Board President Briefing | July 29, 2022

Trustee Education Requirement

Starting on January 1, 2023, Library Trustees must track and report their continuing education. Each Trustee is required to participate in two hours of training annually according to Section 260-D of State Education Law. Each Library must also adopt a policy that dictates how the Trustee Education Requirement will be implemented. Here is a draft version I will bring to the System's Policy Committee for discussion, Sample Trustee Education Policy. You are welcome to use it as a template for your policy or develop your own. The Division of Library Development has a helpful Trustee Education Requirements Frequently Asked Questions page that may help.

First Amendment Audits

There is a "First Amendment Auditor" targeting government buildings and libraries in Wyoming County. This will most likely continue into the foreseeable future, so if you have not done so, now is an excellent time to review the policy that the System attorney developed for us last year. Be sure to review your code of conduct, meeting room, and other policies to ensure that everything is up to date and in alignment. Policies are the local law of the library, and you need them to enforce rules.
"First Amendment Audits" and Recording Policy (from November 29, 2021 Monday Briefing)

Last week Stephanie Cole Adams, Esq. drafted a "'First Amendment Audit' Public Library Response Policy" for us. Libraries can adapt and adopt this to help handle situations related to public recording and "First Amendment Audits." The policy covers recording in the library, a simple outline on how to handle conversations with "First Amendment Auditors," and notes from Cole herself.

For more information on these audits, ALA published an article in August 2021 -

Personnel Handbook Developed by HR Works

Earlier this year, I shared the Employee Handbook template created by HR Works with Directors. This is a reminder that each library must have Personnel Policies in place, and the template is a great resource. It has been vetted by attorneys and includes all the items your library needs to consider.

Visit for the template and recording of the Director Workshop from March 2022.

Trustee Handbook Book Club Resources

Earlier this week, I worked with the THBC team to record "After Pary Part II," which will soon be posted to Until then, below are some of the resources that were discussed.

Civil Service Priority Update

I've been working with the NYLA Civil Service Committee to draft legislation to allow for some much-needed updates to Civil Service. A few months ago, I sent out the Committee's priority list; here is the most up-to-date version from NYLA - Civil Service Priority List.

Since my last update, Bri from NYLA and I have met with the Association of Counties, Senator Sean Ryan's Office, and Assemblywoman Jean Pierre's office. Next week we will be meeting with State Civil Service Department. This is the first time in a long time that traction has been made with amendments to Civil Service, and I'm pretty excited about it. With any luck, after our conversation with the State CS Dept., we'll be able to get some draft legislation to the Senate and Assembly.

Questions of the Week: On Exempt Employees

Q: What is an exempt employee?

An exempt (or salaried) employee is an employee that meets specific criteria (mentioned below) that "exempts" them from minimum wage and overtime laws.

Q: What criteria does an employee need to meet to be considered "exempt"?

First, the salary must be at least $990/week or $51,480/year to be considered an exempt employee.

Second, an employee must meet either the Administrative or Executive exemption test to be considered an exempt employee.

If an employee makes less than $51,480 or does not check all the boxes on the Administrative or Executive exemption, they would be considered an hourly employee.

Q: Does the exempt salary threshold change?

Yes, typically each year when the minimum wage is evaluated the salary threshold for exempt employees will increase proportionately.

Q: What is an hourly employee?

Most employees will be considered hourly. These are full-time and part-time individuals who make less than $51,480 and are paid an hourly wage for each hour they are worked. If an hourly employee works over 40 hours in a workweek, they are eligible for overtime pay and all appropriate laws would need to be followed.

Q: Our Director makes $45,000 a year, but frequently works over their required hours to take care of Director responsibilities. Is that okay?

Only if they get paid for the hours worked over the regular number of hours.

If your Director has a 35-hour work week at this salary level, they are an hourly employee making $24.73/hour. Their weekly pay is $865.55 (35 hours x $24.73/hour). If they work more than 35 hours in one week, let's say it's a busy week and they work 38 hours, their pay for that week would need to be $939.74 (38 hours x $24.73/hour).

If the Director works more than 40 hours, a library must pay them overtime for the hours over 40.

Q: Do all employees need to keep timecards

Yes. Have timecards for all employees. Keeping timecards for exempt employees (making more than $51,480/year) is also a good idea. It helps track benefits, vacation, and sick leave.

Q: We've never had an issue paying our Director less than the exempt salary, and they are generally happy to work extra without worrying about hourly pay. Is this a problem?

Yes, this is a significant problem. If this is a practice at your library, you are actively (and knowingly) breaking the law.

If anyone (does not need to be the employee) complains about inappropriate pay will trigger a Department of Labor investigation. The library will owe back pay and (significant) penalties. Trustees could also be liable in this type of lawsuit.

This is true for all employees.

Q: Should our Director be an exempt employee?

The ability to pay a salary of $51,480/year is up to the library board and budget decisions.

It is perfectly acceptable to have a Director who makes an hourly wage; however, they must be paid for each hour they work and cannot be expected to work without getting paid.
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