Director Briefing - March 13, 2023

PLSDAC Follow-Up

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend PLSDAC on Friday, March 10, 2023. If you couldn't make it, here is the agenda with all the discussion points linked:

The next PLSDAC Meeting will be Friday, June 2, 2023, at the Walworth-Seely Public Library. We will also have a virtual option.

System Board Meeting Follow-Up

The System Board met on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 and discussed the following items:

Opening Tickets

Per the policy amendments at the last System Board Meeting, to receive tech support, Evergreen support, and cataloging support, member libraries must open a ticket by emailing either,, or

When you open a ticket, it allows for System staff to work on issues together, document issues, and make sure that it gets to the right person.

Who to Email by Topic

Topic Who to Email
Admin Support
(Advocacy, DLD Contact, Funding Referendums, Legal Issues, Minimum Standards, and Trustee Training)
Admin Internal Services to Libraries
(Annual Reports, Delivery, Coordinated Purchases, and Billing)
Admin External Services to Communities
(Outreach Services, System Programs, Youth Services, Continuing Education, and Construction Aid)
Evergreen Support
Online Services and Databases
(!OverDrive, Owwl2Go, LibCal, Prefab, Consumer Reports, Mango, and
Tech Support
(Networking, Computers, and System-Supported Software)
This list will be updated on found on the OWWL Docs Members Web page. If you're unsure who to email, you can send it to Ron.

System-Sponsored Events and Advertising from Outreach Services

Over the past 18 months, the OWWL Library System has undergone several changes. Our name, mainly, but also how we have been spending our State Aid for Coordinated Outreach funds. Books by Mail; One Book, OWWL Kids; Community Book Drops; Backpack Distribution; Summer Storywalks; and Aunt Flow have all System funded events for targeted Outreach populations with specific language and promotional materials associated with them.

For some of these programs, Member Libraries have bypassed the pre-created promotional materials and created their own. In several instances, this has confused the messaging and misrepresented the program.

Moving forward, we ask that member libraries only use approved promotional materials for System-run programs and services, including social media posts. However, flyers, graphics, handouts, and similar promotional materials, however, must come from OWWL Library System.

These projects come from a specific pool of funds from the State, so it is important to represent them appropriately.

If there are any questions, please reach out to Suzanne.

Systems Access and Patron Confidentiality Policy

If you've been following the progress on the Systems Access and Confidentiality of Library Records Policy there have been a few updates.

At the February 8, 2023, OWWL Library System Board Meeting, the Board requested I put together an independent review committee for the policy to discuss the criticisms we have received from a Member Library that would like to use patron data for fundraising purposes. The committee's scope was to discuss Civil Practice Law ยง 4509 on Library records and their opinion on using patron data for fundraising activities.

The committee met on Friday, March 3, 2023. A summary of their conversation and recommendations can be found in their final report - Independent Review Report Systems Access and Confidentiality of Library Records Policy Report.

At the same time, I reached out to the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom to review our policy and offer an opinion on any changes that needed to be made. They produced the following letter for us - ALA Letter of Support for Systems Access Policy.

The next step is for the System's Policy Committee to meet and review the recommended changes from the independent committee review to see if there are amendments that they would like to make at this time.

Trustee Workshop Follow-Up: Key Laws & Regulations for Libraries

If you or your Trustees were unable to make the Trustee Workshop on Key Laws & Regulations for Libraries , you are welcome to review the resources and watch the recording. There were a lot of laws discussed, so if you'd like any clarification, please let me know.

For upcoming Trustee Workshops, visit:

Question of the Week: OSC Audits

Question: You often mention OSC Audit findings in the Director Briefing. Is there a list of library audits or the typical things that are found in library audits?

Yes! There are both of those things. The Office of the State Comptroller keeps an ongoing, searchable list of opinions, audits, and rulings. You can find of list of library-related audits by visiting

As far as the most frequent findings for library audits, here is a short list:
  1. Claims Audit Process -
    • The full board is responsible for the "audit and approval" of each claim (a.k.a. bill) before payment.
    • Each claim needs to be documented with a voucher, purchase order (where applicable), and itemized receipt/invoice.
    • Some payments can receive prior authorization by the board like public utilities and postage.
  2. Cash Handling
    • Segregated duties around cash (the same person should not be receiving cash, then counting, then depositing).
    • Each library should have a cash register.
    • Daily bank deposits.
    • Regularly monitor any cash taken in by the library.
  3. Procurement
    • General Municipal Law on competitive bidding
      • Purchase contracts over $20,000
      • Public works contracts over $35,000
    • Procurement policy should define how purchasing is done below the GML threshold.
  4. Credit Card Policy
    • Who is authorized to use the credit card?
    • Dollar limits for purchases.
    • Description of allowable purchases.
    • Describe the documentation requirement.
  5. IT
    • Account access.
    • Password management.
    • Electronic transfers of funds.
    • Cyber liability coverage.
    • Business Continuity Plan.
New audits come out every week, and when I read them, it triggers some investigation into how our libraries handle things. So when you see policy changes or procedure amendments, typically they have a lot to do with these audits.
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