Annual Conference


Thank You to Everyone Who Attended Our 2022 Annual Conference!


If you have any questions regarding the Annual Conference please email Rebecca Honsinger at


10 to 10:15 a.m. – Opening Remarks

10:15 to 11 a.m. – Keynote Address with Kathryn Stam & Kay Klo

Kay Klo and Kathryn Stam will share their experiences working with refugee populations in Utica, NY and will explore what they have learned along the way. They are interested in reconsidering the ways that organizations have tried to help refugees, and how refugees have responded. They are also involved with creating new ways of collaboration that encourage open communication and advanced cultural sensitivity skills from all participants.  

About the Keynote Speakers:

Kay Klo is the Executive Director of the Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC). Her family was originally from Burma and she settled in Utica as a refugee when she was a young child. She has seen photographs of her family’s life in Burma, and has viewed them in a new light after seeing the Utica-based Refugees Starting Over exhibits and many of the images in the collection. She will discuss the question of self-representation in the images that show up in peoples’ homes and on social media. She will also discuss what she has learned from running the community center which was founded in 2014 as a hub for education, information, and post-resettlement services.  

Anthropology professor Kathryn Stam was one of the cofounders of MUCC. She began collecting images of refugees in the Utica area after befriending a group of Bhutanese-Nepali new arrivals in 2011. She started to see their pictures in photo albums in their homes and later on Facebook. In those images and in those new friendships, she observed the joy and pain of adjusting to a new life and culture. The photo project was just one way that she got to know refugees and get a better sense of how to interact with them and help connect them with people and resources in the community. She also worked with musicians, dancers, and students to organize cultural events around the region.

11:10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Welcoming LGBTQ+ Patrons with Stephanie Markham

Find out who your LGBTQ+ patrons are and how you can better support them. This workshop will include physical & digital spaces, collection development, and programs & events.

About the Presenter:

Stephanie Markham (she/her) is the Teen Services Librarian at Jervis Public Library in Rome, NY. She has been working in libraries for 10+ years. Stephanie is enthusiastic about loose leaf tea, mollusks, young adult novels, and the queer community, of which she is a part.

1 to 1:50 p.m. – Challenging Patron Situations with Kathleen Degyansky

Challenging Patron Situations focuses on the use of the technique of verbal de-escalation in dealing with problematic events in the library; tactics that are non-physical skills to prevent potentially dangerous situations that also prevent escalation into physical confrontation. Tips will be provided in working empathetically with patrons who are homeless. Real life case studies will be presented and discussed.

About the Presenter:

Kathy Degyansky is currently the Assistant Library Director of the White Plains Public Library. From 2022-2010, Kathy was the Assistant Director of Programs and Services at the Queens Library. In these positions, she participated in hiring panels for dozens of librarians including children’s librarians, young adult librarians, and the age level coordinator positions. She is an adjunct lecturer in the Graduate Library and Information Science program at St. John’s University. She lives in Queens with her husband of 45 years.

2 to 2:20 p.m. – Business Meeting & Library Awards Presentation!

2:30 to 3:15 p.m. – American Rescue Plan Act Grant Lightning Talks

We’ll hear five short presentations from ARPA grant recipients.

Live captioning will be provided.

This conference will be recorded and a recording will be shared with all registrants afterward.

**All participants will have the option to request certificates of attendance for each informational session.**

All CLRC events are open to CLRC members and members of the Empire State Library Network.

All Attendees are expected to follow CLRC’s Code of Conduct

Land Acknowledgement:

We would like to begin this conference by acknowledging that we all work and live on the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples. Take a moment to explore the map, identify the land you are on, languages spoken, and treaties that affect the area.

We also acknowledge that we are using equipment and high-speed internet, not available in many Indigenous communities. These technologies leave carbon footprints, contributing to changing climates that disproportionately affect Indigenous people worldwide. To that end, we can support the 2021 National Tribal Broadband Strategy & the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

Additional suggested places to donate related to this conference include the American Indian College FundThe National Indian Education Association and the American Indian Library Association.

Resources: Adrienne Wong, Debbie Reese, Loriene Roy