance to see a 3D Printer at work – it was certainly a highlight on the trade show floor.
Distinguished authors also made the rounds of the Conference Center. Best-selling author Alice Hoffman headlined the Conference as our Keynote Speaker.  Other author sightings included PLS’s Author! Author! talk with crime author Harold Schechter, and a lunch with authors Pauline A. Chen, Brian Castner and Will Schwalbe.  Also in attendance, accepting the Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People, was Laurie Halse Anderson.

Fun was had by all when NYLA attendees took over the Aquarium of Niagara for the NYLA-Dewey Scholarship Fund Event. Aquatic life set the perfect backdrop for friends old and new to gather in support of this wonderful cause.

Once again, the Inaugural Banquet and Awards Ceremony honored many distinguished NYLA members, bringing us to our feet and to tears. The following awards were distributed:

The NYLA Outstanding Advocate for Libraries Award recognizes and honors an individual who has made a far reaching, sustained contribution to the promotion and/or support of library and information services to the people of New York.   It was presented to Joe Eisner of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library.  With over 50 years of Public Library experience, Joe compiled and edited the 1963 publication of the Handbook of Laws and Regulations Affecting Public Libraries in NY State.

The NYLA Outstanding Services to Libraries Award recognizes and honors an individual who has made a significant, sustained contribution to the development, promulgation, growth or extension of library/information services to the people of New York. 2012 was a devastating year to some of New York’s libraries due to Superstorm Sandy.  In the aftermath of the storm, it was libraries who stood out as some of the many heroes as New York struggled to rebuild what was lost. It was without question that this award went to all library staff who help their communities during times of crisis.  The NYLA Council adopted a resolution for Library Service to the Community in a Natural Disaster. It can be found by clicking here.

The Mary Bobinski Innovative Public Library Director Award recognizes a public library director who has developed or implemented an innovative program leading to an increase in financial support and/or usage of their library. The award went to Judith Wines of the Altamont Free Library. Struggling to find a permanent home for the town’s library, Wines transformed an 1897 train station into a state of the art library for the people of Altamont.

Also honored that evening were two recipients of NYLA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Our congratulations and support go out to both Marcia Eggleston and Meg Van Patten for their tireless efforts to further the mission of NYLA throughout their membership.

Dewey Fellows were awarded to three NYLA members, selected by designated Sections, to attend the NYLA Annual Conference.  This year’s recipients were:

Margaret Gibson - representing RASS
Jill Leinung - representing SSL
Lisa Wemett - representing YSS

The week was culminated with a talk from ALA President, and New Yorker, Barbara Stripling. “Libraries empower others to be the change they wish to see in the world.” We couldn’t have ended on a better note.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year in Saratoga Springs, November 5-8, 2014.

Many thanks to Sara Kelly Johns for some of the photos seen in this article.

The following slideshow is compliments of Sue Kowalski