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January 29, 2015
In this Issue
President's Letter

Top Three Takeaways from ALA Midwinter
 
Like many of you, I had the chance to head down to Boston at the beginning of January and rub elbows with librarians from across the country at ALA Midwinter. It was a great chance to see so many vendors and hear about some of the latest library trends (and get my paws on some juicy ARCs). I walked away from the conference with three main things in my mind:
 
1—Maine librarians are awesome. Seriously. It was wonderful to see so many of you. At times, it felt like we were taking over the conference. From running into MLA board members in restaurants to bumping into Maine librarians in the exhibit hall, it was clear our state was well represented. Each time I had a chance to see how people were doing, and it was wonderful to see so much excitement and enthusiasm at work. We’re a passionate group, and that was on full display in Boston.
 
2—State library associations can be a real force for good. I had the chance to attend the Chapter Leaders Forum, a day-long seminar that included representatives from across the country, from the other MLA (Maryland Library Association) to OLA (Oregon Library Association). Many of those states have bigger budgets and far more librarians than we have here in Maine, but many did not. In each case, I saw examples of state organizations using their clout to support libraries and librarians. In the most robust cases, they had full-time employees working for their organization. While MLA isn’t there yet, I would love to see us be able to expand our reach and make our presence better known in Maine. Because see #1.
 
3—The importance of sharing information. On that same note (and keeping in mind all the snow that seems to have somehow gotten confused and wandered south), I was reminded how much we can benefit when we help each other—but that we can only help when we know what problems are out there. If you’re dealing with any issues or problems in your library (or know of problems elsewhere), make sure to speak up. Let us know! We can’t help if we’re kept in the dark, but together, we can get through just about anything. (Because, once again, see #1)
 
Best wishes to all as we start this new year! 


Bryce Cundick
MLA President
 

HSLIC and You

In this age of the Internet and a plethora of Web sites that bombard us with medical information, how can we tell what is accurate? What is merely a dressed-up version of the author’s opinion? How do we interpret results of studies that may claim a (usually) large percentage improvement from using a certain drug? Health sciences librarians can be the guides through the information and misinformation.

According to a recent blog on KevinMD, a significant amount of what is passed as medical information online is neither true nor safe. There has been a fair amount written about whether Mehmet Oz’ s recommendations are based on scientific evidence or not, which is not to say that he is not a good doctor. There was also a study that connected false positive mammograms with an increased likelihood of later developing breast cancer. Separating the wheat from the chaff and knowing reliable sources is what health sciences librarians are able to do. We can help people make more informed decisions and choices about their health. 

HSLIC, the Health Sciences Library and Information Consortium, is a professional organization of health sciences librarians in both academic and hospital settings who provide information to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals as well as patients and their family members. We also can teach people where to find accurate information. Want more information on HSLIC, including how to find a member near you? Check out their website.

 
 
Christine Fleuriel, MSLIS, VA Maine Healthcare System
Chair HSLIC
Local Library Wins ALSC Grant
 
The Norway Memorial Library and the Elementary Libraries of SAD #17 were recently honored to be awarded an ALSC Curiosity Creates Grant provided by Disney. This grant allowed them to collaborate and invite authors to read and speak about their books at schools and libraries in the Norway area. So far the libraries have welcomed Maine authors Matt Tavares, author of Growing up Pedro, and Frederick Lipp, author of Bread Song, at two wonderful author events. Next the libraries welcome Paul Janeczko, author and editor of Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (time TBA). On Wednesday May 18, at 3:30 pm, Jane Parker & Patricia Flint, authors of Lily of the North: The True Story of Lillian Nordica, a Maine Diva, will come and do a combined reading and singing event in honor of Lillian Nordica, Maine’s world-famous opera singer.

The Curiosity Creates grant allows the public library and the local school district the opportunity to collaborate in offering children ages 6 to 14 the chance to explore and learn along with Maine authors.  Four authors will each visit two of the eight elementary schools in the district. The authors will also each present a program offered by the Norway Memorial Library that will be open to the public.

As noted by ALSC president, Andrew Medlar, “Children are naturally curious and the act of creating is vital to their development, so ALSC is particularly grateful to Disney and especially excited to offer this incredible opportunity to support our members’ work in public libraries, where families can engage their creativity unlike anyplace else in the community.”  
 











