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Volume 19-17 | 4.23.19
Getting Ready for the 2020 Census
Libraries will be on the frontline when the 2020 Census is released next year, providing access to and help with technology, for their community members who will need to complete the questionnaire online. In the months leading up to the Census, libraries can also play a role as leaders in building awareness about the importance and the value of the Census in key populations through Complete Count Committees.  
On Thursday, May 16th, from 10:00 am-12:00 pm MHLS will host a 2020 Census Workshop. This event will provide an overview of the Census and how libraries can get started organizing Complete Count efforts in their own communities. Presenters Ian Hull, Deputy Director for the New York Regional Census Center and Mario D. Garcia, Partnership Specialist for Lower Hudson Valley Region, Field Division, U.S. Census Bureau will discuss:
  • How Census data is collected and protected
  • The laws that ensure the Census occurs and how the Census Bureau operates
  • A brief overview about complete count committees and information about jobs that will be offered through the Census.
Library directors and staff are encouraged to attend this meeting as well as bring representatives from local government and community-based organizations who are interested in ensuring everyone is counted in your community. Please register for this event through the MHLS online calendar
Please join us for the 2020 Census Workshop on May 16th to learn about how your library can help your community get counted!
The ten question Census will be largely digital for the first time, and there are many communities and populations that stand to be left out of the count, including traditionally hard-to-count populations like New Americans, young families and children, people with limited access to internet and those with limited experience with technology. The Census Bureau is working with Facebook, Google, and other tech giants to stem the flow of disinformation that's anticipated in the lead up to the Census. As trusted members in communities all over the country, libraries will be key partners in coordinating efforts to encourage people to complete the Census, and to provide them with necessary technological resources and support.
The Census impacts state and federal funds received locally; young families are more likely to participate in the Census when they find out it affects funding for their schools. Federal funding for Medicaid, local schools, highway planning and construction, CHIP, WIC, SNAP, HEAP, and more are distributed using formulas based on the decennial Census. Similar formulas based on the Census, or based on formulas based on the Census, are used to allocate state funding for programs like the Community Development Block Grant Program, and for planning purposes by businesses and nonprofits. An inaccurate count will result in lost funding, which helps offset state and local funds, and reduced representation at the state and federal levels.
Libraries are critical in making sure everyone is counted in the upcoming decennial Census in April 2020 and have the opportunity to take the lead and provide the support necessary for the people they serve to complete the questionnaire. Getting a complete count will result in better funding and fair legislative representation for your community.
MHLS will offer support to our member libraries with best practices for frontline service as well as guidance for making connections that will motivate people to complete the Census. For more information and resources visit or contact Casey Conlin, MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator,
MHLS Announcements
The 2019 MHLS Lab Project participants met for the first time on March 28th to delve into the topic, increasing program attendance. During this full day event, member library directors from each county reviewed best practices for creating, evaluating, and marketing programs, and developed a plan to implement key strategies and measure impact. In a culmination of the day's events participants developed a project goal to increase adult program attendance by 5%! The group will share their findings at the September Directors Association meeting.

(above) Participants work with  Casey Conlin , MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator and  Courtney Wimmers , MHLS Outreach & Engagement Specialist.
2019 Lab Project Participants:
  • Brooke Ditmar, Town of Esopus Library
  • Fran Harrison, Grinnell Public Library District
  • AnnaLee Dragon, Kinderhook Memorial Library
  • Michele Capozzella, Mahopac Public Library
  • Maureen Garcia, Mountain Top Library
  • Chrissy Lawlor, Olive Free Library Association
  • Dawn Jardine, Red Hook Public Library
MHLS Libraries
U.S. Congressman Antonio Delgado's staff held mobile office hours at several MHLS member libraries this month. Kicking off National Library Week with office hours at Cairo Public Library and Mountain Top Library. The following week Clinton Community Library and Hyde Park Library District both hosted Delgado's staff to connect local constituents with their congressman.
(above) Image from Congressman Delgado's Twitter feed.
