Director Briefing - November 28, 2022

New Director's Handbook: Looking for Some Help

I am doing some work for the New Director's Handbook written in 2010. The goal is to update it with content that New Directors will find helpful. To kick off the project, I'd like to ask your opinion via the three-question survey below. No matter how long you've been a Director, I'd value your input.

Click Here for a Short Questionnaire

System Satisfaction Survey

Another plug for the System Satisfaction survey. Please complete by December 1, 2022. Our record was 36 libraries that completed the survey a few years ago. Right now, we're at 19. I know many surveys have been sent out recently, so I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to fill them out.

Click Here for System Satisfaction Survey

2023 Advocacy Season

The 2023 Advocacy season is upon us. I will begin setting up local visits with legislators at their convenience and let you know the dates/times/locations. This year we'll be focusing on NYLA's funding priorities:
  • $147.1M for State Aid
  • $69.4M for Construction Aid
As an intro to local advocacy, Library State Aid funds the System and the services we provide, including the Central Library Budget (OverDrive platform fee, magazines, and non-fiction collection), the Outreach Budget (all Outreach programs we run), Delivery, subsidies for OWWL Cost Shares, technology support, and all the other consulting the System does for its members. It also includes a small amount of Local Library Service Aid to your libraries.

Legislators like to hear about your library's impact on your local community. So think of uplifting stories and/or stats that you would like to share. It is also a good idea to draft a letter with funding requests for future projects you're considering (these can be sent after the local visits). In the past, legislators have had access to small amounts of money to support projects in their districts. This past year, two Assemblymembers gave money to libraries.

Construction Aid is the amount we receive to fund library construction projects.

Advocacy Day will be February 28, 2023 in Albany. The loose plan is that there may be in-person visits at the Legislative Office Building. There may be an opportunity for a few Directors to attend the pre-Advocacy events. I will be sending out more details about that soon.

OWWL Website, Calendar, and Name Change

Another reminder that over the next month or so we will continue to shift things to the "OWWL Library System" name. Our website and calendar will change before the year ends. I appreciate your patience while we move through this transition as smoothly as possible.

Our plan is to have the new website up and running by early December. At the same time, we will formally launch our Mango Languages subscription, Consumer Reports subscription, and the OWWL Library System app. I will keep you posted here if the timeline changes.

Updates to the Prefab Websites will happen shortly after we wrap-up the transition.

Reruns from Last Week

Sexual Harassment Policy Audit in Libraries

A System Director colleague brought this situation to my attention: One of the libraries downstate is currently being audited by the Office of the State Comptroller for compliance with New York's Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Requirement.

The library is required to provide:
  1. Proof of training for all employees every year since the law went into effect;
  2. Proof that the employees received the policy annually; and
  3. Proof that the training was compliant with NYS Sexual Harassment prevention law.
It sounds like this audit was triggered through a Municipal Audit; however, all libraries are subject to this requirement, meaning that anyone could be audited for this reason. This would be a good time to make sure you have the documentation and a plan for the upcoming Sexual Harassment Prevention Training.

Libby Update from Kathryn

I am passing on this information that includes a link to a short video detailing a new feature coming soon to the OverDrive Libby app: In the coming days, Libby will release an update to automatically show users with multiple library cards the quickest option to access the title they want to read. Here’s how it will work:
  • If a book they’re interested in is available to borrow from their active library (i.e., the library collection they’re searching in), they’ll see the option to Borrow from that library.
  • If there is a waitlist on the title at their active library:
    • They’ll see the option to Borrow from one of their other saved libraries (if it’s available from one of them).
    • They’ll see the option to place a hold from the library with the shortest wait list. This may be their active library or one of their other saved libraries.
    • After borrowing or placing a hold, the user’s active library won’t change.
*Note*: When a user runs a search, Libby will not show content that isn’t in their active library’s collection. Additionally, while Libby shows the quickest way to get a title, users can still see the title's availability across all their libraries and choose where to take action. See how this works on Libby Help. Watch this quick overview video about the update. This update will provide the following benefits:
  • Keeps users in their active library—Your users can see the best availability for the titles they want to read without leaving your library’s collection.
  • Minimizes “extra” holds and reduces overall wait time—Presenting the shortest wait time up front will help prevent users from placing extra holds at multiple libraries.
  • Increases user satisfaction—The faster users can access the book they want to read, the happier they’ll be. Satisfied users are more likely to keep returning to your library’s collection for their next book.

LibCal Subscriptions for 2023 from Kathryn

We have some exciting news to share!

For 2023, LibCal subscription costs will be paid in full by OWWL Library System!

Participating libraries will have a full year of access to make use of the calendar without any cost to you. The cost per library for 2022 was $42.00 based on the number of libraries that subscribed.

If you are interested in subscribing to LibCal for 2023, please let me know by Monday, November 28th. For those who have already responded "yes," you do not need to reply again.

Training will be provided as requested.

I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to promote your library programs to your communities.
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