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Vol. 13-03                                                                                                                      1.15.13
Open Meetings & FOIL Workshop
Transparency and accountability in library governance is an important responsibility of the library board and director. Two of the main laws that govern transparency are New York State's Open Meetings Law and the Freedom of Information Law.

The Open Meetings Law (OML), which all libraries fall under, concerns the public's right to attend meetings of public bodies. The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) pertains to the public's right to gain access to government records. All libraries with the exception of Association libraries fall under FOIL, however, it is recommended that Association libraries follow FOIL, particularly if they receive a significant public funding. 

MHLS has arranged for a workshop to be presented by Robert Freeman, the executive director of New York State's Committee on Open Government, to educate directors and trustees on the basic components of these two laws and to answer your questions about everything from when you are authorized to go into executive session to how to respond to a FOIL request. Mr. Freeman will also provide information on the new "Disclosure of Records Scheduled for Discussion at Open Meetings" requirement in OML.

Mr. Freeman has worked for the New York State Committee on Open Government since its creation in 1974 and was appointed executive director in 1976. He received his law degree from New York University and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  Mr. Freeman has addressed numerous government related organizations, bar associations, media groups and has lectured at various colleges and universities. He has also spoken on open government laws and concepts throughout the United States, as well as Canada, the Far East, Latin America and eastern Europe, and has taught the only course in an American law school on public access to government information. He is the recipient of numerous honors, the most recent of which is the NYS Government Award for Excellence presented by the New York State Forum for Information Resource Management.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, January 30th from 6:00-8:00pm in the MHLS Auditorium, 105 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. Pizza will be served! Please register online at http://calendar.midhudson.org
MHLS Announcements
MHLS will be closed on Monday, January 21st, there will be no deliveries that day.   

Delivery Reminders - a Message from MHLS Shipping and Receiving Manager, Tom Finnigan: We always like to remind member libraries of our delivery policies at the beginning of the new year so we can continue to provide an efficient and smooth service.
  • Please leave all delivery boxes, whether empty or full, at one location in your library.
  • Please keep a clear and wide enough path outside and inside for the driver to maneuver a hand truck through. Earlier this month we could not make some deliveries due to snow blocked entrances.
  • The Non-Bin Form must be attached to any materials going through the MHLS delivery system that are separate from the regular shipping bins. Materials will not be picked up unless this form is attached. The form is available at the link below.
  • Please review the Delivery and Packaging Recommendations available at http://bit.ly/ZHv7Sx
Thank you for your cooperation regarding the delivery. A complete list of member library responsibilities related to the delivery system can be found at http://bit.ly/UL9hwf
MHLS Libraries
Congratulations to the Cairo Public Library are in order! The Greene County Legislature presented the Ellen Rettus Planning Achievement Award to the Cairo Public Library Board of Trustees for Community and Main Street Revitalization in light of the opening of the brand new Cairo Public Library building in 2012.

Five MHLS Member Libraries named "Star Libraries" by Library Journal: The Library Journal Index of Public Library Service 2012 was released and MHLS member libraries once again found themselves ranked as "Stars"!
  • Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Library (Cold Spring)
  • Philmont Public Library
  • Red Hook Public Library
  • Tivoli Free Library
  • Windham Public Library
The LJ Index is a measurement tool that compares U.S. public libraries on the "quantities of services they deliver." The rankings are based on data reported by member libraries to New York State and the Institute of Museum and Library Services for 2010. To learn more about the LJ Index visit http://bit.ly/Z7XEhb

Acknowledgements: Within the acknowledgements of the new novel by Christine Wade, Seven Locks, MHLS, member libraries and the ever wonderful Elane Farley, director of the Haines Falls Free Library, are given a nod: "The Mid-Hudson Library System loaned me source material, including a register of names of those enslaved in Ulster County. Elane Farley was ever helpful, and her love of books permeates the Haines Falls Free Library, which I will miss the musty smell of and its smallness - when it finds the money to move to its new mid-twentieth century facility.
Professional Development
Get to Know the New Grolier Databases! On January 22nd there is a webinar for staff to become more familiar with the five new databases available through every member library's web site. Grolier is hosting customized training sessions to help educate us about Grolier Online's program features and how to incorporate Grolier Online into your library. The five new online resources are Amazing Animals of the World, America the Beautiful, The New Book of Popular Science, Lands and Peoples, and La Nueva Enciclopedia Cumbre. This webinar will be held on January 22. Please visit http://bit.ly/UKct7P to register:
If you have any questions about the webinars please contact Grolier at scholasticcustomersupport@scholastic.com or 1.888.326.6546 option 4.
Resource Sharing & Millennium
For Directors and all Staff who work with Millennium: Now is a perfect time to review the MHLS Resource Sharing Standards approved by the Director's Association. These are the rules that all 66 member libraries agree on to facilitate the amazing network that includes 66 libraries, 2.5 million items, the Millennium automated circulation software, the holds system, delivery system, etc. The standards are available at http://midhudson.org/resource/general/rsstandards.htm

MHLS recommends that the minimum starting salary of a full or part-time librarian with an MLS degree be at least equal to that of a teacher with a master's degree in the same community.


Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: bulletin@midhudson.org

The MHLS Bulletin is available on line at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.