Director Briefing - September 5, 2023

Exciting News: Kanopy and OverDrive Databases

We're investigating subscribing to Kanopy, the video streaming service through OverDrive, and a few OverDrive databases before year-end.

I'll have more information at the OWWLDAC meeting. For now, it looks like we can get a discount if we subscribe to Kanopy before the end of September, so the loose plan right now is to purchase and do a slow rollout.

Kanopy and the OverDrive databases being reviewed will be purchased using System-funds. They are not part of the OverDrive content cost or cost-shares to member libraries.

We will evaluate the effectiveness at the end of 2024 to see which services we'd like to keep.

The OverDrive databases currently being reviewed are: Ground News, Universal Class, and LawDepot.

NYS Construction Aid Reminder from Suzanne

When referring to New York State Construction Aid, be sure to refer to it as "State Aid for Library Construction" or "New York State Construction Aid" and not as a "grant" or "construction grant." This distinction is important for advocacy, recognizing the effort our legislators put into getting the money passed each year, and understanding that the money is bonded through the Dormitory Authority. The funds for Construction Aid are public dollars and are not available as a "grant."

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.

Directors' Advisory Council (OWWLDAC) Meeting on September 14, 2023

For next Thursday's OWWLDAC meeting, we'll be at Walworth-Seely Public Library with a remote option available. You can find the Zoom information and draft agenda here.

All System Meeting: Solar Eclipse Training on September 15, 2023 at 10 AM

System and Member Library Announcements followed by a 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Workshop with Rochester Museum & Science Center.

For this meeting, in-person attendance will be capped at 42.

All System Meetings are open to member library staff and Directors. Meetings will be hybrid. Please indicate on the Registration Form how you will be attending. A Zoom link will be emailed to virtual attendees the morning of the meeting.

Click here to register.

This Week in OSC Audits

Below is a rundown of the OSC audits and the lessons learned for libraries and policies to review.

Note that three audits focused on the New York State-mandated Sexual Harassment Prevention training.
Audit Key Findings Takeaways for Libraries Policies to Review
Hicksville Union Free School District – Managing Network User Accounts (2023M-20)
  1. District officials did not properly manage network user account controls to help maintain continuity of business office operations and prevent unauthorized computer use, access and loss. Officials also did not establish written procedures for granting, verifying, changing and disabling network user account access, including business office network user account access.
  2. In addition, sensitive IT control weaknesses were confidentially communicated to District officials.
  • Establish procedures for notifying when an employee leaves the library.
  • Data Security
  • Personnel
Rondout Valley Central School District – Fixed Assets (2023M-36)
  1. District officials did not properly account for and monitor all of the District’s fixed assets. As a result, there is an increased risk fixed assets could be lost, stolen or misused.
  2. Of the 80 fixed assets totaling $856,681 we reviewed, 64 assets totaling $549,117 were not properly accounted for or monitored.
  • Maintain an accurate inventory of library assets.
  • Fixed Assets
Town of Seneca Falls – Cash Collections (2023M-57)
  1. Town officials did not effectively manage the Town’s cash collection function. Therefore, cash was not adequately or appropriately safeguarded.
  2. Officials did not properly deposit and record approximately $10,000 of permit fees and $2,000 of security deposits for facility rentals in accordance with statutory requirements.
  3. The Town Supervisor’s office did not maintain adequate receipt documentation for cash collections totaling $186,873 and reconciliations were not always performed or reviewed.
  4. The accounting functions performed by staff were not always properly segregated or reviewed.
  5. The Town Board (Board) did not adopt a written Town-wide cash collection policy.
  • Adopt and follow a cash-handling policy.
  • Have documentation for cash-handling.
  • Make sure all reconciliations are reviewed.
  • Cash Handling.
Mexico Academy Central School District – Procurement (2023M-75)
  1. District officials did not always seek competition when purchasing goods and services as required by the District’s procurement policy. As a result, officials could not assure taxpayers that they procured goods and services in the most prudent and economical manner.
  • Periodically issue requests for proposals (RFPs) to solicit competition when seeking professional services.
  • Obtain written quotes as required by the procurement policy.
  • Maintain documentation to justify using a sole source provider.
  • Procurement Policy

Village of Johnson City – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-16)

  1. SHP Training was not provided to all employees. Of the 20 total individuals we tested (14 selected employees and all six elected officials), two employees or 14 percent of employees tested did not complete the annual SHP Training.
  2. Additionally, over 30 seasonal workers were excluded from SHP Training and one of the two SHP Trainings provided by the Village did not include all the minimum requirements. As a result, most Village employees were provided with incomplete SHP Training.
  • Libraries need to ensure that all staff are taking the SHP training on an annual basis.
  • Harassment Policies in Personnel Handbook.

