31 July 2008

Apply to Host Traveling Exhibit

Public libraries are invited to apply to host “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition developed by the ALA Public Programs Office in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to mark the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. The exhibit will travel to 40 selected public libraries from January 2009 through December 2010. Applications and complete information are available at www.ala.org/visionsoftheuniverse.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has provided major funding for the exhibit. Exhibit sponsors are especially interested in receiving applications from public libraries in small towns and rural areas that have limited access to NASA resources, as well as from public libraries in larger population centers. The exhibit requires just 150-200 square feet of display space. All libraries on the tour will receive $500 programming support stipends, $250 collection development stipends and additional materials to support library programming. Applications must be submitted to ALA by September 19. Selected libraries will be notified in late October.

30 July 2008

Grant Opportunity - Rite Aid Foundation

The Rite Aid Foundation supports programs that focus on health and wellness in communities where the store operates. Applications are accepted at any time throughout the year, but are reviewed quarterly (January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1) so consider this when applying. Complete guidelines and information about the application process can be found on the Foundation's web site.

29 July 2008

Grant Opportunity - Book Discussion Group Grants

New York Council for the Humanities offers grants for book discussion groups around the state for both adults and children.

Reading Between the Lines
Reading Between the Lines (RBTL) is the Council's book discussion program for adults who want to explore humanities topics in depth. Each series involves four conversations centered on thematically linked books and is facilitated by a humanities scholar. Reading Between the Lines is hosted by museums, historical societies, libraries and community centers statewide. Apply by September 26, 2008 for programs to be held in Spring, 2009. More about Reading Between the Lines...

Together—Book Talk for Kids and Parents
Together—Book Talk for Kids and Parents is a new Council program that brings together parents and their 9-to-11 year old children in a library setting to explore and debate important issues about American identity and life, using the shared context of books. Apply by November 3 for programs to be held in Spring, 2009. More about Together...

23 July 2008

NYLA Conference 2008

MVLS wants to send you (or someone from your library) to NYLA.

This year's NYLA conference has one of the best lineups of programs in recent years and since it is local, MVLS hopes that member libraries will take advantage of this continuing education opportunity and attend the conference. Some of the featured speakers are Karen Hyman, Russell Banks, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Rafe Martin, among others, and the programs run the full gamut of subjects related to libraries.

Once again, MVLS will pay for one person from each of our libraries to attend the conference held November 5-8 in Saratoga. We reimburse at member rates.

The preliminary conference program is now available and registrations are being accepted (online registration is available.) The early bird deadline is August 15, so get your registration in today. Contact Carol to claim the reimbursement for the attendee from your library.

Pimp my Bookcart Contest 2008

Need an idea for a program? Put together a group and enter the Pimp My Bookcart contest, sponsored by Smith System and Bill and Gene, the guys from Unshelved, the comic strip devoted to libraries. Your library could win fabulous prizes, including new bookcarts and Unshelved gift certificates. For inspiration, check out the winners from prior years. New this year - a special Kids Cart category, for carts created by kids in middle school or younger.

Visit the contest web page for all the details and instructions on how to enter. Deadline for entries is October 31st, 2008.

22 July 2008

Grant Opportunity - Bank of America/IMLS American Heritage Preservation Program

NOTE - Registration with Grants.gov is required and can take a couple of weeks, so begin the registration process now if you are interested in applying for this grant.

Bank of America is partnering with the Institute of Museum and Library Services to provide grants to small museums, libraries, and archives. This program is designed to fund the preservation of endangered and fragile collections of works of art, rare books, scientific specimens and historical documents (photographs, maps, deeds, etc.) held in the nation’s small and medium sized museums, archives and libraries.

Grants will help to preserve specific items, including works of art, artifacts and historical documents that are in need of conservation. Applicants will build on completed conservation assessments of their collections, to ensure that the Bank of America/IMLS grants are used in accordance with best practices in the field, and underscore the importance of assessment planning.

Projects may begin no earlier than February 1, 2009 and no later than May 1, 2009. Awards will not axceed $3000; there is no match requirement for this grant. The full grant guidelines, as well as instructions for registering with Grants.gov, are available on the IMLS web site. The deadline to apply is September 15, 2008.

RASS Outstanding Public Service Award

This award is sponsored by the Reference and Adult Services Section (RASS) of the New York Library Association (NYLA). The award honors a librarian or library support staff member who is a NYLA/RASS member and has made a significant contribution to Reference and/or Adult Services in New York State.

The award provides full conference registration and $200 toward conference expenses for the 2008 Annual Conference in Saratoga. Self-nominations are welcome.

The complete award guidelines and application form can be found on the NYLA/RASS web site. The deadline for applications in August 29, 2008.

16 July 2008

Grant Opportunity - Ezra Jack Keats Minigrants

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation offers minigrants of $500 to public libraries for programs that encourage literacy and creativity in children. In the past, minigrants have funded creative programs including multi-cultural portrait projects, bookmaking, intergenerational journals, etc. Programs relating to the work of Ezra Jack Keats are welcome, but not required. The application deadline is September 15, annually. The application form and complete guidelines are available on the Foundation's web site.

15 July 2008

Grant Opportunity - Lois Lenski Covey Foundation

The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation, Inc. annually awards grants to rural and urban, public and school libraries serving at-risk children. The Foundation gives priority to applications from libraries and agencies with real need and limited book budgets. Funds are earmarked for purchasing books for young people, and are not intended for administrative or operational use. Previously awarded grants have ranged from $500 to $3000. Successful applicants have proposed purchases to update their children's book collections generally or to expand their holdings in specific areas.


