Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New York Library Club Holiday Dinner

This francophile librarian had a wonderful time last night at the New York Library Club's holiday dinner. It was held in a little gem of an east side French restaurant called Les Sans Culottes.

The menu was superb and the company convivial.

The panier de crudites was a healthy and attractive appetizer, supplemented by the savory saucissons. I chose saumon a l'aneth for my entree, and a delectable creme caramel for dessert. The website for Les Sans Culottes is: http://lessanscullottesny.com

If you are not yet a member of the New York Library Club, I encourage you to join. The Club's website is: http://www.nylibraryclub.org

Friday, December 3, 2010

The SLA New York chapter - recent and upcoming events

On November 18, the New York chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) presented a very educational and inspiring "Information and Intelligence" forum at Baruch College, CUNY. Speakers ranged from Columbia University Business Professor Rita Gunther McGrath speaking on the nature and potential of "Discovery-driven Growth" to the sports psychologist Tara Jones whose presentation on how to "Thrive on Pressure in the New Normal" drew upon (among others) the example of British champion runner Roger Bannister as a model of how to not only fulfill but exceed one's own expectations for personal growth and success by developing an "unshakeable self-belief" and eliminating "stinking thinking" that destroy's one's own ability to achieve their self-proclaimed goals.


There were also interesting presentations from representatives of Dow Jones, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Leadership Directories, Boardroom Insiders and Lexis-Nexis on a wide variety of themes but all quite relevant to the larger theme of how information professionals can keep themselves relevant - both to their indivdual employers/companies and the needs of information seekers more generally. The need to not only constantly update one's own skills (in areas like social media) was consistently emphasized, along with the larger need to better "market" our profession as a whole.


As the incoming chair of Professional Development for SLA's New York chapter, I especially welcome and encourage all NY Librarians Meetup members - especially currently enrolled LIS students - to attend our upcoming forums and events -our next is on January 6 with Author and Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch senior executive Joe Quinlan. We would also welcome you all to our regularly scheduled "happy hours" which provide an excellent opportunity for ongoing networking. Finally, we would also love for you to JOIN SLA!. As one of the most active organizations in the New York area, and in SLA as a whole, the New York Chapter is a particularly useful venue to develop your professional interests and skills (including both the local forums and the online courses offered through "Click University)as well as the contacts, associations and friendships that will allow you to grow and expand as an information professional prepared for the unique challenges of this current time. Please check out our websites: http://www.sla.org/... (national) and http://www.sla.org/ch... (local) and sign-up for our chapter listserv. We look forward to seeing you!

Steve Essig

Meet the New York Librarians Book Club!

The NY Librarians book group met at Pauline's place on 11/30 to discuss Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. The discussion was led by Larissa, and opening comments were provided by Stephanie.

Larissa initiated the discussion by distributing some wonderful turn of the century images of Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Sauk Centre was Sinclair Lewis' hometown and purportedly the inspiration for Gopher Prairie, the primary setting of the novel. Stephanie then delivered a brief biography of Sinclair Lewis, and discussed his writing in the context of his contemporaries, Theodore Dreiser, Willa Cather, and Ernest Hemingway. We discussed his Nobel Prize, and his nomination, award, and refusal of the Pulitzer Prize.

The discussion progressed and touched on a number of varied topics explored in the text of Main Street such as: librarians, the settlement of the American Midwest, the nature of small-town living, ennui, community development initiatives, judging and criticizing vs. organizing public service programs, architecture, internal and external motivation for behaviors, the reasons a character may choose to return to a place they fled, and finally socially and intellectually uplifting experiences vs. light entertainment.

We also spent a pleasant amount of time talking about our own jobs, interests, and aspirations. In addition to hosting, Pauline distributed free copies of the novel The Eleanor Roosevelt Girls by Bonnie Bluh. The next book to be discussed was not selected, but it was determined that www.GoodReads.com was a useful tool for sharing information about potential reading material.

Generally, it was a lovely evening. Please consider joining us next time.