Job Openings
Executive Director, Ramapo Catskill Library System
The Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) in Middletown, New York, is seeking an Executive Director. This is an opportunity to lead an innovative, collaborative, future- oriented library System in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York area.  We seek a leader who believes in visible leadership, empowering others to act and serve with accountability and integrity; supports professional staff development through education, mentoring, etc.; actively listens to all stakeholders; understands the demands of the evolving nature of the modern library and has skills to foster continued growth that supports new innovation and diversity.
Top candidates' experience should reflect our core values: 
  1. Equitable access to all library services throughout our service area;
  2. Open and effective communication with all member libraries, staff and trustees;
  3. Providing high quality consolidated and cooperative services in the most cost-effective manner;
  4. Increasing awareness about the value and importance of library services through active advocacy;
  5. Promoting a work environment of innovative, proactive, empowered staff who encourage respect for and trust in each other.
RCLS is a diverse consortia of 47 independent public libraries.  RCLS has a $4.9 million budget and a Full-Time staff of 25 working together to provide excellent service and value to member libraries and their patrons through current technologies, efficient resource sharing, collaboration, and shared expertise.  The service area of RCLS encompasses four counties: Orange; Rockland; Sullivan; and southern Ulster.  This service area covers 2,467 square miles with a population of 803,351.
General Summary:
The Executive Director, under the direction of the eleven-member Board of Trustees, has the overall responsibility for the general administration of System operations. This includes planning, directing, managing and overseeing the activities and operation of the System.
The Executive Director supervises and manages all RCLS staff, works with the Board, member libraries and their staffs, and any major stakeholders.  Working with these groups, the Executive Director will facilitate the design of a strategic vision for the System which aligns its mission with member library and community needs and priorities. 
Proven Skills and Abilities:
RCLS is looking for a candidate with a track record of vision, creativity and enthusiasm who wants to be part of an environment that is forward thinking.  We seek a Director with demonstrated:
  1. Written communications skills;
  2. Persuasive public address skills;
  3. Flexibility;
  4. Political expertise at local, regional, state and national levels;
  5. Collaboration, consensus building and conflict resolution skills; and
  6. Experience in recruiting, building and mentoring a workforce.
Minimum Qualifications:
Minimum qualifications include an ALA-accredited Master's Degree in Library Science; ability to obtain and retain a New York State Public Librarian Certificate, and a minimum of eight (8) years professional experience with a minimum of two (2) years administrative experience preferably in a public library system environment. Management experience in government, business, higher education or non-profit enterprises will be considered.
Preferred Qualifications:
  1. MBA or MPA Degree;
  2. Experience and skill in strategic planning and fiscal management;
  3. Demonstrated commitment to resource sharing and access to information in a member driven environment (familiarity with issues of consortia);
  4. Proven knowledge of library automation, telecommunications, and emerging technologies;
  5. Proven skill in vendor negotiation with the express purpose of lowering consortia costs without a degradation or loss of services;
  6. Valid driver's license and access to a vehicle is required.
Additional Skills:
  1. Experience with diverse populations;
  2. Foreign/ASL language ability;
  3. Familiarity with legislative processes.
The hiring salary range is $130,000 - $140,000 (placement being dependent on experience and qualifications) with an attractive benefits package.  A probationary period of six (6) months will be followed by an evaluation by the Board of Trustees.
RCLS is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to Affirmative Action and the treatment of all individuals with courtesy and respect. Women and Minority candidates are encouraged to apply.
To Apply:
  • Via Email: Please attach résumé, cover letter and at least three (3) written letters of recommendation on company letterhead and email in PDF format to
  • Via US Mail:  Ramapo Catskill Library System, ATTN: Search Committee, 619 Route 17M, Middletown, New York 10940-4395
Travel stipend for interviews will be considered for non Tri-State area candidates.
A full job description for the position may be accessed here: (Executive Director Job Description)
This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and the employee and is subject to change by the employer, as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.
Deadline for submission to be received at RCLS is: 5/31/19
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