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Today was so disjointed for me.  As I previously stated, my commute to work is an hour and a quarter to an our and a half.  (In an area known for its 20 minute commutes, this is not the norm.)  I work in a library that is co central with another library in the neighboring county (about an hour away in a different direction). There was a system meeting at that library this morning.  So, I drove to my library in order to carpool to the other library.  I started my day by being in a car for about 2 1/2 hours.  At least we are having an unusually mild winter this year and there wasn’t any snow to deal with.

The meeting today was with a book vendor who was show casing the cataloging and processing services they could provide for our system.  It was interesting.  Call me a skeptic, but the thought of someone offering “collection development help” when they are not involved with your patrons everyday or even part of the community makes me a little nervous.  Right now it is just lists that suggest titles, but I feel that there is a potential there for nefarious and questionable practices there sometime in the future.  (Kind of like Amazon finally making their Kindle compatible with Overdrive but then finding out that they track what their users have read when using the public library check outs.)  No commitments or decisions were made, so we will see what the outcome is.

When I got back to work, I grabbed  a quick lunch at my desk while reading Library Journal.  I remembered half way through lunch that today was February 1st – the beginning of Library Lovers Month.  I have a box of bags to have the Circulation Desk hand out that state “I ❤ my Library”.  I set out with a handful of bags and was reminded that even though I wasn’t “officially” on Reference today, your Reference duties never end when you are a librarian.  I was stopped about three times before I got to the Circulation Desk with the bags.  The kids who were checking out books at the time when I brought the bags up were so excited to get a “special” library bag.

Today I also had to get books ready for delivery tomorrow.  Every Monday and Thursday a truck comes to pick up books that patrons have requested from other libraries and drop off books our patrons have requested or that are being returned from other libraries.  The truck usually gets there before we officially open in the morning, so we have all the boxes and bags packed on Wednesday nights.  We actually lend out a ton of material to other libraries.

We have a new videoconferencing unit that was part of the grant I am in charge of.  We haven’t been able to call out since they installed it in late December.  We have opened every port, allowed it through the firewall, etc.  Today the technician was suppose to come and check on it (finally!), but we received an e-mail that he had come down with the flu and had to reschedule.  (It took us weeks to get this appt. set up.)  So, we will see how soon he can make it and hopefully we will be able to use our new equipment soon.

One thing I can say for sure – working in a public library is never dull!





The Congregational Archivist is appointed by the Congregational Leadership and is responsible to the Associate Minister. The appointment is for a four-year term and may be re-appointed for consecutive terms.  Periodically, the Archivist meets with the Associate Minister to determine needs of the Archives.  The person appointed as Archivist must possess the following qualifications: professional archival training and/or equivalent experience; commitment to the task of preservation of materials; historical perspective and above average writing skills.


  • Collect, process and make available the records and historical manuscripts of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany for use of those who have a legitimate need and present an authorized request to use the collection.
  • Accept the records no longer needed in the Generalate offices; to examine such, arrange and process them; and to prepare finding aides to help in the use of these documents.
  • Plan and arrange for the retirement of important, outdated records of the Congregation on a continuing basis.
  • Act as a general resource person who assists with special studies and projects at the request of the Congregational Leadership, Generalate Staff and/or other organizations.
  • Create a list of collections in the Archives and update new acquisitions, as needed.
  • Ensure that the physical and environmental aspects of the Archives are such that the collections are preserved safely and in conformity with accepted archival standards.
  • Periodically examine archival material for the purpose of repair and continued preservation.
  • Formulate regulations for the internal and external use of the Archives.
  • Maintain a record of research requests and archival services rendered.
  • Report on archival practices and operations; maintain monthly reports to assist in the compilation of the Congregational Report to Chapter, which are submitted to the Council.
  • Maintain data bases of Congregational statistics and prepare an annual Statistical Report.
  • Prepare an annual budget and financial report.
  • Negotiate with the various houses and ministries for the transfer of materials to the Archives and provide the necessary means for the transfer.
  • Develop a standardized filing and record retention system for Generalate offices, local houses and sponsored ministries.
  • Maintain the displays in the Heritage Room.
  • Prepare a pictorial display of a Sister’s life at the time of her death.
  • Provide tours of the Archives, give presentations, and use other means to promote and keep the Congregation and others aware of the Archives and its holdings.
  • Attend meetings, workshops and/or conventions for personal and professional development, as well as representation of the Congregation.
  • Respond to any requests of your immediate supervisor.


