2018: SALS Year in Review Scroll for Down for More

A word from the Director

The Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS) is a cooperative public library system serving the thirty-four member libraries located in Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties. Our charge is to provide services and support to the library staff and trustees in these libraries as well as support library services in the four county jails and two NYS Correctional Facilities.

SALS has a community-based plan of service that determines our goals and objectives so we may provide the services our member libraries require to help them serve their communities. We allocate our funds based upon the services identified as important for the people who reside in our four counties and visit their public libraries. Highlighted here are many of the services SALS and Joint Automation staff provided in 2018 that enabled our thirty-four member libraries to grow and thrive during the year.

In an effort to be responsive to changing needs, we ask our membership to evaluate our services annually. As a result of the evaluation of our services by our members over the years, the SALS Board of Trustees created the Library Challenge Seed Grants, earmarked funds to support the Joint Automation Project, purchased e-content, and much more. We thank our membership for valuing and using our services, and look forward to another great year.

Sara Dallas


SALS Satisfaction Survey

Satisfaction survey

SALS is amazing!!! We could not do what we do without them. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over to each and every one of you.
  • 97% of respondents are Satisfied with SALS services
  • 100% of respondents consider SALS services Valuable in serving their patrons
I don't know what we'd do without the help and services that you provide. You rock!
I was only a library director for a few months in 2018, but was so impressed by the welcome and support I received, and continue to receive, from SALS. You've allowed me to settle in with much less stress and a lot more enjoyment. Thank you!

The most used services in the system:

  • Polaris 100%
  • Delivery 100%
  • Digital Collections 100%
  • Communication among member libraries ("Circulate!" and "Hello, World" newsletters, email, meetings, conference calls) 98%
  • Continuing Education 92%

Information on the Move


For 2018, the delivery service provided 148 deliveries each week for a total of 459,437 items transported between libraries.

Electronic Materials

The digital collections through OverDrive increased with 183,455 checkouts and 8,989 unique users.


Continuing Education

Creating an Escape Room & Advocacy Day

Dedicated to lifelong learning, SALS held 67 continuing educations sessions, drawing 778 participants. Topics included:

  • Polaris: Library staff and new directors learned how to use the integrated library system for acquisitions and circulation.
  • Community Change Agents (NYLA Sustainability Initiative): The Cambridge Public Library quickly emerged as rock stars by partnering with their Mayor, Carman Bogle, to identify community aspirations and priorities to create a sustainable, resilient community.
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine Library MoonWalk Grant: A collaboration with the Mohawk Valley and Upper Hudson library systems, the grant provided funds and training for library staff to offer high-quality, authoritative health information. The Library MoonWalk challenged our community to improve their health by collectively walking 238,900 miles -- to the moon!
  • Budgeting 101: Dianne Winter and Bob Jeffords provided an in-depth look at the creation and navigation of library budgets.
  • Advocacy Day: SALS and our member libraries journeyed to Albany to share stories about the role we play in our communities.
  • Trustee Training: More than 40 trustees learned about the integral role they play in the public library ecosystem.
  • Libraries Mean Business: More than a dozen library staff became Notaries Public and several libraries hosted programs to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in their communities. The Libraries Mean Business e-book collection continued to grow. We added 33 new titles bringing the total collection to 117, which circulated 938 times in 2018.
  • How to Create an Escape Room: We blindfolded several dozen Youth Services staff and made them solve puzzles.


Trustee Training & Annual Report Party

There were 19 sessions with 123 participants. Topics included:

  • Annual Report Party
  • New Director Orientation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Adult Literacy


Argyle, Pember, and Schuylerville showcase their Farm-2-Library bounty

There were 10 sessions with 58 participants. Here's what happened:

  • Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Committee met to discuss how to best provide services to marginalized populations.
  • The Farm-2-Library program, a partnership with Comfort Food Community, reduces food waste by gleaning produce from local farms, and combatted food scarcity and insecurity by distributing the produce through three of our member libraries: Schuylerville Public Library, Whitehall Free Library, and Pember Library and Museum. In 2018, more than 3,000 pounds of rescued food was shared.
  • Pre-Diabetes Coalition of Saratoga County meets monthly, to provide support, education and resources to health care providers for their patients & clients.
  • Correctional Facilities: Support the work done by librarians at the Great Meadows and Washington County Correctional Facilities, and provide material to the four county jails in SALS's service area.

System Automation

Joint Automation-Shared Services between Southern Adirondack Library System & Mohawk Valley Library System

Jason Thomson wearing the ceiling and Dave MacFarland wrangling wires

Computers ordered in 2018


Leap & Syndetics Unbound
  • Upgraded Polaris to 6.0
  • Novelist replaced with Syndetics Unbound
  • EDI with Penworthy--Electronic invoicing through Polaris
  • Select member libraries began offering Kanopy--a streaming movie service
  • Quipu eCard project--added Geo-location service to Polaris
  • Credit cards accepted in LEAP
  • Migrated member libraries to OneDrive--improved file sharing, collaboration, and access to member's data

JA Computer Support

In 2018, JA received 2,188 support requests.

