Director Briefing - September 26, 2023

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

All Directors, Library Staff, and Library Trustees are mandated by law to complete the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training each year. This is a reminder that the EAP (discussed below) is a simple and easy way to accomplish this. You can use the State Model Training, however, it still needs to be made "interactive" in some way that remains compliant with the law.

Employee Assistance Program from Kelly

Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) contract with ESI will be expiring 11/30/2023. For this years renewal, ESI will not be increasing the cost per employee, which is $26.09/employee/year. OWWL Library System will subsidize 50% of the cost ($13.05/employee) of this benefit if you choose to offer this to your staff. The System will subsidize 50% this one time only for this renewal,12/1/23-11/30/24. The final cost would be $13.04/employee/year for our member libraries.

EAP is a confidential counseling assessment, coaching and referral program designed to help deal with issues we face in our personal and work life.

The following benefits are free and available for employees and family members:
  • Counseling benefits - help from Masters or Ph.D. level counselors for personal issues such as relationships/family, depression/anxiety, grief and more.
  • Peak Performance Coaching - personal and professional coaching available from senior-level ESI coaches.
  • Training and Personal Development Benefits - over 10,000 free online personal and professional development trainings.
  • Self-Help Resources - access to a collection of tools, videos, financial calculators and informative articles including adoption, relationships, legal, financial, cancer and more.
  • Work/Life Benefits - assistance for financial, legal, and child & elder care.
  • Personal Assistant - help with everyday issues including finding a local medical or dental provider, summer camp options and more.
  • Wellness Benefits - videos and resources available to improve overall health, including fitness, diet, and tobacco cessation.
  • Lifestyle Savings Benefit - includes thousands of discounts, rewards and perks.

As a reminder, every employer in New York State is required to provide employees with an annual sexual harassment prevention training. EAP offers this training which was designed to comply with the strict requirements mandated by the state. All employers are responsible to be in compliance. Once the training is completed in EAP, the employee receives a completion certificate that should be kept in their personnel file. All new hires should be required to take this training within 30 days of hire. We recommend that you enroll your volunteers and trustees as well. If you are interested in enrolling your volunteers and/or trustees, please specify on the attached spreadsheet if they are a volunteer or a trustee. The member library will be responsible for the cost of their volunteers and trustees at $26.09/person/year.

The EAP website also offers an Employer HR Resource Center with many great benefits for the employer as well.

For more information click on the link:

If your library is interested in joining, please complete the attached spreadsheet providing a list of your employees (last name, first name, email address, and employee's home zip code). Please list the Director first on this list as they will be the main contact and will receive emails and updates from ESI/EAP to share with staff. Please return your employee list to me by email by Wednesday, October 4th if you are interested in joining.

If you have any questions or would be interested to learn more about the variety of benefits EAP has to offer, please let me know and I can arrange a webinar with our service representative.

Save the Date: Legislative Breakfast

RRLC, Monroe County Library System, and OWWL Library System are planning the 2023 Legislative Breakfast for Friday, November 17, 2023 at the Henrietta Public Library. You can add it to your calendars now and I'll provide more details as plans solidify.

Grant Opportunities from RRLC

RRLC will offer the Action & Innovation and the Collections & Access grants this year. Both will require a preliminary proposal as part of the application process.
  • Action & Innovation Grant - Preliminary proposals due October 27, 2023 This grant supports projects that take action on issues impacting the community served by your organization. Projects that take action in an innovative way are preferred.
  • Collections & Access Grant - Preliminary proposals due October 27, 2023. This grant supports member projects that improve access to collections. Projects must make collections more accessible and freely available to end users, preferably through one of the ongoing statewide projects.

Please view each grant for additional contact information, requirements, and deadlines.

Question of the Week: Exempt Salary Threshold in 2024

Question: Is there any word on the exempt salary threshold for 2024?

Answer: The exempt salary in 2023 is $1,064.25/week, totaling $55,341/year. I read one report recently that indicated a 5.61% increase in 2024, bringing the exempt salary threshold to $1,124 weekly, totaling $58,500/annually. That isn't an official number from the DOL, but it's a good number to use for budgeting purposes if you or employees need to remain exempt.

