Trailblazer Spring 2003

The Newsletter of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System
Spring 2003, Volume 5, Issue 2
In This issue:

  New York State Library Assistants' Association Annual Conference
  Have You Heard?
  What's in a Website?
  Plattsburgh Public Library Gets a New Look
  Feature Library: E.M. Cooper Memorial Library, Wilmington
  What CEF's Move to a New Library Automation System Means to You
  Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam: Spam and Facts
  It's Only Natural
  YSS Spring Conference Yields Usable Ideas, Information: Jane Bouchard Reports
  Money for Libraries: Budget News Hot Off the Press
  Construction Grants
  Tea and Technology
  Help for Your Gates Upgrades
  Picture This… Imagine That… Read: Summer Reading Program 2003
  New CEF Board Member

New York State Library Assistants' Association Annual Conference

Our Silver Lining: 25 Years Supporting Library Assistants

The 25th Annual NYSLAA Conference, hosted by the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, will be held at The Inn at Smithfield on June 11-13, 2003. Computer labs at SUNY Plattsburgh have been reserved for several of our workshops, as well as a tour of the Special Collections of the Feinberg Library. We have tried to cover a wide variety in our workshop choices so that there would be something for everyone. Public speaking, distance learning, budgeting, time management and children’s programming are just a few of the topics being offered this year.

We’ve planned a sunset cruise for Thursday evening. The Spirit of Plattsburgh will be the setting for our cruise, which includes a buffet style dinner followed by music and dancing.

For those arriving early, we have a bus trip to Montreal. You can experience the French influence in Old Montreal through its sights, cuisine and culture. Our mixer will be pool side at The Inn at Smithfield. Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will allow us the opportunity to meet and greet our old friends from all over New York State.

Our keynote speaker, Bill Fiege, comes to us from Longwood College in Virginia. He plans to talk to us about “The Personal Touch”. With all the technology available today, sometimes we forget how important the “personal touch” can be. Bill will also be a speaker for our “Public Speaking” workshops.

So whether you come for the trip to Montreal, the sunset cruise on Lake Champlain, the workshops, or the networking with old friends, I’m sure you can find something of interest at this year’s conference. The conference brochure is available on our web site – Hope to see you there.

- Tracey LaBarge, Conference Chair

Have You Heard?

The Peru Free Library welcomes Becky Pace as their new library director. Becky is replacing Kristin Feigle who is about to become a full time new mother. We wish them well in their new endeavors.

Alison Mandeville has replaced Susan Travis as director of the Champlain Memorial Library. Welcome, Alison!

Anna Court has been appointed Director of the E.M. Cooper Memorial Library, Wilmington. Welcome, Anna!

The Keene Valley Library Association has finished its weeding project and hopes to barcode the collection this summer.

Linda Auclair has been appointed Director of the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, Tupper Lake. Linda replaces Chalice Dechene, who has retired after more than 40 years of service. Welcome Linda and best wishes, Chalice!

The CEF Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 16 at the Malone Golf Club. Save the date and stay tuned for more information coming your way soon!

Ron Brunelle is the new smiling face that may be appearing with your CEF van delivery. Be sure to say hello to Ron and our old friend Calvin Mitchell as they fill in for Bob Welch and keep our delivery service going smoothly over the next few months.

What's in a Website?
The Internet has become an integral part of library service and provides us with an incredible amount of information. Mastering the art of searching is one thing, but how do we know if the information we find is accurate? How can we tell if the web sites that turn up when we finish our search are good ones?

There are a few basic guidelines to follow in searching the web for information. Using either a search engine or a subject directory to look for information, you enter one or two search terms and hope for the best. Now that you’ve performed your search, you’ve got some solid hits and have retrieved what look like promising web sites. Let’s take a quick look at these sites. Many of the search engines and directories offer paid listings: for a fee individuals or companies can have their web sites listed, often at the top of the list. These are noted as “sponsored sites” and should be viewed as advertisements more than informational sites.

