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Vol. 13-52                                                                                                                    12.24.13
Americans Value Public Libraries

The Pew Internet & American Life project has released their latest research on public libraries in America - How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities - and it is filled with good news and advice for libraries!


"Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life."

-Summary of Findings, How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities, Pew Research Center, December 2013


According to this study:

  • 54% of Americans have used a public library in the past year, and 72% live in a "library household."
  • 95 percent of Americans 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed;
  • 95 percent say that public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading;
  • 94 percent say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community; and
  • 81 percent say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere.

The report did reveal a striking need for improvements in getting the word out: "Most Americans know where their local library is, but many are unfamiliar with all the services they offer." About 30% of library users reported feeling unsure about what services the library offers.  


The MHLS Marketing Advisory Committee reviewed the results of this report at their November 2013 meeting and will be using the findings to help fine-tune the planned "non-user outreach survey" project for Spring 2014 which will be designed to assist in gathering information about residents' attitudes towards libraries. If your library is interested in participating in the outreach survey project in 2014 please contact MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich at rsmith@midhudson.org 


Read the full Pew report at http://bit.ly/1bLMEOt 

MHLS Announcements

MHLS will be closed the next two Wednesdays, there will be no deliveries on these days:

  • Wednesday, December 25th
  • Wednesday, January 1st

A Message from Tom Sloan, MHLS Executive Director: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus    - As The (New York) Sun reported in its 1897 editorial, there is indeed a Santa Claus. For MHLS, we can find the spirit of Santa in the 2013 gifts of eBooks for all provided by the Columbia County Libraries Association, the Greene County Libraries Association, Putnam County Libraries Association, the Howland Public Library (Beacon), the Beekman Library, the Highland Public Library, the Kingston Library, and the Pine Plains Free Library.


With a 55% increase in the circulation of OverDrive downloadable audiobooks and eBooks, purchasing digital materials is a gift that keeps giving.


Merribeth Advocate [madvocate@midhudson.org] has reported a number of easy ways to give including:

  • Requesting a MHLS invoice for your library in whatever amount you wish to contribute; and/or
  • Purchasing digital materials through your own OverDrive account.

Merribeth has also recently reported enhanced access to OverDrive statistics including:

  • Titles YOUR patrons are currently waiting for; and
  • Titles YOUR patrons checked out in the past year.

As The Sun stated, "Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."


The MHLS Bulletin will go on "hiatus" the week of December 30th. The next issue will be published Tuesday, January 7th.See you in 2014!

MHLS Libraries

The Poughkeepsie Public Library District, in partnership with the Children's Media Project, has received a $57,950 grant through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative for a mobile MediaLab to serve children in the city and region.

Marketing, Advocacy & Funding

Save the Date! The New York Library Association has planned the annual Library Advocacy Day event in Albany, NY for THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27th! You may register for the event now at http://calendar.midhudson.org. Watch for more information in January 2014 about transportation options, appointments and the NYLA Legislative Agenda!

Trustee Resources

Annual Library Trustee Association Awards 2014: The Library Trustee Association of New York is focusing a call for nominations for 2014 awards for trustees and Friends in the Mid-Hudson region! Regional awards:(nominations from Westchester, Mid-Hudson, and Ramapo/Catskill systems for 2014)


Outstanding Trustee Award (one recipient): This award will be presented to a trustee who has shown a true understanding of his/her role as a trustee and has demonstrated unusual dedication and expertise in their role as a trustee.


Outstanding Friends Award (one recipient): This award will be presented to an individual in a FRIENDS group who has given extraordinary service as a FRIEND and to recognize his/her contribution in helping to make our libraries a vibrant, active, and essential force in our communities.


Nominations are also open for the following state-wide awards:


Velma K. Moore Award: The award is granted to an individual or group of individuals who has made exemplary contributions to the development of library services in NYS. Nominees may include trustees, a community member, staff or any group of library supporters.


Distinguished Service Award: This award, which has been presented twice in the past will be conferred to an individual or group of people for noteworthy achievement, as evidenced by substantial activities or exceptional service to the library community.


Nominations may be submitted either by postal mail to: Adria Ripka, LTA, 113 Maple Lane, North Syracuse, NY 13212-3838 or email to aripka@librarytrustees.org. Deadline for nominations is midnight February 17, 2014.


United for Libraries/Gale Trustee Conference Grant: United for Libraries is accepting applications for the United for Libraries/Gale Trustee Conference Grant through January 15, 2014. The United for Libraries/Gale Trustee Conference Grant enables a public library Trustee to attend the ALA Annual Conference for the first time. A grant of $850 plus full conference registration is awarded annually to a public library Trustee who has demonstrated service to the library. The Conference Grant, made possible by an annual gift from Gale Cengage Learning, is administered by United for Libraries. A formal presentation to the winner is made at the ALA Annual Conference. For more information and to apply, visit  ala.org/united/grants_awards/trustees/trusteegrant.

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.