Recommendations from our High School to College Committee

October 20th, 2016

Did you know that each of WNYLRC’s committees has its own LibGuide? Just click on the committee’s page on our website and follow the link. On these guides, you’ll not only find the committee rosters and meeting minutes, but also info about upcoming events and links to relevant resources. The High School to College Committee has started using a page on their guide to collect links to tools recommended by committee members at each meeting.

For example, Heidi Bamford recommended a tool at the August meeting, which she posted about: The Library of Congress’ Teacher’s Guides and Analysis Tool. Check back on this page every few months for new resources!



While you’re looking at our committee pages, check out the Committee for Health Information Access, who use their guide to link to reputable consumer health resources.

Destination Ellicottville: 50 Years of WNYLRC

October 5th, 2016

Our ongoing celebration of WNYLRC’s 50th anniversary finished with a bang at our Annual Meeting of the Membership in Ellicottville, held on Friday, September 30th. We met at the Ellicottville Brewing Company and had a day full of activity, including presentations, basket raffles, trivia, and of course, good food.

After breakfast, Executive Director Sheryl Knab gave opening remarks, and introduced our first speaker, Brian McFadden from the Ellicottville Chamber Commerce. Speaking on the topic of “Destinations,” Brian discussed the town’s growth from winter-popularity to having a year-round calendar of events and activities.


Next we heard from Laura Flanagan, Director of the Ellicottville Public Library, who spoke about the library’s long history, variety of locations, and how she has succeeded in building strong relationships with community residents and organizations.



Board of Trustees president Heidi Julien (University at Buffalo, Department of Library and Information Studies) presided over our business meeting, which included our annual awards, presented by Dawn Peters (Buffalo & Erie County Public Library). Our Excellence in Library Service award went to Renee Masters, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, and our Outstanding Program/Service award went to Erie Community College Libraries for their “Human Library” event.

Renee Masters

Renee Masters


ECC librarians Taheera Shaheed-Sonubi & Jamie Smith

ECC librarians Taheera Shaheed-Sonubi & Jamie Smith

During lunch, we had a ceremonial cake cutting, a slideshow of photos from WNYLRC’s history, and time for people to put in their raffle tickets for the multiple baskets available. The baskets were donated by WNYLRC committees and member institutions.



After lunch, we heard from our main speaker, Jennifer Reingold, who is the Senior Editor at Fortune Magazine. She spoke about what makes a good leader, including examples from the business world.


We then had short presentations from members at different library types, talking about the possibilities for WNYLRC and our libraries in the next 50 years: Mary Jean Jakubowski, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; Charles Lyons, University at Buffalo Libraries; Sue Bartle, Erie 2 BOCES SLS; Alicia Thompson, Erie 1 BOCES SLS; and Amanda M. Shepp, Marion H. Skidmore Library.

The meeting concluded with announcing the winners of the baskets and door-prizes. Some of our members stayed in the area to participate in some extra activities we had arranged, including a beer tasting and a tour of the Ellicottville Library.

Thank you to all our members for making this celebratory year, and our 50th annual meeting, a success! We look forward to another 50 years of working with you.

WNY Banned Books Week Roundup

September 27th, 2016

This week is Banned Books Week, but if you don’t have anything planned, you can always start considering some ideas for next year. Let’s take a look at what some of our member libraries are doing:

The University at Buffalo has a Banned Books Display at Lockwood Library.



Several Nioga libraries: Perry Public Library has a display of banned books, Richmond Memorial Library has a display of controversial movies, and the Corfu Free Library had a banned book theme for its book club.



Canisius College’s Bouwhuis Library is having several events this week, including readings from important historically banned/censored works, and a discussion led by librarian Jessie Blum.

The Just Buffalo Writing Center invited Canisius College Archivist Kathleen Delaney to speak to students about books that have been banned.





A Local “Little Free Library” in an Unlikely Place

September 20th, 2016

Last night I took my dog to one of the local off-leash dog parks, the Ellicott Island Bark Park (stay with me, this is library-related). This is part of Ellicott Creek Park, but being on an island (with a gate across the bridge) has made it an ideal place to take your dog for some running or playtime. I was surprised to see that near the middle of the island was a book case.


I took a look around the side and back, and confirmed that this was, indeed, a “little free library”.



In case you haven’t heard the term, the movement’s website explains:

A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share.

Little Free Libraries have been springing up around Western New York for years, and have previously been written about in Buffalo Rising and The Buffalo News. This map on the Little Free Library website shows that there are a ton of them in the Western NY area, with a variety of organizers, including schools, non-profits, and individuals (although the dog park one wasn’t listed there). Consider checking the map for LFLs near you.

It just goes to show that you never know where you’ll end up spotting a library-related service!

My dog, Ash, checks out the little free library.

My dog, Ash, checks out the little free library.

Jennifer Potter Promotes NF Library Programs and Partnerships

September 7th, 2016

Acting Director of the Niagara Falls Public Library, and active WNYLRC member Jennifer Potter had a letter published in the Niagara Gazette this week. In it, she announced that the library was partnering with Abate School (part of the Niagara Falls City School System), and Niagara University’s Family Literacy Center, to create an after-school literacy program.

It just goes to show how important it is for libraries to form partnerships within their local community, in order to stay relevant to patrons, and provide new and innovative services. For more examples of library partnerships, check out this article from Tech Soup for Libraries, Ten Examples of Successful Library Collaborative Projects.

Jennifer also wrote a letter in the Niagara Gazette last month, introducing herself and the library. WNYLRC got a mention for our grant funding of some of her digitization projects (thanks!), and she made the case for increased library funding. We’d love to see this as a regular feature in the paper, and encourage our other members to do the same with their own local papers. Nice work, Jennifer!