Monday, September 27, 2010

For New Yorkers: Report on the Meeting of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, Sept. 27

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (RAC) met by conference call this morning, rather than spending time/money to meet face-to-face.  Below are my rough notes.  These are not the official minutes from the meeting. If anyone on the call  has a correction, please let me know. Questions (from anyone) are always welcome.

In attendance were members of the  Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and several staff members from the State Library.Norm Jacknis, who is rejoining the Council was on also the call.

Changes in Regents Cultural Education Committee - Regent Tilles is now the chair of this committee. Changes in the committee could broaden its scope to include arts education.

Changes in the New York State Education Department  - One change noted is the new Office of Educational Design and Technology (ED&T) which includes the School Library Services program.

NY - Albany: Empire State PlazaState Library Update - Loretta Ebert gave an update on the Research Library and Carol Desch gave an update on the Division of Library Development.  The broadband initiative is helping to put libraries in the news - a good thing!  Important capital budget requests are being developed (including library construction and broadband maintenance).

Research Library expects to open for Saturday hours beginning on Oct. 16 (9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.).  The move has met with a number of challenges, including the budget, staff concerns, etc.  At a time when people need libraries more than ever, it is felt that this is the right time to expand the hours.  Patron communities have been very supportive of the move.

Downsizing at the State Library - Like other libraries across NYS, retirements as well as the budget's impact have led to downsizing at the State Library.  The State Library is dealing with the impact of these and working to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of NYS residents.

Nylink - Nylink was retrenched by SUNY which effects three three areas of concern to this group:
  • Nylink maintained a contract with OCLC.  Now rethinking/redoing the state contracts is a priority and must abide with State procurement regulations.
  • Nylink handled the land delivery service contract used by CUNYs, SUNYs and others. The remainder of the current contract has been reassigned.  A group is meeting to discuss what to do after this contract ends. 
  • Nylink handled the licensing of databases on a consortium basis.  Consortial purchasing should be able to continue without Nylink.
NOVELny - There was a brief update on this.  Please note that information on the NOVELny Steering Committee is available online.

Update on the Regents Commission on Library Services Recommendation - The State Library has compiled a 20-page draft document on what has occurred (or not) since the Commission issued its recommendations.  The Council was asked to review the document and provide any comments/feedback.

2020 Future Vision for Library Services in NYS - "What’s Your Vision for Library Services in New York State?", Thursday, November 4, 2010, 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. Saratoga City Center, Saratoga Springs: (flier states)
Join the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, NYLA leaders, and your colleagues in discussing a future vision for library services in New York State.
  • What services will New Yorkers expect from their academic, public, school, and special libraries in 2020?
  • What strategies will best position library organizations to deliver those services?
  • What role should the State play in order to serve libraries and New Yorkers more effectively?
Among the panelists will be:
  • Bridget Quinn-Carey, Chair, Regents Advisory Council on Libraries
  • Roberta Stevens, President, American Library Association
  • Kathy Miller, NYLA President
  • Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Cultural Education
The group discussed using a back-channel (e.g., Twitter) during the session to allow library staff members not at NYLA to participate in the event.

Shubert Award - The committee gave its report.  The winner will be at the NYLA conference, and the award will be given then. The award was more broadly publicized this year, which brought in more applications!

READ doorSchool Library Services - RAC continues to be concerned about having certified school librarians in all elementary schools in well-maintained libraries. Studies continue to demonstrate that this has a positive impact of student learning.

Information Literacy Standards - While there are recognized AASL standards on information literacy, NYS has not adopted any standards on this.

2010-2011 RAC Meeting Schedule -
  • Dec. 3, 2010 - at METRO in NYC
  • Jan. 28, 2011 - conference call
  • April 4 or 5, 2011 - attend Regents Cultural Education Committee meeting in Albany
  • Sept. 23, 2011 - Tentatively in NYC
  • Dec. 2, 2011 - Tentatively in NYC
The group discussed adding a conference call in June.  A date for such will need to be found.

Your Thoughts? The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries is always seeking input from the library community.  If you have thoughts to share or questions to ask, please contact any member of the Council.

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