State Library News
For the People, the Government and the Libraries of New York State
News for Legislators
Welcome Legislators. The State Library has been gearing up for your return. Here are three among the many special services we offer you and your staffs during the 1998 session:
Mark Your Calendar
March 19. Annual Meeting of The Friends of the New York State Library. Biographer Paul Grondahl shares second thoughts on Erastus Corning.
April 22. The Great New York ReadAloud.
April 29. Reception for Friends and Volunteers.
|Norman S. Rice, President of The Friends of the New York State Library, is leading the organization through a banner year.|
New Name Graces the State Library's Advocacy Group
"Our name is now The Friends of the New York State Library," announced Norman S. Rice, President of the advocacy group formerly called The Committee for the New York State Library. "We changed the organization's name to clarify our purpose and our relation to the State Library. An even greater State Library --- that's the vision that inspires our members," said Rice.
This not-for-profit organization was born in 1993 amidst the turmoil of the State Legislature's alarming budget cuts. Since that time, our energetic members --- all volunteers -- helped restore some funding resulting in increases in previously reduced staff, hours and book purchases.
In addition the Committee supported the installation of Excelsior, the Library's online catalog of its holdings. The group also conducts public events, often in cooperation with other groups such as The Albany Institute of History & Art or The New York State Writers' Institute.
"This year," said Rice, "we continued our strong support for Legislative funding and sponsored seven programs including a reception for the newly appointed State Librarian Janet Martin Welch, and talks by well known writers such as Donald Westlake, author of the Dortmunder series, and Jim Shaughnessy, author of Delaware & Hudson.
"With our new name and our vital membership, we look forward to becoming larger and even more effective in working on behalf of the State Library," said Rice.
State Library Hours
Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call (518) 474-5355 or e-mail
Find Your Fortune at the State Library
Ever dream of finding money? Perhaps you can make your dream come true. Come to the State Library and search the Comptroller's Unclaimed Funds owner list. New York State holds over 2 billion dollars in unclaimed funds. The file lists over 5.5 million owners of dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, utility deposits, and other inactive holdings --- awaiting discovery by their owners. If you find your name, you will receive instructions on how to file a claim.
|"To make informed decisions, our leaders need as much in-depth information from as many aspects as possible," says Mary Redmond, Librarian.|
The Case of the Vanishing Monograph
How did the monograph --- the highly specialized publication so central to scholarship --- become an endangered species? "The single most contributing factor to this crisis is the loss of library sales," according to a recent issue of Perspectives, the newsletter of the American Historical Association. Libraries buy fewer monographs because of severe reductions in their acquisitions budgets.
Budget cuts at the State Library and the subsequent decrease in monograph purchases typifies the situation at research libraries throughout the country. "In 1986, the State Library purchased 17,082, but in 1996, we purchased 6,387," says Lee Stanton, Principal Librarian for Reference Services, State Library.
As sales fall, production costs rise. Presses now lose about $10,000 on each monograph they publish. Since presses cannot tolerate such big losses, the monograph is becoming extinct. Thus, although we live in the midst of an information explosion, one of the most in-depth sources of information --- the monograph --- is vanishing.
While the monograph crisis delivers a direct hit to academia, cutting us off from the fruits of scholarly labor has enormous effects on each of us. "If a library buys one monograph instead of three, it preserves one point of view. But to make informed decisions, our leaders and representatives need as much in-depth information from as many aspects as possible," says Mary Redmond, Interim Principal Librarian for Collection Acquisition and Processing, State Library. Furthermore, the quality of textbooks, literature, films, even television programs will diminish, for their creators draw upon the detailed research in monographs.
For More Information
In September 1997, librarians, scholars, publishers, and university administrators addressed the monograph crisis at a conference in Washington, DC. Their discussions included the problems inherent in electronic formatting of the monograph. Two reports on this conference appear in the November 1997 issue of Perspectives.
Do You Know...
You -- and all State residents -- can borrow books from the State Library? Ask about Interlibrary Loan at your local library.
Search Excelsior, our online catalog of holdings, and access national and regional databases. Click in and find out about:
And Much More
If you don't have Web access from your computer, dial into our catalog at (518) 474-9851 or telnet <nysl.nysed.gov>. For more information. . .
