The Best! weekly.  Photos, ideas, and information from New York's rural libraries in your inbox!  An eNewsletter of the Rural Libraries Round Table
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Editor's Notes 

Eli Guinnee,

The Best is back with a bang! See two important announcements from Margo below.   

For the next issue we want to feature some of the amazing summer reading programs you are currently exhausted from hosting.  When you get a few spare seconds, email me some photos of your best program so far!  

A Message from the President

Margo Gustina, 

I have really enjoyed being president of the Rural Libraries Round Table, but we have term limits for a reason!
This year, up for vote are two officer positions – President and Secretary. In the past 24 months, RLRT has grown from a steady 70ish membership to an over 230 members. I have delighted in being part of the leadership that stewarded this growth and look forward to assisting a new leader in engaging this larger group of supporters in the work of advocating for our smallest communities.
We need leaders who will work to elevate and harmonize the diverse set of voices within our membership. We need leaders who see the opportunity latent in our numbers, and who have the vision to move us forward.
Send nominations for President and Secretary to Margo at

Big Announcement!... Rural Resources Symposium

The Symposium is a day of collaborative learning in growing risk tolerance, partnership skills, and shared problem solving between library and non-profit community partners.
August 14, 2017
Cazenovia Public Library
11 am – 11:30 am Sign in
11:30-1:30 Session
1:30 – 2 Lunch
2-4 Session & Wrap up
Keynote Speaker: Betsy Kennedy

Open to all Library People and Non-profit folks interested in partnering with library people to facilitate rural community solutions.

No cost to register or participate!

RLRT Member & want to participate in the business meeting? We're going to give a quick update and delegate responsibility for Conference stuff. We'll vote to approve expenses like the booth and maybe some posters or something.  This brief business meeting will happen at 10:45 - same place. And will be available through GoToMeeting for folks who can't be there.

Mystery Link of the Day

Click above to learn more

National Award for NY Rural Library

The David A Howe Library in Wellsville has won the EBSCO Excellence in Small Rural Libraries Award.  Congratulations!  Read more about it here

(Photo E. Freudenberger)
Nic Gunning accepts the award, with SLTS Outreach Consultant Keturah Cappadonia

Howe's Podcast "All the Books" Has Hit 100 Episodes

Haven't heard it yet?  Click below to listen to #100!

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The Best Tips

Being a Bridge Lister

Hope Decker
Pioneer Library System

This is from the Humans of New York Facebook page. In this post from July 2015, a man is talking about his experience with the beginning stages of dementia. He forgets more and more, and has withdrawn from most of his friends and family. However, he has this one friend who will patiently list every bridge in New York when he forgets the bridge he wants to talk about. I find the compassionate response of this man’s friend inspiring.  

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease touch many of our lives. Several rural libraries in New York host Alzheimer’s Association programs and support groups.

Tips from Johnna Schultz, Effingham Public Library
Below are some tips from Johnna Schultz from the Effingham Public Library in Illinois. Her contact information is included an she is happy to answer questions.
Tips for libraries starting a Alzheimer's Awareness group...

 1.  First, consider your community and what resources are already available.  In our case, there was an Alzheimer's support group, but no one knew about it - and everyone was afraid of it.

 2.  Look for people who want to educate others about Alzheimer's and dementia.  The education piece is crucial to allowing the project to mesh
so well with libraries.

 3.  If your library can convince the Alzheimer's Association to come and "Know the 10 Signs" that is wonderful, but if you are too small as we have been - try reaching out to your closest hospital or talk to others about who the best doctor or nurse practitioner is for older people and their families.  I'll admit getting a doctor or nurse practitioner to commit time to a program like this is tough.  So if your community has a respected person who leads a nursing home or - consider bringing in someone from outside your community.  Sometimes that can be helpful too - that lets others see that you do see the issue as serious.

4.  Hopefully, once you've brought a group together a couple of times for just basic dementia and aging programs, you will begin to see the same faces and those folks will create their own connections and they may be willing to take the lead in hosting further programs for you.  They would also be a great sounding board as you consider which items you might want
to add to your collection to support them.  I have shared lists of titles with our EAAA group and asked them which ones they would recommend - and as I shared in the presentation - they have bought and placed with us the titles that they recommend.