The grant application is available on the Foundation's web site, and must be received by September 15, 2008. Grants will be awarded in December 2008.

11 July 2008

Two by Two by Two by Two by Two: New Summer Picture Books

It's always nice to spend time in the summer with a friend (or a book!), don't you think? Fortunately, we've got some great summer books for children that are twofers coming your way in a Picture Book Preview Bag soon! (If you haven't signed up your library for preview collections, contact Sue at MVLS)

In Dragon Pizzeria by Mary Morgan, two exhuberant dragons run a pizza shop. BeBop cooks. Spike delivers. To where else but Fairy Tale Land! Bright pictures bring the rhyming and guessing game text to life. Read this one at your next storytime, practice your Fairy Tale Land Voices! And don't forget to check out the end papers.

Marla Frazee takes us all to camp with her A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever! James and Eamon spend the week at Eamon's Grandparent's beach house so they can go to day Nature Camp, which of course they are SO excited to do (NOT). What a fun look at how kids and adults think time should be spent during the summer is told through Marla's (I adore her lively colored pencil drawings and way with drawing curly hair, so am on a first name basis) comic pictures with many asides, which will bring back your memories, or your memories of making your kids go to day camp. Love the drawn photographs on the beginning and end papers too! Most excellent summer read for grade school kids!

What the heck is a Splunk? And a grumbling one at that? Find out with Otis and Rae as they go camping in this comic like picture book titled (what else) Otis and Rae and the Grumbling Splunk by Laura and Leo Espinosa. Told with brightly colored comic bubbles, comic timing, and comic frames and vignettes. A fun picture book for kindergartners and young grade schoolers, and not even that hard for parents to read at bedtime!

Oliver Jeffers helps a boy find The Way Back Home after taking an airplane ride from his closet to the moon. Scared and alone, luckily he meets a martian who also lands there. Primitive watercolor illustrations help give the perspective of young boys as they use a new friendship to work out how they will each get home.

Beginning on the end papers with a pull out of the celestial sky, followed by a bone adorned time line, Melissa Sweet tells the story of Tupelo Rides the Rails. Dumped on the side of the road with her sock toy Mr. Bones, they ride to find a place that they belong. Penciled and watercolor frames, vignettes and full page illustrations tell the story of life on the rails, under the stars, and the search for home. Interspersed are references to all the famous dogs in history (that's why the timeline!), as well as famous dog quotes on the book jacket. Kids will enjoy the story, adults will enjoy the references, and both can use the opportunity to discuss history, stars, and a reason to get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the famous dog stories told on video, comics, and books.

Ok, there are TWO purple socks in Lisze Bechtold's Sally and the Purple Socks. But what adventures are had with these purple socks that Sally the duck mail orders (dry clean only). Out of the box they are too small, but the instructions say "...will grow to the size ordered" and do grow throughout the day until Sally uses them for a hat and muffler, curtains, bed spread, rug, and ultimately circus tent. After that? Let me just say it is a sole satisfying conclusion. Perfect for preschool storytimes, illustrated in gouache paint with ink in greens, purples and yellows.

09 July 2008

Easy Marketing Tool

What are many libraries already producing for their patrons that could be used as a fantastic marketing tool? The answer - a check out receipt. Yes, that little piece of paper that lets patrons know when their items are due back to the library can also be used to market your library's programs and services.

Did you know that the text at the bottom of the receipt is customizable by branch? Several lines of text can be entered there, and easily changed as needed. What can you put in that space? Here are just a few ideas:
  • Announcements of upcoming programs
  • Promoting the Summer Reading Program at your library (include the URL for the online SRP)
  • Changes to library hours or holiday closings
  • Highlight a new service the library is offering or a new database the library has access to
  • Announcements of book sales or other fundraisers

Many patrons use their check out receipt as a bookmark, or hang it on their refrigerator and look at it regularly so they don't miss a due date. Take advantage of that fact and don't overlook the marketing value of the receipt. Want to know how to customize the receipt text? Call Sharon at MVLS.

05 July 2008

Lighten It Up With Your Book Group

Does your book group lose focus when summer hits? When vacations, families, and the great outdoors call, book groups can quickly take a back seat. Here are ten ideas to help your group avoid doldrums and dog days.

03 July 2008

MVLS Libraries to Receive Copies of Newbery Winner

This year's Newbery Medal Winner, Good Masters, Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schlitz has been purchased for each MVLS library and branch in memory of Micki Nevett. It is on the way to each library. Micki worked at MVLS as youth services consultant from 1980-1984, and was a member of the 2008 Newbery Committee when she passed away suddenly last December. Check out the July/August issue of Horn Book to read Laura's acceptance speech (http://www.hbook.com/magazine/current.asp) delivered as a storytelling tour de force. Micki would have delighted in all the Newbery festivities and would have enjoyed this speech in particular.

01 July 2008

Grant Opportunity - Hannaford Charitable Foundation

The Hannaford Charitable Foundation provides financial support for programs and organizations, including libraries, dedicated to improving the communities in which the supermarket chain operates. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; complete guidelines are available on the Foundation's web site. Hannaford also provides product and gift card donations, free cups and napkins, and sponsorship of local programs. Requests for sponsorships and donations can be directed to your local Hannaford store manager, and are limited to one request per year.