Director Briefing - March 18, 2024

Legislative Updates

The Senate and Assembly increased library funding in their one-house budgets!
  • Library Operating Aid: $104.6M (+$2.5M over Executive Budget)
  • Library Construction Aid: $68M (+$34M over Executive Budget)
We will hear soon how the final budget numbers work out.

If you would like to send one final message in support of libraries, you can use NYLA's Take Action Campaign .

A Warm Welcome to Rachael in Bloomfield!

Last Monday, Rachael Aycock became the new Director of the Bloomfield Public Library.

Welcome, Rachael!

OWWL Library System Board Meeting Recap

The OWWL Library System Board of Trustees met last week. Here is a rundown of the actions taken at the meeting:
  • Meeting Agenda.
  • Meeting Minutes from March 13, 2024.
  • Approved the System's external audit report from our auditors MMB.
  • Approved the System's 990 filing and Annual Financial Report.
  • Kendyl delivered a wonderful *OWWLDAC Liaison Report.*
  • Approved a bylaw amendment amending the number of System Board meetings to "six times per year" according to Education Law.
  • Approved the updated Board Meeting Schedule (May 8, July 10, September 11, and November 13).
  • Approved the available contracts for the 2024 E-Rate cycle.
  • Approved the System's Annual Report Assurances.
  • Appointed the FY 2025 Construction Aid Committee (this year's program).
  • Approved FY 2024 Construction Aid Reallocations (this was last year's program).
  • Approved Ron's attendance at NYLA's Spring on the Hill Event.
  • Approved Ron's application to the Leadership Ontario program.

This Week at the OSC: Information Technology

Our good friend, Comptroller DiNapoli, released two audit reports concerning Information Technology in School Districts last weekend. This is a new(ish) area of Comptroller audits. While most reports only impact public entities (School District Libraries, Municipal Libraries, and Special Legislative District Libraries), these audits also provide information that Association Libraries must adhere to.

In both audit reports, the Districts are criticized for not monitoring access to network users. In one, the administration should have disabled unneeded network and local user accounts as soon as they were no longer needed. This is something libraries should be concerned about for staff accounts. When staff leave the library, regardless of resignation or termination, their accounts must be deactivated. This goes for email and Evergreen accounts (email to initiate this process), but local social media accounts, user logins, security systems, etc., must be disabled. This is one of the big reasons shared accounts are such an issue in organizations. If more than one person has access, revoking access is more difficult.

District officials did not adequately manage nonstudent network and local user account access or develop an IT contingency plan. As a result, the District’s IT system and its personal, private and sensitive information (PPSI) may be accessible to unauthorized users. Officials also have less assurance that, in the event of a disruption or disaster such as a ransomware attack, employees and other responsible parties would be able to react quickly and effectively to help resume, restore, repair and/or rebuild critical IT systems or data in a timely manner. Chittenango Central School District – Information Technology (2023M-155)

In the second report, district officials did not monitor users' compliance with the locally acceptable Internet Use Policy. Minimum Standards mandate libraries to have an Internet Use Policy (see "What Policies Should a Library Have?" in Helpful Information for Meeting Minimum Public Library Standards). While these policies are mainly to protect the library from patron actions, staff are also subject to any clause in the policy. This is true for all policies.

Key Recommendations: Monitor network users’ Internet use on District computers and enforce compliance with the acceptable Internet use and computer resources and data management regulations. Rockville Centre Union Free School District – Information Technology (2023M-140)

The main takeaways for all libraries are:
  • Upon resignation or termination, disable all user accounts associated with the past employee;
  • Email to disable email and Evergreen accounts;
  • Review and Update the library's Internet Use Policy;
  • Educate staff on all library policies;
  • Provide annual technology training for staff (required by Minimum Standard 13)( Kelsy's Tech Training qualifies ); and
  • Review the 2023 Trustee Handbook chapter on Technology (page 107) with your Board.


What’s New in the 2023 Edition of the Trustee Handbook

The Trustee Handbook Book Club is tomorrow night at 5:00 PM. Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Brian Hildreth, and Ron Kirsop will be discussing what has been updated in the 2023 version of the Trustee Handbook Book Club.

Click here to register.

Brand Usage Policy

This existing policy has been updated in a few key ways.

First, the name of this policy has been updated to System Branding, Logos, and Assets Usage Policy.

Second, we have been working with a branding consultant to clarify the use of the OWWL Library System’s brand assets. This is the same consultant that came to speak to libraries earlier in 2023 about branding.

The policy and guidebook are designed to accomplish two things: 1) encourage libraries to use their own local branding when communicating with their community and 2) protect system branding assets so they are used for the programs they are intended to represent.

The policy allows libraries to use the following System logos:
  1. Library Card Logo (for promotion of library cards and catalog),
  2. OWWL2Go Logos (in the context of promoting Digital Library resources [this may change depending on how OWWL2Go branding changes]), and
  3. OWWL Member Logo (available for use on the library's website secondary to individual library branding).

Other logos created by the System for special projects (i.e., The Great Give Back, Booklet, One Book OWWL Kids, etc.) may be used in the context of and for the duration of that program.

Older/outdated logos (pre-2014) should no longer be used.

Branding is incredibly important for libraries. When talking with your community, I highly encourage libraries to adopt their own logos and branding guidelines. Feel free to use this policy and guidebook as a template for your own internal identity system. This policy does not dictate how libraries may use their own logos or branding, only that assets/graphics produced at the System may be used for specific programs.

OWWL Library System AAC Partnership Program

We have another exciting opportunity for libraries to continue to expand access to library services to all community members this spring/summer!

Through the OWWL Library System AAC Partnership Program, the System's Coordinated Outreach Services will partner with twenty member libraries to provide Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tools. AAC tools provide a means to communicate besides talking (verbal speech) with library patrons who are unable to speak or are difficult to understand.

Each partner library will receive a symbol-based A-Frame Communication Board from Talk to me Technologies and appropriate training resources.

This program is funded through an American Library Association (ALA) Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Accessible Small and Rural Communities grant and Coordinated Outreach State Aid.

For more information regarding program goals, timeline, and partner selection, visit: The deadline to apply is March 31, 2024. Please reach out to Suzanne with any questions. Session link:
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