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#NYLA2020 : NYLA President's Program

 This is a new program, because there can't be an Inaugural Banquet this year. The two speakers are the current President, Dr. Jennifer Cannell, and the President-elect, Claudia Depkin.

Questions for Jen Cannell:

Accomplishments as Nyla President?

  • Most proud of interaction with members and NYLA unit leaders. Conversations about what NYLA is, what people can do together, what NYLA can be, etc.
  • She recognizes how hard this year has been on staff and is proud of what NYLA staff has done this year.
  • At the start of the pandemic, NYLA had 2.5 staff members and now has 5.
  • A focus on core values.  The way the conference program is organized, you can see which sessions support which NYLA values.
  • First cohort of school librarians who are participating in the Sustainability program.
  • Because she is NYLA president, she has been asked to do professional development for school library systems (approx. 70 hours of professional development).

What had Cannell planned to do, but could not get done because of COVID?

  •  Two different task forces: 
    • Diversity - focus on understanding diversity and what it means for our organization.  How can we be culturally responsive? Review policies and procedures. How can it drive our work? Jeremy is leading this.
    • Pathways to Librarianship - What are the barriers in place for people who want to join our profession, but can't.  Tim Furgal is leading this effort. Your rank in the profession should not be based on the color of your skin or your socio-economic background.
  • Civil Service Committee
  • Strategic Plan - It didn't seem right to move forward with it during the pandemic.  Depkin can move forward with this in whatever way she sees fit.

Advice to Depkin:

  • Focus on the members. This is your why.
  • Your time and energy shouldn't be divided up like a pie. You have to give your time equally.
  • Use your team - council, committees, NYLA staff, and members. 

Questions for Claudia Depkin:

Triple Bottom Line Defined
Top three goals?
  • Launching the Sustainable Libraries Initiative outside of NYS.  Libraries across the U.S. - and even outside of the U.S. - are interested in this. All of the decisions a library makes can be viewed through the triple bottom line of sustainability.  This connects with social justice.
  • The two task forces - the work of both will inform each other, and inform the strategic plan.

What do you think people need to know about NYLA?

  • It is for everyone, not just public libraries. The way the president is elected reflects this.
  • 5600 members currently.  Hopes more people will get more involved.

Questions from the audience:

  • How will NYLA help the state libraries and library workers deal with {long list}? 
    • This is the question of our age.  The task forces relate to this as well as the Sustainability Initiative.
    • NYLA has been working with systems to leverage opportunities.
  • A previous session mentioned professionals leaving the field, particularly people of color. Will the work on pathways to librarianship also include focus on people already in the profession and pathways for them to grow within the field?
    • Yes, this is part of it.  The Pathways page will be (not up yet) https://www.nyla.org/pathways



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#NYLA2020 : NYLA President's Program

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