Monday Briefing - October 25, 2021

OverDrive Magazines?

Recently, I have received a few requests for us to invest in a System-wide subscription to OverDrive magazines. Some of you will remember when we subscribed under their 2018 model, not a great ROI then because of the high cost and the low number of available titles.

Currently, the company is offering 3,000 magazine titles for $17,000/year. This is a significantly better deal than what we paid in 2018 (25 magazines for $12,000/year). Given this information, I am wondering if you would like me to look into subscribing to this collection through Central Library Funds. Please fill out the form below to let me know your opinion. I can bring the results to the November PLSDAC meeting where we can discuss furthur.

Reciprocal Lending Through OverDrive

Pioneer Library System, Southern Tier Library System, and Finger Lakes Library System are exploring an opportunity to have reciprocal lending between our three Systems through OverDirve. There are still a lot of details to work out, but Kathryn and I will give you more information at the November PLSDAC meeting.

Upcoming Trustee Workshops

Thank you to those who came to the first Trustee Handbook Book Club last week, we had over 380 attendees! The next session is on November 16. We also have a couple of local workshops coming up as well.

LIU Advanced Certificate Program

A few weeks ago information was sent out about the LIU Advanced Certificate Program taking place in Western NY this Spring. Those who said they are interested were sent a Zoom link for an informational call in November. If you did not receive the link and are interested in the program, let me know and I'll add you to the list.

Public Library Administrator - Certificate Program.pdf

As you may already know, Kelly Nemitz, Finance Director, is heading up delivery. To help keep things organized, you and your staff are welcome to email delivery issues to, those will go straight to Kelly.

Rerun: Update to Open Meetings Law

An update to Open Meetings Law has been signed by the Governor that I wanted to bring to your attention.

Moving forward, documents under discussion at a board meeting will need to be posted to your websites or made available upon request at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. This is a change from the previous language that was vague on the issue (more on that below).

If your library prepares and sends board packets in advance, you should be all set as long as you can provide the requested information prior to the meeting.

Below is the information from the Advocacy Owwl Docs page and the Justification from the Senate Bill write-up. As all libraries are subject to Open Meetings Law, this impacts everyone.

Open Meetings Law and Document Availability

S1150A (Kaplan). Status: Signed by Governor Relates to making certain documents available for open meetings



The Open Meetings Law is intended to empower the public through the availability and accessibility of meetings of public bodies. In an effort to provide the public with useful information, section 103 of the law also requires agencies to post and make available any documents scheduled to be discussed prior to such Meetings.

However, section 103 of the Open Meetings Law requires agencies to make any documents to be discussed at an upcoming open meeting available to the public, "to the extent practicable." This vague phrase has created loopholes and a way for agencies to bypass this requirement. In an analysis of 41 local governments conducted by the New York Coalition for Open Government, 15 percent do not post meeting documents.

COVID-19 has made it apparent that there is technology readily available for agencies to use in an effort to be more transparent. Meetings are only taking place virtually and individuals are at an immense disadvantage because there is no in-person opportunity to request a hard copy of any documents at the meeting. Therefore, it is even more important that agencies utilize the technology available to post documents online where the public can effectively access them.

This bill would add language to section 103 of the public officers law to require open meeting documents be available upon request or posted to the public body's website at least 24 hours prior to the open meeting at which such documents will be discussed. This bill would equip the public with more information so they can understand the actions and decisions of public bodies and hold authorities accountable.


Rerun: Annual Tax Cap Reminders 2022

It’s getting close to the time of year when it is recommended that libraries that go out for a public vote pass a board resolution indicating that the library will or may exceed the tax cap. This is recommended whether you intend to exceed the tax cap or not due to the potential for reporting errors. Below are some resources that may be helpful.

Local tax base growth factor:

Tax Cap formula:

OSC Online Tax Cap form:

The tax cap resolution should be passed before your 2022 budget is approved. Below is an adapted checklist that will hopefully help with this process.

