KAREN BALSEN TO RETIRE FROM THE NEW YORK STATE LIBRARY

Library Development Specialist Karen Balsen is retiring after ten years of service at the New York State Library effective June 1, 2017.

Ms. Balsen first joined the New York State Library’s Library Development Team in 2007.  Over the past decade, she has worked closely with the 23 public library system youth services coordinators, the leadership of the New York Library Association’s Youth Services Section, the national Collaborative Summer Library Program, colleagues in other units within the State Education Department and dozens of other state and national partners to improve the quality of library services for New York’s children and teens. Her creative and effective use of online resources, social media and other communications tools and her efforts to reach out to diverse audiences and partners have resulted in increased visibility for and use of New York’s libraries.

Under Ms. Balsen’s expert guidance, participation in the State Library’s Summer Reading at New York Libraries program grew by 40 percent from 1.5 million participants in Summer 2008 to 2.1 million participants in Summer 2016.  Creative programs developed by Ms. Balsen, such as the Teen Video Challenge have helped to promote summer reading not just in New York State, but also across the nation. Partnerships fostered under her leadership with the NYS Legislature, 4-H, Hunger Solutions, the New York Council for the Humanities, the NYS Reading Association and others have helped bring more visibility and resources to library programs statewide.

Library Development Specialist Karen Balsen

Since its inception in 2013, Ms. Balsen has led the development of New York State’s first statewide early literacy library program, Ready to Read at New York Libraries. Under Phase One (2014-2016) of this new statewide initiative, Ms. Balsen led the New York State Education Department Team that obtained a modest federal planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, chaired an advisory group of early childhood experts in developing a statewide plan for improving earlyliteracy library services and coordinated the first Ready to Read at New York Libraries Summit in

Spring 2015.  Because of Ms. Balsen’s leadership, the State Library has generated thirteen new statewide early literacy partnerships with statewide organizations such as the NYS Council on Children and Families, Head Start, Reach Out and Read, Educational Television and Public Broadcasting, and the NYS Parenting Education Partnership.  These collaborative partnerships have enabled local libraries to reach deeper into their communities to find and serve young families, including at risk populations.  The State Library has trained and certified a 30+ member Training Cohort of youth services librarians as early literacy expert trainers.  Ms. Balsen efforts have resulted in the effective leveraging of state and federal funds to enable Cohort members to deliver the Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program to libraries across the State.  Thus far, the State Library has partnered with the 23 public library systems to train 1,134 staff from 453 of New York’s 1067 public libraries and neighborhood branches. Training will continue through 2019.

In addition to her work with youth services programs, Ms. Balsen has provided thoughtful leadership and coordination for the State Library’s public library systems and school library systems programs in her role as the Team Leader for Library Development’s Outreach, Networking and Regional Advisory Services Team since 2015. She has managed the State Library’s Adult Library Literacy and Family Library Literacy Programs since 2014. During her ten years at the State Library, she has worked as a regional liaison with libraries and library systems in five of the nine regions – the Capital District, Long Island, North Country, South Central, and Southeastern NY regions.

Ms. Balsen’s ability to relate to her colleagues, library users, librarians, library trustees, local government officials and community leaders and their unique concerns have been invaluable assets to the State Library, to the State Education Department and to the hundreds of libraries and systems that she has worked with over the years. Her deep passion for libraries and her thorough understanding of the positive life-changing impacts that libraries and library staff can have on people from all walks of life will be sorely missed.

In addition to her work at the State Library, Ms. Balsen has also worked as Assistant Director at the Guilderland (NY) Public Library, a branch manager at Albany (NY) Public Library, a reference librarian at Sage Colleges and a school librarian at both public and nonpublic schools. She has an MLS from the State University of New York at Albany and a BA from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, state government and researchers from throughout the United States since 1818.  In its leadership role, the State Library works in partnership with the State’s 73 library systems to bring cost-effective, high-quality library services to the millions who use New York’s 7,000 libraries.  The State Library’s Division of Library Development works with librarians, trustees, school administrators, public officials and local leaders to solve problems and find new ways of supporting the development and improvement of public, school, academic and special libraries across New York State.  One of the nation’s leading library development agencies and research libraries, the New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.  The New York Library is in Albany, New York. Information about the programs and services of the State Library is available at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/

For More Information, Contact:
Carol A. Desch
(518) 474-7196
Carol.desch@nysed.gov   

FRANK REES JOINS NEW YORK STATE LIBRARY

AS LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST

Frank Rees joined the staff of the New York State Library’s Division of Library Development as a Library Development Specialist on March 9, 2017.

