February 17, 2021

Information on Prioritizing Library Workers in Vaccination Schedule

There have been conversations throughout the library community over the past month about including front-line library workers in Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination schedule. Along with NYLA's petition linked below, there have been a few letters from senators and assemblymembers across the state that have been sent to Governor Cuomo urging him to take action.

NYLA's Online Advocacy Center: Speak Up for the Vaccination of Library Workers

If more information is released I will include it in future briefings.

Trustee Training on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Tomorrow night Suzanne and I kick off the 2021 Trustee Training Schedule with Office Hours and Roles & Responsibilities. If you have new Trustees I would recommend the Roles & Responsibilities training. If you have Trustees with questions let them know about the Office Hours. It will run the same way that Suzanne and I hold Office Hours for Directors.

System Meeting on Friday, February 19, 2021

On deck for this Friday's System Meeting, we have RESOLVE of Greater Rochester.

RESOLVE of Greater Rochester offers support to survivors of Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in Monroe and its surrounding counties including Ontario, Wayne, Wyoming, and Livingston. In this session two experienced, trauma-trained therapists from RESOLVE will provide a greater awareness and understanding of IPV and its prevalence, especially during COVID-19. Learn about the services provided by RESOLVE and important information to have available to your library communities. Our presenters will also touch on National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (February), including book suggestions to add to your library's collection.

Click here to register.

Annual Report Explanation

We have received requests from Directors to issue a statement regarding the Annual Report and how COVID-19 impacts annual numbers to help explain the unique situation to their boards. Hopefully, the statement below fulfills these requests.

As many of our libraries are currently working on the Annual Report for Public and Association Libraries, the Division of Library Development recognizes that New York was in a State of Emergency due to COVID-19 from March 9 through December 31 of the 2020 reporting year. Bound by Executive Orders, libraries remained closed or operating at severely reduced capacity for over three-quarters of the year. For this reason, DLD understands that the data included in the Annual Report may not comply with Minimum Standards for New York's Public and Association Libraries. In order to keep an accurate record of how libraries operated during this historical public health crisis, libraries should report the information to the best of their abilities and without concern of noncompliance or having to file for a variance. Until Executive Orders and the mandates outlined in NY Forward are lifted, libraries may continue to operate at a reduced capacity that places a priority on public health and safety.

Ron Kirsop, Pioneer Library System

Potential for Deferred Municipal Payments

New state legislation that went into effect January 30, 2021 authorizes municipalities to defer certain property taxes “during a declared state disaster emergency” for up to 120 days and provides for installment payments thereafter. This is to be determined municipality-by-municipality so each library that receives an appropriation of town funds will need to be aware that their municipality may make use of this mechanism which does open a door for a municipality to possibly try to slow down payment to the library.

NYS Education Law does require the municipality to turn over voter-directed funding to a library upon written request of the library board, but as we all know, diplomacy may be called for here if a library finds itself in this situation.

Question of the Week

How long do we need to keep the recordings of our Online Board Meetings?

According to the LG-1 Schedule (Meetings and Hearings) -

Recording of voice conversations, including audio and video recordings, stenotype or stenographer's notebook and also including verbatim minutes used to produce official minutes and hearing proceedings, report, or other record

a: Recording of public or other meeting of governing body or board, committee or commission thereof:
RETENTION: 4 months after transcription or minutes are created
NOTES: Appraise these records for historical significance prior to disposition. Audio and videotapes of public hearings and meetings at which significant matters are discussed may have continuing value for historical or other research and should be retained permanently. Contact the State Archives for additional advice on the long-term maintenance of these records.
Video recordings of public hearings and meetings which have been broadcast on local government public access television are covered by item no. 72.

b: Other recordings:
RETENTION: 0 after no longer needed

Since the allowance for online meetings came from an Executive Order and it is still active, I would suggest that libraries retain these recordings until further guidance is released.


Request from NYLA Friends of Libraries Sections (FLS)

FLS is conducting an inventory of Friends groups in libraries across the state. If your library has a Friends group, please email Karen Sperrazza (krnsprrzz@gmail.com) with the following info: Library name, Friends group contact person, and their contact information (email or phone).
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