Tax Cap Reminders 2021.pdf

If you run into issues, calling the OSC is a good option. They have been able to guide libraries through the process in the past.

Option One:

Use this sample resolution if you plan to pass override at the beginning of your fiscal year or at your annual meeting in advance of adopting a budget. This meets the requirements of the tax cap law while giving flexibility to the library board to adopt a budget later in the year that requires a tax levy that exceeds the tax cap or if the board approves a budget with incomplete or incorrect information to calculate the tax levy. If a library or any local government approves a tax levy that exceeds the cap (without passing the below resolutions), then these excess funds must be put in an interest-bearing account and used the following fiscal year to reduce the tax levy.

Whereas, the adoption of the (Year) budget for the (Library Name) may require a tax levy increase that exceeds the tax cap imposed by state law as outlined in General Municipal Law Section 3‐c adopted in 2011; and

Whereas, General Municipal Law Section 3‐c expressly permits the library board to override the tax levy limit by a resolution approved by a vote of sixty percent of qualified board members; now therefore be it

Resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the (Library Name) voted and approved to exceed the tax levy limit for (Year) by at least the sixty percent of the board of trustees as required by state law on (meeting date).

Option Two:

Use this sample resolution if you plan to pass the override at the same time you approve your budget, when you believe you have all the necessary data to correctly calculate your tax levy.

Whereas, the adoption of this (Year) budget for the (Library Name) requires a tax levy increase that exceeds the tax cap imposed by state law as outlined in General Municipal Law Section 3‐c adopted in 2011; and

Whereas, General Municipal Law Section 3‐c expressly permits the library board to override the tax levy limit by a
resolution approved by a vote of sixty percent of qualified board members; now therefore be it

Resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the (Library Name) voted and approved to exceed the tax levy limit for (Year) by at least the sixty percent of the board of trustees as required by state law on (meeting date).

DLD October Update

Every month the Division of Library Development sends out a report on current information. Typically it includes information for Systems, but I'm going to start including it in the briefing just in case you are interested in taking a look. I've added a few comments in red below.

PLS Reopening and Minimum Hours Committee

  • The NYSL/PULISDO Reopening Committee has been collecting and reviewing monthly snapshot data about the status of library reopening since late Fall 2020 and this work will continue through at least the end of the year.
  • The October 2021 snapshot data entry closes on October 22 and the results will be available early next week.
  • Effective January 1, 2022, only in building hours will be accepted for the purposes of minimum standards compliance. This notice was distributed on NYLINE and there has been no feedback or concerns received. (Ron Note: Please let me know ASAP if this will be an issue for your library)
  • 53 people attended the NYSL/PULISDO Minimum Standards for Public Libraries webinar on October 18. The webinar recording and slides will be posted here .

Federal Funding for Libraries – ARPA Update

  • The guidelines are posted on the State Library’s webpage at Contact your 3Rs for more information on their plans for the digital inclusion and library/museum partnership components.

CARES Act Subawards

  • All reports have been received.
  • Reviews for the final reports and FS-10-Fs are under way. State Library staff will notify systems when they are approved to send their signed FS-10-Fs. (Ron Note: We are filing our FS-10-Fs now)

2021-2026 Library System Five-Year Plan of Service

  • The 2022-2026 Five-Year Library System Plan of Service was due October 1, 2021. Eighteen systems have submitted plans. If you have not submitted, please do so as soon as possible. (Ron Note: Our Plan of Service is submitted and all set)

Annual Reports

  • The 2020 Public and Association Library Annual Reports and Public Library System reports were due April 1, 2021. As of October 18--
    • All 23 Public Library System Annual Reports have been submitted and approved.
    • All 756 member library annual reports have been submitted and 754 have been approved.
  • Data from the member library annual reports was submitted to the federal IMLS Public Libraries Survey and after review, was certified by the State Librarian on September 28. Many thanks to everyone involved in the annual report submission and approval process.

