Friends of the New York State Library | New York State Library News

New York
State Library News

For the People, the Government and the Libraries of New York State
Fall 2004


You can get information about these and other legal issues in an instant. Our Internet Law Bibliography offers data about New York State law, other states' statutes, municipal law, legal directories, forms, U.S. government law, and much more. Ask a member of the State Library staff for help or go to <>.


Ann Holohan Ross, Coordinator of the Capital District Genealogical Society (CDGS) Volunteers at the State Library, died at her home on November 12. Members of the CDGS assist researchers at the Library's genealogy support desk in the State Library's Reference Room on the seventh floor of the Cultural Education Center.


Send comments and questions about the New York State Library and its newsletter to Mary Redmond: <>.


New Co-chairs Jane Schneider and Lee Stanton lead the Friends of the State Library with grace and vigor.

The Governing Board of the Friends of the State Library recently announced that Lee Stanton and Jane Schneider are co-chairing the organization for the 2004-2005 term. Jane Schneider served as a government attorney with the State and for the City of Albany. Lee Stanton, former Head of Public Services at the State Library is now Archivist at St. Peter's Church in Albany.

Two energetic leaders, Stanton and Schneider recently met with legislative staff who work on funding for the Library. "We rely on each member's involvement with the Library as we work to obtain increased funding for the Library and its programs. You can see how central your membership in the Friends is in our activities and efforts," Schneider said.

Upon taking office, Stanton and Schneider reviewed the accomplishments of the Friends during the last year: "The Governing Board met with the Division of the Budget to inform them of staffing problems in the State Library. Since that meeting, the Library has filled several vacancies. Also, a Legislative Breakfast held by Friends for Legislators and their staff in March drew nearly 90 guests. In May, the Board met with an assistant to the Governor's Education Secretary to point out the importance of libraries in education. In addition, the Friends presented three well-attended, public programs that showcased the State Library's resources by featuring authors who researched their books at the Library."

Plans for the coming year include continued advocacy and the opening of an electronic mailbox to receive and respond to Friends' comments and suggestions.

The staff of the State Library, the Friends, and the New York State Library News salute Stanton and Schneider and their forward-looking leadership.


A New York Public Library auditorium overflowed with library supporters at a New York State Education Commissioner's recent meeting about the Regents' New Century Libraries initiative. Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, spoke about school libraries and the statewide summer reading program. Abby S. Milstein, Co-chair of the Regents Commission on Library Services and a trustee of The New York Public Library, gave an update on the New Century Libraries legislative initiative. State Education Department Commissioner Richard Mills spoke about how vital libraries are in education, their role in turnarounds for low-performing schools, the importance of building alliances throughout the educational community, and the ten-part strategy to strengthen libraries and library services in the New Century Libraries initiative.

Other distinguished participants included State Librarian Janet Martin Welch, Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. This meeting in New York City is one in a series of New Century Libraries Leadership Meetings held around the State.

For more information, go to: <>.

New York State Library News is produced by The Friends of the New York State Library and the New York State Library to inform New Yorkers about collections and services of their State Library.

Editor: Miriam S. Soffer

This newsletter is not published at State expense.

Visit the State Library's Web Site: <>

Search Excelsior, the online catalog of our holdings and access national and regional databases. Use the State Library Web site to:

If you don't have Web access from your computer, dial into our catalog at (518) 474-9851. For more information, call (518) 474-0719 or e-mail <>.



Resourceful staff prepared winning applications to harvest the dollars that power operation of many State Library programs:


Anna K. Cunningham Mary E. Cunningham

The State Library is now reviewing applications for four $1,000 grants awarded under the Anna K. and Mary E. Cunningham Research Residency Program in New York State History and Culture. These research residencies are funded by a bequest to the State Library by Anna K. Cunningham (1906-1996) on behalf of herself and her sister, Mary. Anna Cunningham, a Supervisor of Historic Sites of New York State, served on the boards of many state and national historic preservation organizations. Mary Cunningham (1917-1986) was a founder and first editor of American Heritage magazine. She held executive positions in the New York State Historical Society and started the Yorkers, to involve young New Yorkers in the study of history. The program is a fitting tribute to the sisters' lifelong interest in New York State history.

Resident scholars conduct original research at the State Library and give a brief public presentation about their work. The program was established in 1997. Topics explored by previous resident scholars under an earlier research residency program include: the history of the Mohican Indians in New York State; the evolution of agriculture and fruit growing in the Hudson Valley; and the history of Camp Sagamore, a "great camp in the Adirondacks." Projects with a high probability of publication, including those involving exhibits, and documentary films are encouraged. A panel of library staff and scholars will review proposals which were postmarked by January 15, 2005 and announce the winners by May 1, 2005. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2005. For more information, go to <> or call (518) 402-5437.


Join the Friends of the New York State Library. In addition to the deep satisfactions of preserving your heritage and sustaining a world renowned public research library, you can obtain special discounts at local book stores. Select:

To join Friends of the New York State Library, complete the form below and mail it with your check.

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Make check payable to Friends of the New York State Library and mail to: Treasurer, Friends of the New York State Library, PO Box 2247 Empire Plaza Station, Albany, NY 12220


Photo (Adirondack Mtns)

Up the left hand side of the picture: From the collections of the State Library

Caption for picture: This postcard scene of Whiteface Mountain and the Ausable River captures the awesome beauty of the Adirondacks.

"Few fully understand . the Adirondack wilderness . It is a mystery even to those who have crossed and recrossed . its vast and silent recesses ."
Verplanck Colvin, 1879

Over a century later, much of the "vast and silent recesses" of the Adirondacks remain mysterious. Kayaking its quiet lakes and climbing its high peaks are two good-weather paths to discovery, but even on the stormiest days, clues can be found in two collections at the State Library: The Adirondack Forty-Sixers Records (1933-1997) and Adirondack Mountain Club Records (1922 - present).

The Adirondack Forty-Sixers originated in 1936, when Ernest Ryder and Edward L. Hudowalski started a social club for people who reached the summits of the 46 Adirondack Peaks that are 4,000 or more feet. The club was formally incorporated under its present name in 1948. Records include letters describing the climbers' experiences, a questionnaire completed by hikers, and reports of winter ascents.

The Adirondack Mountain Club, popularly known as the ADK, was founded in 1922. The group promotes conservation, recreation and education. During the 1920s, ADK cleared and marked 140 miles of trails and over the years held programs and workshops on backpacking, bicycling, canoeing, rock climbing, and snowshoeing.

For more information, see online Finding Aids at <>.


The next time you visit the ophthalmologist you will probably find evidence of the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library's (TBBL) new outreach program. TBBL is now sending ophthalmologists tabletop posters outlining the free services for the visually impaired and applications to receive them.

"The Talking Book and Braille Library offers 67,000 book titles on cassette and in braille with playback equipment, as well as magazines in braille and cassette, free to residents of New York's 55 upstate counties," explains Jane Somers, Regional Librarian for the Blind. "To be eligible for these services, a person must be blind, legally blind, or have another physical limitation which prevents him or her from reading standard printed materials." Applications for TBBL service must be certified by an acceptable authority, including ophthalmologists.

"By sending this information to ophthalmologists, we hope to reach eligible readers and help them enjoy the pleasures of reading," says Somers. For more information, e-mail <> or call 1-800-342-3688; (518) 474-5935.

New York State Library News
New York State Library
N.Y.S. Education Department
Albany, NY 12230

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For more information, call (518 474-5355 or e-mail <>

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