March 1, 2021

Advocacy Day Follow-Up

Thank you to those who were able to participate in this year's Advocacy Day. I know it wasn't as smooth as it has been in years past, but overall it went well considering the format. Honestly, the meetings where it was just our System and the legislator seemed to go the smoothest. No offense to the other Systems who participated, but this solidifies my feelings that the local visits we schedule make a much stronger impression. A few follow-up requests have come in asking us to meet again six months from now. I'll work on scheduling these and let you know.

As a follow-up to Friday, it would be great if all directors could send an email to their legislator's office. Just a simple 'thank you' for supporting libraries; no need to get into specifics. You can find their email addresses on the Advocacy 2021 page.

Legislative Bills Information

Questions have come in about the following legislative actions over the past week, so I wanted to remind everyone of the status of each one.

Senate Bill S8617B

Requires public employers to adopt a plan for operations in the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease which shall include identification of essential personnel, needed personal protective equipment, staggering work shifts and providing necessary technology for telecommuting.

Senate Bill S4430

Relates to library and school district petitioning.

Senate Bill S4435

Requires members of a board of trustees of public, free association and Indian libraries to complete two hours of continuing education per year.

Senate Bill S7240

Prohibits publishers from limiting the number of copies of e-books available at public libraries in New York.

COVID-19 Update

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the COVID shutdown and the infection rates continue to fluctuate, it's hard to look on the bright side. We are all certainly riddled with a sense of coronamüde (tired of COVID). However, things do seem to be looking better. The F.D.A. cleared Johnson & Johnson’s shot as the third vaccine in the U.S., Pfizer vaccines can be stored temporarily in regular freezers (instead of the arctic temperatures originally insisted on), and I've spoken with quite a few people who have received their first dose of the vaccine and it is promising. There is plenty of good news to greet the one-year mark. As long as we continue our vigilance, we'll be on the other side of this soon enough.

Articles of Interest

Considerations for the Future of Quarantining Materials

As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, especially the transmission of the virus, we are evaluating the mandatory quarantine period of library materials as part of our current Delivery Procedures.

We now know that the primary transmission of the virus is person-to-person spread. OSHA's Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and the CDC website both state that the virus is "mainly" spread:
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Because preventative measures are in place--mandatory mask-wearing, frequent hand-washing, cleaning, and disinfecting routines, and (in the case of the Drivers) wearing gloves when handling/sorting library materials--the transmission of COVID-19 through touching a surface or object is very low. A person would have to touch a surface that "has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touch their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes." According to the CDC "Spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads."

As we look to increase Delivery later this Spring, we will continue to use evolving information to evaluate the necessity of quarantining library materials. Although we will base our decisions on guidance from the CDC, OSHA, and other trusted information sources, here are a few discussions regarding surface spread that may be of interest to you as you continue to evaluate your local procedures: By providing this information, we are not making a formal decision on delivery quarantine, nor recommending any changes in practices regarding quarantining library materials. We are simply maintaining updating you on the information as we consider decisions regarding Delivery at the system. Additionally, any changes to current policies and procedures can be made only if they adhere to all Executive Orders and mandates under NY Forward until they are repealed or rolled back by the state.

Meeting & Workshop Follow-Up from Suzanne

I am still waiting on RESOLVE of Greater Rochester to send their slide deck and follow-up materials from Friday's System Meeting, but the rest of the February System Meeting page has been updated including the PLS slides and some important links we referenced in those slides.

As a reminder, all PLS System Meetings are Indexed so you can easily refer back to them or catch up on information you may have missed .

We have also been archiving the other workshops and CE opportunities presented this year , including yesterday's presentation on Creating an Annual Report to the Community. There is a Workshop Suggestion form at the bottom of that page if there is something you would like to see us include in an upcoming the mini-workshops. We are currently planning some Spring/Summer offerings with Chautauqua Cattaraugus Library System so now is a great time to let us know what you'd like to learn more about.

Please visit the PLS Calendar for a full list of upcoming workshops, meetings, and info sessions including more information on the March System Meeting with Let's Move with Libraries. If you plan on attending an event, it is very helpful if you preregister (especially for sending out GoToMeeting /Zoom links and CE certificates).

Originally sent on February 24, 2021 to System Mailing List.

Women in Leadership Program from Suzanne

This spring, PLS is launching a Women in Leadership Program designed to support leadership learning within the OWWL Libraries and Pioneer Library System. The objectives of this 18-month program are to:
  1. Encourage participants to invest in themselves and their personal and professional development
  2. Empower participants to lead with confidence recognizing the value, knowledge, and skillset they bring to their organization
  3. Instill in participants the importance of empowering other women in their field, creating a network of support, trust, and open communication
Application will open on March 1 and is open to all employees in the 42 OWWL Libraries and System headquarters who identify as women, regardless of job title or career stage. Click here for more information.

Originally sent in PLS Notes on February 26, 2021.
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