Library Advocacy Minutes

Wednesday, October 2, 2002, 7:00 p.m.


PRESENT: Cris Blanchard, Mary Fellows, Robert Ganz, Ethel LaPier, Lou Anne Lundgren, Margie Morris, Barbara Nichols Randall, Phil Ritter.

Call to Order – Ganz called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m., and everyone was introduced.

Minutes - The minutes of the meeting on September 4, 2002, were accepted as written.

Advocacy Network Concept – Mary Fellows explained this statewide effort of the NYLA Legislative Committee. She explained the need for three contacts for each legislator, and the group agreed that the "library leader" and "library-rated contact" were the most important for us to recruit at this time. Members will talk with selected colleagues about volunteering for these positions. She also emphasized that now is the time to write a letter to the Governor regarding his budget. Two members were recruited to do so. She and Ganz handed out examples of letters that they had written.

New York State Funding – Ganz noted that the state budget situation looks rather grim.

Albany County Legislative Funding – Ganz reported that all libraries had received their letter from the County and that they needed to get their "plans" to the County as soon as possible. No library has received any funds to date. Ritter explained the draft "Fact Sheet" that had been prepared and asked if that is what the group wants. It was agreed that it was and that it should be completed with the proper statistics for review at the next meeting. It was agreed that the "County Funding" information that had been collected was not very helpful and should not be pursued.

Rensselaer County Funding – It was reported that all the Rensselaer County libraries had received their county funds for this year and that nothing further needed to be done at this time.

Proposed Brochure of Library Services – Ganz presented his ideas of such a brochure, and the group expressed their opinions and suggestions. It was agreed that we should follow the format suggested by Ganz, and Ritter agreed that UHLS would produce a mock up of the brochure for review at the next meeting.

Proposed Letter Writing Campaign by the Public and Friends Groups – Randall distributed her idea of a bookmark or 3x5 card that could be distributed to the public to encourage them to support their local public library. It was agreed that UHLS would produce a mock up of this card/bookmark for review at the next meeting

Other Issues
a. Four County Library Lobbying Initiative – Randall reported that she had talked with several librarians from this system and that they said that not every library is participating in the initiative to close every library and have the staff come to Albany in March.

b. New Century Libraries Fact Sheet – Ganz reported that this statistical information is now on the New Century Libraries website and that we should all look at it.

c. Poestenkill Library Chapter 414 Initiative – Lundgren and Morris reported that the Poestenkill Library was not successful in getting the Town Council to support their Chapter 414 Local Votes Law measure, but they still were putting it on the November ballot. There was no need for Ganz and Ritter to write a letter of support as we had agreed to do last month.

Next meeting – It was agreed that the LAAC would meet next on Wednesday, November 6, 2002, at 7:00 p.m.

Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 7:52 p.m.