Director Briefing - January 30, 2023

Last year we provided an Employee Handbook that could be modified to your library to cover all the required/legal personnel policies. This year, we are supplying the required 2023 legal updates.

If your library used the Employee Handbook Template, you should update the policies included in the HR Works 2023 Legal Updates (included in the link below). After that, have your Personnel Committee review and the full Board approve the updated handbook.

2023 Legal Updates Word Document .

Visit for the original Employee Handbook as well as the legal updates.

New Partnership Logos from Suzanne

As part of the OWWL Library System's ongoing rebranding process, we have produced two updated logos for member libraries to use when there is a need to co-brand their materials (a library's logo with a System logo). Libraries should use these logos in place of all others versions.

When referring to the System, please use "OWWL Library System" and not "Pioneer" or shortened versions of our full name. When referring to the libraries, use "OWWL Libraries."

Part of the reason we sought this name change was to eliminate confusion, and these additional steps will help further that goal and create consistent messaging.

The System is working on a Brand Style Guide we hope to roll out later this year.

Please reach out to Suzanne with any branding-related questions.

OWWL Library System Member.pngOWWL Library System Partner.png

BookPage Subscription Renewal from Kelly

It is time to renew our BookPage subscription. Our current subscription expires 4/30/23. BookPage is a monthly print publication available as a giveaway to your library patrons. It includes features on forthcoming books, author interviews, and reviews of new fiction and nonfiction books for adults and youth. You can view an online edition at:

The System does a group order for this publication to help provide BookPage at a discounted price. The price increased this year from $.37 to $.45 per copy (We currently have a subscription for 550 copies. In order to receive the $.45 per copy we must continue with at least 500 copies, otherwise, the price will increase to $.60 per copy if we fall below 500). Libraries must order in increments of 5. (5 copies @ $.45/each for 12 months = $27.00/year, 10 copies @ $.45/each for 12 months = $54.00/year, etc.) Final cost depends on the total quantity ordered by all. The System will invoice each member library for their order.

I've attached the quantity each library ordered last time (Bookpage counts 2022.pdf).

Please respond to Kelly's email by Friday, March 10th if your library is interested in placing an order. Specify how many copies you would like to order in quantity increments of 5 (5, 10, 15, 20 copies etc.)

Recently Asked Questions WNYLRC Attorney

This week's RAQ email had some really interesting questions and answers to read:

1. Privacy of Barred Patrons: [Our library directors] group had a discussion about sharing information about patrons who have been barred from a library within the System using the notes field in the patron’s library record. It was suggested to put it in the non-blocking note field within the record. This will make the information available to all library staff within the library system. Are there privacy concerns?

2. Donation Solicitations for Public Libraries: A town municipal public library has been told by the town that the library cannot have a donate to the library button on the library's website. The library hosts its own website, and the donations would go into a library checking account. The town feels that the library will be seen as fundraising. Is there a comptroller's opinion or NYS Law that states municipal town libraries (or school district or special district) libraries cannot ask for donations on its website?

3. FOIL and Social Media: For public libraries that must comply with Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), how does FOIL impact our organization's use of social media? What sort of social media records can be FOIL-ed and what are some best practices for using social media in regards to FOIL?

4. High School Yearbook Access in Public Libraries: Our local public library has started a collection of donated yearbooks from the high school. They requested to receive or purchase new yearbooks as they were published. As the yearbook contains underage students, information about their sports and clubs, we felt that this was protected personal information and should not be publicly accessible. The understood "agreement" when participating in the yearbook implies that this publication is available only to the current school population. People who are not enrolled, employed, or related to a current student have theoretically been ineligible to purchase a yearbook (it really doesn't come up so no formal policy is in place). We feel that it is a mismatch between telling students to not share personal details and then willingly handing over a roadmap of what meetings and practices they will be attending.

5. Monitoring Employee Workplace Telecommunications: We got a question about implementing the new Section 52-c of the New York Civil Rights Law, which requires employers to notify employees if their workplace communications will be monitored.
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