Director Briefing - February 27, 2023

Aspen Testers from Dan

Good afternoon everyone,

We'd like to invite interested member library staff to participate in testing Aspen Discovery, our new OPAC replacement scheduled to launch at the end of next month.

Depending on the level of interest, a limited number of participants may be selected by lottery and role. Selected participants will be sent further information once available.

We expect testing to take place the week of 3/6 and/or the week of 3/13. Please sign up as a tester if you are able to commit to being available to test and provide feedback during those weeks.

Interested? Please fill out this form by 12pm next Wednesday, 3/1 .

Have any questions? Please email

Potential Legislation

I've been watching these two pieces of legislation that could impact libraries:
  1. A4149 - Requires public libraries to carry opioid antagonists and requires training for staff in the administration of opioid antagonists.
  2. A2885/S1078 - Requires places of public assembly to maintain epinephrine auto-injector devices and to have at least one employee who is trained in its use.

I'm not opposed to the intent of either bill. However, we won't advocate for this to move forward without amendments to include funding to carry out training and supplies.

Amazon Smile Update from Kelsy

On Monday, February 20, Amazon shut down Amazon Smile.

I know many libraries advertised Amazon Smile as a way for patrons to help support the library, so I just wanted to pass the news along. You may want to check your websites, social media, and promotional materials to remove any mention of Amazon Smile.

Questions of the Week: Open Meetings Law

Question: In a Policy Committee, trustees asked whether public comments should be included in the meeting minutes at a board meeting.

Good question. This question comes up frequently, and I understand why. With all library board meetings being open to the public and the requirement to produce minutes, it's a common misconception that public comment should be included. However, it's not.

Public comment is only allowed by authorizing it with a Public Comment Policy. Open Meetings Law allows the public to view meetings, not comment. It's up to the library to adopt reasonable rules to allow (or disallow) public comment. That said, it's a good idea to allow it but not include it in your minutes.

According to Open Meetings Law, minutes "shall consist of a record or summary of all motions, proposals, resolutions and any other matter formally voted upon and the vote thereon." This means you only need to record the things your board votes on. Any other commentary, discussion, etc., is not required.

Question: We need an Open Meetings Policy?

Yes. The Committee on Open Government has a "Model Rules for Public Bodies" that you can fashion into an Open Meetings Policy if you do not already have one.

Question: Can my board meet via Zoom?


Question: Can some of my board attend board meetings via Zoom?

Possibly, but probably not without following some legal requirements.

There are two options for board members to join remotely. First option: The remote trustee must publish their location with your meeting notice and allow the public to attend at the posted location. Section option: Your board would need to hold a public hearing, pass a separate videoconferencing policy, and have a list of "extraordinary circumstances" allowing the trustee to attend remotely. If this happens, the library must maintain a recording of the meeting for five years. Also, a quorum of the board is still required to be in person.

Both options require work, so if your board is interested in either option, consult all legal requirements with OML or ask me about it.
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