Candidate for the position must possess outstanding writing and computer skills.  She/he must be a self initiator and be open to new and creative ways to respond to the above responsibilities.

Budget and Finances

An annual budget will be prepared and submitted to the Associate Minister for approval.  All other financial requests are to be submitted according to the General Treasury procedures.

Salary and Benefits


Please send letter of application and resume by March 1, 2012 to:

Sister Mary Lou Lafferty, OSF

P O Box W

St. Bonaventure, NY 14778





Job Title:  Director of Communications

General Summary:  Responsible for managing the development, implementation, and coordination of internal and external public relations and communications strategies with the goal of promoting the charism and mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, in accordance with the Mission and Vision Statements and Chapter decisions/statements.  Promote a positive image of women religious.

Reports to:  Congregational Leadership Liaison


Major Responsibilities:

Media Relations:

  • Establish systems for disseminating information to the appropriate media in a timely manner
  • Develop relationships with internal/external sources for the purpose of furthering the mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany
  • Develop crisis communication plan
  • Facilitate recognition of the Congregational mission in the media
  • Write and submit announcements to appropriate media outlets



  • Edit and publish monthly newsletter – Allegany Connections
  • Publicize community events when appropriate
  • Maintain,  coordinate and update the Allegany website
  • Photograph individuals/functions for archival or publication purposes
  • Provide communication for committees/individuals as designated by Congregational Leadership
  • Liaison between the Congregation and selected organizations
  • Prepare an annual budget for the Communications Office
  • Keep professionally updated through membership in appropriate professional organizations and continuing education
  • Other duties as requested.



  • Understanding or willingness to develop an understanding of the mission of a religious congregation of women, in particular that of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany,  and the ability to support and accurately communicate the image and mission to internal/external constituencies
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in communication, public relations, or related field
  • At least two years experience in public relations, marketing, communications or related field
  • Superior and creative oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work with multiple constituencies
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines
  • Computer proficiency
  • Photography experience desired but not required
  • Willingness to attend/participate in public relations and related functions that occur outside normal working hours
  • Willingness to travel, if necessary


Salary and Benefits




Please send letter of application and resume by March 1, 2012 to:


M. Avril Chin Fatt, OSF

P O Box W

St. Bonaventure, NY 14778

Today is day two of Library Day In the Life Round 8.  I started the day with a 3 1/2 hour Reference shift.  Reference shifts are always interesting.  My library is in the major city of the county and is surrounded by rural areas, a major university, a community college, and the state border.  So the questions run the gamut from basic to very scholarly.  In the  history of Olean it was a place where people would over winter before heading out west on the Allegheny river.  Also, it has a lot of oil history and there was mob activity during prohibition; it had the nickname of “Little Chicago” during that time.  Therefore, local history is also the source of many Reference transactions.

I am the director of our Public Computing Center.  We run classes and tutoring sessions.  We don’t have enough room to have a permanent teaching lab with the SMART board, so we have to set the lap up each time there is a class.  Today’s class was Organizing E-mail.  We have honed our skills that we can quickly set up and tear down the lab quickly.

While on the Reference Desk I entered names into the Winter Reading database.  Sign up for the program just started yesterday and we had 19 people signed up as of this morning.  Anyone who turns in a completed Winter Reading BINGO board will receive a prize along with an invitation to the Winter Reading party.  At that party we will have a drawing for a “Cozy Up and Read” basket.  I decided I am going to crochet an infinity scarf to include in the basket.  We are offering patrons a “Free” sticker for one space on the BINGO board if they fill out a short survey on the library.  The survey has questions about various services in the library and should give us some good feedback.

You never know what e-mail is going to bring when you are a librarian.  Today I received an e-mail that stated that I needed to make my reservations at the hotel in Geneva for a conference I have to go to at the end of April.  I start to call the number while I continue to read and there it is… “you will need to make a presentation to the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) program officer and be an available to answer any questions they may have.”  INSTANT HEADACHE.  I felt kind of ambushed.  I know, I have a few months to prepare it, but it still stresses me out.

Another job duty that I inherited is the Brown Bag Book Club.  We meet every 3rd Tuesday of the month to discuss a book.  I had the book list made up from Jan-June.  People have been asking for the July – Dec. list.  I read all the books before I put them on the list, so I was still trying to make decisions on what books I wanted to include.  Finally today, after many inquiries, I decided to just bite the bullet and make the list.