Mr. Rees will be providing program management assistance and leadership in the administration of the State Aid for Library Construction program and will also assist in the management of the New York Online Virtual Library (NOVELNY) program. He will also provide oversight for the Public Librarian Certification program and serve as continuing education coordinator.  After a period of training and orientation, Mr. Rees will also serve as a regional liaison from the State Library for multiple public library systems. Each of New York State’s 73 library systems is assigned a State Library staff member as their regional liaison.

Frank Rees

Mr. Rees’s background includes over twenty years of experience as a public library director in special district, association, school district and municipal libraries.  Most recently, he was the director of the Saugerties Public Library where he developed a capital spending plan, improved IT infrastructure, implemented a museum pass program and started a Little Free Library program that will place twelve Little Free Libraries throughout the Saugerties community.  Mr. Rees also serves on the Board of the New York Library Association’s Leadership and Management section.

Prior to his experience at the Saugerties Public Library, Mr. Rees held director’s positions at the Hudson Area Library and the Kent Public Library and served as the Assistant Director at the Howland Public Library.  Mr. Rees holds a B.A. in English from the State University at Plattsburgh, and an M.L.S. from the University at Albany.  He has also held leadership positions on the Mid-Hudson Library System’s System Services Advisory Committee and chaired the Mid-Hudson Library System Director’s Association.  Mr. Rees has also served on the New York Library Association Council.

The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, state government and researchers from throughout the United States since 1818.  In its leadership role, the State Library works in partnership with the State’s 73 library systems to bring cost-effective, high-quality library services to the millions who use New York’s 7,000 libraries.  The State Library’s Division of Library Development works with librarians, trustees, school administrators, public officials and local leaders to solve problems and find new ways of supporting the development and improvement of public, school, academic and special libraries across New York State.  One of the nation’s leading library development agencies and research libraries, the New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.  The New York Library is in Albany, New York. Information about the programs and services of the State Library is available at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/

For More Information, Contact:
Carol A. Desch
(518) 474-7196
Carol.desch@nysed.gov

Using Social Media to Advocate for Libraries by Library Journal

Posted on  by CommunicationServices

When you’re putting together an advocacy program for your library, using social media is crucial—it’s one of the easiest ways to reach targeted audiences in or-der to build your base of support and a simple, cost-effective way to reach advocates where they al-ready are. Just about every library has a website and, at least, a Facebook page. Most also use Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and/or Instagram. It’s all about deciding which market you want to reach.

Social media is straightforward and allows you to create, post, and share content that is imperative to your advocacy effort. One of the best things about nearly any social media platform is that setting up a basic page is free. The second best thing is that advertising and targeting are effortless and inexpensive. Third, you can create library advocates while they are sitting their living rooms or offices.

According to 2015 statistics, Facebook has a 46.5 percent market share of social media users, YouTube is at 21 percent, and Twitter at 4.5 percent. If you want to reach adults, Facebook is key. If you want to reach people who like to watch videos, You-Tube is your best platform. For young moms, Pinterest works best. If you want to reach teens, it’s all about Instagram. Twitter is for news junkies and those who like their information and notes at 140 characters or less.

Getting Social
One of the first steps is establishing your page. A library Facebook page is not the same as a personal account. You must, however, have a personal account to set up a page for your advocacy effort. Click on the pull-down menu on the left side of your personal Facebook page, then choose “create a page.”  You’ll be walked through the rest.

The next step in social media advocacy is to determine who you want to reach. The first level is voters—anyone 18 or older. The next is voters who value the library. That could be young moms or dads (age 25–40), retired adults (over 55), families, and working adults (35–55). Knowing whom you’re targeting with specific messages will help you boost posts to specific audiences.

Next, designate one or two folks from your advocacy team to coordinate social media efforts. They should be enthusiastic library supporters as well as savvy social media users. They should know how to work the social media outlets and how best to take advantage of them. They should also be well versed in the advocacy campaign and its messaging and programs such as Adobe Spark that enable you to design great looking graphics for your posts.

One you’ve figured out which platforms you’ll use—I suggest Facebook and YouTube as the base—then it’s time to develop a social media calendar based on your campaign calendar. Figure out which messages will be promoted each week to support your advocacy efforts. Also, make sure that the Facebook page is not identified as “Acme Public Library” but something like “Acme Residents for Our Library.”

Strategic use of text, images, and videos is paramount to cut-ting through the message clutter and getting yours to stick. Text should be comprehensible and to the point. The images and/or graphics should generate an emotional response and enable people to feel connected to the advocacy strategy. You want to get them to like your page.

