Director Briefing - July 5, 2022

Barring Pride Displays in Libraries

Many of you probably heard about the Smithtown Library on Long Island and the Board's recent motion to remove Pride Displays in the library. The action caused a flurry of news articles, comments from the public, and even a message from Governor Hochul saying, "I am directing @NYSHumanRights to immediately investigate anti-LGBTQ+ bias at Smithtown Public Libraries."

The Board of the Smithtown Library rescinded their motion at a special meeting on June 23, 2022 due to public backlash. Two of the Trustees voted against rescinding the motion, which may cause a significant amount of trouble during the Human Rights investigation.

Stephanie Cole Adams answered an Ask A Lawyer question on this topic that can be found here -

This may cause a broader investigation of libraries in other areas of Human Rights, so keep in mind that the motions that are passed at the board level carry a significant amount of weight and are always subject to scrutiny.

Libraries as Sensitive Places in Restricting Firearms in New York

NYLA has reported the Governor’s bill restricting firearms in New York was delivered and included in the bill is a list of “sensitive places” like schools, churches, and hospitals where firearms would be banned by State law rather than local decisions. Included in that list, in the Assembly version of the bill, is libraries.

This is still a very new piece of legislation, so there isn't much information out on it yet. I will keep you posted.

From the Division of Library Development

Beginning January 1, 2023, each trustee, elected or appointed, of a public library, association library or Indian Library will be required to complete a minimum of two hours of trustee education annually (Education Law 260-d added by Chapter 468 of the Laws of 2021).

To help all trustees understand and meet the new trustee education requirements…a Frequently Asked Questions document and other supporting materials to help trustees and library directors understand the new law and the new requirements.

The FAQs and other materials are now available on the NYSL Division of Library Development webpage in the New and Updated section at

The NYSL encourages trustees and library directors to reach out to their public library system with questions about the new Trustee Education requirements.

We've been talking about this one for a while, so if you have any questions or concerns, let me know. I'd be happy to help your boards make sure they receive the required number of hours.

OWWL Library System Staff Directory

In case you need it, here is the link to our current staff directory here at the System -

Reminder: State Law Required Public Library Trustees to Take an Oath of Office

Many library trustee terms begin on July 1. This is an important reminder that New York State Public Officer's Law §10 ( requires all public library trustees to take and file an oath of office within 30 days of beginning their term of office. Public library trustees are public officers and the oath of office is required to officially undertake and perform the duties of a public library trustee.

If a public library trustee does not properly complete and file an oath of office, the trustee’s position may be deemed vacant. See Public Officer's Law §30(1)(h) (

Public Library Collection Management Policy - Template and Guide

The Empire State Library Network and the Public Library System Director Organization commissioned Stephanie Cole Adams, The Law Office of Stephanie Adams, PLLC, to develop a Collection Management Policy. I haven't edited this policy to fit with the System Policy Manual yet, but I will be working on that in the coming weeks.

Below is the Word document that you are welcome to modify/use at your library.

Collection Management Guide and Toolkit.docx

State Comptroller Critical of Ellenville School District IT Weaknesses

Over the weekend I read through the OSC's audit of the Ellenville School District. This is another audit highlighting IT issues and more justification for tightening up our own IT practices.

The State Comptroller’s Office has determined that officials of the Ellenville Central School District did not ensure network user accounts were adequately managed.

The audit found 550 network user accounts that were no longer needed. Of that number, 462 were not used to log into the district’s IT system in at least six months from the date of the auditor’s review.

The state officials also said the district did not have written procedures for granting, changing or disabling network user accounts.

The audit recommended that the district develop written procedures for granting, changing and disabling user access and maintain a list of authorized user accounts and routinely evaluate and disable any unnecessary user accounts.

District officials agreed with the state recommendations and indicated they would take corrective action.

Auditors also communicated sensitive information technology control weaknesses confidentially.

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