Mini-campaign to raise $ for Wifi expansion at APL

connectivity in Albany

The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library has launched a mini-campaign to raise $8000-$10000 this weekend for Wifi expansion at Albany Public Library. Have you stopped outside an APL branch this year, expecting to use get onto the WiFi?

The FFFAPL of APL is helping to make that WiFi signal available! This is vitally important in this continuing period of COVID-19, with many schools and offices remaining closed.

“The Albany Public Library (APL) is the key provider of broadband for those without a reliable internet connection at home. It will cost approximately $2,000 per branch for hardware and wiring. We aim to raise $8000, or enough for four branches, by Monday, October 19th.”

Information about the campaign may be found here .

This will be the organization’s first TEXT TO GIVE campaign. Please share the message:

Text “WIFI” to 518-547-1005 to donate!

with friends and colleagues tonight and tomorrow. Or send them

the link http://weblink.donorperfect.com/outdoor-wifi

to submit payment. 

Vote for Albany (NY) library, school board candidates by mail

ACSD Board of Education adopted a $261.6 million budget proposal.

voteAlbany voters will have a safe way to vote for Albany Public Library trustees, the Albany City School District board, and the ACSD budget. It is being conducted entirely by absentee ballot.

Ballots will be mailed on May 26 to qualified voters and are due by June 9 at 5 p.m. This is NOT a postmark deadline. At that time, the district will begin the process of counting the votes to determine the results.

Since the APL trustees did not request an increase in the library budget for 2020-2021, no vote is required. There are eight candidates on the ballot for two open APL trustee seats in the election. There are two seats, both carrying full five-year terms, open.

The candidates were placed on the ballot in alphabetical order:

(1) Jessica Balarin of Partridge St.

(2) Kewsi Burgess of Catherine St.

(3) Donna Dixon of Fleetwood Ave.

(4) Jeffrey Keller of Walter St.

(5) Thomas McCarthy Jr. of Stueben St.

(6) Katharine McNamara of Cardinal Ave.

(7) James Munro of Glendale Ave.

(8) Brigette Pryor of Myrtle Ave.

The library will publish candidate biographical information on its website by May 26. APL will be hosting a virtual meet-the-candidate forum on Tuesday, May 26 at 6 pm. It will be live-streamed on YouTube and recorded for later viewing.

School budget

Per the ACSD website: “The ballot also will include Proposition #2, a proposal to purchase a piece of property adjacent to Delaware Community School for $13,300 using funds from the capital reserve. The property would be used for additional recreational space for students. Proposition #2 would have no impact on taxes.

“In addition to the school budget and proposition votes, three candidates are running for one open board seat: Victor Cain, Hassan Elminyawi, and Edith Leet. The board appointed Elminyawi last summer to serve the remainder of a vacant position; that term expires June 30.

See if you’re registered to vote for the library and school board candidates, and the school budget HERE. If you do not receive a ballot by the end of May, contact the school board clerk – Tanya Bowie (518 475-6015, tbowie@albany.k12.ny.us) – who will verify your registration status.

Note: The Presidential, State and Local Primaries will take place on June 23, 2020. Contact the Albany County Board of Elections for more details.

Author Jeff Sharlet at APL April 22

born in Schenectady County, NY

Sharlet, Jeff_credit_JuliaRabig“Why do we sometimes gravitate toward the unknown when we feel alone? The writing in Jeff Sharlet’s gorgeous new book, ‘This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers,’ takes place between lonely traumas: his father’s heart attack and his own, two years later. As a magazine writer and the author of several books, Sharlet has made a long career of telling stories, but after his heart attack he started to re-evaluate the kinds he thought were worthwhile.”

That’s the opening of the stellar review in the New York Times of Sharlet’s seventh book. “He turned to posting snapshots on Instagram. These were not solipsistic selfies but images of strangers and their lives.” It’s a book framed by insomnia, late-night driving and “the companionship of other darkness-dwellers: night bakers and last-call drinkers, frightened people and frightening people, the homeless and the lost (or merely disoriented), addicts and people on the margins.”

Jeff, who was born in Schenectady County, notes that while most of the book is reported, every now and then, it returns to the personal. He says it’s a very upstate book. Three chapters take place in Schenectady, including the longest narrative text-image sequence and the penultimate scene. There are a few other bits of the Capital District, too. It also takes place in L.A., Moscow, Dublin, and Vermont, but there’s a Schenectady sensibility throughout, he believes.