Many search engines list results based on relevancy. Each search engine has its own formula for determining how relevant a site is to your search. Usually relevance has to do with the number of times a search term appears in the text of the contents of a page. The sites with greatest relevance appear first in the list of unsponsored results.

The authority of a site is one of the most important things to consider in evaluation. When you’re looking at “Doug’s Web Site” you want to know as much as you can about Doug. Is he a specialist in his field? Is there information about Doug that’s easy to find in the site? If the site is sponsored by an organization, look for an “About Us” link and a “Contact Us” link. These are very important in determining the nature and scope of the organization.

There are obvious red flags on some web sites—spelling or grammatical errors should make you suspicious right away. If there are citations to other sources, you can check those sources for verification, or at least determine if those sources are familiar to you. If there is an obvious bias or viewpoint represented by the page you should be immediately aware of it. Obviously the National Rifle Association will present information in a different light than other organizations would. If there is advertising on the page you should also be suspicious of its contents.

Always look for the date that the page was last updated—this is crucial information. If the last update was 1999, this is probably not your best source of information. Many sites are updated monthly or more often and these are your best bets. If there are links to other sites, check these links to see if they’re active links. If the sites being linked to are dead, this is a sign that the web page in your search hasn’t been updated recently.

Finally, study the presentation of the page. Although this may not seem important, it can be revealing. Sometimes more graphics hide the fact that there is less content. How easy is it to read the text of the page? Are the graphics relevant to the content? You can learn a lot from the “decorations” on a page. A professional presentation can lend credence to a web site.

These are just a few tips to help unravel the mysteries of the Web. There’s a garden of information there but the trick is figuring out which are the flowers and which are the weeds.

-- Elizabeth Rogers, Reference Librarian
Plattsburgh Public Library Gets a New Look

The Plattsburgh Public Library is sporting a new look these days. The City Council approved the expenditure of $340,000, to give the Library a much needed upgrade to its public service areas. The walls have been painted, new carpet has been laid, and there is new shelving and furniture on the main floor and in the children’s department. In addition to these cosmetic changes, the library received construction grant funds to make the men’s room on the children’s floor handicapped accessible and to install an electric eye in the elevator to prevent closing while someone is entering or exiting. Another grant was received to offset the cost of the carpeting. While the main library was closed on Oak Street, there was a temporary branch opened only a few blocks from the library that handled fiction materials for adults and children. The renovation started at the end of March and is expected to finish at the end of May. The anticipated date of opening the renovated Oak Street site is Monday, June 9.

The Library will host an open house for the community on Sunday, June 29, 2003, from 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. Member library staff and trustees are invited and should be receiving invitations at the beginning of June. Come and join us and see our new look!
-- Sonia Long, Director











Feature Library: E. M. Cooper Memorial Library, Wilmington

The E. M. Cooper Memorial Library serves the small town (population 1,131 ) of Wilmington, New York. Located on the bank of the West Branch of the AuSable River, the Wilmington-Cooper Library was founded in 1918. The turbulent early history of the Library included losing its endowment through embezzlement at a local bank, and the transfer of books to the town hall when operating funds ran out. Through hard work, local support, and donations from near and far, the Library was able to re-open in its own lovely building in 1982. The books were transferred from the town hall by local residents forming a "book brigade" to cover the few short blocks.

The Wilmington-Cooper Library is open 24 hours a week over a four-day period. It is a very lively place with over 860 library cardholders, three computers for public use, several teen interns, and children's and youth programming. The Library houses some of the collection of historical artifacts and hosts the monthly Wilmington Historical Society meeting. A healthy book-buying budget, and a circulation in 2002 of over 3,300 adult and children's books keeps the front desk busy. Even the best-read patrons have new books to devour.

The Library is governed by an eight-person Board of Directors and has an active "Friends of the Library" group. The new Director is Anna Lee Court of Wilmington, replacing Meg Stone who was Director from 1999-March 2003. Anna has had experience working in elementary and high school libraries and in youth development.