Photo: Frederick Lipp speaking at Norway Memorial Library

Annika Black, Children's Librarian, Norway Memorial Library
Auburn Public Library Hosts "Discover NASA: From Our Town to Outer Space" Traveling Exhibition 

The Auburn Public Library is excited to be hosting Discover NASA: From Our Town to Outer Space, a national traveling exhibition from mid-April through early July. It is an inside look at NASA, America’s space agency and covers six key NASA areas: Human Exploration, Earth Science, Mars Exploration, Solar System and Beyond, Aeronautics, and Technology. We are one of seven libraries in the country to be chosen.

The exhibit includes stunning imagery, hands-on activities, and multimedia experiences such as a near real-time kiosk called Eyes on Exoplanets; an immersive experience of astronauts living onboard the International Space Station; a touch table where users can build their own virtual solar systems; two large, touchable meteorite samples; a wind tunnel that's interactive; and many more engaging activities.  Getting young people interested in science and technology can be a challenge, but Discover NASA strives to make it fun.

APL will also offer a related series of public events and programs to bring STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities to children, teens and adults.  We are planning to host Mad Science, an astronomy expert, a program on the history of Andover’s Telstar Communications satellite, Northern Stars Planetarium and Portable Educational Services, and many more programs.  We will be reaching out to nearby libraries and schools with special invitations to visit APL. The exhibition is free and open to the public during library hours.

Discover NASA: From Our Town to Outer Space was developed by Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL). It is part of NCIL’s STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net). 

(The material contained above is based upon work supported by NASA under award No. NNX15AB02G, entitled “From our Town to Outer Space: Bringing NASA Science and Engineering to Underserved Communities through a National Public Library Exhibition Program”, or, FOTOS. Any opinions expressed herein are the opinions of the grantee or their partners, and not necessarily that of the funding agency.)

 
Mamie Anthoine Ney, Director, Auburn Public Library
ALA Councilor Update-Midwinter 2016 

The American Library Association held its Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits in Boston, MA January 8-12, 2016. The conference hosted 7,183 attendees and 3,622 exhibitors for total of 10,805 people registered.

The members of the ALA Council took the following actions during their three sessions scheduled throughout the conference. The three resolutions passed are:

•    Resolution Concerning  Accessibility of ALA Conferences and Meetings for People with Disabilities—This resolution establishes and charges the Conference Accessibility Task Force with several tasks to improve conference accessibility for attendees with all types of disabilities.
•    Resolution on Replacing the Library of Congress Subject Heading "Illegal Aliens" with "Undocumented Immigrants"- A recent request to the LOC regarding this change was rejected and the hope is that ALA’s input might strengthen the argument. This resolution urges the Library of Congress to change the subject heading Illegal aliens to Undocumented immigrants because referring to undocumented immigrants as "illegal" is increasingly viewed as dehumanizing, offensive, inflammatory, and even a racial slur.
•    Resolution Supporting the 2015 Advocacy Implementation Plan- Requesting Chapters, Divisions, etc. to adopt the ALA Library Advocacy Implementation Plan—This resolution encourages all divisions, round tables, state chapters, school affiliates, other affiliate organizations, and individual libraries and library staff to adopt the Advocacy Implementation Plan and urges collaboration to galvanize the membership and advance the Advocacy Implementation Plan and Libraries Transform campaign through the power of collective impact.

In addition, the council passed these resolutions presented by the following committees:

Intellectual Freedom Committee
Resolution for Restoring Civil Liberties and Opposing Mass Surveillance- This resolution encourages the President and Congress to amend surveillance-enabling authorities to stricter guidelines for obtaining information and recommits ALA to leadership in the fight for restoration of the public’s privacy and civil liberties through statutory and other legal reforms.

Committee on Legislation
Resolution honoring James H. Billington librarian of Congress emeritus- Through this resolution ALA extends its deepest appreciation to James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress Emeritus, for his extraordinary service to Congress, libraries and the public and for his nearly three decades of achievement.  

Constitution and Bylaws Committee 
The council approved the application of the Joint Council of Librarians of Color to become an affiliate of the American Library Association.

I felt there was a really good energy at the conference both within council and at the sessions I attended. There were many fruitful discusses and programs focused around the Libraries Transform campaign. At the next Maine Library Association meeting the MLA board will be discussing the ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign, the Advocacy Implementation Plan and how we may look at participating in the national advocacy efforts. I’m happy to answer any questions about the actions taken by council or ALA in general. I can be reached at jaalvino@windhammaine.us or call the Windham Public Library at 207-892-1908.