The Family

The acclaimed author and journalist is noted for The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, his bestselling 2008 book. It explores the most powerful and most weirdly secretive Christian conservative organization in Washington. The book was adapted to a 2019 five-part Netflix documentary series, THE FAMILY.

Jeff Sharlet is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Dartmouth College. His work has earned numerous awards, including the National Magazine Award and the Outspoken Award.

Please join The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library for the National Library Week Distinguished Author Dinner and Lecture on Wednesday, April 22th with author Jeff Sharlet. The dinner begins at five o’clock p.m. at the University Club, 141 Washington Avenue in Albany and costs $30 per person. If you wish to attend, please purchase tickets online.

The lecture by Mr. Sharlet begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington Avenue Branch, 161 Washington Avenue. It is free and open to the public.

APL Foundation Celebrating Literary Legends

Peter Golden, Lyn Lifshin, and Dan Wilcox

Peter Golden
Peter Golden
The Albany [NY] Public Library Foundation will be hosting several events in the upcoming months to celebrate the 2019 Literary Legends, Peter Golden, Lyn Lifshin, and Dan Wilcox.

Save the dates!

Thursday, May 30, 2019 – An Evening With The Authors

An Evening With The Authors is a wine and dessert reception will begin at 6:00 pm, followed by a special toast at 6:30 pm. Following the toast, Literary Legends Dan Wilcox and Peter Golden will hold court until 7:30 pm, reading from their work and talking about their craft with APL Foundation Director Alexis Bhagat.

Peter Golden
Dan Wilcox

The event will take place in the Community Room in the Washington Avenue branch of the Albany Public Library. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at any branch or online at literarylegends.org after April 30th. Proceeds benefit the Albany Public Library Foundation.

Friday, May 31, 2019 – Leaves of Grass Bicentennial Reading

Literary Legend Dan Wilcox and the Poetry Motel Foundation present their annual reading of “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman each year on his birthday, rain or shine. Whitman turns 200 this year, so this should be an extra special reading. The event will take place near the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park at 6:00 pm. It is an outdoor event, so bring your own blankets or chairs. This event is sponsored by the APL Foundation and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

Thursday, June 13, 2019 – Lyn Lifshin Not Made Of Glass Film Screening

Lyn Lifshin
Lyn Lifshin

“Lyn Lifshin: Not Made of Glass” (Karista Films, 1987) is a documentary about one of our Literary Legends. Readings of Lifshin’s poems are interspersed with her own and others’ observations about her life and work. The documentary was produced, directed, and edited by Mary Ann Lynch. It is 55 minutes long and will include a Q&A. The screening will take place at the Opalka Gallery, 140 New Scotland Ave. Albany, NY 12208 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Friday, June 14, 2019 – Poets from Albany Read Their Favorite Lyn Lifshin Poems

Literary Legend Lyn Lifshin has written more than 125 books and edited 4 anthologies of women writers. For this special reading, local poets will select their favorite Lyn Lifshin poems to read aloud. The reading will take place in the Large Auditorium at the Washington Avenue branch of the Albany Public Library from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Please contact APL Foundation at 518-427-4367 if you are interested in reading!

Virginia Eubanks on Automating Inequality October 2

Automating Inequality systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America.

The Author Talk for Tuesday, October 2 at the Albany Public Library will be by Virginia Eubanks. She will be talking about In Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. Eubanks “ably demonstrates why everyone should be very, very worried about the present and future of poverty management,” according to NY Daily News.

Here’s the book blurb:
Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems–rather than humans–control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor.

Automating Inequality systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The book is full of heart-wrenching and eye-opening stories, from a woman in Indiana whose benefits are literally cut off as she lays dying to a family in Pennsylvania in daily fear of losing their daughter because they fit a certain statistical profile.

Check out the New York Times Review of the book; a story about the book on NPR All Things Considered; an interview with Virginia on PBS’s “The Open Mind”; and the All Over Albany story from book launch in Troy.

Virginia Eubanks is an associate professor of political science at the University at Albany who has worked in community technology and economic justice for 20 years. She is also the author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age; and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.

Her writing about technology and social justice has appeared in The American Prospect, The Nation, Harper’s and Wired. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. Today, she is a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, NY.

Author talks and book reviews are sponsored by the Friends of the Albany Public Library every Tuesday that the library is open at the Washington Avenue branch of the APL, 162 Washington Avenue, in the main auditorium at noon.