Director Briefing - May 8, 2023

State Aid for Library Construction from Suzanne

Spring/summer is a busy time for Construction Aid, so I wanted to send a few reminders:
  • The FY 2024 Intent to Apply with Proof of Available Funds and Contractor Quote(s) is due to OWWL Library System Friday, May 26. This is a hard deadline.
  • Libraries with questions regarding closing, current, impending, or potential projects should contact me (Suzanne). The System liaises between member libraries and DLD.
  • When you email about a project, please include your library's name and project number in the subject line.
  • If you get an estimate that seems too good to be true, it might be. Collecting multiple quotes can help your library submit a project application that will have fewer cost/budget surprises when the actual work begins.
  • Be on the lookout for SAM scams, do not respond to emails or phone calls about renewing SAM. It is a free process that you should initiate by visiting

More information regarding State Aid for Library Construction can be found here on OWWL Docs.

New York Minimum Wage Update

Several reports have discussed the New York State Minimum Wage increase to $15/hour on Jan. 1, 2024. This will also impact the salary exempt threshold (currently $1,064.25 per week or $55,341 annually). Please keep this in mind as you consider your upcoming budgets.

The Devastating Business Impacts of a Cyber Breach

On May 4, 2023, Harvard Business Review published "The Devastating Business Impacts of a Cyber Breach" by Keman Huang, Xiaoqing Wang, William Wei, and Stuart Madnick (link to the article, link to PDF). While the article focuses on large, private-sector companies, a lot of the issues are scalable to potential data breaches that we may face in the future. Our policies and security changes are all part of a broad plan to ensure patron privacy and to protect the incredible amount of information we are entrusted with. Passwords, procedures, and policies are all part of this. Data security will continue to be a driving factor in our System's priority to limit risks and uphold data safety as much as possible.
Cybersecurity should be an organization-wide priority, as employees are always the front line for mitigating cybersecurity risks. Cybersecurity should be part of every employee’s job description.

Kelsy has two related workshops this month, one on Cybersecurity for Library Staff on May 16 at 2:00 PM (click here to register) and the other on Password Managers and Password Security class on May 24, 2023 at 2 PM (click here to register) that I would encourage staff to attend.

State Budget for Libraries

Unfortunately, despite strong Senate and Assembly support, State Aid for Libraries ended up flat this year. This is disappointing and will ultimately impact System-services and LSSA allocations to libraries this year. With costs increasing, this is essentially a cut to Library Operating Aid.
  • Library Operating Aid: $99.6M
  • Library Construction Aid: $34M

OverDrive App from Kathryn

A final reminder that the OverDrive app for iOS, Android, and Windows 8/10 will be sunset on May 1, 2023. After that date, users who try to access your library’s collection in the app will see a message informing them they need to upgrade to Libby.

This applies to the !OverDrive app only, not the website or the Libby app.

Helpful reminders and resources
  • On your library’s website, remove the logo and links to download the OverDrive app and replace with Libby. Download Libby logos and suggested website copy to help you get started. You can also visit the Resource Center for ready-made marketing and outreach materials to promote Libby. Unless noted in the materials, these should be used as-is, without any modifications.
  • Library staff can visit the Resource Center for FAQs about the OverDrive app sunset, Libby marketing and training materials, and more.
  • In-app messaging links users to this helpful overview about the transition to Libby, including FAQs and how-to videos.
  • Users can sign up for a virtual training hosted by OverDrive or access Libby Help for step-by-step instructions and videos that explain how to use the app.

Trustee Workshop Follow-Up: Q&A with Ron at Wadsworth Library in Geneseo

On April 27, 2023, I held an in-person Trustee Workshop at Wadsworth Library (thanks, Debby). The recording didn't work out, so I recreated it as best I could. You can find the resource page where I answered all the questions and the re-record here -

The next Trustee Workshop will be hybrid at the Newark Public Library on June 8, 2023, at 4:30 PM. Click here to register.

For a full list of 2023 Trustee Workshops, visit the OWWL Docs Page or our LibCal page for Trustee Workshops.

WNYLRC Ask a Lawyer RAQ

I've talked to quite a few libraries recently about Conflicts of Interest, financial arrangements, and agreements between the Library and the Friends of the Libary. Back in 2020, the WNYLRC attorney answered the question, "There are so many ways the relationship between a library and their Friends can get complicated. Can you provide a template for an agreement between a library and their Friends?" In it, Stephanie Cole Adams provides a solid template for a cooperation agreement.

Another more recent question I found interesting about Trustee Terms: "Can a school district library board mandate that trustees take a one-year break after two terms?" You can read that one here,

Movement on Civil Service Updates

It doesn't seem like much, but the text for the Civil Service draft update has been released. I'm working with NYLA to determine exactly how this impacts libraries, but it's a move in the right direction.
Section 1. Section 57 of the civil service law, as added by chapter 83 of the laws of 1963, is amended to read as follows: ยง 57. Continuous recruitment for certain positions. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter or any other law, the civil service department or a municipal commission may establish a continuing eligible list for any class of positions for which it finds [inadequate numbers of well qualified persons available for recruitment] *such lists appropriate. The civil service department may only establish continuing eligible lists for any class of positions filled through open competitive examination*. Names of eligibles shall be inserted in such list from time to time as applicants are tested and found qualified in exam- inations held at such intervals as may be prescribed by the civil service department or municipal commission having jurisdiction. Such successive examinations shall, so far as practicable, be constructed and rated so as to be equivalent tests of the merit and fitness of candi- dates. The name of any candidate who passes any such examination and who is otherwise qualified shall be placed on the continuing eligible list in the rank corresponding to his or her final rating on such examina- tion. The period of eligibility of successful candidates for certif- ication and appointment from such continuing eligible list, as a result of any such examination, shall be fixed by the civil service department or municipal commission but, except as a list may reach an announced terminal date, such period shall not be less than one year; nor shall such period of eligibility exceed four years. Subject to such conditions and limitations as the civil service department or municipal commission may prescribe, a candidate may take more than one such examination; provided, however, that no such candidate shall be certified simultane- ously with more than one rank on the continuing eligible list. With respect to any candidate who applies for and is granted additional cred- it in any such examination as a disabled or non-disabled veteran, and for the limited purpose of granting such additional credit, the eligible list shall be deemed to be established on the date on which his or her name is added thereto.  

Source: 2023 PPGG Article VII.pdf

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