5.  Check your local nursing homes to see if they require continuing education hours for their staff.  Many of the programs the EAAA hosts for us count toward professional development for these employees too.

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Click here to ASK FOR ADVICE ~~ Click here to GIVE ADVICE 
This Issue's Question: 
What is the best way for a non-librarian to learn how to catalog?
Last Issue's Question: 
Our Mayor asked me to give a presentation to the Village Board this year.  Does anyone do this, and if so what works and what is the expectation?  Should I do a powerpoint or just stand up and talk?  Should I have handouts?  What should I focus on?  We usually send in a budget request and I attend the meeting where the library is discussed, usually with at least one board member, but have never really prepared anything formal.  I appreciate any thoughts.  --20 Year Director This Year
Hooray for public presentations! This is a chance to humble (or not-so-humble) brag about all the great stuff that your library does. Whether or not you should use a PowerPoint depends on the capacity of the space where you'll be meeting -- some places need advance notice, others aren't set up for that sort of a presentation. Don't just rattle off statistics, but tell stories of people's lives where they intersect at the library. And see if you can get invited back every year -- the more people who hear your story, the better.  --PowerPoint Hussy

I would be talk to a staff member at the village's offices and ask whether they are equipped to do Power Point.  Be prepared with handouts that highlight the accomplishments of the library and how little money you run off of.  Always err on the side of being over-professional!    --A.G.

Last Week: Which of the following search terms will get you the most results?
Apples, Oranges  -- 42.9%
Apples or Oranges -- 42.9% (correct)
"Apples and Oranges" --14.3%
Apples and Oranges -- 0%

Why does OR give you more results?  Read this simple guide to Boolean Search Operators or check out the diagrams below. 

Freedom is the Best!

Tips for supporting social justice in your library!

Step 1: Cultural Diversity Training 

Tom Vitale, 
CCLS Outreach Coordinator

As libraries it is our mandate to provide the best possible information to our users, as well as our staff. In these uncertain political times, where emotionality often rules our every move, it is important for us to make sure our staff has the best possible resources and training to guide them in decisions when  they are dealing with delicate situations. Cultural and linguistic diversity are embedded into every community, regardless of size, socio-economic status or other myriad demographics. So where do we turn for the best types of training to combat ignorant stereotypes and arm our front line staff with an arsenal of awesome and factual information to de-escalate situations that may arise from time to time or in maintaining the peaceful order of our sanctuary community centers?
Ultimately face to face training is recommended in order to foster open dialogue and interaction. It also allows staff the opportunity to observe body language and other non-verbal communications that will come up in our daily schedules. Many cultures rely on non-verbal communication as their primary medium, and being able to demonstrate this in person provides for a better overall experience and retention. One important resource that may be overlooked is the regional NYS Human Rights Commission office. Every region has a NYS human rights commission office to deal with social, racial and status injustice. You may want to begin with contacting your regional commission office ( to schedule a hands on training on cultural and linguistic diversity.
Some other in person training opportunities can come from local social service departments, community based organizations with a focus on social and health services, national and international non-governmental organizations and non-profits with regional or local offices in your area. Even if these agencies do not have a local office, many of them will send a trainer out because it is their mission to make the world a kinder place through delivering these workshops. How about looking to a list of private practice social workers or psychologists in the area? Do you have a local college?  Many local colleges have departments or sub-departments with instructors and/or researchers who specialize in cultural and linguistic diversity. Community colleges may have a continuing education division with a community educator who can come in to deliver this type of presentation.
For those who simply cannot get away from their library due to time constraints, staffing, policies, funding, etc. there is web-based training. Most of these web-based seminars are free to access and often recorded for asynchronous participation. The following are some resources for web-based training in the area of cultural and linguistic diversity, many are health profession related, but have extensive, updated and objective content, which can easily be converted for our profession.
Finally here is a list of some great readings on cultural competency, cultural humility, and cultural and linguistic diversity in our libraries:
As always, if you feel you need additional information on any of these resources, please do not hesitate to contact myself at or your local library system outreach coordinator - we are always here for you! 


August 14: Rural Resources Symposium (Register Now)
September 6-9: Association of Rural and Small Libraries Conference in St. George (link)
November 8-11: NYLA 2017 in Saratoga Springs (link)




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Eli Guinnee, eNewsletter Editor: 
Tom Vitale, VP:

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