2020 Census Date

  • While we wait for the release of more detailed 2020 Census data, the State Library has taken initial steps in the integration of data needed for state aid calculations and annual reports. An announcement from the State Library will be made when the 2020 Census populations for all public libraries in the State are determined and finalized. (Ron Note: I read that this information will be released in Q1 of 2022 and will be used in the next State Aid cycle)

State Aid for Library Construction

  • FY2022 (0386-22). The LD Grants online system closed on Wednesday, October 6 for project applications. Please refer member libraries to the State Library’s State Aid for Library Construction program website for more information or if they need an account for the online system. (Ron Note: All of our applications have been submitted, we're waiting to hear from DLD for any edits that need to happen)
  • FY2021 (0386-21-****) projects. The public notification of these awards was given on Wednesday, September 15 via NYLINE. Emails are also going to the individual libraries, and new for this year, PLS Construction Contacts that were entered on the applications forms. We will be contacting the library if we receive any bounce back notifications.
  • FY2020 projects (0386-20-****). These projects are eligible to receive a third year through June 30, 2022, but this additional year had to be requested through the State Library. The State Library did ask that all FY 2019/2020 projects that have not yet closed be granted a third year. Please let your libraries know that this process is continuing.
  • FY2019 projects (0386-19) are eligible for an additional “twelve months” per Chapter 120 of the Laws of New York 2020 (a fourth year). The additional time for open projects has been extended.
  • Legislation on increasing the length of time given for construction projects from three years to four years has passed the Legislature (S.6511/A.7021) along with separate legislation increasing from 10% to 50% of a library system’s total allocation that can be given in award funds to projects for funding between 75% and 90% (S5753A /A7060A). If either or both of these pieces of legislation are signed into law by the Governor, more information will be sent to the library systems directors and their construction contacts.

E-rate/Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)

  • The FY2021 filing window for E-Rate opened on Jan. 15 and closed on March 25, 2021.
  • The America Rescue Plan Act (Public Law No. 117-2) set aside $7.171 billion for ECF.
  • The window to apply for ECF funds closed at 11:59pm on Friday, August 13. The second filing window opened on September 28 and closed on October 13. (Ron Note: Our Library System is not applying for ECF funding at this time)

Adult Literacy/Family Literacy Library Services Program

Public Library Broadband Assessment Pilot

  • Carson Block has completed all the remote assessment sessions and will be providing a final report at the October 21, PLS Zoom meeting. Outcomes of the pilot will be used by the State Library to contemplate a comprehensive assessment of all public libraries. (Ron Note: We did not participate in this project)

Transforming Teen Services/T3 Initiative

  • There continues to be high interested in this training and the State Library is working with our team of T3 trainers to coordinate additional sessions on the Computational Thinking module this year if possible. The YALSA/COSLA IMLS grant ends in December 2021, but options are being explored to continue to offer T3 training beyond that date.
  • Want to find out more about what T3 involves? A T3 presentation was offered at the 2021 spring NYLA/YSS virtual conference and can be found on the recently updated T3 landing page here.
  • See the recent NYLINE message about The University of Maryland iSchool's IMProving Assessment of Computational Thinking in Libraries (IMPACT Libraries project.). The research team is looking for public library staff to help evaluate a series of assessment tools developed to measure the success of Computational Thinking (CT) programs for youth ages 11-18. Libraries chosen to participate will be compensated for their efforts using the assessment tools, and the time commitment is minimal.

Ready to Read at New York Libraries

  • Supercharged Storytimes training – two additional fall sessions are taking place and more are planned for spring 2022. Session 1 concluded on October 12, and Session 2 begins on October 25. Please remind staff to fully participate if they are accepted into one of these trainings OR notify the trainer if their situation changes and they are unable to attend. Certificates of completion will only be given to participants who attend all sessions. Find the Supercharged Storytimes page at
  • SAVE the DATE! A webinar on Story Walks will be held on November 9. Full information and registration details are available at
  • View previous webinars offered by the State Library: Virtual and In-Person Programming for Infants and OurStoryBridge were recently added to the State Library’s website along with other recorded and archived webinars that are now available (
  • The One More Story resource on the DayByDayNY Family Literacy Calendar has two new books each day! Please remind your libraries to promote this valuable FREE resource provided by the State Library to their library users and communities.

