Monday Briefing - April 12, 2021

Collective Knowledge: A Library Podcast

Episode Three: What Makes a Good Presentation?

Ron and Suzanne talk about their thoughts on what makes a good presentation. Also, we have finally named the podcast!

Listen on YouTube.

Submit Bullet Aid Requests from NYLA

With the New York State Budget behind us – it is time to think about bullet aid.

Bullet aid are monies, appropriated each year in the budget by the Senate, Assembly and Executive, for specific purposes or projects to educational instructions, including libraries and library systems.

This year, $23M in bullet aid is available.
  • $5M Senate
  • $8M Assembly
  • $10M Governor
NYLA strongly encourages all public libraries to submit a funding request to their State Senator & State Assemblymember, regardless of whether that member is in their house’s majority. Reminder: Democrats are in the majority in both houses.

Project awards have ranged from as little as $500 to over $50K, to support a range of projects including programming, technology upgrades, and renewable energy and sustainability initiatives.

A baseline template for submitting a request for funding is attached.

We recommend that you submit your requests as soon as possible – by May 12 at the latest.

Best of luck to all – together we can ensure that libraries receive as much of this funding as possible.

Bullet Aid Template 2021.docx

Delivery Update from Suzanne

As announced at Friday's PLSDAC meeting, Pioneer Library System will be ending the 24-hour quarantine for outbound Delivery items on Monday, April 26. We first introduced this consideration in the March 1 Monday Briefing. After ongoing conversations and the information released on April 5 by the CDC, we are confident in this step toward increasing Delivery. You can read that information here:

As a reminder, all mask mandates issued under Executive Order are still in place. While vaccination rates are increasing and the primary transmission of the virus is person-to-person, preventative measures such as frequent hand-washing and disinfecting routines should continue when handling library materials. Pioneer Library System will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, New York State, and all local health departments. All decisions will continue to be made with the health and safety of system staff and member library staff as a top priority.

This information is not a recommendation for any changes in practices at the OWWL Libraries. Those decisions should be made at the local level by library Directors and key staff. Any changes to current policies and procedures should only be made if they adhere to all Executive Orders and mandates under NY Forward until they are repealed or rolled back by the state.

Prepare for the Evergreen Upgrade from Dan and Kathryn

Wondering what you can do to prepare for the Evergreen upgrade? Check out our checklist! Questions? Email

We'll probably also send out a separate email on Monday or Tuesday to PLS-L reminding folks about this checklist and about the Evergreen 3.6 "review session" we have on Wednesday.

Systems Access and Data Handling Policy

Thank you to everyone who read through and provided feedback on the Draft Systems Access and Data Handling Policy presented at the PLSDAC meeting last Friday. The System's Policy Committee will be discussing the draft policy this evening and we will revise and share it with you in the coming weeks.

To help solidify the need for this policy, Dan has helpfully pulled together some recent articles that highlight the issues we are addressing.

Data breach at Erie County Library causes some personal information to be shared - 8/11/2020
  • Donor PII was potentially stolen in Blackbaud breach
  • Unclear if all cardholders affected or only donors
  • How it applies to us: This shows that wholesale export of patron PII to third-party applications can be dangerous in preserving confidential PII.
Why ex-employees may be your company's biggest cyberthreat
  • Examples of breaches included.
  • 20% of companies surveyed had experienced breaches by ex-employees.
  • How it applies to us: Justifies having a more developed process for ensuring that ex-employees no longer have access to systems.
Toledo Public Schools continuing to learn about data breach - 10/19/2020
  • "'This took place from a staff or employee's personal email that was hacked. That information, then, once it was hacked, was gathered by the wrongdoers. Then, once that employee got into our systems, they had access to our systems.'"
  • There's usually some level of obfuscation as to how a breach actually happened, but it sounds like someone may either have been reusing a password for personal email or may have been accessing secure systems on a device that was already compromised.

Warning of Email Scams from Bob

I have seen two very convincing phishing emails this afternoon. One says it comes from mailadmins @ and the other says it is from USPS. Both are fake.