Total Support Requests & Top 5 Support Requests

Organizational Excellence

Advocacy Day 2018

The Main Hall

The 61st Annual Meeting of the Southern Adirondack Library System

Library Program of the Year Awards

Better Readers Program & SANG (Southern Adirondack Network Guide)

Cambridge Public Library, Greenwich Free Library, Schuylerville Public Library were awarded for their Better Readers Program.

These three libraries recognized an unmet need for basic literacy instruction in southern Washington and eastern Saratoga counties. The Tri-Library Partnership designed a successful adult literacy program, forming eight successful tutor-learner partnerships. This important outreach program promises to change lives as it continues flourishing and moving forward.

Crandall Public Library was awarded for their Southern Adirondack Network Guide (SANG)

In response to a forum on addressing inter-generational poverty and families in crisis, the library tasked itself to create connections for those in the community who were in the throes of crisis. The result was SANG: a unified, easily accessed, timely database and web portal for organizations and individuals in Warren,Washington, and Northern Saratoga Counties who serve these populations.

SALS Staff Awards

  • Chris Mundell for 20 years of service
  • Diane Robinson for 25 years of service
  • Cindy Mirra for 35 years of service

Cardboard Boat Champions

SALS place 1st among libraries in the Hudson Crossing 14th Annual Cardboard Boat Race


SALS Challenge Grants

Construction Grants Recipients

  • Argyle Free Library--Layout improvements
  • Bolton Free Library--LED lighting
  • Town of Ballston Community Library--Drive-up book return
  • Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library--Video conference table/mobile AV center
  • Easton Library--Vinyl flooring installation
  • Greenwich Free Library--3-5 year plan for library improvements
  • Caldwell-Lake George Library--Window replacement
  • Town of Lake Pleasant Public Library--Updated exterior signage
  • Mechanicville District Public Library--LED lighting
  • Schuylerville Public Library--Replace garage with storage shed
  • Richards Library--Install interior/exterior digital security cameras
  • Whitehall Free Library--Replace carpeting and refinish parquet flooring
Bancroft Maker Space & Town of Ballston Community Library Drive-up book return

Library Services Seed Challenge Grant Recipients

  • Bancroft Public Library--Create makerspace for teens & tweens
  • Cambridge Public Library, Greenwich Free Library, & Schuylerville Public Library--Tri-library adult literacy program
  • Easton Library--Preservation of Oral History
  • Pember Library & Museum--Improve public access to computers, printers, & wi-fi

Designated Fund Distribution

Distribution of $514,979 in Subsidies to Member Libraries

Local Library Support Aid (LLSA)

$0.31 per capita or $1,500, whichever is greater. In 2017, this grant was cut 5.46%

SALS Source: New York State categorical aid Total Amount: $104,578

County Aid

County Aid is a SALS pass-through disbursement. It was calculated for 2018 as follows:

  • Hamilton: Minimum $1,150, balance based on circulation. Total $11,500
  • Saratoga: Purchased OverDrive –downloadable e-content for Saratoga County member libraries. Total $32,640
  • Warren: $21,600 to Crandall, minimum $1,800, balance based on circulation. Total $45,000

Source: Each county Total Amount: $89,140


Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library $62,625; Crandall Public Library $66,649; Galway Public Library $125,607; Greenwich Free Library $130,288; CVW Long Lake Public Library $43,629; Pember Library & Museum $6,450; Schuylerville Public Library $244,732

The ranking process and recommendation for funding amounts are determined by law, Education Commissioner’s Regulation, and criteria developed by SALS’ Board of Trustees as approved by the NYS Education Department.

Source: NYS categorical aid Total Amount: $679,980

Source: Saratoga County Youth Bureau Total Amount: $1,120

NYS Grants

Early Literacy Grant: $8,426

These funds provided continuing education workshops to member library staff on early literacy issues. Grant funds purchased Beanstack software to provide early literacy tips and reader's advisory to patrons via email. This money also bought early childhood development ebooks for member library staff and patrons. The remaining grant funds let us implement a program to host Community Baby Showers that focused on the importance of early literacy for new parents at member libraries.

Adult Literacy Grant: $4,680

In 2016, SALS began its Libraries Mean Business initiative to support small businesses and entrepreneurs, supported by funds from the New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services Program. The initiative helps member libraries support local businesses in order to create thriving communities.

