Become a VALF Member

Complete the membership form and make your payment with the Pay Pal Donation button.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jan 3 Movement to Highlight Power of Reading on Social Media

My colleagues and I at NYPL invite you to join a social media movement to highlight the power of reading and readers as we start the new year.  Reading builds knowledge, understanding and empathy across the spectrum of readers. 

We want to join with as many libraries and similar organizations (including adult literacy groups) as possible across the country and beyond to inspire readers everywhere to share the books they're currently reading with others using the hashtag #ReadersUnite.

We are working our various channels to help this go viral.  If you want to participate:  

Starting January 3, 2017, please ask your social media followers to post the book they're reading to Facebook, Twitter, and their other social media platforms. Please encourage them to use the hashtag #ReadersUnite in your posts. Selected posts will be shared by NYPL and we encourage you to do the same.

Sample #ReadersUnite posts:

Tell us what you're reading and include hashtag #ReadersUnite in your posts!

Show us what you're reading this January and include hashtag #ReadersUnite in your posts!

Share a pic of your current book with other readers across the country - use hashtag #ReadersUnite!

Our [staff member] is reading [book title] because [reason] #ReadersUnite


If you plan to participate, please email now and after you post on January 3.


Christopher Platt

Chief Branch Library Officer

The New York Public Library

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Request for Florida Adult Library Literacy Contacts

As the Bureau of Library Development consultant responsible for providing technical assistance and training on adult library literacy programs and related community partnerships, I am collecting contact information from Florida public library staff who work with instructional or support programs geared toward adult literacy.

Examples of adult educational services provided in Florida include:

·         Volunteers and classes that help adults learn to read better

·         Instructional programs (online or otherwise) that help adults get their high school diploma

·         Collections and classes that help adults pass the GED test

·         Citizenship instruction

·         Small groups and tutors that help non-English speaking adults learn to speak, read or write better English

·         Collections and educational programs tailored to the interests and aspirations of adult learners

·         Partnerships with adult basic education schools and community providers
If your public library has staff members or lead volunteers responsible for any adult literacy services, please send me their contact information, including:

·         Name

·         Title

·         Library name

·         Email address

·         Phone number
Feel free to contact me with any questions. Sandy Newell


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Grant for Public Libraries Due November 15

Grant applications for round five of American Dream @ Your Library are due November 15, 2016. The $5,000 to $10,000 grants are for public libraries for adult English Language Learner services.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Apply by Nov 4--first draft for application for grant for Adult Volunteer Literacy Programs

Reminder: Send in a draft application by November 4--Final application is due January 31.

If you apply by Friday, November 4, you get 20 extra points and grant writing advice to improve your draft before the January 31 deadline

I am pleased to announce that for another year, Volunteers for Adult Literacy in Florida, (VALF) will be awarding one or more grants for up to $500 to one of our members. Go here to get the application. The VALF membership application is at the end of the application.

VALF  uses a two-step process for taking applications.  A draft application is due November 4. The VALF board will review the draft and provide the applicant feedback on how to improve the application. Applicants have the chance to rewrite  the application with the final application due January 31. This two-step process allows VALF to provide the value added service of giving  technical assistance to our members on how to improve the grant. This helps our members improve their grant writing skills.

The winner of the grant is announced at the VALF Annual meeting held during the Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) Conference in spring 2017.

VALF is an all-volunteer organization. Grants are funded by donations from board members and others.

For more information, email or call Sandy Newell or 850.245.6624.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Voter Registration Tips Ahead of October 11 Deadline

Secretary Detzner Shares Voter Registration Tips Ahead of October 11 Deadline


TALLAHASSEE— Secretary of State Ken Detzner released the following statement and shared the following voter registration tips ahead of tomorrow’s voter registration deadline. Individuals not already registered to vote in the State of Florida must submit a complete voter registration application by Tuesday, October 11, in order to participate in the General Election.


Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner, said, “There is still time for Floridians to register to vote for the General Election. Floridians who have been impacted, or have had to evacuate, during Hurricane Matthew should know they have the option to fill out and/or submit their voter registration application at any Supervisor of Elections office or approved voter registration agency, even if it’s outside their county of residence. Voter registration applications sent by mail to any Supervisor of Elections office, voter registration agency, or the Division of Elections in Tallahassee will be accepted for the upcoming General Election as long as they are postmarked by October 11.


“Voters who are unsure of their registration status can visit and find links to use the state’s Voter Information Lookup Tool or contact their local Supervisor of Elections office. Voters can also call the state’s main Voter Assistance Hotline at: 1.866.308.6739.”


Secretary Detzner is sharing the following tips with Floridians ahead of the upcoming October 11 deadline to register to vote for the General Election:


·         If you are unsure of your voter registration status in Florida, check your status using the state’s Voter Information Lookup Tool. You can also call your local Supervisor of Elections office or the state’s main Voter Assistance Hotline at: 1.866.308.6739.


·         Fill out the Florida Voter Registration Application, which is available in both English and Spanish (English PDF / EspaƱol PDF), on the Division of Elections' website. Print, sign and mail, or hand deliver, the application to a county Supervisor of Elections office, voter registration agency, or the Florida Division of Elections in Tallahassee. Voter registration applications sent by mail and post-marked by October 11 will be accepted.


  • Apply through any Florida driver's license office or tax collector's office that issues driver's licenses or Florida identification cards; any "voter registration agency" (i.e., any government entity designated by the National Voter Registration Act or state law who must allow you to apply to register, which includes libraries); any supervisor of elections office; or at the Division of Elections in Tallahassee.


·         An update to a voter’s signature for the General Election must be submitted no later than the start of the canvassing of vote-by-mail ballots (formerly absentee ballots*), which may start as early as October 24, 2016. Signatures on record are used to verify signatures on ballot certificates before counting provisional and vote-by-mail ballots.


According to Florida law, (Section 97.055, Florida Statutes), the deadline to register to vote (also referred to as “bookclosing”) to participate in an upcoming election is 29 days before the election. Florida voters may register to vote or update their registration at any time by notifying their local Supervisor of Elections. Additional information is available on




About ‘Get Ready. Get Set. Vote!’

In 2016, the Department of State is leading an effort to help educate voters through its Get Ready. Get Set. Vote! campaign which provides key voting-related information and resources in one central location on The webpage will be updated to communicate key voter registration and voting information throughout the 2016 election cycle and is also available in a Spanish version.


About the Division of Elections

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections supports the Secretary of State, Florida’s Chief Election Officer, in ensuring that Florida has fair and accurate elections. The Division’s three bureaus; the Bureau of Election Records, Bureau of Voter Registration Services, and Bureau of Voting Systems Certification, have several responsibilities in the areas of legal compliance and elections administration to ensure that Florida’s election laws are uniformly interpreted and implemented. The Division also assists local Supervisors of Elections in their duties, and promotes enhanced public awareness and participation in the electoral process. For more information about Florida’s elections, visit


*Pursuant to Chapter 2016-37, Laws of Florida, beginning July 1, 2016 the term “Absentee Ballot” has changed to “Vote-by-Mail Ballot” in the State of Florida.




The Department of State is committed to excellence.
Please take our Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Looking for an interesting twist to tie elections into the biography of Edgar Allen Poe. Check out this story on to learn the theory about Poe’s death.