Jane

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Are You a Bully Boss? - IT Management

Are You a Bully Boss? - IT Management [click to view slideshow]

By Dennis McCafferty on 2010-10-19 CIO Insight

CIO Insight recently tapped upon the expertise of Stanford University's Bob Sutton to find out more about how you can take command of a room full of hotshots and assert your authority. With his latest book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best . . . and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus/Available now), Sutton reveals a wealth of detail about how bosses win – and lose – respect among their teams. In many cases, it's about the personal style of a senior manager. In others, it's about taking control of a moment, even when that moment threatens to turn into a crisis. Sutton also presents a convincing case that being a “bully” boss isn't just a foolproof way to alienate your employees – it also results in a stressful work environment that is counter-productive and can cause excessive absenteeism. This doesn't mean you should unleash your “inner wimp” in tough situations with employees. Here's more from Sutton – who is a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford – on how to sort out the “bad” and “good” within your own managerial instincts and steer yourself in the right direction.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I Need a Hero - New York Comic Con 2010

accelerated degrees

On October 8th & 9th, 2010, I had the opportunity to attend the New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javitz Center. A discount on weekend admission is offered for educators, librarians included, as an incentive for professionals to attend. The price for a weekend pass is $10.00, as opposed to the $50.00 regular price for non-professionals. This also includes a time set aside on Friday morning when the exhibit area is open only for those with professional passes before the convention opens to the general public. Professionals wishing to only attend on Friday are given free admission for the entire day. I opted for the weekend pass since I knew I would want to attend for more than one day. This was my second time attending NYCC, having also gone to the last one in February 2009. If possible, the convention was twice as overwhelming the second time around. Despite my bewilderment, I definitely had even more fun at this year’s New York Comic Con.

Friday, August 27, 2010

“Twitter, Tweets, & Hashtags… Oh My!” – Twitter & Social Media for Librarians

On March 24th, 2010, I was able to attend the monthly NY Librarians Meetup presentation on Twitter and Social Media at the Mulberry Street branch of the New York Public Library. The lecture was given by Nancy Picchi (whose Twitter handle is @islandlibrarian in case you want to follow her), a self-described “Librarian at Large.” “Nancy began the presentation on a humorous note by telling the audience that one of the reasons she loves technology is because “it saves me from housework.” Her talk specifically focused on Twitter, attempting to answer the question, “What is it all about?” and dispel the notion that it’s some stupid fad that will go away sooner rather than later. In this presentation, Nancy attempted to show us how Twitter has changed the way people, and specifically librarians, communicate with each other. She also provided us some of the potential applications we can use the website for our work as information professionals.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

THE POETS HOUSE - OASIS ON THE HUDSON













On the torrid Friday afternoon of July 16th approximately ten intrepid members of the NY Librarians Meetup Group crossed over the sweltering West Side Highway and entered the cool glass oasis of the newly relocated Poets House. For those who love visiting the Cloisters and musing about life as you look out over the Hudson a visit to the Poets House, located at 10 River Terrace, straight down Murray Street, overlooking both the Hudson River and a tree lined park in Battery Park City merits a look see. And visitors don’t have to be enamored with Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson, whose poetic line “I dwell in possibility” adorns the wall leading to the exhibit/performance room to appreciate this marvelous literary space. The soaring glass windows letting in the western sunlight reflected off the Hudson is so awe inspiring and serenity inducing that you will want to plump yourself down on one of the soft fabric couches in the second floor reading room with or without glancing at one of the 50,000 American poetry volumes gracing the open bright white shelving system at Poets House.


Before heading to the second floor reading room, however, I recommend contacting Ms. Carlin Wragg, the Poets House effervescent Community Relations Manager for a guided tour. While we cooled off in the lobby, signed the e-mail list and donned turquoise buttons emblazoned with the words “Poets House” and “poetry advocate” Ms. Wragg introduced herself and the volunteer high school and college interns and the staff member responsible for the poetry community outreach program who also accompanied us on our tour. Like all good hostesses, Ms. Wragg inquired as to our backgrounds which brought us to one of the purposes in visiting the Poets House. While most of the interns were English majors with a strong interest in poetry our group comprised librarians with varying interests, not necessarily of the literary variety. However, as Ms. Wragg and Stephanie, the Meetup group’s organizer, pointed out librarianship is a many splendored career encompassing many facets. Our visit to the Poets House was therefore particularly timely in this epoch of librarian career transitions. Indeed, Ms. Wragg stated that the Poets House began as a literary organization but now also functioned somewhat as a ‘library’ requiring unique library skills.





