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Vol. 13-48                                                                                                                      11.26.13
Legal Issues: Risk Management

On Monday, December 9th, MHLS will host a workshop presented by "the library lawyers," Robert Schofield and Ellen Bach of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP.


This workshop is appropriate for library directors and trustees who are interested in targeted information to help protect your library from litigation.


The workshop will be held on Monday, December 9th from 6:00 - 8:00pm in the MHLS Auditorium at 105 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY.


Topics to be covered include:

  • Employment matters: wage and discrimination
  • 1st Amendment Issues
  • Subpoenas for Library Records / Search Warrants
  • Threats of Litigation

Please register in advance online:  http://calendar.midhudson.org/ 

MHLS Announcements

A message from MHLS Executive Director Tom Sloan: What constitutes political success for libraries? One certain measure is when a community passes a library referendum and by that measure MHLS member libraries have a remarkable record of political success!


When the Election Day votes were counted, seven libraries had passed referendums. These are the latest victories in an exemplary history of ballot vote achievements by member libraries:

  • 2012 Success Ratio: 22:1 (96% passed)
  • 2011 Success Ratio: 28:4 (87% passed)
  • 2010 Success Ratio: 28:5 (85% passed)
  • 2009 Success Ratio: 24:2 (92% passed)
  • 2008 Success Ratio: 22:3 (88% passed)
  • 2007 Success Ratio: 22:4 (85% passed)
  • 2006 Success Ratio: 28:3 (90% passed)

In talking to MHLS members, I have already learned that Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Coordinator for Library Sustainability, provides essential services in helping libraries plan and conduct referendums. Rebekkah routinely studies libraries' funding status and proactively recommends action. She presents regional workshops on sustainable funding (one is coming up in Greene County on December 19th), year-round public relations, and winning your vote. Meeting with directors and boards, Rebekkah facilitates conversations on referendum options, actions, and how best to proceed. Once a decision is made to conduct an operating budget vote or for a building referendum, she helps member libraries outline a campaign including timing, a communications plan, "yes voter" identification, and outreach efforts. For more information please contact Rebekkah at x239 or rsmith@midhudson.org.

The MHLS Public Library Vote Toolbox
offers a  wealth of information and best practice advice for planning a successful library vote... and of course you may always contact Rebekkah at x239 or rsmith@midhudson.org.
MHLS Libraries

MHLS welcomes Tracy Priest as the new director of the Town of Ulster Public Library. Tracy was formerly the director of the Pawling Library, and before that, the Phoenicia Library.


Brooke Dittmar has been named the interim director of the Chatham Public Library. Brooke hails from the Glens Falls area of New York.


The Kingston Library, Mahopac Public Library and Adriance Memorial Library of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District are now Funding Information Network partners of the Foundation Center, a program that was formerly known as Cooperating Collections. Network partners serve nonprofits in our communities by providing funding information about grant makers, and offering training and programs related to fundraising and nonprofit management. Network partners also provide resources for artists and students. To learn more about the Funding Information Network, visit http://foundationcenter.org/fin/.

Resource Sharing & Sierra

Reminder to Directors: Action Memo 13-02 - 2014 Days Closed is due on Monday, December 2nd. On this form please indicate if you want MHLS to change your days closed (some libraries perform this task on their own). For those libraries that would like MHLS staff to change their days closed please indicate:

  1. The days of the week you are closed all year
  2. Any other specific days you intend to be closed
Marketing, Advocacy & Funding
Impact Survey - Advancing libraries through community insight: Specifically designed for public libraries, this survey collects data through a short survey on your computers for about 4 weeks. The goal is to help libraries better understand their communities and how people use public technology resources and results. It is available and free for now. A fee (between $50-$500 depending on the size of the library) is expected for those who do not participate before October 2014. MHLS Assistant Director Merribeth Advocate is seeking interested member libraries that would like to run this survey. If you are interested, please contact Merribeth at madvocate@midhudson.org. For more information about the survey please visit http://bit.ly/16JzJJQ

Reference & Collection Development

Magazine, Paperback & Encyclopedia Donations for Correctional Facility Libraries: We are still collecting magazines to be sent to our correctional facility libraries. Back years of magazines that you have weeded from your collection will be accepted. Gently used novels (especially paperbacks) are also of great interest to our correctional facility libraries. If you are weeding encyclopedias we are looking for two sets: one dated 2002 or after, and one dated 2008 or after. If you bring these donations to a meeting or training session at MHLS (please do not use the delivery for donations) we will be pleased to pass them on.

Trustee Resources

In the first quarter of 2014 library boards will be asked to sign off on their library's Annual Report to New York State. Part of that sign-off is an acknowledgement that your library meets all of the Minimum Public Library Standards. The NYS Division of Library Development offers "Helpful Information on Minimum Public Library Standards" at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/helpful.htm  Questions? Contact MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich at rsmith@midhudson.org or x239.

Administration & Management

At the recent Roundtable for New Directors, MHLS IT Coordinator Robert Drake shared his tips and tools for managing technology. Robert provided extensive documentation for attendees including:

  • Contact & General Network Information Sheet
  • Sample Computer & Printer Inventory
  • Password & License Inventory
  • Technology Task List
  • Information about Technology Plans

To access these resources visit http://mhls.info/tech-documents/. Questions? Contact Robert at rdrake@midhudson.org or x220.


The fall issues of JLAMS, the peer-reviewed journal of the Leadership and Management Section of the New York Library Association is now available online. The lead article is one that will be of interest to many directors in MHLS: "10 Success Factors for "Small Library" Directors." Access the issue online at http://bit.ly/10lEven   

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.