Employ graphics that are engaging and attractive. Create videos to support your campaign. For a short campaign that focuses on getting a local village board to approve a bond for a building (without going to the voters), we built the Facebook pageScarsdale Parents for an Improved Library. We used pictures of cute kids enjoying themselves at library pro-grams and schematic drawings for the proposed improvements. We posted the content of every bulk email sent out and created a video of graphics we used (a tool available on Facebook).

Once your posts or videos are done, spend a little money and boost them. Boosts are incredibly effective, reaching a targeted audience for a limited amount of time for a specific amount of money. Note that you can only boost posts or videos from a page, not from your personal account.

Just click on the boost button, and you’ll land on an interface that lets you set the geographic reach (your zip code or the name of your town), the gender and age of the people you want to reach, the time frame, and the budget. You can spend as little as $50 to connect with a specific audience for three days.

When you boost a post on Facebook, you can also boost the same post on Instagram if you have a page on that platform. You don’t need to advertise from YouTube—you can link your You-Tube page to your Facebook page or upload videos directly onto Facebook.

Whatever you do, don’t forget that social media isn’t just for fun—it’s a vital portion of your library’s advocacy plan.

For more information on how you can use social media for your library advocacy campaign, contact Libby Post, President/CEO of Communication Services

Ask Joe Eisner: Does a library trustee have the right to examine library records?

LTA Members:Get Questions Answered
Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?
Ask Joe Eisner (click to learn more)

As part of LTA’s expansion of service to aid and assist library trustees and directors, LTA offers members an opportunity to confer with Joe Eisner, free of charge.

Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 or by email at ltafaqjoe@librarytrustees.org. (Question are handled with discretion.)

For more information about Joe Eisner’s experience and background, please click on the “Ask Joe Eisner” tab under “Resources and Links” on LTA’s website.

Please note: The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained:


Q. Does a library trustee have the right to examine library records?

 The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the service of counsel should be obtained.

 A. Prior to the enactment of the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL),  the New York State Supreme Court rendered the following decision:

Petitioner, a trustee of the Farmingdale Public Library, seeks in this article 78 proceeding to enjoin the Director of the Library and petitioner’s four co-trustees from denying petitioner direct access to the office files and records of the library and to annul and set aside a purported regulation adopted by the board which sets forth the procedure to be followed in examining such records. The petition is dismissed.

It is axiomatic that a trustee of a municipal corporation, having the ultimate responsibility over the affairs of the corporation (Education Law, § 260), has an absolute right to inspect the records maintained by that corporation. What Mr. Justice Christ stated with respect to a member of a board of education has equal application to a trustee of a public library. In Matter of King v. Ambellan (12 Misc. 2d 333, 334-335), he stated:

 ‘A member of a board of education has broad supervisory responsibility over the expenditure of district funds and the efficiency of the school system. He is elected to act upon behalf of the people and to do this he must have full information concerning the whole operation, in the absence of statute or rule of the Commissioner of Education to the contrary. He is presumed to be as trustworthy with information pertaining to the district and its work * * * as any teacher or district employee. All records, except any specifically restricted by statute or duly adopted rule of the Commissioner of Education, must be made open for inspection by a member of the board of education.

‘The court is of the opinion that the majority members of the board of education may not, by resolution or otherwise, restrict this right of every board member to be fully acquainted with the records and business of the district.’

The foregoing statement of fundamental law is in no way disputed by the respondents. On August 8, 1967, the Board of Trustees of the Farmingdale Library, petitioner being the sole dissenter, adopted a rule which provided that all trustees may see all files of the library. At the same time and by the same vote, the board adopted six other rules which in effect provided that the files were to be seen during the regular business hours of the business office of the library, which hours are from Mondays through Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; that the interested trustee should indicate with reasonable particularity the file or files he desires to see; that the trustee be furnished with a list of all such files in order to enable him to determine which file or files he chooses to see; that the files are to be withdrawn and replaced by an employee of the library in charge of the files; that the files are to be reviewed and/or copied on the premises of the library and that the procedure is to take place in such a manner as not to unduly interrupt the normal business of the office.

To say that a trustee is entitled to investigate and peruse the records, however, is not to say that the library must remain open 24 hours a day seven days a week to accommodate this worthwhile purpose. Some reasonable regulation is not only proper, but indispensable. This is recognized in the area of stockholders’ rights to inspect the records of a business corporation (Matter of Steinway, 159 N. Y. 250; Matter of Schulman v. De Jonge & Co., 270 App. Div. 147); and also with respect to members of the public reviewing public records of municipal corporations (Matter of Sorley v. Lister, 33 Misc. 2d 471; Matter of Coughlan v. Cowan, 21 Misc. 2d 667). While it may be argued with some force that the status of a trustee of a municipal corporation is superior to that of a stockholder in a business corporation, or a member of the public at large, and that he may therefore have greater rights of inspection than those afforded to others, still some regulation is necessary. Records must be preserved. They should not be allowed off the premises. All trustees should have equal access thereto, and normal business hours should, insofar as possible, be observed.

