The elections are over, which means it is time to start contacting our elected officials to let them know they need to increase library funding to meet demand! The Western New York Library Resources Council is kicking off 2019 library advocacy efforts in the region with a letter writing campaign in support of library funding!
Each year, library supporters in Western New York are asked to participate in local visits to State legislators as well as the trip to Albany for Library Advocacy Day (this year it will be Wednesday, February 27, 2019).
A library supporter writing from the hospital library at Sister’s Hospital in Buffalo!
But this year, we’ve added a new element to the “fight” for libraries – you are being asked to “write” for libraries!”
Yes, write a letter to your government representative, either local, county or state, asking them to support your library by ensuring that it receives the funding needed to serve your community!
In past years during the local home office visits state representatives often told us the handwritten letters from their constituents are sometimes greater motivators than anything else!
We are especially encouraging people to contact their State Assembly and State Senate members in support of library funding and in doing so, raise awareness across New York that our libraries are fundamental to every person! Write in support of your public, school, academic, hospital or special library – but make sure you write!
WNYLRC is making posters available to any interested library in the region promoting the letter writing campaign – just contact us to request yours! We are also offering to pay the postage for all the letters your library collects!
Join us and create a letter writing mailbox area in your library! We are asking everyone to post their mailboxes for the letters on their own social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) using the hashtag #NYSLetterWriting When you do, send us photos as well and we’ll post these to WNYLRC’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156012212968129&type=1&l=aa9e02fcb0 and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WNYLRC/status/1060200551105859585
As an incentive, we are awarding FIVE $100 gift certificates to the five mailboxes with the greatest number of “likes!” But most importantly, get your patrons to write for their libraries!! For more information on the letter writing campaign, go to: https://wnylrc.org/library-advocacy
Preservation, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, spotlights sites that have shaped the American identity, and the people working tirelessly to protect them. This summer the editors reached out with their plans to feature the National Register-listed tug “Urger” in their Fall issue.
On September 18, League staff and other advocates met with representatives from the New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). Among the items discussed was a vessel assessment of tug Urger. Advocates asked for a scope of work for this new study, as well as an understanding of what its goals are. Currently the Urger is in Waterford and will go into dry dock for the winter and the vessel assessment noted above.
Readers all over the country – and world – will learn that the beloved “teaching tug” and flagship of the Erie Canal is considered THREATENED when they read Preservation magazine. Tug Urger still needs your help! If you haven’t already done so, consider signing the petition #SaveTheUrger and #KeepCanalBoatsAfloat! If you’ve already added your name, we thank you, and we ask you to send this link (www.preservenys.org/save-the-urger) to anyone who may be interested in keeping the teaching tug Urger on the canal, where she belongs.
As part of a bicentennial celebration of the Erie Canal, Albion students in 6th grade Citizenship classes and 7th grade Service Learning classes have been learning about the canal and its important role in New York State history. The Preservation League of NYS is spearheading a campaign to #SaveTheUrger. The students read about the campaign. They signed and sent petitions to the New York State Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority. This is a way for students to explore the many roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.
WNYLRC offers members an opportunity to learn more about the Erie Canal as well, with the online exhibition: https://dp.la/exhibitions/erie-canal and the traveling exhibit banners: https://www.wnylrc.org/new-york-heritage
The Museum of disABILITY History is a member of WNYLRC. Check out their latest news:
Grand Opening for “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic” Exhibit
Saturday, October 20, at 11 a.m.
Museum of disABILITY History
3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2131575370492463/
When Willard Psychiatric Center in New York’s Finger Lakes closed in 1995, workers discovered hundreds of suitcases in the attic of an abandoned building. Since their discovery, an incredible exhibit was created that showcases the moving stories behind these suitcases. “The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic” exhibit has found a home at the Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc. A grand opening will unveil one of the suitcases. The suitcase and its contents, once belonging to a man named Mr. Lawrence Mocha, will be displayed as part of the exhibit, thanks to support from his family and the New York State Museum.
During the grand opening event, Max Donatelli of the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition will speak about the stigma surrounding mental health. Attendees are encouraged to join the conversation with a question and answer session.
The event is a fundraiser for the Museum of disABILITY History. Admission is: Adults $10, Seniors (60+) $6, students and human service employees with identification $6, children under 6 free and members of the Museum of disABILITY History are free. For more information or to register, contact David Mack-Hardiman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716.629.3606. Refreshments provided. Reservations for the event are required.
“The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic” was curated by Darby Penney and Peter Stastny for the Community Consortium. Copies of their compelling book, by the same name, will be available for purchase. The goal of the exhibit is to bring the stories of the suitcase owners and a patient-centered view of the history of psychiatry to a wider audience. For almost ten years, the exhibit traveled the country from coast to coast, hosted by 30 venues in 11 different states and seen by thousands of people.
On September 21, 2018, members of the Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) visited the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Director of Libraries, Beth Lathrop, began the day by giving the committee an overview of the research library which hold 199,000 volumes of journals, research papers, books, trade catalogs and other archival ephemera. It is the only research repository dedicated to the intellectual, social, and cultural history of play. Researchers on play and the gaming industry travel from around the world to visit the library and archives which accepts visitors by appointment only. The site also offers a Fellowship to researchers in the growing fields of gaming and play studies.
