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,

Get Involved! Call for Nominations

A message from the RLRT President, Margo Gustina  

Are you passionate about rural librarianship? Do you have a colleague who is? The Rural Libraries Round Table has three open officer positions and is calling for nominations from the membership.
President: November 2017 - November 2019
Vice President: November 2017 - November 2018
Secretary: November 2017 - November 2019
If you would like to throw your hat in the ring, or someone else's, please send me an email directly:
Serving as RLRT's president the last two years was the best professional association decisions I've made. You all are my people and I will support the new officers as a proud RLRT member as long as you'd like.
All my best,

Congratulations to our Scholarship Winners!

Suzanne Macaulay of Bristol Library and Jessie Miglus of Ulysses Philomathic Library have won this year's very competitive RLRT Scholarship to attend the 2017 NYLA Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs.  Congratulations!

Mystery Link of the Day

Click above to learn more

Librarian Happy Hour in Western New York

Submit YOUR news!  Email
(or just reply to this email)

Special Report from ARSL

Roxanne Roscup
Youth Services Librarian, Sodus Community Library

One of the main reasons I wanted to attend the ARSL Conference this year was to learn about what libraries across the nation are doing to bridge gaps in the community. Several of the keynote speakers at the conference talked about finding your passion and libraries helping people to find theirs.  One of the speakers asked us to raise our hand if we felt we had found our passion in life.  Not even half of the attendees raised their hands.  I think this is very telling that so many adults are still trying to figure out their passion and purpose in life.  

One of the sessions that seemed to be an answer to helping people find their passion was presented by YALSA called “Future Ready Middle Schoolers.”  I knew there were conversations about this topic already going on in my community so I thought it would be helpful to see what libraries were doing to help with this initiative.  This program struck a chord with me because I think that communities can do more to provide skills and opportunities for kids that will help them to be better prepared when they have to make decisions about careers and furthering their education.  If we can help kids discover their passions earlier in life, maybe kids will do a better job of choosing a career path and be more successful with their endeavors.  The YALSA presenters had just started the pilot program this year and were partnering with business owners and agencies in their communities to provide health and wellness programs and team-building activities for middle school children.  YALSA is looking for more libraries to get involved, so I am hoping to join this initiative for the pilot program during their third year. 

Photos from ARSL!

by Hope Decker 

Click below for more photos!


The Best Tips

An Interesting Twist

Valle Blair

With school starting and all the lists of things to do to help a child succeed, here is one from HornBook with an interesting twist.

Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader

Click above to downloaded and printed to hang in your library or to hand out.
Share it with your school!

Which would you most like to remove from your job duties?
Managing Staff
Maintaining Technology
Customer Service
Last Issue:  Are you going to NYLA 2017?
Yes -- 55.6%
No -- 33.3%
Maybe...possibly...I hope so! -- 11.1%

Freedom is the Best!

Tips for supporting social justice in your library!

Adopt a Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Help other organizations or your parent organization do the same
Train all new staff on the policy
Review the policy with all staff once a year 

Here are a few samples to get you started.

We serve as safe havens and as trusted community resources for all.

Libraries can be places of comfort and support during sad and challenging times, and serve as powerful forces for change by promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

We are in a unique and special position to promote these values and take a strong stand against hate and intolerance. We serve as safe havens and as trusted community resources for all...

...Our commitment to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion for all is unwavering. At the Bellingham Public Library, these responsibilities shape everything we do and form the core of our mission: Connecting our community with each other and the world to read, learn, meet and discover.

--Bellingham Public Library

The Best Calendar 

November 9,  6 PM – 7 PM @ Saratoga Springs Public Library: RLRT Annual Organizational Meeting!

November 8-11: NYLA 2017 in Saratoga Springs

Registration now open (Advanced registration rates through Sep 30)
Click below to download the complete NYLA program report from RLRT VP Tom Vitale, which includes details of our annual organizational meeting.   **Want to help with the RLRT Booth?  Yeah you do!  Contact Rebecca Budinger-Mulhearn at to volunteer your time and creative genius**  


November 7-10: NYLA 2018 @  Rochester

The Best Sustainability News  

NYLA Council Approves Sustainable Library Certification Program; Historic Decision Launches First Benchmarking Initiative of Its Kind
September 2017: The New York Library Association (NYLA) is proud to announce a one-of-a-kind opportunity for New York’s public libraries to step up as sustainability leaders in their communities: The Sustainable Library Certification Program.
The Council of NYLA approved the program at their August 10, 2017 meeting, on the recommendation of the NYLA Sustainability Initiative Committee (NYLA-SI), to help realize the goals of the Council’s own Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries. That resolution, passed February 6, 2014, articulated the commitment by NYLA to “...enthusiastically encourage activities by its membership – and itself - to be proactive in their application of sustainable thinking in the areas of their facilities, operations, policy, technology, programming and partnerships.”
The Sustainable Library Certification Program’s cutting-edge benchmarking system is designed to help libraries improve their “triple bottom line” as environmental stewards, economically feasible institutions and as community leaders that place great stock in social equity.
This initiative exemplifies the commitment of NYLA and our member libraries to community leadership,” said Barbara Stripling, President of the New York Library Association. “It is our willingness to take on important issues, and help our communities find solutions, that ensures that libraries will always be an integral part of our communities.”
Organizations that achieve Certification through this program will:
  • reinforce their roles as leaders in their communities
  • ensure that sustainability remains part of their library's process and practice in the future and
  • receive recognition for their commitment to making their communities more resilient, while making their communities stronger
NYLA is thrilled to serve as a conduit for this important work, bringing together the efforts and passions of the dedicated members of the Sustainability Initiative,” said Jeremy Johannessen, NYLA Executive Director. “This certification program serves as an important step in ensuring the long-term vitality of the libraries in our state.”
The Committee has worked to create and assess a custom process modeled on what has proven successful in other industries - from the business world (e.g. B Corporation certification), to the world of construction (e.g. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification), to academia (e.g. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System). This tool fills the void in the library field.
The Sustainable Libraries Certification Program will be the first of its kind in the nation, if not the world. The program is designed to lead a library’s administration, board, and staff through a series of questions and activities that ultimately lead to creating a more sustainable, resilient, and regenerative library that is well positioned to help its community thrive.
Work a library will undertake to strengthen their organizational culture of sustainability through this program will include a variety of activities including an employee survey; policy development; data collection to benchmark resource usage; program design; and outreach efforts in your community. Technical assistance in completing the certification path will be provided.
This program is open to all public libraries in New York. There is a discounted rate structure through the end of 2017 for early adopters. Versions for the academic and school library community are currently in development.
To learn more please visit:  and sign up for one of the introductory webinars being offered this fall:
  • Monday, October 16 from 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Friday, November 17 from 11:00am-12:00pm

Please register online for the session that works best for you:



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Margo Gustina, President:
Eli Guinnee, eNewsletter Editor: 
Tom Vitale, VP:

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