 
Jen Alvino, Director, Windham Public Library
Law Week 2016 Reminder

The Maine State Library, along with the Volunteer Lawyers Project and the New Lawyers Section of the Maine State Bar Association, is encouraging libraries that wish to participate one day during the week of May 2-7th. We are actively partnering lawyers and libraries earlier this year than in previous years, so that libraries will have more advance time to generate publicity for the event.
 
Law Week is where libraries partner with local lawyers to meet and speak with members of the public about issues of access to courts and justice in the Twenty-First Century. The lawyers will also provide general guidance and information on referral to legal resources to individual attendees.
 
We are asking for interested libraries to take our extremely short Law Week 2016 survey as a method of communicating your library’s willingness to participate.
 
Materials helpful to promoting the event will be distributed through both the Maine State Library webpage or through the official Lawyers In Libraries webpage in the coming weeks.
 
As always, questions and comments are quite welcome. If you have spare cookies, please think of the cookie-impoverished in your community.

 
Jared Leadbetter, E-Rate and Technology Consultant, Maine State Library
In-State Professional Development Opportunity for Archivists!
 
New England Archivists Spring Meeting, March 31-April 2, 2016
Holiday Inn By-the-Bay, Portland, Maine.

Do you work with historic or special collections? Records management? Digital collections? Audio-visual materials? Portland is the site of this year’s spring meeting of the New England Archivists. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend the largest annual gathering of this professional society.  NEA offers great workshops, engaging speakers, and ample networking opportunities. Offering registration options for single or multi-day, members or non-members, there is something for everyone and every budget. For the full schedule and more, visit their website today!

 
Renee Desroberts, Special Collections Librarian, McArthur Public Library
Graphic Novel Survey
 
Are you a library staff member in Maine, new to the world of comic books and graphic novels? Or are you a lifelong comic book reader turned librarian, or somewhere in between? If so, I'd like to invite you to participate in a quick survey I am conducting as part of a project for the Maine Library Leadership Institute.

Survey link: http://goo.gl/forms/vvh4IhqYfn

The purpose of this survey is twofold: first, to learn how libraries and librarians in Maine are working with comic books and graphic novels; and second, as a census of Maine librarians working with comics at all levels of expertise, to inform future directions for professional development, networking, and community.

Survey will remain open until February 20, 2016.
 
Marcela Peres, Adult Services Librarian, Lewiston Public Library
Youth Services Updates
 
As always, there is a lot happening in youth services at this time of year!

Coming up first: Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday February 6. This is a great opportunity to show off all the amazing things that happen in your children’s room. Have a story time, host a dance party, create Valentines, or whatever your heart desires! Remember, you don’t have to celebrate it on February 6 if that’s not a good date for you. Find an alternative date that works better.

Next, on Monday, February 22, join Shannon Schinagl and Samantha Cote for the first program that’s part of Maine’s chapter of Storytime Underground. We’ll be having a Guerilla storytime session. Come prepared to demonstrate a song, fingerplay, or flannelboard or two. We’ll be at the Maine State Library, but we’re planning on having the Tandberg set up with satellite locations, so if you can’t make it to Augusta, we’ll still be able to hear and see you! Stay tuned for more information and the ability to register on the MSL calendar.

Some other programs worth considering are World Read Aloud Day on February 24th and Read Across America Day on March 2.

Conference-wise, there is NERTCL’s spring event on Friday, March 11th at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts, the Barbara Bush Foundation's Maine Literacy Connections Conference on Thursday, March 31st at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, and Reading Round-Up on Thursday, April 7th. 

Don’t forget that voting for the Chickadee Award and Maine Student Book Award is coming soon! 

 
Samantha Cote, Youth Services and Technology Librarian, Winslow Public Library

Librarian Spotlight

This month's Librarian Spotlight is on Anne Davis, winner of the 2015 Outstanding Librarian of the Year Award

Anne Davis, Director, Gardiner Public Library, Gardiner

First of all, congratulations on winning the 2015 Outstanding Librarian of the Year Award! Can you tell us about how you found out about your nomination?
I was simply amazed how folks kept this a secret from me! I thought I had a pulse on everything that goes on at work, but clearly that isn’t quite true.I was covering the desk in the Children’s Room when I received a call from Marcela Peres telling me that I was the recipient. She wanted to be sure I knew before the news release went out. It was a good idea because the next day the local reporter from the Kennebec Journal called for an interview.

You were presented your award at the recent MLA conference. How did it feel to receive the award? Did you have a good time at the conference?
I had an excellent time at the conference as I always do when I attend. Even after so many years, I always learn something new. I encourage everyone to make it their mission to attend a professional conference in 2016.