The difficulty with petitioner’s position in this case is simply that he cites the regulation and views with great alarm its consequences. He states that the resolution is calculated to dilute his effectiveness; that the board has exceeded its jurisdiction; that the resolution makes the servant the master and the master the servant; that it is calculated to harass the petitioner; and that it is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. Significantly, his papers are utterly devoid of any statement to the effect that he has been denied the right to inspect. Nowhere is it stated that he attended the library and requested files or that files were refused him, or that the employees were utilizing the regulation to delay or hinder his investigation. He has thus failed to present a justiciable controversy

It is fundamental that the board of trustees has the right to adopt regulations (Education Law, § 226, subd. 10) and as long as such regulations do not impede, hinder or unduly delay an inspection of records by a trustee, they must be honored. No showing has been made that this regulation has resulted in any such adverse consequence [emphasis supplied]

It is fundamental that the board of trustees has the right to adopt regulations (Education Law, § 226, subd. 10) and as long as such regulations do not impede, hinder or unduly delay an inspection of records by a trustee, they must be honored. No showing has been made that this regulation has resulted in any such adverse consequence [emphasis supplied]” (Matter of Gorton v Dow, 282 N.Y.S.2d 841; 54 Misc. 2d 509  (August 22, 1967)).

While the foregoing involved a public library, it would seem the principle espoused by the Court also applies to trustees of an association library whose institution as a member of the University of the State of New York, is also accorded the same right by Education Law s260(10) to adopt regulations. Prudence would dictate that if the governing board, whether of an association or public library, desires to make library records  and documents available to members of the board either without charge and/or requirement to file a written FOIL request, and/or at hours other than those designated for FOIL requests to be accepted from the public, a policy statement adopted in accordance with Education Law s260(10) should so state.

Further, it should be noted that Education Law s260-a also requires association library boards as well as public library boards to comply with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law in scheduling and convening board meetings. In accordance with opinions by Counsel to the Committee on Open Government (COG), minutes of such board meetings as well as any documents distributed or discussed at such meetings are FOILable by the public.


Please note: If you have any additional questions about this topic, please contact Joe Eisner at the e-mail/phone above.

 

Trustees in the Know: Binghamton

A day to Learn, Participate and Renew for Library Trustees and Directors

Sponsored by the Four County Library System, the Southern Tier Library System, the Finger Lakes Library System and the Library Trustees Association

Hosted by the Four County Library System at the Broome County Public Library
185 Court Street, Binghamton, NY 13901
Saturday, May 6, 2017• 9:30 am to 3:00 pm


Registration Deadline – April 28, 2017
Sorry.  Registration has closed for this event.

If you have any questions, please contact Tim Gavin, Executive Director at tgavin@librarytrustees.org or 518-445-9505


Join fellow trustees and library staff to get a better understanding of these important topics:

9:30 Registration and coffee

10 – 11:15 RETHINKING LIBRARY SPACES: MAKING BETTER USE OF THE SPACE YOU ALREADY HAVE.

Presented by: Bob Costello, Corey Layton & Mick Lombardini of L2 Studios
For detailed bios of each of the presenters, please click here.

Bob Costello (L2 Studios)

Mick Lombardini (L2 Studios)

Corey Layton (L2 Studios)

11:15 – 12:30 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FINANCIAL REPORTS

Presented by: Duane Shoen, CPA

Duane Shoen, CPA from Ciaschi,

Dietershagen, Little & Michelson in Ithaca, covering budgets and what information library boards should receive in regular financial reports and any potential red flags.

Duane Shoen is a partner in the accounting firm of Insero & Co, CPAs, LLP. Duane and the firm provide services to many non-profit agencies and governments in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Central New York. Duane joined the firm in 1995, and has been a partner since 2000. Insero is the successor company to Ciaschi Dietershagen, Little and Mickelson

12:30 Lunch

1:15 – 2:30 LEGAL UPDATE: CONFLICT OF INTEREST, BOARD/STAFF RELATIONSHIPS, AND EMPLOYMENT LIABILITY.