Right before I left, I made a quick visual tutorial for downloading eBooks to the Kindle.  The Kindle is different from other eReaders  and confusion seems to abound.  Hopefully this will make everything clearer.

My director and asst. director convinced me to go to a meeting with them tomorrow morning at System headquarters.  So, I will drive from my house to Olean (about a 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hour commute) to then get in a car and travel another hour or so to Jamestown, go to a meeting, and then travel another hour or so back to Olean.  Should be an interesting day.

Twice a year I participate in the Library Day in the Life Project.  Some years I exclusively use Twitter, but other years (like this one) I also blog and post pictures on Flickr.  The Library Day in the Life Project is designed to let library workers of all kinds share the joy and challenges of working in a library (while still maintaining patron privacy).  By sharing these experiences, I hope that others will have a fuller picture of what it is like to work in a library (it is NOT books and cats all the time).

A typical Monday schedule for me is working 10-6.  On Mondays I work on the Reference Desk from 3-6 which happens to be the busiest time for the Reference Desk and the Public Access Computers.  At our library many students as well as their tutors come to use the library right after school. Sometimes the wait time for our public computers can be up to 45 minutes.  Each patron is allowed 1 hour a day on the public computers and many patrons, not only young adults, choose the 3-6 period to use their 1 hour.

Even though today I felt like I was spinning my wheels, I did get a lot done when I think about it.  I am the director for our Public Computing Center – a BTOP project through an ARRA grant.  Also, at the end of last year we lost our Adult Programming librarian so I have also assumed that role.  On top of that I am the “techie” librarian and maintain all of our social networking sites.  I also am in charge of a nice chunk of the collection, including religion, medical, biography, literature, audiobooks, CDs, and video games. (I also have other Dewey sections such as Library Science, Social Groups, etc.)  I can tell you I am never without something to do.

Today consisted of responding to e-mails, suggesting a potential adult program to my director, updating the electronic sign and all the social media sites with Feburary’s calendar of event, sending out an e-mail blast reminding patrons that the Teen and Adult Winter Reading program started today and to sign up, ordering books and audiobooks, tracking grant related reference questions, working on my plan for the Technology Petting Zoo we are holding on February 25th, and of course my Reference Shift. Most popular category of Reference question right now? Taxes of course!

Since it is 2 in the morning and I have to get up in another 4 hours for work, I will leave it at that for Monday.  I will post later today after I work 9-5 with more details about my day.

And of course I had to add the obligatory cat picture:

Part Time Librarian

The Olean Public Library is seeking a part time librarian to provide reference service and computer instruction.

• Provide reference and readers’ advisory service
• Provide instruction in both print and electronic resources
• Provide individual assistance and instruction, including one-on-one computer tutoring, to meet the needs and abilities of patrons using the library’s public computer center. Areas of instruction will include, but not be limited to, the following: basic computer skills; setting up and using e-mail; searching the Internet; and using Microsoft Office applications.
• Other duties as assigned

Skills Required:
• Strong public service orientation
• Tact and courtesy in dealing with the public
• Excellent computer skills
• Ability to communicate library policies and procedures to the public
• Ability to handle many tasks simultaneously
• Excellent written and oral communication skills

Includes some evenings and weekends.

ALA accredited MLS and NYS Public Librarian Certificate preferred, but will consider a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited library school.

Position available immediately. Resumes accepted until position is filled. Send resume and cover letter to:

Kim Mahar
Assistant Director
Olean Public Library
134 N. 2nd Street
Olean, NY 14760

Thank you to Tinamarie Vella for posting these on!

Save the BECPL!

Catt. Co is proposing cuts to their funding to the libraries!


So, I can finally speak openly about the grant I have been working on.  Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have been a bit stressed lately.  Well, up until last week I knew we had federal stimulus money (ARRA) money that was suppose to be coming to our library, but NYS had not yet released it. (Part of the whole budget fiasco.)   I couldn’t really say anything to anyone until the money was officially released.  Of course, while I was on vacation in NYC last week, I got the notification that the money was being released.

Here are some of the details of the grant (taken word for word from the NYS Library page):

The New York State Library, a unit of the Office of Cultural Education within the New York State Education Department, has received a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) award in the Public Computer Center category as part of Round One funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  Federal stimulus funding of $9,521,150 and $5,418,370 in matching funds will be used to create public access computer centers in 30 public libraries and 5 E-mobile computer training units. This project will enable public libraries to extend hours, upgrade connectivity, add more than 800 new public computer workstations, and provide access to 24/7 job search resources in 41 economically distressed upstate New York counties. More than 6 million New York residents will be served through this initiative.