You can also access our Web Site from many public libraries.
Recent Publications Researched at the State Library
Authors have been mining the resources of the State Library since it was first established in 1818. Following are some of the many recent publications whose authors carry on this tradition and continue to find substance in the Library's great collections:
William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic by Alan Taylor. Knopf, 1996.
Taylor's meticulously researched, Pulitzer-prize winning saga about William Cooper, founder of Cooperstown, U.S. Congressman and father of James Fenimore Cooper, tells a tale that is "stranger at times than fiction," says a New York Times book review.
Hispanic Women in the United States by Hedda Garza. Franklin Watts, 1994.
Ranging from the Spanish-speaking families who lived in the Southwest during the seventeenth century to twentieth century arrivals from Central and South America, Garza documents the untold stories of Hispanic women in the United States. She tells of their heroic struggles in the 1914 massacre at the Ludlow mines in Colorado, farm and industrial strikes during the Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, and other major events.
De Witt Clinton and the Rise of the People's Men by Craig Hanyan with Mary L. Hanyan. McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996.
The Hanyans trace the development and meaning of the People's Movement, "the earliest broad-based reform movement of the new republic," and explore Clinton's part in it.
Friends Awarded Grant
The New York Library Association (NYLA) and the Viburnum Foundation awarded The Friends of the New York State Library a $250 grant. Presented through NYLA's Focus on Friends project, the grant will teach friends of libraries about the art of advocacy.
Send comments and questions about the State Library and its newsletter to Mary Redmond, New York State Library, Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230 or e-mail <email@example.com>
Things You Always Wanted to Know About Your Family and Never Asked
You can put your surname into a computer at the State Library and search for information about births, deaths, and other major family events. And if you want to take your fact finding one step further, the State Library offers a multitude of resources in tracing your roots. Just ask a Reference Librarian for help in getting started.
Be a Friend
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.
|Mamakiaeh (Curly Hair), a Cheyenne, was photographed by Edward S. Curtis in 1927.|
We're Not Just About New York
From 1907 to 1930, Edward S. Curtis documented the life and times of western native Americans with his camera. Published in the 20-volume The North American Indian, these photographs offer significant insights into America's past. This monumental work is one of the many rare books, manuscripts and other materials in the State Library's collections on the American West. You can also obtain information about the Lewis and Clark expedition, exploration of the Grand Canyon, and other significant topics.
For more information, call James Corsaro (518) 474-5963 or e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
"I want to personally extend my heartfelt gratitude to you [Cassie Hamm, State Library's Talking Book and Braille Library] and your staff for all the help you have given my son. He recently received a perfect 800 in his SAT test on History...and has been accepted into Cornell and McGill."
"When he first started getting books on tape in the sixth grade, he was able to learn by listening but had significant difficulty reading at his grade level. With the help of your tapes, he has been able to learn through the tapes what would have been slow and difficult to learn through reading. You have helped sustain and nurture his love of learning."
"The State Library's extensive resources led to exciting discoveries when I wrote an article about Alice Morgan Wright, sculptor, suffragette, and animal welfare advocate. I used many books, newspapers, and other print and electronic sources. Best of all, a ready reference search of NEXIS --- using the words Peace Plantation --- not only told me what became of Peace Plantation, the animal sanctuary Alice Morgan Wright started, but also led to my correspondence with Anna J. Briggs, who with Wright, co-founded the National Humane Education Society in 1948."
Melinda Yates, author of "The Mugwump," Capital Neighbors, Fall 1997
"My research profited immeasurably from the help of the librarians at the New York State Library, who guided me through the hundreds of cubic feet of zines housed in the Factsheet Five Collection."
Stephen Duncombe, author of Notes from the Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture
New Perk for Retirees
The State Library has just launched a new one-year pilot program. Retired New York State employees can now borrow books directly from the State Library. To register, come to the State Library and present:
1) A current New York State drivers license or a photo identification card issued by the State Dept. of Motor Vehicles;
2) A letter or other documentation from your former agency validating retirement.
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.
New York State Library News
New York State Library
N.Y.S. Education Department
Albany, NY 12230
Knowledge is Power.
Find it at the New York State Library.
It's one of the nation's few public research libraries.