The Library is an active participant in the community's cultural life. Story hour and craft time for children takes place every Saturday with from six to ten children attending each time. School and church classes visit the Library regularly, and the Wilmington Youth Center summer program participants spend one morning a week at the Library during the summer. A group of local teens met recently to design a space for young people in an unused portion of the Library's finished basement. The Library will apply for a grant to renovate this area. The Library also sponsors special cultural programming for children. This coming summer, with support from the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks, the Library will offer a four-week, musical performance program for children ages 5 - 11 on Saturday mornings.

The Wilmington-Cooper Library is very fortunate to have a knowledgeable and dedicated Webmaster, Patrick McIntyre, a Wilmington resident and head librarian at North County Community College in Saranac Lake. The Library's web site ( includes current Library news, new books, and many links to specialized, reliable databases for students and others to use.


What CEF's Move to a New Automation System Means to You

Whether your library is automated or not, the upcoming change in our automation software from MultiLIS to Dynix will bring some benefits to you and your patrons. The process of changing over won’t happen overnight, but we expect it to begin at the end of 2003. This is what you can expect:

The CEF web catalog will be enhanced with images of book covers, tables of contents, review, summaries and excerpts for recent publications. This is an exciting addition that helps increase the attractiveness of our “wares,” and also makes it easier to see if you’ve found the item you’re looking for.

The CEF web catalog will be able to limit its search to the holdings of a specific library. This means that you will be able to use the web catalog as an effective online card catalog for your library that is more up-to-date than Icepac.

Patrons with barcoded library cards will be “empowered” by the new automation software in several ways. Sophisticated patrons will enjoy being able to check their accounts online to see what items they have, and when they’re due back. Automated libraries may allow their patrons to place requests and renew items online. Patrons will also be able to use their barcoded cards to gain access to the New York State funded Novel databases from home or work.

CEF and the libraries will have more power to manage the bibliographic database, correct errors, and produce reports and statistics that will help in planning, weeding, and purchasing decisions. Dynix has promised us a special set of reports to make filling out the annual state report easier!

Stay tuned for more as we go forward with this project!

-- Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam: Spam and Facts

You may have heard on the news recently that the world “celebrated” the 25th birthday of spam (not the canned meat, the electronic kind!) on May 1, 2003. Here are some facts about our “favorite e-mail treat.”


“Spam” is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services.” (according to

How common is it?

Nearly 40 percent of all Internet e-mail is unsolicited and unwanted—up from 8 percent in late 2001, according to Brightmail, a company that blocks spam for six of the nation's top ten ISPs. Jupiter Research, which tracks Internet activity, claims the average e-mail user received 2,200 spam messages over the past year.

Why is it called spam?

According to PC World Magazine, a Monty Python’s Flying Circus skit, circa 1970, inspired the use of the word “spam” to mean unsolicited e-mail. In the skit, people try to order breakfast in a cafe where all the menu items include Spam. Meanwhile a band of Vikings breaks into song, chanting "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam," drowning out everyone else, just as e-mail spam can drown out the other e-mail in your inbox.

What can you do about it?

Some Internet service providers do a reasonable job of blocking spam. If you have a bothersome spam problem, you might try installing an antispam program on your computer. A review of some of the programs available was in the February 25, 2003 issue of PC Magazine. The full text is available in EBSCOHOST MasterFile Select database – just search for “Slam the Spam.” You can get to EBSCOHOST MasterFile Select via the CEF website, in the Reference Section. Call Betsy Brooks if you can’t locate it or are prompted for a password and don’t know what it is.
It's Only Natural

Now that spring is here we can spend more time outdoors, appreciating the sights and sounds of nature. There are plenty of web sites to help us identify what’s going on - living in the Adirondacks offers us great exposure to plants, wildflowers and animals galore. Here are just a few sites to enhance those walks we should all be taking to enjoy the spring weather.

