Meeting Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Present:  Linda Aumick, Board President – Action Toward Independence

               Margaret McDowell, Hudson Valley Chapter NYS Health Care Providers

               Carl S. Berkowitz, RCLS Board of Trustees

               Matt Pfisterer, Director, Middletown Thrall Library

               Grace Riario, RCLS Public Services Consultant & Outreach Coordinator

               Janet Dymond, Senior Librarian – Eastern Correctional Facility

               Dan Hulse, RCLS Development Officer & COSAG Chair     

               Mimi Vilord, Rockland County United Way (participating by phone)

               Robert Hubsher, RCLS Executive Director        


               Terri Thal, NYS Perinatal Association

               Joann Hargabus, Director of Services – Action Toward Independence

               Josie Longstreet, Independent Living Inc.

               Regina Cieslak, Orange/Ulster BOCES Team Lead/Youth Program

               Allison Johannessen, RSVP Coordinator, Orange County Office for the Aging

               Laura LaSusa, OrangeWorks

Chair Dan Hulse called the meeting to order at 1:37 pm.  Introductions were made around the table. 

Janet Dymond made a motion to accept the minutes of the May 21, 2014 meeting as submitted.  Matt Pfisterer seconded.  Motion passed.

Outreach Grant:  Grace Riario instructed the council members to review the programs submitted in the 2015 Outreach Grant applications.  Those presented were:

  1. New City Library – Share Listen Learn: Stories of Rockland County (for seniors)
  2. Pine Bush Library – The Senior At-Home Library.  Target audience: Seniors with disabilities and non-drivers.
  3. Newburgh Free Library – Let’s Talk: Conversations in English.  Target audience: Spanish speakers who want to improve their English.
  4. Western Sullivan Public Library – Sensory Story Time – Target audience: Children with developmental delays and autism.
  5. West Nyack Free Library – Welcome to “YOUR” Library.  Target audience: developmentally disabled individuals. 

Carl S. Berkowitz shared that he liked the Western Sullivan Public Library and the West Nyack Free Library’s submissions.  Janet Dymond liked Pine Bush and Newburgh’s programs and equally liked both Sensory Story Times.  Mimi Vilord’s top three choices were 1) New City Senior Program 2) Pine Bush Library Senior Program and 3) West Nyack Free Library’s program. Grace Riario shared with the group that she liked the New City Library program a lot, because it is a program that can be kept going. She also liked the West Nyack Free Library program because it includes collaboration with other outside agencies.  Grace has a concern with the continuation of the Pine Bush Library’s program.  She wonders will the library continue the program after the grant funding runs out. Janet Dymond explained to the group that through Southeastern NY Library Resources Council (SENYLRC), libraries can apply for a grant through the Hudson Heritage Association that conducts audio interviews similar to the New Cuty program. 

After additional deliberation, the following winners were selected:

  1. Pine Bush Library  2. New City Library  (split/tie) 2. West Nyack Free Library – $500- for program leader & supplies only.  They can get books from Chester.  3. Western Sullivan Public Library – $500.  

2014 Outreach Grant Projects:  Grace Riario reviewed for the Council the 2014 Outreach Grant Projects.  They are:

  1.  Port Jervis Works
  2.  Albert Wisner Library in Warwick – CTAP – Career Transition
  3.  Chester Public Library – Sensory Story Time

Announcements, Issues & Concerns: Mimi Vilord reported that 17 non-profit organizations in Rockland County benefitted from the United Way’s recent Day of Caring.  They had 175 people participate.  Mimi also praised the Rockland County 211 program and how helpful it is now that it is a national program.  She wishes that more publicity could be generated about this program.

      Matt Pfisterer said that Thrall Library in Middletown uses the 211 program.  Matt shared that with the colder weather coming, hygiene issues are becoming a concern with the area’s homeless population that frequent the library.

      Carl S. Berkowitz updated the council on the proposed Toy Library that would provide access to adaptive toys for children with disabilities.  Carl had previously shared information with the council from American Libraries magazine and the USA Toy Library Association ( Carl envisions other agencies such as Action Toward Independence (ATI) Independent Living Center and other Centers for Independent Living becoming partners with libraries.  Robert Hubsher explained that there are logistical issues to work out with this idea.  Rober Hubsher wants the delivery boxes to be a specific color; include a laminated sheet that lists the toys and the box’s contents.  Any other concerns are to be discussed with RCLS delivery supervisor Chuck Conklin.

     Carl S. Berkowitz also shared with the council that Action Toward Independence (ATI), the Independent Living Center of Orange and Sullivan counties has been operating a Parenting Program in Sullivan County.  With the proceeds ($1,000) from a grant from the Middletown Kiwanis Club, a Parenting program will be started in Orange County. 

     Discussion took place with regard to people with mental illness in the library.  Matt Pfisterer shared that the San Francisco Public Library has a social worker on staff.  This is something that many libraries may start to consider.  Grace Riario shared that she has hosted sensitivity training workshops for library staff in dealing with people who are mentally ill.  She explained that she would like to host more of these seminars. 

     Margaret McDowell explained that her Gardiner Senior Resource Committee deals with the needs of and providing information for senior citizens.  There is no charge for their services.  The committee has ten volunteer members who are all retired schoolteachers, healthcare workers and educators.  She said it is very rewarding to work with this group and that it is growing.

     Janet Dymond explained that her correctional facility is a step-down facility for inmates that are close to their time for being released.  Resume writing workshops and job searching seminars are very popular and very much needed.  Upstate Department of Labor (DOL) is sending people into the prisons to coach inmates near their release date and help them.  Janet wishes they could get that going in this area of the state.

     Grace Riario shared that she worked with Janet Dymond on the Summer Reading Program (SRP).  Janet will be presenting next week in New York City to share about this experience.

     Grace Riario shared that the Citizenship Workshops are very popular and are saving people a lot of money.  There is an Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) regional office in Newburgh that has become very popular.  It is located at the former Armory and started operating for two days a week.  This site saves people the cost and time of having to travel to the INS Regional Offices in either Albany or New York City.  Due to its popularity, the Newburgh Center is now open five days a week.   

        Next COSAG meeting date will be in May 2015.  Dates being considered are Wednesday, May 20 or Wednesday, May 27.  Grace Riario will send out a Doodle scheduling request in December with multiple dates for members to select the day that is best for their schedule.  

Meeting adjourned at 3:07 pm. Minutes Author: Dan HulseCommittee: COSAG