Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some leaders optimistic about 2010

The Buffalo News reported that more local business leaders are optimistic heading into 2010 than they were last year, but the majority in the Buffalo Niagara region still expect things to stay gloomy or get worse, according to a survey released Wednesday.

A survey commissioned by First Niagara Bank and conducted by the Siena College Research Institute questioned business heads on their feelings about current economic conditions in their industries and in New York State, as well as their expectations for the year to come.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but we have a long way to go,” said Donald Levy, director at the Siena College Research Institute. “We are in the beginning of a slow, cautious recovery, but the general public will not feel the benefits of it immediately.”

In the poll’s overall business confidence index of 0 to 200, Buffalo Niagara scored a 79.6. That’s a 113-percent increase over last year’s score of 37.2.

When asked just about their future expectations, Buffalo Niagara scored an 87.4, increasing 88 percent over last year.

Of those surveyed, 25 percent of business leaders here said they believe business conditions in New York State will improve, more than twice as many as felt that way heading into 2009.

And while 46 percent expect conditions to get worse, that number is down from 75 percent last year. And another 28 percent expect conditions to remain the same in 2010. Read more here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Recent Thefts in Museums Highlight Need for More Security and Risk Management

This was a recent message from the Upstate History Alliance in response to recent increase in museum thefts in NYS:

Hello UHA members,

In light of the recent news and the number of thefts at museums and historical societies in NY we thought this might be an opportunity to share some museum security resources and start a discussion on how we can best protect our collections. Below are some resources provided by the American Association of Museums to get us started.

What are your best prevention resources? Please share them with us. Do you train your volunteers on security issues? What are you own procedures?

The Association of College & Research Libraries (a division of the American Library Association) issued Guidelines Regarding Theft in Libraries. The guidelines outline ways to prevent theft and steps to take after a theft has been discovered. An appendix has a list of networking resources for protection and recovery.

The Museum Security Network has an article on Surviving a Collection Loss:
Working with Law Enforcement. It offers tips to prevent loss and actions to
take after a theft to assist in recovering the property. It also offers a
compilation of agencies and websites for reporting stolen property

The American Society for Industrial Security provides General Security Risk Assessment Guidelines (PDF). This 26-page document outlines a 7-step process for identifying security risks and developing appropriate solutions. Though not specific to museums, the principles are applicable. It includes a glossary of terms, a process flow chart, and a bibliography.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (UK) offers Security in Museums, Archives and Libraries: A Practical Guide (PDF). This 182-page comprehensive publication addresses building security, alarms, retail security, personal security, bag searches, key control, operating procedures, contractors, couriers, security staff, and crisis management planning. It includes sample forms for reporting incidents and crimes. It also has information about the government indemnity program that is specific to the UK. The Council partners with other cultural organizations to present Collections Link, a website with practical advice and short fact sheets on security topics, such as the use of CCTV, advice for architects and planners, and
display cases.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center has a technical leaflet on Collections Security: Planning and Prevention for Libraries & Archives.
It discusses strategies for preventing theft and vandalism of collections, responding to a breach of security, and creating an effective security plan.
It includes a sample patron registration form, a sample procedures information sheet, and a lengthy bibliography.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Survey to understand environmental interests of WNY

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has created a survey to understand the environmental interests of the WNY public. This information will help guide the development of a new website for Western New Yorkers interested in environmental news and activities.

Complete this survey by January 15, 2010 and be entered to win an iPod nano or $100! To be eligible to win a survey prize, you must live in Western New York.

The survey can be completed at