East Irondequoit Central School District – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-18)

  1. SHP Training was not provided to all employees and any Board members.
  2. Of the 110 total individuals we tested (101 selected employees and all nine Board members), 15 employees or 15 percent of employees tested and the nine Board members did not complete the annual SHP Training.
  3. Additionally, the District excluded per diem and stipend employees from SHP Training.
  • Staff AND Trustees must complete the SHP training on an annual basis.
  • Harassment Policies in Personnel Handbook.
Avoca Central School District – Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (S9-23-19)
  1. SHP Training was not provided to all employees and any Board members. Of the 20 total individuals we tested (15 selected employees and all five Board members), four employees or 27 percent of employees tested and the five Board members did not complete the annual SHP Training.
  • Staff AND Trustees must complete the SHP training on an annual basis.
  • Harassment Policies in Personnel Handbook.

Important Reruns

Past Director Briefings

High Priority: Windows 10 Computers End of Life from Kelsy

The following email applies to desktop computers. Stay tuned for an email about laptops at a later date.

Did you know that Windows 10 is reaching its End of Support in October 2025? That may seem far away, but it will be here before we know it. End of Support means that Microsoft will stop releasing important security updates for Windows 10 computers, leaving them vulnerable to malware and other cyberattacks.

Some computers currently running Windows 10 may be eligible to upgrade to Windows 11 for free. It's important that eligible computers are upgraded to Windows 11 and ineligible computers are replaced by November 2025.

Ineligible Computers

Below is an image of five desktop models that are ineligible for a Windows 11 upgrade. They include:
  • Any HP EliteDesk
  • Dell Optiplex 3010
  • Dell Optiplex 3020
  • Dell Optiplex 7050 (please note that the Dell Optiplex 7050 and 7060 look very similar; the 7060 models are eligible for a Windows 11 upgrade. Check the front of the tower for the model number)
Click here for a full write-up and picture of computers.


National Voter Registration Day

National Voter Registration Day will be held Tuesday, September 19. Click here to learn more about how your library can participate as a partner. Partners can receive free stickers and posters, customized resources, and assistance in planning their NVRD event.

The Great Give Back Registration

The OWWL Library System will once again coordinate a system-wide service project for The Great Give Back in October, collecting personal care items to support community members experiencing poverty, financial hardship, and/or homelessness. Each library should choose the organization or location for these collected items based on their library community, such as local food distribution sites, little free pantries, community closets, schools/educational groups, etc.

Information about this year's project and the registration form can be found on OWWL Docs. So far twenty-two libraries have signed up! The deadline to register is Friday, September 8.

Here's a sneak peek at this year's version of TGGB Booklet, the System's junior mascot, that will appear on lawn signs and other promotional graphics (Thank you, Matthew!!):

Note: Participation in the system-wide project is voluntary, and libraries that already have a dedicated service project for The Great Give Back should feel comfortable continuing with their plans.

NYLA Annual Conference

Registration for the NYLA 2023 Annual Conference & Trade Show is open. This year's conference will run Wednesday, November 1 through Saturday, November 4 in Saratoga Springs. The Early Bird Deadline is September 1 so act soon if you want to save some dollars!

Click here for more information including registration, accommodations, programming, and schedule.

Re-thinking Thanksgiving: A Native American Perspective on an American Holiday

Registration is open for Re-thinking Thanksgiving: A Native American Perspective on an American Holiday. This in-person workshop will be held on Friday, September 29 at 10am @ OWWL HQ.

Presenter Perry Ground, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, will give an overview of the history of this very misunderstood holiday. Based on the only primary source document that chronicles the “First Thanksgiving” and using a quiz-style format, participants will learn accurate and culturally appropriate information about the English settlers at Plymouth and the Wampanoag, the Native people who inhabited that area.

The presentation will also discuss the actual events of 1621 in Plymouth, the relationship between the English settlers and the Wampanoag and how this story became the holiday we know today. Connections to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) concepts of Thanksgiving will be discussed so participants will understand how Native People view Thanksgiving today.

Click here for more information and to register.

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 eight spots remain!

Click here to learn more and register.
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