If you’re interested in birds, there’s a wide range of coverage on the Internet, from very scientific to the more casual observer. The most versatile and extensive coverage I found is at, which is a great place for both beginner and expert birdwatcher. There is information on identification, equipment, tours, organizations, ornithology, discussion groups, and plenty more. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, at has a friendly approach to scientific information in an apparent attempt to make ornithology more appealing to the backyard birder. They’ve met with a fair amount of success at that. Good general information can be found at, the homepage for a nonprofit birdwatchers’ organization. Although I can’t determine who sponsors it, bird perch. com, at offers a substantial listing of other sites, a huge variety in both geography and scope. Naturally the Audubon Society has a good site for birding as well which can be found at Locally there’s the High Peaks Audubon Society, at, where you can post questions and local bird sitings as well as check on local birding locations. There’s a wonderful listing of Birds of New England, complete with color photographs and descriptions at My all-time favorite site is sponsored by SUNY Stony Brook and includes audios of bird songs of some New York state birds. Even if you’re not particularly interested in bird songs this site is bound to cheer you up. At you can entertain yourself while listening to the great melodies of many of the birds you hear in our own neighborhoods.

There aren’t quite as many sites for wildflowers, but there are plenty of places to check nevertheless. One of the best sites is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, at Here is a comprehensive listing with color photos and descriptions. It’s true that not all of these species are local to our area but many of them are. Although it’s a commercial site, Easy Wildflowers has a great list of native wildflowers at The web site of the New England Wild Flower Society has good general information at As with its coverage of birds, has great color photos and descriptions. Although I don’t generally recommend web sites sponsored by individuals, there is a good site at that lists wildflowers of the Southeastern United States. This site includes and incredibly comprehensive listing with illustrations and notations, many cited from other sources. Since our climate is similar, Canadian sites are also helpful, so I found to be a good bet.

A walk in the woods is what you make it. Look up, look down—there’s always something to discover. The wildflowers are coming up now, the birds are busy singing, and it’s a wonderful time of year to take advantage of the great Adirondack outdoors.

-- Elizabeth Rogers, Head of Reference & ILL


In Clinton County:

Chazy Public Library

Chazy Library is now back to our normal 25 hours a week. I am so glad to be back, interacting with patrons again (and calling on the great CEF staff for help again). I am also looking forward to seeing the newly renovated CEF headquarters.

We have installed new lighting in the children's room and in our entrance and this is a great improvement. Now we're preparing to hold our Library Tax Request Vote on June 3rd (unless the school votes get postponed until then).

The Friends of the Chazy Library held their annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 12th, hosted by Fred Smith. The Easter Bunny told me that there were about 40 pre-school children scrambling for the hidden eggs. On Saturday April 26th the Friends held their annual membership luncheon at the Anchorage in Rouses Point. 
-- Francie Fairchild, Director

In Essex County:

Schroon Lake Public Library

The Schroon Lake Public Library has been very busy so far this spring. 
    Members of our newly formed Friends of the Library attended the Plattsburgh Public Library auction and were able to secure a "like new" circulation desk, a doubled-sided computer workstation and four Stickley chairs for our children's room.  For those of you that were unable to make it to the auction, you missed some great deals! 
We will be holding a two-part workshop entitled, "Computers Don't Byte", on May 20th and 27th from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon.  Betsy Brooks will bring her portable computer lab to teach our patrons the basics of computer usage including mouse skills, word processing, the Internet and how to send e-mail.
Our monthly quilting group and book discussion group continue to be very popular with our patrons.  The book discussion group especially has done very well and continues to attract traditional non-library users.
In conjunction with the summer reading program, we will be offering a “Cartooning for Kids” workshop on Thursday, July 31st from 11:00 a.m. until 12 noon.  Stan Burdick, owner of the Hague Cartoon Museum will be telling stories using his cartoon skills and will teach the kids the art of basic cartooning.  If you are looking for a great theme related program for this summer, I highly recommend Stan - he is very reasonably priced!  We will also host Penelope the Clown on August 14th to end the season. For further information you can contact me at the library at 532-7737.

