Director Briefing - October 2, 2023

Banned Books Week

Freedom to Read Bookmarks

Happy Banned Books Week, everyone! In celebration of the Freedom to Read, I've dropped some ALA Let Freedom Read Bookmarks in delivery for all of your library. It's a small run, but feel free to hand them out to staff, patrons, trustees, or whomever you would like.

New York Times Opinion Piece

There is a wonderful Opinion piece in the New York Times by Margaret Renkl titled, "I Read Banned Books. So Does Almost Everybody Else." If you have a minute today, give it a read.

Proposed Anti-Censorship Legislation

Our current partners in the Senate and the Assembly are interested in introducing this week pertaining to Book Banning. I worked with NYLA's Legislative Committee to help draft the legislation, I'm not sure if there will be more edits before it is introduced, but for now this is what it looks like:

Such standards shall require every free association, public, and hospital library or, with the advice of the appropriate tribal government and library board of trustees, Indian library which receives any portion of the moneys appropriated by the state to aid such libraries, to adopt policies and procedures that ensure library materials, services, and programming shall not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

This version shifts the legislation from Education Law Section 272, which deals with standards for library systems, and places it in Education Law 252, which establishes the basis for Minimum Standards for Libraries in New York.

I will keep you posted as this legislation develops.

Let Freedom Read

Finally, here is a rerun of information Suzanne sent out on Friday about Let Freedom Read graphics…
ALA's Banned Books Week kicks off Sunday, October 1. This year's theme is Let Freedom Read. Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. Click here for more information and graphics.


Kanopy launched last week, and we've already had 2,154 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.

New Director at Arcade Free Library

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Lydia Dziedzic! Lydia is our new director colleague at the Arcade Free Library. Next time you see her at an event, be sure to say, "hello!"

Library Legislative Event from RRLC

Friday, November 17, 2023
8:30 am - 10:00 am

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. Our tentative schedule is as follows:
  • 8:30am Sign-in, Networking, and Refreshments
  • 9:00am Welcome
  • 9:05am Library Presentations
  • 9:20am Remarks from Legislators
  • 9:40am Closing
  • 9:45am Networking
  • 10am End

Henrietta Public Library
625 Calkins Rd.
Rochester, NY 14623


This Week in OSC Audits

An important thing to keep in mind is that even though the audit findings below are not libraries, all of the same rules apply to libraries. Even Association Libraries, if publically funded, should follow the OSC's regulations. The Sexual Harassment Prevention Training applies to everyone, regardless of where funding comes from.

Audit Key Findings Take Aways for Libraries Related Policies
Brighter Choice Charter School for Girls – Non-Payroll Disbursements (2023M-72)
  • The Director did not prepare and provide the Principal with an abstract of invoices or a list of checks to document the review and approval.
  • The Principal or other designated official did not review cancelled check images to ensure only approved disbursements were made.
  • The Board did not require a detailed monthly disbursement report.
  • Review all expenditures
  • Have the Board approve all expenditures
Bill Pay Policy

Grouped SHP Training Audits:

  1. City of White Plains – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-1)
  2. Town of Amherst – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-9)
  3. Village of Lindenhurst – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-13)
  4. Yates County – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-07)
  • Not all elected officials, Trustees, or employees were given the SHP training for each year since the law took effect.
  • All staff and Trustees must take the training each year.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
Germantown Central School District – Payroll (2023M-3)
  • District officials did not properly segregate payroll processing duties and did not provide adequate oversight.
  • Review payroll policies and procedures.
  • Ensure multiple people are involved in the payroll process for approval purposes.
  • Approve staff salaries in an Open Meeting.
Payroll Policies and Procedures
Rapids Fire Company – Credit Cards (2023M-86)
  • The President did not enforce the credit card policy (Policy) or bylaws, and the members did not perform a review of credit card purchases.
  • The Treasurer did not perform the duties outlined in the Policy.
  • Officials allowed an individual that was not authorized to use a Company credit card to make 19 purchases totaling $3,000 for the Company.
  • Officials paid $969 in New York State (NYS) sales tax even though the Company is tax-exempt.
  • We could not locate a virtual reality headset ($299) to confirm it was in the Company’s possession and although a toolbox ($165) could not be located at the time we conducted our testing, the President later told us he located the toolbox at Station 2 and presented the toolbox to us.
  • Update and follow the library's Credit Card Policy.
  • Update and follow the library's Bylaws.
  • Oversee all purchases and provide appropriate documentation.
Credit Card Policy

Rural New York: Challenges and Opportunities

This is a worthwhile report to read about the economic concerns of rural New York. Wyoming County was one of the areas studied in the report. The other three counties can certainly use this as generalized data for all rural communities.

State Comptroller DiNapoli released a report examining demographic, economic and quality of living trends in 10 rural counties in New York State. Most of the counties had population losses, aging residents, a shrinking labor force, as well as challenges with housing availability and access to health care, food and broadband. The counties selected as representative of rural New York include Allegany, Chenango, Delaware, Essex, Greene, Hamilton, Lewis, Schuyler, Sullivan, and Wyoming.

Report Link - Rural New York: Challenges and Opportunities


Libby Update

From OverDrive:

The Libby app has been updated for more efficient access and organization of magazines.
  • One tap Users can now open a magazine title with one tap.
  • Magazine Rack A new dedicated section of your user’s shelf where subscriptions and saved issues are found
  • Newsstand Discover new magazine titles in the collection
  • Subscribe Click this button in search results, magazine details, or in the Newsstand to subscribe to specific titles
Click here for a helpful video.

System Field Trip: The Strong

Join us at the newly renovated Strong National Museum of Play for a full day of fun! The first two hours will be classroom instruction on the what, why, and how of play-based learning. Attendees will then have the opportunity to freely explore the museum, applying the classroom session to hands-on activities. Only three spots remain!

Click here to learn more and register.

Tech Tip: Readability

Readability is the ease with which a reader can understand a written text. If you’re interested in the readability of your writing, there are a couple of tech tools you can use to measure it. This OWWL Docs page goes over two of these tools and how to use them.
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