Director Briefing - July 26, 2022

First Amendment Audits

There is a "First Amendment Auditor" targeting government buildings and libraries in Wyoming County. If you have not done so already, now is an excellent time to review the policy that Stephanie Cole Adams developed for us last year. Be sure to review your code of conduct, meeting room, and other policies to make sure that everything is up to date and in alignment. Policies are the local law of the library, you need them in order 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 -

Ask the Lawyer Recent Questions July 2022

  1. Opt out of CCB for libraries: The CASE Act has a provision for libraries to preemptively opt out of CCB proceedings. If we opt out at the institutional level, does that cover individual library employees? Opting out seems like a good course of action for our institution but I wonder if there are reasons why we should not opt out.
  2. Liability Insurance for Notary Services: Should libraries with Notaries Public on staff have notary liability insurance for those library staff? Or would that be covered by the library's general liability insurance? We don't want our staff who are providing Notary Public services to be putting themselves at risk.
  3. Dos and Don'ts of Addressing School Library Censorship: Recently, two programs were hosted on school library materials management. The law, policy, and case law covered at the sessions were extensive. Below is a summary of the major takeaways in a "Do's and Don'ts" format.
  4. Pride Month Displays in Libraries: Our library board is considering a resolution to bar displays celebrating Pride Month. The ban focuses on, but is not limited to, displays in children's/YA areas. Is this a legal issue?
  5. Napping in Libraries: Sometimes, people nap in the library, particularly people who we believe might not have stable or sufficient housing. We feel that a library should not exclude people who need a secure place to rest, so long as there is no interference with library operations, but are there any legal considerations to this issue?

Personnel Handbook Developed by HR Works

Back in March, I shared the Employee Handbook template created by HR Works. This is a reminder that each library is required to have Personnel Policies in place and the template is a great resource to use. 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

Yesterday, 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.pdf

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.

Another project that I have a subcommittee working on is to update the recommended job descriptions that NYLA has had since the early 90s. Once we're done with that document, I would like to send it to a few Directors for review. If you're interested, let me know, and I'll add you to my list.
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