Director Briefing - June 5, 2023

414 Ballot Reduction Advocacy Push

The bill to reduce the number of signatures for association and municipal public libraries to get on the ballot through a 414 vote passed the Senate last week and needs to be brought for a vote in the Assembly by Thursday.

The bill is currently in the Assembly Rules Committee (along with hundreds of others), so we need a boost to get the attention of Assemblymember Carl Heastie, chair of the committee and Speaker of the Assembly, to get that Assembly vote by the end of the session on June 8.

Please take a moment to write to the Assembly Speaker (, ask him to bring A5266 (Levenberg) to a vote, and note it has already passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

Your message could be as simple as:
Dear Speaker Heastie,

[LIBRARY NAME] supports bill A5266 (Levenberg) which "sets the number of petitioners necessary to call for a vote on increasing the amount of funding of the annual contribution for the operating budget of a registered public or free association library at twenty-five qualified voters of a municipality." This bill has received bipartisan support in the Senate. Please bring this bill before the Assembly for approval.

Thank you,

NYLA's End-of-Session Advocacy Push

You can also support other library initiatives by clicking here to participate in NYLA's call to action to further non-budget priorities for libraries.

Here is the list of Legislative Priorities:
  • Municipal Ballot Petition Reform (S3594/A5266)
  • Elimination of Library Construction Aid Cap (S7093)
  • Book Fair Tax Exemption (S5955/A5538A)
  • Checkout New York (S5956/A4112)
  • Association Library Retirement Opt-In Option (S4245/A4885)
  • Media Literacy Package (A32, A40, A35, A1695)
  • School Library Facility Modernization (S6744/A3174)
  • Access to Publicly Funded Research (S6562)
  • Ballston Community Public Library Special Legislative District Update (A7082)
  • Library Materials Aid - Digital Materials Expansion (S5986/A6807)
  • DASNY Eligibility for Individual Libraries (S4069/A5035, S4389/A1313, S6813/A6781)
  • Act to Shift the Grant Schedule for Library Research Materials Conservation/Preservation to Academic Year from State Fiscal Year (S6938/A7246)

CANS Updates

@PLS-NET.ORG Email Address will be Deactivated at the end of 2023 from Kelsy

This is a reminder that email aliases will be deactivated at the end of this year. After the aliases are deactivated, you will no longer receive emails sent to your address. You will continue to receive emails sent to your address.

Below is a checklist of actions you may want to take before this deactivation occurs, such as notifying your email contacts, updating your email signature, changing your online account login information, and more.

If you have any questions, please email

OWWL Email Migration Checklist

Dell Orders from Bob

Dell is again shifting prices around, so I am looking for ways to decrease desktop computer costs. I'd like to recommend that we no longer buy CD-ROM drives with every desktop computer. This would save $25 per computer.

Laptops haven't come with built-in CD-ROM drives for a couple of years. All-In-One computers dropped the CD-ROM option this year. This leaves regular desktop computers that have the option.

External CD-ROM drives can be purchased separately from Amazon when a drive is needed.

So what do we think? Can I remove CD-ROMs from new computers and save $25?

Updates to Sexual Harassment Prevention Model Policy and Training

The Department of Labor released the final version of its updated model policy on sexual harassment. HR Works updated our Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy which is attached below. These updates will be worked into our Employee Handbook. It is recommended that libraries do the same at their next board meeting so they remain in compliance with this law.

Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy

Also, click here for an article from Proskauer detailing the updates to the DOL's policy.

Here are some highlights from the article:
  • Clearly explaining that, in New York State, sexual harassment does not need to be severe or pervasive to be illegal.
  • Defining sexual harassment as a form of “gender-based” discrimination, and providing an explanation of gender diversity (including definitions of cisgender, transgender and non-binary persons).
  • Including a provision explaining that intent is not a defense under the law, and that impact is what matters in assessing whether the law has been violated. The provision also refers to the New York State Human Rights Law to explain that whether harassing conduct is considered “petty” or “trivial” is from the perspective of a “reasonable victim of discrimination with the same protected characteristics.”
  • Adding provisions making clear that harassing behavior can happen in the remote workplace.
  • Providing an updated, non-exhaustive list of examples of sexual harassment and retaliation across many kinds of careers and industries. Some of the new examples include “Intentional misuse of an individual’s preferred pronouns” and “Creating different expectations for individuals based on their perceived identities.”
  • Including a provision in the section on Supervisory Responsibilities informing supervisors and managers that they should be mindful of the impact investigations into sexual harassment can have on victims, and stating that management must “accommodate the needs of individuals who have experienced harassment to ensure the workplace is safe, supportive and free from retaliation for them during and after any investigation.”
  • Adding a new section on bystander intervention, including an explanation of five standard methods of intervention that can be used if employees witness harassment or discrimination.
  • In the section on Legal Protections and External Remedies, making reference to the state’s confidential hotline for complaints of workplace sexual harassment which, as we previously reported, launched in July 2022.
  • In a new Conclusion section, clarifying that while the focus of the policy is on sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the New York State Human Rights Law protects against discrimination in other protected classes and the policy “should be considered applicable to all protected classes.”

Update on Systems Access Policy and Board Resolution

Thank you to the libraries who have already submitted their Board Resolution supporting the Systems Access Policy. If you have not submitted it yet, you have time, so no worries.

After receiving feedback from member libraries, I plan to bring an updated version of the Member Library Agreement Form to the System Board this Wednesday. The updates make it a bit more flexible for the library to approve the form locally and in alignment with their board practices. Neither the policy or the intent has changed, just the ability for libraries to adopt the motion locally.

You do not need to resubmit if you've already submitted the resolution; you're all set for this year.

I hope to have the updated form to you by the next Director Briefing for libraries that have not submitted it yet.

NOVELny Update from DLD

This will have a modest impact on our libraries and a fairly significant impact on our BOCES and School Library neighbors.
The NOVELny program and its online resources (currently from Gale and Britannica) will cease on June 30, 2024.

This successful NYS Library pilot program, which has provided a variety of databases since 1999, is no longer sustainable with the NYS Library’s current funding sources. The Cultural Education fund has not received any recent increases, staff and database costs are rising, and federal funding has only increased moderately. This has led to the difficult decision to cut the NOVELny program.

Fortunately, we end this program equipped with valuable knowledge that can help transition this service to those who need it. The State Library will continue to work with our library partners to establish relationships with NOVELny vendors so they may continue this service at a regional or local level if they wish.

The NYS Library will continue to support its goals as stated in the New York State Library Services and Technology Act Five-Year Plan (FFY 2023-2027) submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Provided by the New York State Library, NOVELny is a Statewide Internet Library connecting New Yorkers to 21st century information. NOVELny is supported with Federal Library Service and Technology funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The NOVELny e-resources cost $2,654,778 for 2022-2023 and are supported fully with IMLS funds.
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