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Vol. 13-44                                                                                                                     10.29.13
MHLS Annual Meeting Report

Approximately 90 library directors, trustees, staff members and special guests attended the System's 54th Annual Meeting in the Terrace Ballroom of the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel Banquet & Conference Center on October 18th.



Special guest, Senator Terry Gipson presented MHLS Executive Director Mike Nyerges with a $22,828.00 New York State Public Library Construction Grant for the System's Auditorium Basement Asbestos Abatement Project, Senator Gipson spoke briefly about the vital role libraries play in communities, and encouraged direct contact with his office to communicate their unique needs and work in partnership with him to advocate for increased funding for libraries.
(l-r) Mike Nyerges, MHLS Executive Director, Senator Terry Gipson  
and MHLS Board President Peter Hoffmann

At 10:00am, Board President, Peter Hoffmann, called the 54th Annual Meeting to order and welcomed attendees and special guests, he then introduced MHLS Board members, liaisons and staff as well as incoming MHLS Executive Director, Tom Sloan.



Lisa Baker Brill, member of the MHLS Board's Nominations and Elections Committee, conducted the election of four trustees to the MHLS Board:
John Dax, Columbia County (5-year term);
Mark Wilson, Columbia County (1 year term);  

Michele Ment, Putnam County (5-year term); and  

David Rolfe, Ulster County (5-year term).
All four nominees were elected and begin their terms on January 1, 2014.



Executive Director, Michael Nyerges:

  • Presented Employee Service Awards to: Merribeth Advocate, Assistant Director (15 years), and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Coordinator for Library Sustainability (15 years), and thanked them for their exemplary service and commitment to libraries;   
  • Thanked the Directors Association Steering Committee and Advisory Committee Chairs and recognized them for working in collaboration with the System, and for their leadership efforts throughout 2013;   
  • Distributed parting gifts to retiring MHLS Board members: Martin Miller (Putnam County); Jim Tuttle (Columbia County); and Peter Hoffmann (Ulster County); and thanked them for their years of outstanding service to the Board and commitment to the member libraries.   

Board President Hoffmann, on behalf of the MHLS Board of Trustees, presented Executive Director, Mike Nyerges, with a parting gift, in recognition of his excellent service and commitment to libraries.



President Hoffmann informed attendees that notification was sent to all library directors and board presidents in July regarding the three proposed amendments to the System's Bylaws. Following a brief review of the proposed amendments, and there being a majority in favor, President Hoffmann declared the adoption of three amendments to the System's Bylaws. 

Keynote Speaker Sue Considine, Executive Director  
of the Fayetteville Free Library (NY)


Keynote Speaker, Sue Considine, Executive Director of the Fayetteville Free Library shared the strategies for innovation and success, and her vision for community engagement that has earned her library national recognition. She stressed the importance of:

  • Building a great team of staff and the importance of trusting the team;   
  • Getting out into the community and, through listening, discovering what community priorities are that the library needs to align with; and   
  • Fearlessness: trying new things and letting go of things that are not helping the library move towards its goals for the community.  

A lively question and answer period followed.

MHLS Announcements

Inmate Reference Requests: A reminder to all MHLS member libraries that should you receive - by mail - a reference request directly from an inmate in a correctional facility you should not respond to them - you should send it along to MHLS, attention: Merribeth Advocate, to forward to the senior librarian at their correctional facility. This will actually legitimize and facilitate their access to information as the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has a mechanism and procedure for information sent to prisoners, and it must involve the facility library. Keep in mind that there is seemingly innocent information that certain incarcerated individuals are not allowed to have, due to their history of criminal actions, and when the requests come to you unmediated by a facility librarian it is not possible to determine what those specific parameters are. So the best way to serve this patron, if they contact your library directly, is to send the request over to Merribeth at MHLS in the delivery.

Reference & Collection Development

People who are blind, visually impaired or have a physical disability may now download audio and Braille books to their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, if they are registered with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) in the Library of Congress.


The Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) Mobile app is now available through the Apple App Store. The app, which is free, allows readers to download audio and Braille books from their NLS BARD accounts. Access to BARD is provided through local cooperating NLS network libraries. BARD contains nearly 50,000 books, magazines and music scores in audio and Braille formats, with new selections added daily. BARD Mobile will operate on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.3 or later.


For more information, please contact your local NLS network library. The New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) serves the 55 upstate New York counties. TBBL may be reached by calling 800.342.3688 or via email at tbbl@mail.nysed.gov More information about the app is also available on the TBBL site BARD page at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/tbbl/bard/ 

Version 1.0 is now available at Apple's online app store:


The User Guide is also available online: http://1.usa.gov/16tO00o 


To create a free BARD account, see the application instructions on https://nlsbard.loc.gov/  

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.