Those library/literary skills were evident as we viewed the 18th Annual Poets House Showcase which displays all the poetry books published in America for that Showcase year. Also included in the annual showcase are self published poetry tomes sent to the show organizers and chapbooks. Chapbooks form an important part of the Poets House collection and it recently held its second annual chapbook festival. The yearly “special collection” of poetry which numbered 2,000 volumes this year comprises the Poets’ House yearly acquisition; all of the selections are sent in by publishers or self-published poets and there is no special acquisitions budget. The original collection began in a Soho loft from personal donations from the reading collection of poets acquainted with the organization. The Poets House is clearly a hybrid literary/library institution and as we wandered over to the displays to touch the exhibited works Ms. Wragg expressed the idea that the Poets House taught librarianship without the formalities of an official program. I certainly agree that there is nothing ‘formal’ about any of the space in the Poets House and every corner of this glass wonder fulfills its purpose to, according to Ms. Wragg, lend a human face to poetry.



The human face of poetry moved this writer, whose appreciation of poetry wouldn’t merit a Richter scale rating, to pounce on the openly displayed Showcase poetry works. The curators of this annual showcase created a most enticing literary and visual outpouring of poetry books since the books displayed on cherry wood shelves all faced outward, cover face up, and organized alphabetically by publishers so no volumes were granted undue favor. An irrestible force compelled me to pick them up and open them in much the same way a chocolate lover would open up a brightly wrapped bonbon. The exhibition space for the poetry showcase is a marvel and perfectly suited to those with a poet’s soul and a flair for the dramatic. The exhibition room, used for performances and poetry readings throughout the year faces South Teardrop Park which can be seen from wide floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Not only can visitors to the exhibition room look out at a park while hearing poetry readings, but the glass doors fully open out on the park. During poetry readings or dramatizations visitors can sit on the rock outcroppings in South Teardrop Park and watch the performance. Not only does the Poets House’s specially designed performance flow into a stone courtyard but the room is fitted with all the modern multi-media accoutrements such as HD video cameras which record the readings. Soon, these readings will be available online for those who miss the wonderful performances.

As we continued our tour, the Poets House continued to surprise and delight us. After we left the Showcase exhibit the group floated into the whimsical Constance Laibe Hays Children’s Room. This small oddly shaped area resembles a half oval and its glass enclosed space overlooking the lobby area creates the perfect cocoon to introduce children to the joys of poetry. Inside, this lopsided “egg” is an archway under the main staircase – a secret crawl space within the children’s room – a sort of tree house on the ground - where children can hide out and play with the various stuffed animals scattered along the old fashioned desks and floor or look at the many picture poetry books housed in bookshelves. Children are encouraged to write poems on the typewriters – yes, not even electric – located in the children’s area. According to Mike, the children’s room curator, one child cleverly called the typewriter a “screen less computer.” Out of the mouth of babes! Children’s creativity is strongly encouraged in this welcoming space; once a month an author does a program with the kids and these young poets visiting the Poets House use objects in the children’s room in a dynamic way. For instance, there is an old-fashioned catalog with poetry cards which contain images. The youngsters can use these cards to draw images.






Last but not least was our visit to the upstairs aforementioned reading room where the adult poetry works are displayed and can be read staring out the panoramic windows level with the trees overlooking the Hudson. Upstairs is also another climate controlled glass enclosed room for rare poetry book/works exhibits and a conference room whose windows face Ellis Island in honor of the immigrant ancestors of the room’s donors. The Poets House reading room contains ample room for visitors to plug in their laptops and enjoy the view as it provides free wireless. There is also audio equipment in carousels to play poetry readings - providing the perfect accompaniment when looking out to the magnificent sun dappled trees.
The Poets House provides the perfect accompaniment of grace and light for anyone who longs to escape quotidian travails. I can’t wait to read Emily Dickinson overlooking the Hudson River esplanade.

For further information on The Poets House please visit http://www.poetshouse.org/.







By Jodi Cantor







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Monday, August 2, 2010

Biblio-Touring: The Centrale Bibliotheek, Amsterdam

When traveling, some people want to be sure that they see all of a city’s famous landmarks–centuries-old cathedrals, statues commemorating famous leaders, sites of famous battles, proclamations, or historical moments. Some people want to see great art, take part in the nightlife, or eat local foods. And while these all have some (often great) measure of attraction for me, one thing that I really get a kick out of when traveling is visiting libraries. Whether expansive and sophisticated cultural institutions (like the Black Diamond in Copenhagen), private membership libraries (like Another Country in Berlin–which is also a bookstore), or just really lovely local branch libraries (like the Oro Valley Public Library in Tucson), it’s always interesting–on both a professional and patron level–to see the sheer variety of manifestations that this one institution can claim.