Presented by: Carrie J. Pollak and Whitney Kummerow

Carrie J. Pollak is counsel in the Corporate, Real Estate, Tax and Health Care Practices. Her legal practice concentrates in the area of corporate governance. Ms. Pollak regularly advises long term health care providers, companies and other tax-exempt organizations on diverse legal issues, including formations, taxation and tax exempt issues, corporate governance, corporate restructurings, regulatory matters, and a variety of commercial ventures, contracts and transactions. She also regularly advises real estate developers on all stages of development, including contract negotiation and drafting, financing, leasing, buying and selling, real estate syndications, as well as wetlands mitigation, conservation and preservation.

She has represented clients before the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Fish and Wildlife Service; as well as the New York State Office of the Attorney General, Department of Taxation and Finance, Affordable Housing Corporation, and the Department of Environmental Protection. (Read Full Bio Here)


A Visit to our May Regional Training site: Broome County Memorial Library

The Broome County Public Library opened in October 1904. Originally called the Binghamton Public Library, it was created with a gift of $75,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The building was designed to serve as both a public library and a community center. On the first floor was a collection of 14,000 books and the second floor housed the library’s auditorium, the Binghamton Museum of Fine Arts (now part of Roberson Museum) and the Broome County Historical Society

In 2000, the library opened in a modern building at its current location of 185 Court St.  The new building went back to its original roots as not only a library, but a community center, offering all types of classes and meeting room space.  Over 300,000 people visit the library each year to attend a meeting, check out a book or use a computer.

 The computer lab was repurposed as the Creation Station and houses computers with digital photography software.  There is also a sewing machine, a Cricut die cut machine.  Classes in knitting and beading/jewelry making can be found in the Creation Station as well as yoga and drawing.

 A library garden accentuates the property with an originally designed sculpture and gazebo as centerpieces.  This gives patrons and community members a quiet place to contemplate or read during nice weather.

  Broome County Public Library hosts poetry classes and beginning computer classes. These are taught by students and faculty from Binghamton University.  BCPL partnered with SUNY Broome to bring the BIG READ to the community in early 2017.  The featured book will be “The Things They Carried” by Timothy O’Brien.  Mr. O’Brien will be coming to Binghamton to discuss his book and the Vietnam experience in March.

 In 2012, Literacy Volunteers of Broome and Tioga Counties moved into the building to serve their students and teachers in a central location.  This is a perfect union of literacy training and libraries.  The group holds 3 classes per week in mathematics, reading and English conversation besides offering one-on-one tutoring for adult beginning readers.

The Friends of the Broome County Public Library hold 8 book sales a year and staff a Friends Gift Shop.  The Gift Shop is chock full of toys, like Gumby and Pokey, and higher quality used books.  The Friends are an integral part of the library and fund adult and children’s summer reading programs.  They also purchase a whole host of other library equipment, shelving, books and databases.

 Of course, none of this would be possible without a dedicated group of library trustees.  They keep the library on target and functioning, creating policies and supporting the community.  We are lucky to have such a great synergy with our partners, friends, community leaders and trustees.

Trustee Recognition: New STAR Program Begins

PURPOSE: LTA recognizes trustees who make the effort to educate themselves about libraries, library issues, and the responsibilities associated with the position of library trustee.

ELIGILBILITY: All LTA members are eligible for STAR. You will accrue credits as you

Participate, Advocate, Learn, and Serve. Earn credits though your involvement.

 ADMINISTRATION: Trustees are encouraged to maintain a personal record of all continuing education activities and service. As credits are submitted, LTA will maintain a record for each participant and review credits annually. STAR participants can record credits for the calendar year beginning January 2016.

 

Participate/Attend

Date

Credits

Advocate

Date

Credits

LTA Annual Institute

50

Attend Advocacy Day

25

 LTA Regional institute

25

Maintain regular contacts w/ Local & State Legislators

25

 NYLA Conference

25

Testify at Library Hearings

25

Library System Workshop

15

Other:___________

TBD

 

Learn

Date

Credits

Serve

Date

Credits

Library Webinar

15

Library Board Officer

25

Online Library Course

25

Library System

 Board Member

15

Other:______________

TBD

Speaker/Panelist at Local/County

 Library Event

25

 

Speaker/panelist at State/Nat’l Library Event

40

SUB-TOTAL CREDITS

 

TOTAL CREDITS

 

 

LTA STAR Recognition

LTA Trustee Recognition Certificate 100 credits
STAR Lapel Pin 200credits
STAR Medallion 300 credits

Trustee Name: _________________________________________________________

Street Address:_________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip:___________________________________ Phone:_______________________________________

Email: __________________________________________
Library System Name____________________________

Library Name:___________________________________
Library Director Email: ___________________________

 

Submit credits to STAR@librarytrustees.org
or mail form to LTA, Box 11048, Albany, NY 12211

Download PDF Form