During July and August, weekly story times will be held every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and weekly craft classes will be held on Thursday afternoons.  This year we will be offering “Scrapbooking 101”, “Create Your Own Picture Frame”, “Design Your Own Game Board”, “Bookmark Mania” and “Design a Camp Box”. 
-- Jane Bouchard, Director

Paine Memorial Library, Willsboro

The Paine Memorial Library is looking forward to a busy spring and summer schedule with many local artisans showing at the library including Michelle Barber, Robin Brown, Steven Kellogg, Patricia Reynolds, Alice Wand, Florence Winn, Debra Koechel, Carolyn Vanderhoff and Eleanor Sweeney. Patricia Reynolds has donated another beautiful watercolor to be raffled off as a benefit to us. Be sure to purchase your ticket before August 10th where the winning ticket will be drawn at Patricia's Annual Art Exhibition at the Westport Yacht Club.
  We also have planned our 21st Annual Old Time Folk Craft Fair on July 26th. This popular event will be held rain or shine.
For those of you who enjoy golf, the 7th Annual Ellie Campbell golf Scramble will be held on July 31st with a rain date of August 1st. Last year we had over $1600.00 in prizes. Food is also supplied all day. Be sure to sign up early at the Willsboro Golf Course.
Summer reading programs start June 30th at the Paine Memorial Library. Participants are encouraged to call or stop by the library to register.

--- Cheryl Blanchard, Director

In Franklin County:

Saranac Lake Free Library

The Elinor B. Preis Reading Challenge, with its theme All Trails Lead to the Library, began Monday, February 10. Children in kindergarten through eighth grade participated. The campaign was planned by a committee of capital campaign committee members, local school librarians, representatives from the home school community, the Preis family, and library director Betsy Whitefield. The Challenge honors the memory of Elinor B. Preis, a summer resident who valued reading for children throughout her life.

Children will mark their reading progress on a trail map as they read or are read to at least fifteen minutes a day. Footprints on a master trail map at each school and at the library will show the progress toward the goal of a total of 7,500 books read during the three month period. “It’s been very exciting planning this project with the school librarians and other community members,” said Betsy Whitefield. “It’s given us a chance to get together and discuss our common goal of encouraging children to read. The librarians have been very generous, attending meetings on their own time.”

When the 7,500 book goal is reached, the family of Elinor B. Preis will make a contribution of $17,500 towards the new children’s room which is planned for the library.

“Our family hopes that children will feel not only a sense of pride and ownership in the library, but also will develop a lifelong interest in reading,” commented Elinor’s son, Michael Preis.

Every child who participates will have her or his name inscribed on a permanent plaque to be mounted in the new children’s room.

-- Pat Wiley, Saranac Lake Free Library

Capital Campaign Chairman Larry Poole (left) and Susan Stiles, Saranac Lake Free Library Board member, display the master trail map that is being used to chart overall progress in the Elinor B. Preis Reading Challenge. The trail map was created by local artist Kay Best.

-- Photograph by Pat Wiley



Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, Tupper Lake

The Goff-Nelson Memorial Library is pleased to announce that it has recently hired a new manager. Linda Auclair, who was most recently employed at Trudeau Institute, will assume the duties of library manager from retiring librarian Chalice Dechene.

A series or art exhibits is ongoing at the library. The series began in March with a show by local artist Newton Greiner. It will continue through mid-May with a show entitled “North Country Artists in Public Spaces.” Following “Public Spaces,” “2003 Traveling Landscape Exhibit” will be on show until the end of June, courtesy of the Arts Council of the Northern Adirondacks.