As always please be careful. If you have clicked on either of these and entered your credentials or experienced an odd download, please let us know at

Upcoming Workshops and Meetings from Suzanne

If you're planning out your week (or maybe the rest of your month), don't forget about these opportunities to learn and share and share and learn:

Grab & Go Learning: COVID Service Share Tuesday, April 13 @ 10am

Evergreen 3.6: Final Presentation Wednesday, April 14 @ 2pm

System Meeting: Creating a Community Garden Friday, April 16 @ 10am

Trustee/Director Workshop: Key Laws & Regulations for Libraries Tuesday, April 20 @ 6pm

Grab & Go Learning: OverDrive Train the Trainer Tuesday, April 27 @ 10am

OWWLUG Meeting Friday, April 30 @ 10am

Connecting Rural Communities: Small Town Solutions Virtual Conference

Presented by: Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coalition on Friday, April 23rd, 2021 from 9:30 am-2:30 pm.

Click here to register.

NY Dept. of Health Travel Updates

The NY Department of Health released updated travel guidelines on April 10, 2021.

Guidance Highlights
  • Domestic travel is defined as travel lasting 24 hours or longer to states or US territories other than contiguous states (i.e., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont).
  • There are generally no quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements for asymptomatic domestic travelers. Exceptions:
    • Unvaccinated health care personnel who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months and who work in nursing homes, enhanced assisted living residences (EALRs) or assisted living programs (ALPs) must furlough for 14 days after arrival in New York, consistent with CDC recommendations to avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days after travel.
    • All unvaccinated domestic travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York, consider non-mandated self-quarantine (7 days if tested on day 3-5, otherwise 10 days), and avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days, regardless of test result
  • All unvaccinated domestic travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York, consider non-mandated self-quarantine (7 days if tested on day 3-5, otherwise 10 days), and avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days, regardless of test result.
  • For situations where quarantine is recommended under this guidance, employers may develop policies for travel that either do or do not require furlough of affected staff.
The full notice for Updated Interim Guidance for Travelers Arriving in New York State (NYS) can be found here .

Rerun: Unemployment Fraud

There have been a significant number of identity theft cases involving unemployment recently. As of late February, the Department of Labor has identified over 425,000 fraudulent unemployment benefit claims during the past year. If you or someone you know received unemployment information, make sure you follow up with it, someone could be trying to claim unemployment on your behalf. The State has put out information on an identity verification tool to help with fraud.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a new identity verification tool,, to fight unemployment benefit fraud and help New Yorkers with bona fide claims verify their identities and receive benefits faster. The Department of Labor has identified over 500,000 fraudulent claims and stopped over $6.4 billion in payments to criminals since the start of the pandemic and distributed over $70 billion in legitimate unemployment benefits to 4.2 million New Yorkers since March 2020.

In addition, the Department of Labor is also bolstering its anti-fraud efforts by launching a new web page to provide New Yorkers with a step-by-step guide for protecting their identity from cyber criminals.


The Department of Labor Report Fraud website is also a good resource.

Rerun: Update to COVID-related Policies and Procedures

This message originally appeared in the January 11, 2021 Monday Briefing.

Because of the fluid nature of COVID-19 (how it is transmitted, how long the incubation period is, quarantining and testing requirements, etc), we have updated the policies that were part of the original Reopening Toolkit. These policies have been written into procedure. This was designed to give Directors more authority, as assigned by the Board of Trustees, to update practices related to COVID-19 as information from the CDC and NYS Department of Health changes. Directors would be able to keep their library compliance with government mandates and guidance without having to wait for the next Board meeting.

Click here to view the updated toolkit with the new procedures and an updated Daily Health Screening form.

Additionally, we have drafted language your Board could use to make a motion to remove the previously adopted policies and transition to procedural-based strategy when addressing COVID-19 in the library:

The Board of Trustees moves to update the library's strategy in responding to COVID-19 by removing the following policies and transitioning them to internal procedures.
  • Contact Tracing Policy
  • Employee Health Screening Policy
  • Personal Protective Equipment Policy
Furthermore, the Board of Trustees moves to task the library Director to develop and implement said procedures that meet the criteria and mandates as outlined by NY Forward to operate safely and legally and in accordance with all Executive Orders, Federal, State, and Local laws as they relate to COVID-19. The Director will be responsible for adjusting those procedures as needed to keep the library in compliance with all of the preceding authorities.
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