BTOP Public Computer Center Criteria and Project Goals:

  • Increase  public access to high speed broadband services in high-need communities
  • Serve vulnerable populations (unemployed, underemployed or other vulnerable populations: non-English speakers, seniors, disabled, etc.)
  • Provide technical support and other resources to support job search and career advancement through community anchor institutions such as libraries
  • Advance the use of E-services for training, employment, digital literacy, and education
  • Stimulate employment and provide job opportunities

Award Period: February 1, 2010 – January 31, 2013

Scope of the Broadbandexpress@yourlibrary Project:

  • Public access computer and teleconferencing centers with high speed broadband services will be created in 30 libraries in economically distressed communities
  • Five E-mobile computing training units with high speed broadband services will be deployed in rural locations and underserved communities
  • The E-mobile and public access computer centers will provide 24/7 online access to job search resources as well as federal, state, and local E-government resources
  • Services will be freely available to six million residents in 41 New York State upstate counties

So, we will be receiving approximately $250,000 in ARRA funds.  With these funds (and our match of $162,000 of in-kind) we will be purchasing laptops, a few desktops, and videoconferencing equipment (plus materials and software, etc).  We will provide classes and tutoring.  In order to do all this we will also be creating some more work for people (see my previous post about  needing a librarian).  We will also be creating a plan to try and sustain this program after the end of the grant.

So, that is what has been making my head swim a bit lately.  I literally received an e-mail today that said “the White House liason wants to know…”  So much for the stereotype of the quiet librarian reading books and “shh”ing people.  So, wish me luck and I will keep you updated!

(Oh, I almost forgot – while doing this I am also setting up a brand new video gaming collection for the library.  We are the first ones in our system  to do this, so I am doing it all from scratch!  How do I get myself in to these things???)

Dear Library Advocate,

The Legislative Special Session ended yesterday with no agreement between the Governor and the state Legislature on futher mid-year budget cuts.  NYLA’s Library Rally at the Capitol yesterday, which brought 450 library advocates to Albany, showed state policymakers in a very visible, loud and forceful (but law abiding) manner, that the library community would not stand for any further cuts in funding.

I want to thank everyone who came to the Rally and sent letters to the Governor and members of the Legislature, especially those libraries and library systems who sent busloads of advocates to the Capitol, which insured the success of our Rally.

Coverage of our Rally and other protests was quite extensive by television (see below) and pictures from the rally can be found on our website at <>

If local media in your area also covered the Rally, please send us the link or if you took photos at the Rally, please email them to us for posting on our website.   Special thanks to our new President Josh Cohen and Legislative Committee Chair Kevin Verbesey for serving as emcees of the Rally.

The Governor proposes to release his 2009-2010 Executive Budget on December 16th, which will undoubtedly call for additional cuts in Library Aid.  It is also still unclear when the remaining $26 million in undistributed Library Aid from the 2008-09 State Budget will be released.  NYLA will keep you informed of any developments in this ongoing budget saga.

Advocacy is not a sprint, but a marathon, and we must keep pace with events as they unfold and prepared to take action on a moments notice.

Michael J. Borges
Executive Director
New York Library Association
252 Hudson Avenue
Albany, New York 12210
(518) 432-6952, ext. 101
(518) 427-1697 Fax
Dear Library Advocate,

I want you to get really angry, I mean really fed up with the way libraries and library systems are being treated by the State of New York.  The NYS Division of Budget has proposed a $20 million cut, that’s right the largest cut ever in Library Aid, a 20% reduction in funding, that no other educational institutions are being asked to bear, to resolve the state’s deficit for fiscal year 2008-09.

This cut will be devastating to library services throughout the state, no library or system will go unscathed, if this happens layoffs may occur, services will be curtailed or costs passed onto to local libraries and their patrons.

I urge you to go our website immediately and click on Contact Your Elected Official button to send a letter to your state legislator opposing this proposed cut that the Legislature will consider when they return to Albany on November 18th for a special session.  The letter is editable so you may include your own comments about how libraries are essential in your community, how library systems save your library money and provide vital services.  Or call/visit your legislators in person if possible between now and next Tuesday.

The library community needs to act now in a strong, aggressive and united fashion in order to prevent this outrageous proposal from becoming reality.

Michael J. Borges
Executive Director
New York Library Association
252 Hudson Avenue
Albany, New York 12210
(518) 432-6952, ext. 101
(518) 427-1697 Fax
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