We have also been busy this winter planning a few capital improvements to the library. The first project, the enclosure of the Simmons Memorial Room with a soundproof glass wall, will allow meetings to take place within the Memorial Room without disturbing the reading activities of other patrons. A second project, the purchase and installation of a generator, will permit the library to function in spite of local power outages (which seem to less and less frequent these days – we hope!)
-- Linda Auclair, Director

YSS Spring Conference Yields Usable Ideas, Information: Jane Bouchard Reports

This spring I attended the Youth Services Annual Spring Conference on Long Island.  To those of you that have never attended one of these conferences I highly recommend that you try attending one.  They are so informative and fun!

I found a program entitled "The Invisible Web" especially useful.  Here are a few workshop highlights:

  1. Most librarians use Google or Yahoo as their search engines.  However, these two search engines only represent one third of the information that is currently available on the web.  They do not index tons of information that is available.  So, how do we access this information?  There are new search engines out there that do not follow the same rules as Google and Yahoo. For a different take on online searching, try,,, and

 2. There is a site called MRQE.COM which is the Movie Review Query Engine.  This site has information and reviews on any movie that was ever made.  It is awesome if you are into movies.
  3. is a site that has all the files from the tobacco companies that have been hidden for years.  It would be great resource for a kid doing a reporting on smoking or second-hand smoke.  Check out which is the FDA’s “children tobacco compliance” checker.  At this site you can enter either a town or state and receive a list of establishments that sell cigarettes, plus information on whether they sold to minors.  This is another great site for kids doing a report but I did not find any local establishments listed; they were all downstate.
  4.  Another nifty tip I learned: if you type in a search in a search engine and then click the word cached , when you receive your results, the word(s) you were searching will be highlighted.  This is very useful when you are bringing up multiple page documents and don't have time to read them to get the information you want!

  The presenter for this workshop has his own web site which he upgrades regularly with all kinds of nifty things. You can check it out at . Enter to see the power point presentation for the workshop I attended.

I found a workshop called Scrapbooking 101 interesting and useful. 

When I signed up for this class I wondered how I would ever apply this to my work at the library.  This workshop was so much fun and the presenters had some great ideas for using scrapbooks in your library.  The suggestion was made to take pictures of all events that are held or sponsored by the library from your story times and summer reading programs to the float you entered in the local parade. Each event can be covered one one or two pages in your scrapbook. If you have your scrapbook out in a conspicuous place, your patrons will flock to it. -- people love to try to find themselves and others they know. This is a also a great way to document programs the library has offered over the years. 

      Supplies needed:   album, photos, acid free paper, adhesive (acid free glue sticks, photo corners, double sided tape), scissors, and acid free journaling pens. Acid free stickers to embellish your creations are a nice optional touch.

    Getting Started: 
         1.  Select a theme
         2.  Print pictures, crop
         3.  Mount pictures on colored paper to frame your pictures
         4.  Decide on your layout - make it even
         5.  Mount your pictures onto background paper ( the sheet of paper that will be in your scrapbook)
         6. Add your “ journaling” - who, what, where, when
         7. Embellish page - use stickers, headings, cutouts – you are only limited by your imagination!
         8. Add your newly created page to your scrapbook and enjoy!

--Jane Bouchard, Director, Schroon Lake Free Library
Money for Libraries, Budget News - Hot Off the Press

Every time I sit down to write this something changes. Today the Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of library aid. This is wonderful news for all of us, but I understand that the fight is not over. The Governor is very committed to his budget and tax views and, we are told, may take other action to keep the Legislature’s budget restorations from happening. So who knows what the story will be tomorrow?

Please continue to contact Betty Little and Chris Ortloff or Teresa Sayward and let them know that you appreciate libraries and the restoration of library funding. Right now telephone calls to their offices are best. Betty’s number is 455-2811, Chris can be reached at 455-5943, and Teresa’s number is 455-5565.

As always, thanks for your help!

