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Volume 19-45 | 11.5.19 
MHLS Annual Meeting Highlights
More than 130 library directors, trustees, staff and special guests attended the MHLS 60th Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, October 25th at the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY.

man talking During the Business Meeting portion of the event MHLS Board President Mark Wilson (pictured right) reflected back on the year, noting:
  • The deliberate focus on outreach to member library boards and enhancing the boards visibility in advocating alongside our member libraries at the local, county and state level;
  • The board's commitment to good stewardship of the MHLS facilities with the completion of the Phase III renovations of the MHLS Auditorium; and
  • The feedback the board has received about our new MHLS Executive Director, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich's first year on the job. Mr. Wilson shared a series of comments provided by member library directors who expressed their appreciation for the outstanding and "unflappable" assistance provided to them by Ms. Aldrich.
We were joined by Assemblymember Didi Barrett of the 106th Assembly District who sponsored the recently passed bills that broaden access to the State Aid for Library Construction Program and Senator Sue Serino of the 41st Senate District, the largest district in our region, and her aide Lydia Biskup who presented Rebekkah with two proclamations from the New York State Senate: one to commemorate the 60th anniversary  of MHLS and the other acknowledging the System's recent achievement of becoming the first upstate public library system to be certified as a Green Business (more on that in a future issue of the MHLS Bulletin!)

women smiling
(l-r) Thea Schoep, Claverack Library Director, Assemblymember Barrett and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Executive Director

Three trustees were elected by the membership to five-year terms to commence January 1st, 2020: Mark Wilson, Columbia County; Richard Swierat, Dutchess County; and Mary Linda Todd, Greene County.

MHLS Executive Director Rebekkah Smith Aldrich presented a look back at the highlights of the year (onboarding of new key staff; our new delivery and Innovative contracts; the ILS Road Map; Auto Renewal, Text Messaging; Universal Class; and the reintroduction of the Programmers Users Group just to name a few!) and a preview of what is to come, such as the new Advocates & Ambassadors training; development of the Systems next 5-year plan of service; support for the 2020 Census; a workshop series devoted to the theme "Local Supports Local," and assistance to help libraries come into compliance with the new Minimum Standards for Public Libraries that will go into effect in 2021.

Two MHLS staff were recognized for their service milestones:
  • Isaac Barbee, Tech Support Specialist (10 years)
  • Thomas O'Connell, ILP Operations Supervisor (5 years)
(l-r) Isaac Barbee with supervisor Gerry Formby, MHLS IT Operations Supervisor.
(l-r) Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS ExecutivDirector and 
Thomas O'Connell

Outstanding Accomplishment Awards: Two member libraries were recognized for their recent grand openings:
  • Kinderhook Memorial Library
  • Stanford Free Library 
(l-r) AnnaLee Dragon, Kinderhook Memorial Library Director, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich and Gary Spielmann Kinderhook Memorial Library Board President
(l-r) Mark Williams, Stanford Free Library Board President, Arlene Christensen, Stanford Free Library Director and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

The 2019 Spotlight Presentation and Awards were presented to member libraries who were the early adopters of the new statewide program, The Great Give Back: a day of service facilitated by our libraries. Libraries receiving this award have demonstrated that they are ahead of the curve, advancing library science and service to meet the needs of their communities in new and creative ways. To learn more please visit, 

After the close of the Business Meeting the keynote presenter, Miguel Figueroa, Director of the Center for the Future of Libraries for the American Library Association, outlined the "scanning" process used to pinpoint trends on organizational, environmental, and global levels. Emphasis was placed on how libraries can adapt and utilize new innovations, that align with their goals and values, to provide services that continue to meet the needs of their communities.
MHLS Announcements
MHLS will be closed on Monday, November 11th in observance of Veterans Day. There will be no deliveries. MHLS staff will be available via the MHLS ticket system ( ) from 8:30am-4:30pm to support system-wide Sierra/catalog critical issues.
MHLS Libraries

Women holding dogs
(above)  Senator Serino  stopped by Pleasant Valley Free Library's 
pet adoption event.

During the month of October, 35 libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System participated in the first statewide initiative of The Great Give Back! These libraries provided a day of opportunities for library patrons to participate in meaningful community service experiences. Community service opportunities that libraries planned as part of The Great Give Back included art and writing projects to benefit the community, collections of items like socks, soap, and shampoo for people in need, food drives, pet adoption events, and an organ donor enrollment event. Many libraries also partnered with other organizations such as local fire departments, local food pantries, and local women's shelters to build connections in their communities and increase the impact of their efforts. This statewide program was brought to our region thanks to a partnership between the Mid-Hudson Library System and the Sustainable Thinking & Action Round Table (START) of the New York Library Association in recognition of the critical role libraries play in co-creating sustainable, resilient communities throughout New York. Libraries interested in participating in the 2020 initiative should look for information about how to participate in The Great Give Back event in the spring.
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