I have been working as a Maine librarian for many years and I thought that I was pretty well grounded with very few things left to surprise me. My goodness, was I ever wrong! Accepting this award from MLA and having it presented to me by Steve Norman was quite simply, thrilling! When you look out at a roomful of colleagues that you hold in such great esteem and have them tell you that your work was outstanding is so humbling. I will never forget how that felt.

How has life been since then?
The local paper did an article about the award and I received so many congratulations from my community! When you run a library in a close-knit community as I do, folks are so proud of your accomplishments and so proud to call you their city librarian. It seems as if last year was a year where I actually had detractors for library services. Every time I got into a debate about the importance of libraries within this community a little voice in my head now says, do they KNOW they are talking to the 2015 Outstanding Librarian of the Year???

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be a librarian?
Honestly, I never aspired to be a librarian while I grew up. I had deep respect for the institution and those who worked in the profession but my undergraduate degree was in American History with a career plan to go into historic preservation. I applied for a library clerk position at Gardiner to tide myself over while I found a “real” job.

I worked for the late Glenna Nowell who saw something in me that I had never realized and that was that I had a passion for the profession. She encouraged me to get my MLIS and honestly, I have never looked back. I not only found a “real” job, but I found a profession filled with people that I hold dear and strive to emulate every day. Librarians are truly a force to be reckoned with!

Tell us about your work at Gardiner and any other projects you have worked on and would like to highlight.
The Gardiner Public Library was built in 1881 and offers regional service to 6 communities. Much of my work is to be sure that everyone is aware of the library and all that it has to offer. I go to 5 town meetings each year to advocate and I also attend most of the Gardiner City Council meetings as I am a department head within the organization.

This year, because the state did not fully fund revenue sharing, the conversations are harder because tax dollars are scarcer. I hope that I continue to show our residents that the library is the heart of the community and that librarians are the reason for this.

We have just completed the renovations of our Community Archives Room and the result is spectacular. We hope to offer more and more information online and I have the world’s best staff ready to make this happen.

What do you love the most about your work?
My favorite part of the job is that it is always different and each day will bring a new challenge. In the almost 25 years of my employment, I can honestly say that I have never been bored. This community is spectacular and you really get your energy from the folks that you help each day.

What are your plans from here? Where do you see yourself in the future?
Though it is hard for me to imagine, I am honing in on retirement in a few years. Before that time, this gorgeous old building will need some more renovations and restoration. I would like to be sure that the library remains as relevant as it is today. People will always need a public library so that there is an equalization of access to information for everyone.

I would also like to continue being an advocate for the youth of our community. If we don’t have an educated population, we are in serious trouble. I know that it is a cliché but the youth of today are the leaders of the future. Those folks growing up in Gardiner today WILL be advocates for libraries!

What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, Dinner with the Smileys by Sarah Smiley and I am contemplating visiting a favorite series, Outlander! I am hooked on the Starz show.

As an outstanding librarian, what advice would you give other librarians, particularly those starting in the profession?
For anyone just starting in the profession my advice is easy. You have picked the best occupation in the world though you will never get rich being a librarian! Be so proud of what you do each day because what you do changes lives, literally!

I would also encourage every librarian to be an advocate for libraries. Please, do not assume that everyone loves what you do and your institution will always exist. These are tough times for libraries and if you are not willing to fight for the budgets you need and the support of the community, you will see budgets getting cut, the pie is getting very small. Your community has great respect for what you do and the people living in your towns listen to what you say. Use that soapbox and change the world!
 
Celebrate all things LIBRARY with the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday, April 19th at 6:00.

-Pre-game parade for library workers
-Each library picks a representative to throw out a first pitch
-Discounted tickets

We'll also use this as an opportunity for a Library Libations meet-up. When you submit your application to the Sea Dogs let me know as well so I can start planning! My email is linked on my signature in this box.

For more information, please see the flyer on the Maine Library Association website

 
Michelle Conners, Assistant Director/Adult Services, KFL, Maine Representative to NELA
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of MLA to Z. Our next issue comes out in April, so get your article ideas ready!

Samantha Cote
MLA to Z Newsletter Editor
Youth Services and Technology Librarian, Winslow Public Library

Marcela Peres
MLA Communications Committee Chair
Adult Services Librarian, Lewiston Public Library

Bryce Cundick
MLA President
Manager of Instructional and Research Services, Mantor Library, University of Maine at Farmington
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