Report of Regents Cultural Education Committee to The Board of Regents
Your Committee on Cultural Education Committee had its scheduled meeting on April 19, 2016. Regent Roger Tilles, Chair of the Cultural Education Committee, submitted the following written report. In attendance were committee members: Regent Tilles, Chair, Regent Chin, Regent Cea, Regent Ouderkirk, Regent Cottrell. Absent: Regent Johnson. In addition to CE Committee Members, in attendance were: Chancellor Rosa, Vice Chancellor Brown, Regents Tallon, Young, Norwood, Cashin, Mead, Hakanson, Reyes, Commissioner Elia and Executive Deputy Commissioner Berlin.
ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION
Chair’s Remarks: Regent Tilles welcomed everyone and asked State Librarian Bernard Marglois to introduce the program.
Mr. Margolis began his remarks by informing the committee that the State Library is beginning the celebration of its bicentennial. He described the weather on April 21, 1818 and indicated that was the day that the State Legislature passed legislation creating the State Library. He then turned the program over to Advisory Committee chairperson Claudia Depkin, who is the director of the Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library.
CE (D) 1 Update from Advisory Council on Libraries
Ms. Depkin introduced Julianne Wise, Library Media Specialist of the Rochester International Academy, a K-12 institution in Rochester. Ms.Wise introduced three students in grades 6,7 and 8 from the Academy and spoke about the programs in the library that support refugee students and their families. She provided examples of programs including a storytelling competition, a makerspace program and collaborations with the Rochester Public Library. The students spoke about the value and impact that the library has had on their experiences relocating to the Rochester area. Regent Tilles asked what impact there would be if there was no elementary school librarian to provide services at the Academy. Ms. Wise responded that without the elementary school library program, students would not be introduced to information literacy, would not be positioned to participate in language education programs and would not know how to use libraries and information resources to advance their education and language skills.
The next speakers were Brian Hildreth and Ken Behn of the Southern Tier Library system. Mr. Hildreth provided an overview of the demographics of the largely rural area that the system serves. Mr. Behn commented on the growth and diversity of broadband services in the region. He spoke about plans to implement 100gb/sec. services in all libraries in the region. These libraries serve as community centers and provide a primary means of access to network resources for the rural populations they serve. Currently many libraries in the region have network connectivity that is the equivalent of residential network speeds. A large scale fiber infrastructure implementation is underway using funds from a variety of sources including the Public Library Construction program operated by the Department. Mr. Hildreth commented that e-rate funding is essential for the sustainability of broadband connections and without it libraries would not be able to provide network connectivity as a service.
The final presenter of the morning was Christina Pope, the Director of the Health Sciences Library of SUNY Upstate Medical Center. Ms. Pope described the health pets program that the library operates. The program has successfully increased the use and value of human health information resources in the Library by using pet health as a gateway to delivering health information for humans. Ms. Pope commented that data indicates that people who have pets are more likely to seek health information for their pets than for themselves. However, once people learn about health resources that might be available for themselves, they are very likely to access it. This is an important focus of the SUNY Upstate Medical Center Library because it is a public library with a mandate to serve citizens in the Syracuse region. The healthy pets project has resulted in significant partnerships and increased access and use of the resources of the library by the public.