On a recent visit to Amsterdam, I had the chance to go to the Central branch library of the city’s public library system: The Centrale Bibliotheek (the largest public library in Europe, according to Wikipedia). It was amazing–I had been inside for less than 15 minutes when I started envisioning myself dropping everything, moving to Amsterdam, learning Dutch, and pretty much living in this exceedingly spacious, beautifully designed, inviting, and well-organized information temple. It sounds like a lot of hyperbole, but I’m not exaggerating. It is (currently) my favorite library in the world.

So what’s so great about this library, you ask? Short of visiting it in person, the best way to answer that question seems to be through a small photographic tour. (Photos embedded as links.)

The library is located very near to the Central Train Station on an island–Oosterdokseiland–that is being developed into something of a cultural center. From the entrance, which faces a harbor, you can see the rather stunning floating Chinese restaurant (The Sea Palace) and the awesome, ship-shaped Nemo Science Museum.

When you enter the library, you find yourself in a lovely, naturally-lit atrium. It’s wonderfully open, but still draws you into the space. And oh, the signage!

As you look up, you can easily read what part of the collection is housed on which floor. Even better, as you go up the escalator, the signs are continued on the underside of the stairs. The excellent signage is continued throughout the library. I particularly liked those on the edges of the stacks.

As the Wikipedia page notes, there are about 600 seats in the library which have internet connections (there are around 1200 seats total). These are spread about comfortably–when I was there, several teens were checking their Facebook pages on couches with computer consuls, and many others were working at computers on small tables near the windows. By far my favorite nooks for research and writing, however, were the study pods: surprisingly cozy-looking fiberglass wombs with small windows on each side. These are set up by the windows facing the harbor and were all filled with students when I visited.

While there was definitely an atmosphere of studiousness, each floor had a really dynamic energy–in part, I think, because people were neither going out of their way to be silent or excessively noisy. The study pods occupied the same floor as the DVD collection and music section. A computer station was set up in the music area playing rotating tracks from several different CDs that users could sort through and listen to like in a music store. The volume wasn’t terribly loud, but you could hear it from the escalators. And from what I could tell, the audible hum of music wasn’t detracting from anyone’s work/study experience. Rather, it made the space feel inviting and casual. Another interesting aspect of this area was that the DVD shelves actually formed the walls of a small viewing room with bean bags spread all over the floor. The stacks curve in on themselves so that the backs form a sort of screen where movies can be shown from a ceiling-mounted projector.

The literature sections were divided by language, with collections in English, Dutch, German, French, and probably more. In keeping with the rest of the library, the stacks were also broken up by visually interesting, multimedia displays–even some with screens playing short movies. The books themselves had library bindings, but original covers had been laminated over the binding, which I thought was a really nice touch.

Some other great aspects to this library (which I don’t really have pictures of):

1. It’s open from 10 AM – 10 PM every day.

2. It has its own cafe on the ground floor, which shares the space with a huge magazine collection.There’s also a restaurant.

3. There’s a 50-seat theater.

So, in summation, this is the library of the future. I don’t know how they fund it, but it is amazing. Anyone want to weigh in on their own favorite libraries?


Larissa Kyzer is finishing her last year in the MSLIS program at LIU's Palmer School and is an assistant organizer with the New York Librarians MeetUp Group. She is starting the New York Librarians Book Club, which will meet every other month (starting in September) to discuss non-professional, library-related books. The first book that the group will discuss is Marilyn Johnson's This Book is Overdue! For more information or to join the group, see the MeetUp page, here: http://www.meetup.com/NYLibrarians/calendar/14293657/

Interview Questions, How to Answer Interview Questions, Job Interview Questions, Examples, Samples: AARP

Interview Questions, How to Answer Interview Questions, Job Interview Questions, Examples, Samples: AARP
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meetup discussion group: Please weigh in!



My name is Larissa Kyzer and I am an Assistant Organizer for the NY Librarians MeetUp Group and an MSLIS student at the Palmer School in Manhattan. I'm interested in starting a book club which would meet every other month to discuss non-professional books about libraries and librarians. Some preliminary ideas for books to read are This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson, Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles, and Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian by Scott Douglas. These are all nonfiction titles, but we could also read some "fun" fiction titles--for instance, there are a ton of "bibliomysteries" featuring librarians.
I'm assuming that people would prefer to meet and discuss in person, but we could also use the NY Librarian MeetUp's existing Goodreads page to post thoughts about the books we read online. I've seen a couple book groups that are only conducted through Goodreads (not in person) and they seem to work pretty well.