Next, Cataloger Tara Winner-Swete gave the committee a behind the scenes look at the closed stacks and cataloging areas. Much of the cataloging performed in original based on the rarity of some of the items in the collections. Items on display for the visit included a 1973 Fisher Price trade toy catalog and the 1978 Star Wars toy preview.
Archivist Julia Novakovic finished up the tour with a presentation on the archives of the library. The archives holds many of the papers of play and gaming leaders as well as the product details of the early video game industry. She also discussed the founding of the museum by Margaret Woodbury Strong whose personal papers reside in the archives. Items on display from the archives included the pieces from the Atari archives involving the creation of Asteroids; Harrison Erickson designs for Muppets, puppets, and mascots; and documents related to Hasbro’s adoption for the British game Cluedo known to American audiences as Clue.
The visit ended with RAC taking some time in the museum’s inviting environs before heading to meetings and lunch.
– Keri Thomas-Whiteside
WNYLRC currently has two traveling exhibits available to loan to members at no cost! Both exhibits will be available for loan beginning November 1st. These can be great compliments for your library’s reading programs, supporting academic research and coursework, speaker programs and more!
Erie Canal Bicentennial Exhibit
“Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal” was developed by the Western New York Library Resources Council, with grant funding from Humanities New York, to celebrate the Bicentennial groundbreaking of the Erie Canal in New York State.
The exhibit consists of four retractable banners, each measuring 3 feet wide by 6 feet tall
The exhibit also has a complementary, detailed online exhibition available.
The Erie Canal online exhibit is available at DPLA.
Women’s Suffrage Centennial Exhibition
“Recognizing Women’s Right to Vote in New York State” celebrates a hundred years of women having the right to vote in New York State, and was also developed with grant support from Humanities New York by the South Central Regional Library Council. The traveling exhibit explores different aspects of the Women’s Suffrage movement in New York, from pre-colonial times until the New York State referendum in 1917 and the 19th Amendment in 1920.
The exhibit consists of five retractable banners, each measuring 3 feet wide by six feet tall
The exhibit has a complementary, detailed online exhibition available.
The Women’s Suffrage Centennial online exhibit is available at NY Heritage.
WNYLRC’s traveling exhibits are available for one month loan periods. Requesting organization is responsible for the pick-up and return of the exhibits within the one month loan period. Loans can be extended if there are no immediate requests for an exhibit.
Are you keeping track of the workshops you attend at WNYLRC?
You can access previous workshops you attended by logging into your member profile on WNYLRC.org.
Once you log in, click on your name at the top of the page and select “My Account”. You will be taken to a page with your profile and account information. On the left hand side, you will see a menu listing “My Profile”, “My Workshops”, “My Webinars”, “Workshop Policies”, and “Change Password”.
Click on “My Workshops”, and you will see a list of all the workshops you have attended at WNYLRC, with the date and time, and an option to print your certificate.
If you didn’t sign into the workshop when attending, the certificate may not be present. It is important to sign in when attending any workshop so that we may verify your presence and you receive credit for attending.
Learn more about our professional development services and find more information about receiving continuing education credits. Some classes and seminars are eligible for CEUs. The certificates you view and print from your WNYLRC profile are certificates of attendance. To request CEU credits, fill out this form.
A recent issue of the New York Times introduced readers to the fascinating and unique Lily Dale Assembly in Chautauqua County. Times writer, Caroline Tompkins delved into past and current activities and people that have shaped the Spiritualist community since its inception in 1879; referencing the Fox Sisters (who are acknowledged with beginning the Spiritualist Movement despite later being discredited), Susan B. Anthony (who regularly visited the community), and more recent mediums and visitors who make up the ebb and flow of life in this tiny, tucked away spot along Cassadaga Lake – which, despite its small geographic size is actually probably the largest center for religious Spiritualism in the world!
Towards the end of the piece, you might recognize the person in the photo described as “Gorgeously tattooed and a with a spray of pale blue hair…” who is none other than Mandi Shepp, Library Director for the Marion H. Skidmore Library at Lily Dale! Mandi, as the article states, has accomplished so much to reinvigorate and bring life (pardon the unintended pun!) to this very special library. Mandi is also an active member of WNYLRC, having just finished a term on the Resource Sharing Committee and currently leading the Continuin Education Committee (with Co-Chair Erien Weller at B&ECPL), in launching WNYLRC’s first ever Unconference taking place on October 5, 2018!
The link to the article is here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/04/style/lily-dale-mediums-spiritualism.html
Come join fellow educators at the 2018 WNY STEAM Conference: Building Buffalo And Beyond, held this year at Daemen College on August 6th.
Discuss the nature of STEAM education in K-12 schools of all types: private, public, and charter. Sessions are led not just by K-12 teachers, but by college and university professors, librarians, and other STEAM industry professionals. You will learn that “building” has many meanings and with STEAM, you will see how these different meanings connect multiple fields. Link together science, technology, engineering, art, and math to create a more unified region in Western New York.
On August 7th, as part of your conference registration, you can sign up for a variety of immersive experiences in Western New York, including a special educator’s tour of the Darwin Martin House, a visit to the Central Library’s Launchpad, and a special preview of the new Children’s Museum, located at Canalside.