Friday, September 26, 2008

For New Yorkers: Informal notes from the Sept. 26 Regents Advisory Council on Libraries meeting

Due to time constraints, the committee met by conference call rather than in person in NYC.

We welcomed two new council members:
  • Bridget Quinn-Carey, Director, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
  • John P. Monahan, Director, School Library System, Putnam-Northern Westchester BOCES
We also said good-bye to Carol Tauriello and Mary Lou Caskey, whose terms are over. Both will be missed on the Committee.

The state budget was on everyone's mind. With the changes that are occurring in the state budget and the economy, every state agency is concerned about the future. Planning is difficult, since no one knows what will occur when the legislature goes back into session and tackles the current budget. And everyone is concerned about the 2009 - 2010 budget.

Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, gave the Council an update on the search for a new State Librarian. He reported that the search is continuing and in-person interviews will occur soon with the goal of presenting the new State Librarian at the New York Library Association conference. When asked what he is looking for in a candidate, Cannell listed serveral qualities that can be summarized as looking for someone who can move the State Library forward, who will help libraries adapt for the future, and who will make our library (and its services) seen as being world-class. It is important to remember that the State Library is more than what occurs in Albany and that is touches every New Yorker in some way, nearly every day (whether they know it or not).

Brief updates were given on the Regents Cultural Education and EMSC committee meetings earlier this month. (BTW The New York Digital Collection Initiative was presented at the last EMSC Committee meeting. That initiative had been presented at the Cultural Education Committee meeting in May.)

Sam Simon announced the winner of the Joseph Shubert Award. The award was given the the Mid-Hudson Library System. Queens Library was "runner up" and will be honored -- along with Mid-Hudson -- at the NYLA conference. (Formal announcements were circulated online yesterday.)

Carol Desch gave an update on the Division of Library Development. One item for people to be aware of is the draft strategic plan entitled "Improving Library Services for All in the 21st Century: 2008-2010 Strategic Plan." The State Library will be soliciting feedback on this document.

Loretta Ebert gave an update on the Research Library and specifically on a theft from the State Library and State Archives that came to light last winter. The formal resolution is expected to occur soon. In addition, the Library and Archive have been reviewing their security, etc. A consultant was hired to make recommendations on security improvements as well as policy changes. While some security upgrades have been made, it is believed that more (the remainder) will be made in 2009 - 2010.

Finally, next year is the 400 year anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of what is now the Hudson River. Several events, etc., are planned for 2009. If I heard correctly, those events will cross all of Office of Cultural Education.

More was reviewed than I had time to type. Mostly items for Council to be aware of. We will meet in November and I expect the we will have a better understanding of what is happening with the state budget then.

Other Digitization 101 blog posts on the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries can be found here.

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