SALS member libraries can participate in the Libraries Mean Business initiative in several ways:

  • Become Notary Publics
  • Host a turn-key program
  • Promote the Libraries Mean Business e-book collection

NYS Grant-In-Aid (member item grants) $148,000 disbursed to:

  • Argyle Free Library $2,500
  • Ballston Spa Public Library $4,000
  • Bolton Free Library $2,500
  • Horicon Free Public Library $2,500
  • Town of Ballston Comm. Library $17,000
  • Cambridge Public Library $5,500
  • Corinth Free Library $4,000
  • Town of Chester Public Library $2,500
  • Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library $7,000
  • Easton Library $5,500
  • Fort Edward Free Library $2,500
  • Galway Public Library $4,000
  • Crandall Public Library $2,500
  • Pember Library & Museum $2,500
  • Greenwich Free Library $2,500
  • Hudson Falls Free Library $2,500
  • Town of Inlet Public Library $4,000
  • Town of Indian Lake Public Library $4,000
  • Town of Johnsburg Library $2,500
  • CVW Long Lake Public Library $4,000
  • Caldwell-Lake George Library $2,500
  • Town of Lake Pleasant Public Library $4,000
  • Hadley-Luzerne Public Library $6,500
  • Mechanicville District Public Library $3,000
  • Raquette Lake Free Library $4,000
  • WRLIS Library $4,000
  • Saratoga Springs Public Library $7,000
  • Salem-Bancroft Public Library $2,500
  • Stillwater Public Library $3,000
  • Stony Creek Free Library $2,500
  • Schuylerville Public Library $3,000
  • Warrensburg-Richards Library $2,500
  • Waterford Public Library $3,000
  • Whitehall Free Library $2,500
  • Southern Adirondack Library System $14,000

We thank our Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh & State Senators Betty Little, James Tedisco, and Kathleen Marchione for their generous support.

Library Programs of the Year

Crandall Public Library: Southern Adirondack Network Guide (SANG)

In response to a forum on addressing intergenerational poverty and families in crisis, the library tasked itself to create connections for those in the community who were in the throes of crisis. The result was SANG: a unified, easily-accessed, timely database and web portal for organizations and individuals in Warren Washington, and Northern Saratoga Counties who serve these populations.

Cambridge Public Library, Greenwich Free Library, & Schuylerville Public Library: Better Readers Program

These three libraries recognized an unmet need for basic literacy instruction in southern Washington and eastern Saratoga counties. The Tri-Library Partnership designed a successful adult literacy program, forming eight successful tutor-learner partnerships. This important outreach program promises to change lives as it continues flourishing and moving forward.

Our 60thYear as Central Library: Report for 2018

Central Library: Crandall Public Library - Glens Falls

Crandall Public Library - Glens Falls

On behalf of the Crandall Public Library Board of Trustees, the Crandall Public Library staff and the Friends of Crandall Public Library, it is our responsibility and pleasure to work with the staff of SALS and member libraries to continue to provide for the needs of our communities. Moreover, I would like to recognize the leadership of Sara Dallas, Director of SALS, and her staff that allows the Central Library to flourish. Furthermore, the SALS Board of Trustees and the JA professionals are to be noted for their dedication and assistance. The 34 member libraries that use the services of the Central Library are also to be acknowledged for their never ending service to our communities. Service highlights from 2018 include:

  • Central Library staff sponsored 1,431 programs with a grand total of 34,104 attendees.
  • 34,069 Interlibrary loan items were provided (loaned) from the Central Library.
  • Access to the eResources—OverDrive, Ancestry Library Edition andHeritage Quest Onlinefor all SALS cardholders.
  • Our staff engaged in over 86,983 reference transactions—adult, children’s and Folklife combined. That is about 25 3/4 questions for every hour we were open to the public!

These results are directly tied to the Central Library Plan of Service for 2017-2021, the document that is our guide for providing the tools, resources and professional assistance to SALS member libraries and their patrons. As a receiver of close to $170,000 from New York State to carry out the plan, we strive to meet the blueprint’s two ambitious aims:

  • GOAL 1: Crandall Public Library will provide access to adult nonfiction materials, resources and information in all formats for SALS member libraries to fulfill the role of Central Library per the requirements of NYS Education Law.
  • GOAL 2: Crandall Public Library will provide information services to benefit member libraries and the people who reside in Hamilton, Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties.

As Yogi Berra says, “We have deep depth.”

Kathleen U. Naftaly, Director

SALS on the Road


SALS Consultants traveled over 4,605 miles in 2018 visiting member libraries.

See you next year

Thank you to our member libraries for making 2018 a success.

Board of Trustees (2018): Linda Borden, Christine Connell, Elaine Cowin, Jordan Hornstein, Bob Jeffords, Carol Kuhr, Janet Lindner, Paul Mays, Karen McComb, Dale Nemer, Bob Odess, John Plantier, Nancy Seifts, Russell Wise.

SALS Staff (2018): Sara Dallas, Erica Freudenberger, Cynthia Mirra, Bill Rougier, Jill Ryder, Jack Scott, Sharon Shyne, Dianne Winter.

JA Staff: Mary Hanley, Michele Largeteau, Dave MacFarland, Chris Mundell, Diane Robinson, Jason Thomson.


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