Director Briefing - November 13, 2023

Sunsetting the TPAC

On January 8, we will shut down the TPAC (the old Evergreen OPAC), making Aspen Discovery the exclusive online catalog for the OWWL Library System. Links to the TPAC will redirect to You'll see a banner appear on the TPAC soon to notify patrons of the coming change.

If your library maintains its own website and still links to the TPAC rather than to Aspen Discovery, please update your links. You can find more information, including a code snippet to change search boxes, on OWWL Docs .

If you have any questions, please email

2023 System Satisfaction Survey

Each year, Library Systems in New York are required to file a Satisfaction Survey with the Division of Library Development. This survey measures the progress of five-year plans of service. This is different than our Strategic Plan. Our 2022-2026 Plan of Service goals are more general with a broad view of System work.

It should take 10 minutes or less to complete; the deadline is December 1, 2023.

Click 2023 System Satisfaction Survey

Thank you so much!

Note: We've had nine responses so far, an extra thank you to those libraries!

November OWWL Library System Board Meeting Highlights

  • November Board Meeting Minutes
  • OWWLDAC Liaison Report
  • Executive Director's Report
  • Policy Updates
    • Data Breach Policy - Explains the System's actions in handling and preventing data breaches.
    • Computer Support Policy - Updated the criteria for the System to support member library computers.
    • Procurement Policy - Added information on the number of bids required and added clauses in the event the System makes large-scale purchases for member libraries (this does not typically occur, but was cited in an audit of a cooperative library system in NY).
    • Assigned Reserves Policy - Added a Legal Defense Fund to support member libraries in the case of a civil lawsuit over book challenges or similar circumstance.
    • Systems Access and Confidentiality of Library Records Policy - Removed the acknowledgment piece previously requested to be completed by Member Library Boards, this policy must be followed by member libraries in order to access Evergreen and other technology systems provided by OWWL Library System.
    • All System Policies can be found by visiting
  • The Board approved my evaluation process, Kelly sent an email if you would like to participate.
  • The Book Challenge Review Committee wrote six new reports, they can be found by visiting
    • Libraries are welcome to use these if there is a local challenge. Also, let me know if there is a title you would like the committee to review.

Congratulations to our First 414 Library!

I'd like to publicly commend Anne Brown and the Walworth-Seely Library Board for being the first library in our system to establish a 414 referendum. This means the library has an appropriated amount of funds in the municipality that cannot be increased or decreased without the library going to the voters. This is a fantastic step in financial sustainability. Congratulations!

2023 Public Library Technology Survey

I know you are inundated with survey's right now, but DLD put in a special request to try to beat the other states participating in this initiative. From DLD:
Please see below for another message from PLA’s Program Manager for Evaluation & Assessment regarding the Public Library Technology Survey. Currently only 5% of NY libraries have completed the survey, which means over 700 have not.

More concerningly, Maryland is winning, by a mile - I am determined not to be beaten by Maryland! In actual numbers, we are neck in neck with them in terms of how many libraries have completed, because they have less than a third of our total. We can do this!

Please share this with your libraries, and let me know if I can help further with this.

Thanks as always for all that you do for our library community!

Click here to take the 2023 Public Library Technology Survey by December 16th .

New Phishing Email from Kelsy

Well, not "from" Kelsy. She isn't trying to send phishing emails, just updating us to new ones.
Hi everyone,

I've received a few reports of a new phishing email today.

Below is what it looks like:

Phishing email 2023-11-07.png

If you receive a similar email, please mark it as spam/junk.

If you are ever unsure about an email, forward it to and we will take a look at it.



Question of the Week: The Prevailing Wage

Q: Does my library need to pay the prevailing wage on public work projects?

A: Four separate libraries have asked this question over the past month, so it's a good time to answer it for everyone who may be wondering. The prevailing wage requires contractors to pay fair wages and benefits to employees. When bidding for a project, a contractor may ask if it is "prevailing wage" before they submit an estimate. Generally speaking, if a project requires the prevailing wage to be paid, it will come back higher than if it is not. So, does your library need to pay the prevailing wage?

There is a "three-prong test" to help determine the answer:
  1. A public agency must be a party to a contract involving the employment of laborers, workmen, or mechanics.
  2. The contract must concern a project that primarily involves construction-like labor and is paid for by public funds.
  3. The primary objective or function of the work product must be the use or other benefit of the general public.
In almost all cases, public libraries (school district, municipal, and special legislative district) must pay the prevailing wage. They contract with laborers (Item 1) to build something with public funds (Item 2) that will be used for the benefit of the public (Item 3).

Association Libraries are not typically subject to the prevailing wage. However, depending on where the money comes from or the ownership of their building, they may be required to bid using the prevailing wage. The best practice for Association Libraries would be to contact the Department of Labor and explain the project details to get a ruling.

Not paying the prevailing wage on projects that require it can result in significant legal charges. So it's always good to check.

This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding OWWL Docs? Send feedback

This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine