Director Briefing - October 10, 2023

Discontinuing $5.00 Out of System Interlibrary Loan Fee

The $5.00 ILL fee billed to libraries for patron Out-of-System Interlibrary Loan requests will no longer be collected by OWWL Library System. Should a patron request a title not within our System, libraries may follow the procedure below to request the title as usual without adding the additional $5.00 fee.

Discontinuing this fee will hopefully result in additional access to hard-to-find materials. If a requested title is popular enough, the library should consider purchasing it for its collection.

Inter-Library Loan Requests for Member Libraries

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Member Libraries and other institutions may visit our Inter-Library Loan Request Form to submit a request for the System to acquire or lend a title. Please check for the title in our online OWWL catalog before submitting a request.

Member Libraries and other institutions may email for more information.

Library patrons must contact their local library regarding all title requests.

Cost and Services Document

We will be removing the following clause from the Cost and Services Document for 2024. However, we will stop collecting the $5.00 now.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Request Fees (for out-of-system requests)

Based on recommendations from the System ILL committee, ILL request fees went into effect May 2004 to offset postage costs. A $5 postage fee is charged to the patron at the point of request for any out-of-system request. Actual System costs of processing ILL requests average $20/request. There is no fee to patrons to request material owned within the System. ILL software tracks the number of out-of-system requests made by each library, and the System bills the cost back to the library six times a year.

Legislative Updates

RRLC Library Legislative Event 2023

Please join us for our fall 2023 library legislative event. We will be showcasing some of the great work going on in our region’s libraries, talking about issues impacting libraries, and will offer our legislators a chance to say a few words.

Click here to register .

Senate Bill S7677

Following last week's updates on the anti-book ban legislation that NYLA has been working on with Senator Rachel May, the bill has been introduced in the Senate. Assembly introduction is expected to happen soon. Senate Bill S7677
Requires certain libraries to adopt policies preventing the banning of certain library materials, services, or programming due to partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

As you probably know (because I talk about it too much), OWWL Library System makes a considerable effort to protect the information we as libraries are entrusted with from cyberattacks. We constantly evaluate our practices and procedures to ensure as few liabilities as possible when considering cybersecurity. In the coming months, our office will be working on approving and evaluating data breach policies, computer support policies, email account policies, and other related procedures for protecting our IT infrastructure.

If you're interested in learning more about Cybersecurity, the OSC has released a Cyberattacks on New York’s Critical Infrastructure report. You can also look at the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency page on cybersecurity awareness month .

Also, Kelsy is hosting a class on October 24, 2023 titled, Cybersecurity for Library Staff. Click here to register .

2023 Public Library Technology Survey – Deadline December 16, 2023 from the Public Library Association

All U.S. public libraries are invited to complete PLA’s 2023 Public Library Technology survey by Saturday, December 16. This year’s survey will examine how public libraries serve as hubs of knowledge and innovation in our communities, as well as show how libraries have evolved to meet patron needs since the 2020 survey. More information on this year’s survey and the 2020 Technology survey report can be found at An informational webinar has been scheduled for Thursday, October 12 at 1:00 PM central. Find more information and register here:

Reasons why your library should complete the survey:

  • Contribute to powerful, actionable, and inspirational results for library staff across the country that can help answer pressing questions such as:
    • What types of online resources or digital literacy programming do you offer patrons?
    • Does your library have a Digital Navigator program?
    • Is your library involved in your state’s digital equity planning?
    • What parts of your technology infrastructure have been updated in the past 2 years?
    • What influences your ability to offer the digital content you would like to provide?
  • The results will provide nationally representative data to inform and engage elected officials, the media, and funders to increase awareness of the vital role of public libraries in bridging the digital divide and advancing technology services to meet the changing needs of patrons.
  • Your participation helps PLA create tools, resources, and professional development opportunities that are more useful for you in building and advancing technology and digital literacy services at your library.
  • With your 2023 survey participation, we will be able to build upon insights from the 2020 survey and provide an updated picture of the state of technology in public libraries.

To access the survey, please go to Login to your library’s Benchmark account, click on “Surveys” and you will see this survey listed under “Open Surveys.” If you need to reset your password, use the “forgot your password?” link on the login page, or email for assistance. All libraries have free access to Benchmark to complete open surveys, view past survey responses and key metrics, and update contact details. Please submit your library’s responses by December 16, 2023.

We sincerely appreciate your participation!

This week in OSC Audits

The list of audits this week was quite extensive, so I only detailed the Municipal and District ones below. If you'd like to see the complete list, check out the OSC's website here .
Audits Key Findings Takeaways for Libraries Related Policies
Cattaraugus County – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-06)
  • SHP Training was provided to employees and elected officials. However, of the 150 total individuals we tested (125 selected employees and all 25 elected officials), 36 employees or 29 percent of employees tested, and 18 elected officials did not complete the annual SHP Training.
  • Offering the training may not be enough. Be sure that all Staff and Trustees take the training and document it in Personnel Files and Board Training Files.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention and Training Policy
Town of Orangeville – Town Clerk/Tax Collector (2023M-80)
  • Maintain complete and accurate accounting records, provide accurate monthly reports to the Supervisor or provide an annual accounting to the Board as required.
  • Accurately record, remit and report detailed Clerk fees for 21 of the 24 months reviewed.
  • Deposit Clerk fees and real property tax collections within required timeframes or in a timely manner.
  • Remit real property tax collections totaling $2 million to the Town Supervisor (Supervisor) or the County Treasurer (Treasurer) within the required timeframes.
  • Accurately record and report real property tax collections.

  • Keep detailed records when collecting or dispursing money.
  • Deposit checks in a timely manner.

Wallkill Central School District – Claims Auditing (2023M-52)
  • The claims auditor did not ensure claims were adequately supported, properly authorized, approved before payment, for valid purposes and properly reported to the Board. We reviewed 100 claims totaling $1.7 million and determined:
    • None were reviewed for sufficient budget appropriations, which could result in budget lines being overspent.
    • 58 totaling $1.6 million did not have sufficient supporting documentation, which could result in paying a claim that is not valid and legal.
    • 11 warrants (lists of claims) totaling $464,801 were not included in the claims auditor reports to the Board. As a result, the Board was not aware of all claims paid.
  • The claims auditor’s deficiencies with auditing claims creates a risk that the District could pay for invalid claims. In addition, the claims auditor has a family relationship with a Board member. As a result, the District’s claims auditor cannot serve in this position.
  • Libraries should have a "claims auditing" procedure where one or more trustees are assigned to review the monthly bills and make a recommendation to the full board for payment.

Tip from Harvard Business Review

How to Stop Catastrophizing

Leaders who create doomsday scenarios out of everyday setbacks—what behavioral scientists call catastrophizing—risk spreading their stress to their teams. If your catastrophizing is trickling down and getting in the way of your leadership, here are some ways to begin addressing it.

First, catastrophizing is a learned behavior, so be curious about how and when you learned it. Think about the formative seasons of your life when you started to foresee impending disasters. These stories may be painful to recall, but identifying the root of your habit is the first step toward interrupting it.

Then, interrogate the data you’re collecting. Ask yourself: What cues are telling you that the worst will happen? Are there circumstances, people, or challenges that regularly trigger your doomsday thinking? Are you fabricating fears based on past experiences? What positive data might you be ignoring?

To regulate your emotional state when you’re anxious about an outcome, first turn your attention to your physical experience. Simple changes to your breathing and environment can calm down your system in the moment.

Finally, acknowledge the consequences your catastrophic thinking has on others. As a leader, your mood sets the tone for your team. To maintain a healthy environment, acknowledge how your tendency to catastrophize might affect them. And, if necessary, apologize for your past behavior and talk about what steps you’re taking to grow.

This tip comes from The Management Tip of the Day email and is adapted fromDo You Understand Why You Catastrophize?,” by Ron Carucci.

A PDF version of the article is available here .



Kanopy launched last week, and we've already had 5,618 (updated on 10/10/2023) visits! As a reminder, this is a System-funded service that offers streaming video through Kanopy's website and app. Patrons may use their library card and PIN to sign up for an account and then log in to watch the various collections of videos.

You can log in to see the collection by visiting We will continue to promote this service and it will be added to the OWWL website's Digital Library page and Resources page later this week.

One question that may come up from patrons is how to limit the results to the children's content. Kanopy has a well-organized help page for that. You can send them to, for more information.
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