Construction Grants

Five CEF member libraries have received FY 2003 Public Library Construction Grants.  They are:  Hammond Library, Crown Point ($2,535), Plattsburgh Public Library ($3,300), Saranac Lake Free Library ($2,603), Wells Memorial Library Association, Upper Jay ($2,502), and the AuSable Forks Free Library ($7,500).
Tea and Technology

Are you ever frustrated by technology?

Do you ever need someone to talk to about what works (and what doesn’t
work), or a non-threatening, convenient way to increase your knowledge about computers, software and the Internet?

We have a great opportunity for library staff members in CEF libraries! Thanks to a grant from the Gates Foundation to New York State, Patty Perez from the Lake Placid Public Library, and Edie Morelock, Director of the Mooers Free Library have attended “train the trainer” workshops and stand ready to be technology mentors. One of them will be contacting you soon to invite you to a 3-hour group meeting at a nearby library. You’ll be able to choose to go yourself or have another person from your library attend – or send two people.

There will be refreshments, and an informal discussion of technology and
training needs in your libraries. Libraries can share their pitfalls and best practices, and mentors will share what they learned in their training, including information on some valuable Internet and database resources. Each person who attends the meeting will receive a $25 stipend to defray mileage, time, and/or substitute costs.

You can expect to be contacted by your mentor before the end of May. If
you have any questions, feel free to call Betsy Brooks at 563-5190 x35.

Patty Perez (front row, first on left), Edie Morelock (back row, second from left)
and Betsy Brooks (back row, second from right) joined colleagues from the North Country Library System at “Train the Trainer” workshops sponsored by the Gates Foundation in late March.

Help for Your Gates Upgrades

As you may know, libraries that received computers from the Gates Foundation have recently received large boxes containing a software and hardware upgrade and assorted manuals. Despite my earlier misgivings, the upgrade is worth doing. You CAN save the children’s programs and Norton Antivirus. Your computers WILL be better off after the upgrade, and will last longer and be more trouble free. The only downside is the time it takes!

There are some small errors in the directions. Overall, the directions are excellent, but the small errors may trip you up. If that happens, you have some good resources to fall back on.

1. The website: On this website are the instructions about saving the children’s programs, and various corrections and helpful tips about the upgrade. Print out the parts that apply to you and refer to them as you do the upgrade!

2. CEF: I have been through the upgrade a few times now with various libraries. I have seen some of the stumbling blocks and I would be glad to try to help you through them. If you’d like to schedule your upgrade for a time when I’ll be available for phone consultation in my office, give me a call and let me know.

3. The new CEFDA listserv – a good place to find out if anyone else had the problem you’re having!

4. John Viestenz, who volunteered to upgrade the computers at the Sherman Free Library in Port Henry. He wrote “I'm not really looking for too much extra work, but if anyone else needs help with their upgrades, let me know (before I forget all that I've learned in these last few weeks).” A generous offer! There are too many good tips to print here, so do call Gates or CEF if you run into a snag or would like John’s notes.

-- Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian

Picture This… Imagine That… Read: Summer Reading Program 2003

This is an exciting summer to be participating in the Summer Reading Program at our local libraries! New York State is seeking one million willing readers this year and has made some changes in the way the program is promoted. Each child participating in the statewide program will not only have the opportunity to express their creativity at special library programs and by reading, but they will also be able to fill out coupons at the library that will make them eligible for drawings for free books! Museum discounts will be offered to participating children through a culture card that they can get when they enroll. One of the Museums participating is the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. We don’t have all the details on this yet, as it is a late-breaking development.

Libraries will be eligible to win some free books for their collections if they participate in the Statewide Summer Reading Program. One library in each county will be selected at the end of the program to win a collection of books from Scholastic. One library director in the state will also win a trip to the New York Library Association’s Annual Conference or a peek behind the scenes at Scholastic in New York City.

CEF is also working on some added publicity to help boost program attendance and the possibility of offering some special programs to participating libraries. We’ll be keeping you updated as new developments occur. Have a great summer and have fun!

-- Kathie LaBombard, Youth Services Consultant