Monday Briefing - June 6, 2022

Support Tickets

A friendly reminder on the importance of submitting tickets for tech and Evergreen support. We receive hundreds of requests and the only manageable way to answer them is through our ticketing service.

If you or your staff have a question related to tech or Evergreen, send a ticket. We appreciate everyone's help with this.

Open Meeting Law and Online Meetings

As mentioned during PLSDAC, June 8, 2022, is the last day that boards are allowed to meet fully online with the current provisions to OML. If your board would still like to meet online, they may take advantage of the hybrid option outlined in Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2022.

On April 9, 2022, Governor Hochul signed Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2022 relating to the New York State budget for the 2022-2023 state fiscal year. Included in the bill is an amendment to the Open Meetings Law (OML) to make permanent (until July 1, 2024) the expanded use of videoconferencing by public bodies to conduct open meetings, under extraordinary circumstances, regardless of a declaration of emergency.

As a threshold matter, it is our understanding that the new law is not meant to change or curtail what has always been required of public bodies complying with the Open Meetings Law. Public bodies may continue to operate now as they did before the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 when the “in person” aspects of the Open Meetings Law were first suspended. In other words, we believe that if a public body was permitted to do it before the pandemic, this law does not change that. As noted above, this law is intended to expand, in extraordinary circumstances only, the ability of public bodies to meet using remote access technology.

Source: Questions and Answers Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2022 COOG.pdf

While board members are allowed to attend virtually, only members in a location that is open to the public may count towards a quorum.

Any member who participates at a physical location that is open to in-person physical attendance by the public (and which location has been included in the meeting notice) may count toward a quorum and may fully participate and vote in the meeting. If there is a quorum of members at a physical location open to the public, the public body may properly convene a meeting; a member who is participating from a remote location that is not open to in-person physical attendance by the public may not be counted toward a quorum of the public body (but may participate and vote if there is a quorum of members at a physical location open to the public).

Source: Questions and Answers Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2022 COOG.pdf

To comply with this updated law, a library will need to hold a public hearing, pass a policy, and update its meeting notices. Below are resources that I have been working on with our board to comply with this process.

The Affordable Connectivity Program from CANS

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a $14.2 billion FCC program that supports eligible low-income households struggling to afford monthly internet service. As we turn more and more to technology and the internet for work, school, healthcare, recreation, and social needs, it’s more important than ever that households have affordable, reliable internet service.

Libraries stand to play a crucial part in connecting their patrons to this program. This OWWL Docs page has more information about the ACP, including links to the official ACP website and Consumer Outreach Toolkit, and ten ways libraries can spread the word about this important program.

LIU Advanced Certificate Program 2022-2023

Several Directors have asked about the LIU program, so I put together this OWWL Docs page where I will keep everything up to date -

This program is a graduate-level course through Long Island University. If you need anything for the program let me know and I'll do what I can to help.

OWWL Library System

Another update on our name change…

Currently, we are waiting for the IRS to send the determination letter, after that we will officially be the OWWL Library System. Our attorney has given us the go-ahead to start changing our name in places, so you may see some transition from "Pioneer" to "OWWL." I'll keep you posted once we have the official word from the feds.

Position Available: Geneva Library Director

You may have already seen the Civil Service posting for this, but Geneva is once again looking for a Director. Pauline was there for a short time, then she found her dream job elsewhere, so we wish her the best of luck.

If you know of anyone interested in taking on the GPL position, the posting can be found here -

Question of the Week: Collection Development and Censorship

Q: Does a Board have the authority to tell the Director to not purchase titles that would be potentially controversial in our small community?

Do they have the authority? Yes.

Should they? No.

Will you face controversy at some point? Probably.

This is why it is important to ask yourselves from time to time…what does the Library stand for? The answer will help the board, community, and staff recognize the importance of collection development, program development, and the resources held by the library.

Censorship is a slippery slope. So, if this is a practice that is happening, look at your collection development policy, have a conversation with the board, and give me a call. It's important to handle these situations quickly, so no one becomes ingrained with practices that are not helpful to the development of the library.
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