As a reminder, if an employee is making less than the exempt amount, they are considered hourly and must be compensated for all time spent working (even if they are not in the building). "Exempt" means exempt from overtime pay (time and a half for any work over 40 hours in a workweek). Almost all employees should be hourly unless they have an administrative exemption and meet the salary requirements (this class is typically only used for the Director).

This Week in OSC Audits

Audit Key Findings Takeaways for Libraries Related Policies
Saratoga Springs City School District – Procurement (2023M-25)
  • District officials did not always procure goods and services according to policy requirements or maintain adequate supporting documentation for the purchases.
  • This increased the risk that the District may have overpaid for goods and services and appear to have used favoritism.
  • Comply with purchasing policies when procuring purchase and public works contracts that are not subject to competitive bidding requirements.
  • Maintain adequate documentation to support pricing and purchase decisions.
  • Ensure that the purchasing agent maintains custody of his electronic signature and directly supervises the purchase order approval process when others use his signature.
  • Procurement Policy
City of Glens Falls – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-04)
  • SHP Training was not provided to all employees and any elected officials. Of the 30 total individuals we tested (23 selected employees and all seven elected officials), two employees or 9 percent of employees tested and all seven elected officials did not complete the annual SHP Training.
  • Additionally, the City excluded seasonal employees and new hires starting in June or after from SHP Training.
  • Make sure all staff and board members take the SHP training on an annual basis.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
Albany County – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-05)
  • While the training was provided to employees and elected officials, they did not maintain reliable records for those who completed the training.
  • Maintain reliable records for all employees and trustees who complete the SHP training.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
Town of Hyde Park – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-12)
  • SHP Training was not provided to all employees and elected officials. Of the 20 total individuals we tested (10 selected employees and all 10 elected officials), one employee or 10 percent of employees tested and six elected officials did not complete the annual SHP Training.
  • Additionally, the Town excluded 47 seasonal employees from SHP training.
  • Make sure all staff and board members take the SHP training on an annual basis.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
Village of Lake Placid – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-15)
  • SHP Training was provided to employees and elected officials. Of the 20 total individuals we tested (15 selected employees and all five elected officials), one employee of the Police Department or 7 percent of the employees tested and two elected Trustees did not complete the annual SHP Training.
  • Make sure all staff and board members take the SHP training on an annual basis.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy


Kanopy Launch

OWWL Library System is funding Kanopy, OverDrive 's streaming video service. The planned soft-launch date is Thursday, September 28, 2023. Once we are satisfied that all features are working properly we will add the link to and begin sharing social media posts. It would be great if your library helps with promotion; however, wait until you see System posts about it. That will indicate everything is working smoothly and we're ready for the full rollout.

The support info for Kanopy can be found by visiting . This resource has some great information on getting started.

2023 OWWL Library System Annual Meeting & Election of Trustees

On October 11, 2023 we will have an in-person event at System HQ for a Trustee Workshop and the System's Annual Meeting/Election of Trustees.

Below is the loose agenda for the evening:
  • 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM: Trustee Workshop with Stephanie Cole Adams. Registration Required.
  • 6:40 PM - 7:00 PM: System Annual Meeting and Election of Trustees (this will be a quick meeting).
The hope is that Trustees attending the Trustee Workshop will stick around and participate in the Annual Meeting. As mentioned above, this will not take long.

Discontinuing Book Sale Signs, But We'll Buy One for Your Library

Our Book Sales signs are at the end of their life, so we will discontinue loaning them before they break any further.

Rather than purchasing new signs to circulate, we are offering each library $150 to purchase their own Book Sale sign. These can be personalized with your library's logo or simply say "Book Sale" (please note, the OWWL logo cannot be used on these signs). Once you send Kelly ( an invoice and proof of purchase for your sign, we will reimburse up to $150 of the total cost.

The deadline to submit for the $150 reimbursement is November 20, 2023.
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