Monday Briefing - May 3, 2021

Delivery Update

We continue to work on correcting our driver situation so we can have a more stable delivery experience for libraries. Suzanne will keep you posted as we shift, postpone, or cancel runs. As I said last week, I am very sorry for the stress this adds to your library and staff. We will get everything straightened out as soon as possible. Thank you for working with us on this one.

Legislative Update

Earlier this week the Senate Library Committee unanimously passed out of Committee three bills relevant to public libraries.
  1. Trustee Training (Senate Bill S4435)
  2. 90/10 Construction Grant Match (Senate Bill S5753)
  3. Libraries eligible to use DASNY for capital financing (More information to come)
The hope is that the Assembly Committee will take up all three bills, and hopefully move those, in the next week or two.

Once that happens and they go to the full legislative bodies NYLA will share some strategy ideas on how to get them passed.

There is also interest at the legislative level to continuing advocating for the Federal delegation Build America's Libraries Act; http://www.ala.org/advocacy/buildlibraries

Masks in Libraries

Suzanne sent out this resource last week to D-All and I wanted to make sure you had it in case patrons come in claiming that they do not need to wear masks; https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20234-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

Last week the Governor indicated that "New York will adopt the new CDC mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. Fully vaccinated individuals can conduct outdoor activities or gather without wearing a mask outdoors except in certain crowded settings and venues. Read the full CDC guidance."

Construction Grant Reminder

The Intent to Apply for a FY 2022 Construction Grant is June 25. You can find a timeline and other construction-related info here; https://docs.owwl.org/Community/ConstructionGrants

Follow-Up: Public Library Minimum Hours Open Begin June 1, 2021 from DLD

Last week DLD held an information session on their recent request to have libraries open their Minimum Number of Hours by June 1, 2021. From the information you all sent in, we should be in good shape to meet this deadline. If your library is unable to meet this target, please let me know and we'll work on a plan.

Population Minimum Weekly Hours Open
Up to 500 12
500 - 2,499 20
2,500 - 4,999 25
5,000 - 14,999 35
15,000 - 24,999 40
25,000 - 99,999 55
100,000 and above 60

Minimum Standards Reminder

As a reminder, the following items were required to be on all library websites on January 1, 2021 according to Commissioner's Regulation 90.2.
  • (1) is governed by written bylaws which define the structure and governing functions of the library board of trustees, and which shall be reviewed and re-approved by the board of trustees at least once every five years or earlier if required by law;
  • (2) has a community-based, board-approved, written long-range plan of service developed by the library board of trustees and staff;
  • (3) provides a board-approved written annual report to the community on the library's progress in meeting its mission, goals and objectives, as outlined in the library’s long-range plan of service;
  • (4) has board-approved written policies for the operation of the library, which shall be reviewed and updated at least once every five years or earlier if required by law;
  • (5) annually prepares and publishes a board-approved, written budget, which enables the library to address the community’s needs, as outlined in the library’s longrange plan of service;
  • (11) provides access to current library information in print and online, facilitating the understanding of library services, operations and governance; information provided online shall include the standards referenced in paragraphs (1) through (5) of this subdivision;
Source: 90.2 Standards for registration of public, free association and Indian libraries.

Unfortunately, the System is unable to provide variances for non-compliance with these standards. Please make sure that your libraries are in compliance.

OSC Audit: Plattekill Public Library – Procurement and Investment of Funds

Yesterday the Office of the State Comptroller released the Plattekill Public Library audit. Since procurement is a topic we discuss a lot, I thought the key findings would be interesting to share.

Key Findings

The Board did not always comply with its procurement and investment policies, or with statutory requirements relating to investments.

The Board did not:
  • Ensure required quotes were obtained for the purchase of security cameras.
  • Adopt a procurement policy that included professional services. As a result, officials did not seek competition for six professional service providers receiving payments totaling $24,009.
  • Adhere to its investment policy by limiting the investment decisions to the Library’s Committee and by ensuring funds were properly invested.
Key Recommendations
  • Ensure purchases are made in accordance with the procurement policy.
  • Update the procurement policy to address the procurement of professional services and ensure competition is obtained for such services.
  • Ensure future investments are made in accordance with statutory requirements and the Library’s policy.
Quick Facts
  • Number of Card Holders - 2,745
  • Employees - 10
  • 2020 Budgeted Expenditures - $459,260
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