So:
1. Are people interested in a library-themed book group?
2. If so, would you prefer in-person, virtual, or combo meetings?
3. Any book suggestions?
Looking forward to your feedback--thanks!




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AASL announces 2010 best websites for teaching and learning | American Libraries Magazine

AASL announces 2010 best websites for teaching and learning | American Libraries Magazine


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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Real Value In Making Work Meaningful - Leadership

The Real Value In Making Work Meaningful - Leadership

By Dennis McCafferty on 2010-07-12
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Why My Library Is Cooler Than Your Library | Bibliofreakblog

Why My Library Is Cooler Than Your Library | Bibliofreakblog


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10 Reasons Why Facebook Won't Challenge Google in Search - Cloud Computing from eWeek

10 Reasons Why Facebook Won't Challenge Google in Search - Cloud Computing from eWeek

 By Clint Boulton on 2010-07-13
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Check it out - or click it out - from New York Public Library

Check it out - or click it out - from New York Public Library

Sunday, July 11th 2010, 4:00 AM

Read more:

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reduction In Force At The Mount Vernon Public Library (Layoffs and Demotions)

In January all the part-time workers had their hours cut in half. I thought more of them were laid off, but that did not happen. This follows a pattern of struggle with the budget. By June, the Mount Vernon Public Library was $400,000 in debt.. On June 4, library management said that they might close the library for three months. I think funds may get tighter near the end of the year.


On July 2, 2010 we had a reduction in force where 14 people were laid off, and 9 people were demoted. The number of full time workers that Mount Vernon before the layoff was 33. More than half of the staff are affected.


The process is done by seniority where the most senior members are reduced in title and moved down a grade. Those directly below them are moved down a grade as well, until it reaches the bottom where those people are laid off. It is a civil service process. It is called bumping. I did not expect it in a library. You get a little booklet produced by municipal civil service which is handed to you as part of the process. If you are in a government department, it is very standardized. The civil service commission monitors the process.


There were two human resource people from civil service, one for the group that got bumped, and one for the group that got laid off. There were also two police cruisers outside in case anything happened. Nothing did which was a blessing.


I got bumped down a grade. I am still where I am. By law, you have to take the demotion, you cannot be laid off. If you decline, you get fired in civil service.


There was a start date of July 2, 2010 and a finalization date of July 17, 2010 for notice for the demotion to go into effect. Between those two times, I remain a Librarian II. Needless to say, there is kind of an urge to contact my representatives and tell them about it. I still have hope.


The hardest part of this was watching the recent hires leave as they were laid off. It changes your perspective. Also, seeing people who had been around much longer than you were being lowered in title was hard.


Talking or writing about the layoff has to be a very calm process, preferably as part of a mass group. For example, on July 8, there is going to be a press conference in front of Mount Vernon, New York City Hall at 12 Noon about the layoff. I'll be working at the time at the reference desk. Part of the job is to remain calm, say very little, avoid negativity in both spoken and written word, and do what you always do. It is kind of an evaluation under pressure.


Stephanie L. Gross asked me if I would like to write about this.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Phyllis Mufson – Career Coach | EmploymentDigest.net

NEW YORK - APRIL 02:  People fill out applicat...Image by Getty Images via @daylife





Phyllis Mufson – Career Coach EmploymentDigest.net







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Public libraries: return on information (ROI) [OCLC]

Inside the Summit Public Library, in the main ...Image via Wikipedia


Public libraries: return on information (ROI) [OCLC]
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How to Control Facebook's New Privacy Settings - Updated - Security from eWeek

Privacy cautionImage via Wikipedia



 


How to Control Facebook's New Privacy Settings - Updated - Security from eWeek by Brian Prince




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10 Reasons to Stop Using Google Web Services - Cloud Computing from eWeek

Outline of a cloud containing text 'The Cloud'Image via Wikipedia
10 Reasons to Stop Using Google Web Services - Cloud Computing from eWeek


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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home | Yahoo! Style Guide

Yahoo! symbol designImage via Wikipedia
Home | Yahoo! Style Guide
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Mashpedia: Multimedia, Social and Real-Time Encyclopedia

Conversations-Lexikon mit vorzüglicher Rücksic...Image via Wikipedia
Mashpedia: Multimedia, Social and Real-Time Encyclopedia
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Welcome to Open Library! (Open Library)