Summer Reading at New York Libraries

  • Libraries have begun planning for Summer Reading 2022 and Oceans of Possibilities! The 2022 Manuals have shipped out to systems. The access code for the 2022 online manual has been distributed to Youth Services Consultants, and can be shared with all library staff who do summer programming for all age levels. See the recently announced 2022 poster images by artist Sophie Blackall at
  • It’s not too early to reach out to schools and school libraries in your region to begin a conversation about working together on Summer Reading.
  • Updates from the CSLP annual virtual meeting held on Sept. 23: the slogan for 2024 was selected, and is “Adventure Begins at Your Library”; the theme for 2025 was also chosen and is Art. CSLP announced the discontinuation of the national Teen Video competition after judging and winners are announced later this fall. NY state has always been well represented in this national video challenge, and this year 11 videos were submitted by teens in NY state out of 33 total; CSLP has made some significant changes to their web site to make it more accessible and robust. A major change is that schools and school libraries do not need to request a CSLP login to access materials on the site at but they do still need to partner with their local public library to get the access code for the separate online manual materials including graphics and other program resources. Tutorials on the new and improved site and the 2022 manual are being planned by CSLP and will announced later this fall.
  • The READsquared product will continue to be available to public libraries in the state through December 2022. Libraries not using READsquared and the mobile app can still sign up for their free account to use the product for their reading programs. The State Library is currently working on renewing the mobile app for the coming year so it will be available to libraries through the end of the contract (December 2022).
  • Summer wrap up sessions for READsquared have been taking place during September and October. Want to view a previous READsquared session? Recordings are posted on the READsquared page of the Summer Reading site at
  • Please remind staff that they can always reach out to the READsquared support team by emailing There is also a support knowledgebase that is a valuable resource available to library staff 24/7.
  • Join us for a webinar and information session on the Performers and Programs database on Friday, Oct. 22 at 11am. Details and registration at
  • Save the date of December 2nd! CSLP is hosting a FREE national virtual Summer Reading conference for all library staff in member states! Many exciting Summer Reading related programs and sessions are planned. The date is December 2, and registration is now open. Information and details about planned sessions has been shared on NYLINE lists and can also be found at the following link
  • Summer Meals – After experiencing a significant decrease in library participation in 2020 due to library closures and COVID, the Summer Meals program has made a strong comeback in 2021! Hunger Solutions NY will be sharing information soon on library participation for the Summer 2021 season. If you or your libraries have any questions, please reach out to Krista Hesdorfer at Hunger Solutions New York by emailing Krista at
  • The State Library truly appreciates the efforts of all public and school libraries and systems as they continue to meet the daunting challenges of offering Summer Reading during a pandemic and time of continued uncertainty. We don’t know what 2022 will bring but we know libraries will continue to rise to the occasion to keep students engaged and learning all through the year. Do you have an inspirational story or photo to share from a 2021 Summer Reading program or event? Please email your photos and/or stories to and be sure to include the name and location of your library as well as a contact person for follow up if needed.
  • Systems are currently submitting the Summer Reading statistics and information from their member libraries, which will be shared on the Summer Reading site later this fall. Thank you for your efforts to help gather and share this information with the State Library.

NYSL/Library Development Events

New York State Library Public Programs at NYLA 2021

In person Programming
  • Thursday, November 4, 1:45 PM – 3:00 PM: A New Way to RAC
Virtual Programming
  • Friday, October 29, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Library Construction 101.
On Demand Programming (Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29)
  • Digital Equity in New York
  • Virtual Learning Circles
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