Welcome to Open Library! (Open Library)
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Jobs, Employers, and Job Search Resources - Job-Hunt.org

Jobs, Employers, and Job Search Resources - Job-Hunt.org

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Inside THIRTEEN » Archive » Journalism in Crisis: A Special Report From Bill Baker, President Emeritus of WNET.ORG

Inside THIRTEEN » Archive » Journalism in Crisis: A Special Report From Bill Baker, President Emeritus of WNET.ORG

Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget. - By Michael Agger - Slate Magazine

Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget. - By Michael Agger - Slate Magazine
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ALA | Issues & Advocacy

ALA | Issues & Advocacy

10 Laptop and Netbook Alternatives to the Apple iPad - Mobile and Wireless from eWeek

10 Laptop and Netbook Alternatives to the Apple iPad - Mobile and Wireless from eWeek

LibraryLaw Blog: May a library lend e-book readers?

LibraryLaw Blog: May a library lend e-book readers?
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What is Google Voice?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NYLA Information and Advocacy Session

This past Thursday, June 17th 2010, the NY Librarians Meetup Group met for the New York Library Association Information and Advocacy Session at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. The session was moderated by Tinamarie Vella, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism employee, NYLA and NYLM member. NYLA is an organization that is dedicated to the mission of “development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning, quality of life, and equal opportunity for all New Yorkers.” Its mission for library advocacy is to “ensure equitable access to the highest quality library and information services by speaking as the chief advocate for the people of New York; and to promote the visibility and use of libraries and the essential role of library service and information providers.”

Meetup members were greeted warmly by NYLM Organizer and session leader, Stephanie Gross, who started off the session with identifying various contributing factors to the potential decline in financial support to NYC libraries. She pointed out that professional networking needed strengthening in numbers and participation. She suggested that through the power of increased participaction, such groups could more effectively communicate with each other and the necessary governmental parties on how to better serve community libraries. Additionally, Stephanie noted that library advocacy groups need to identify libraries' strengths and weaknesses-- then decide on the best course of action to maintain those strengths and eradicate those weaknesses. If they do not, City Council will soon vote on a proposed budget cut of $37 million dollars, the largest library cut in the history of the city. Libraries will no longer receive the funds necessary to adequately serve their communities. As a result, branches will be closed, jobs will be cut, librarians will be out of work and communities will go underserved.

During the session, one NYLM member remarked that alternatives to public librarianship would have to be sought out for unemployed librarians. She explained to fellow session participants that she was currently searching outside the public library arena to obtain work. Stephanie followed up the member's story by discussing her own experiences in being an academic librarian as opposed to a public librarian. A second NYLM member‘s story about her work as a law librarian seemed to emphasize a need for librarians, in general, to really fight for job security— especially in the face of economic downturn. Other NYLM members who said they were currently seeking employment in libraries, discussed the need in gaining important skill sets in order to obtain and maintain a library position. However, these looming budget cuts are illustrating for many hoping to become librarians that the desire to learn more about the profession may become overshadowed by an even greater need to stay afloat financially.

It was suggested, although only briefly discussed, that the Computer Age is playing a signifigant role in proposals to decrease spending on libraries; perhaps because libraries are becoming less focused on real live service to library patrons and more so on making information accessible to patrons via the World Wide Web. Though also worth mentioning, I think that librarians on the whole are becoming increasingly more fearful of what an emphasis on technology rather than actual person to person service could mean for their professional future. These proposed budget cuts by library administrators are, perhaps in many ways, a wake-up call to NYC library employees and patrons forcing them to recognize what is important to the continuance of the privileges they enjoy. Moreover, these impending budget cuts are making libraries and library patrons realize just how vital advocacy is to the survival of NYC libraries.

The session concluded with handouts, created by Tinamarie, being passed around to all attendees. The handouts provided information on NYLA and how to join the association, so that a greater presence could be brought to the group’s outreach and advocacy efforts in the NYC area. The second handout provided information on a few simple ways to get involved in library advocacy for libraries located in and beyond the NYC area.

For more information regarding NYLA, please visit their website at: http://www.nyla.org/

Additionally, take the Save NYC Libraries’ “Rally Challenge” by clicking on the following link: http://savenyclibraries.org/. Use the Rally in a Box kit, which will give you the tools and guidance needed to hold your own library rally.

To receive a copy of the handouts described above or to give suggestions on how NYLA can increase interest and participation in library advocacy for NYC, please contact Tinamarie Vella at: tinamarie.vella@gmail.com