Monday Briefing - September 13, 2021


Thank you to everyone who attended PLSDAC last Friday. If you were unable to attend, here is the OWWL Docs page for the agenda , as well as Kelly Deltoro-White's meeting minutes.

Systems Access and Patron Confidentiality Policy

PLSDAC approved the Systems Access and Patron Confidentiality Policy making it the updated standard for handling patron information and information systems. Part of this policy will be directors attesting to the System that all library staff upholds this policy on an annual basis. We are working out the mechanics of this and will let you know how we plan to collect this information.

Evergreen Individual logins

As discussed at PLSDAC, we will be issuing Evergreen individual logins to library staff over the course of the next few months as we prepare to phase out the shared libcirc and libtech accounts.

Individual logins are an important element in PLS's plan to improve the security of member libraries and the system as a whole. A primary motivation behind this project is to keep us in line with established best practices. In recent audits of other local government institutions and school districts, the Office of the New York State Comptroller has regularly found that shared staff accounts are not an adequate control to ensure that personal, private, and sensitive information are safeguarded. The shared staff accounts currently used to log in to Evergreen could allow former library staff to access patron data. By implementing individual logins and requiring notification of staff departures, we are establishing controls which are in line with the recommended best practices.

We have also introduced new permissions options for staff accounts. These options introduce new permissions groups which are appropriate for libraries who wish to reserve the ability to perform some functions, such as voiding bills or overriding circulation blocks, only to certain staff. For example, some libraries may prefer that their high school pages are issued logins with more limited permissions than are currently available.

You can find out more about the details of the project on OWWL Docs. Please review this page for more about the permissions groups, managing accounts, and more. We especially want to emphasize that it's important that you communicate with us when you have staff changes at your library so we can deactivate their accounts.

We are inviting libraries to sign up to be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to sign up to have individual logins issued for your staff in the initial phase of the rollout, please complete this scheduling form. Later this autumn, we will reach out to libraries that have not yet been scheduled to find a suitable time.

Many thanks to our initial tester libraries and to everyone who has provided input and suggestions at PLSDAC, EAC, and OWWLUG meetings over the past few months.

Please email if you have any questions!

Trustee Workshop This Week!

Key Laws & Regulations for Libraries - Wednesday, September 15 at 5:00 PM

Discussion Points:
  • Some of the laws that should be thinking of regularly
  • How your library type determines the laws you need to follow
  • How laws, regulations, policies, and procedures interact with one another
Click here to register

System Board Recap

Here is a recap of the actions taken by the System Board at their meeting last Wednesday with a little contextual information.
  1. Approve Plan of Service 2022-2026 – Finally done and submitted to DLD!
    1. Approve Central Library Plan of Service 2022-2026
    2. Approve Free Direct Access Plan 2022-2026
  2. Approve Trustee Election Plan at Annual Meeting – Online Meeting, I'll explaining in the next section.
  3. Approve Systems Access and Confidentiality of Library Records Policy – Discussed at PLSDAC.
  4. Approve Personnel Change Report – Appointment of our two new Delivery Drivers, AJ and Dave.
  5. Approve Staff Health Insurance Plan – Approved 2022 health insurance plans for PLS staff members.
  6. Approve NY HERO Act Policy – Template policy from the state.
  7. Revoke Confidentiality of Library Records Policy – Replaced by Systems Access and Confidentiality of Library Records Policy
  8. Approve Payment to OverDrive (fiction) for $26,729.50 – Member Library OverDrive funds.
  9. Approve Payment to OverDrive (non-fiction) for $58,805.00 – Central Library OverDrive funds.
  10. Approve Final Construction Award Allocations – 11 member library projects approved for this year's construction aid.
  11. Approve Coordinated Construction Project – First coordinated project including wiring projects for eight-member libraries.
  12. Approve Payment to Geneva Public Library for $20,970.00 – Central Library State Aid funds.

System Trustee Election

On October 13, 2021, at 6:00 PM we will be holding an online Annual Meeting for the election of our System Trustees. Unlike previous years, this meeting will be strictly for the election and a few remarks from System leadership.

All member library trustees are eligible to participate in the election. A notice will be sent out to them soon with information. We will be filling three positions, Ontario County, Livingston County, and Wyoming County. We have incumbents for Ontario and Livingston, however, no one is currently running for the Wyoming County position. I will send bios to Trustees of our incumbents so they will know who they are voting for on October 13.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through all of the details of this event.

OWWLie Nominations

The deadline to nominate a library peer, coworker, Trustee, or volunteer for a 2021 OWWLie Award has been extended to THIS Friday, September 17. The OWWLies are the opportunity to recognize someone for their hard work, dedication, innovative idea(s), good vibes, break room humor, bomb choice in shoes, or whatever else what-have-you.

Click here to access the nomination form.

The OWWLies will be award on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 10 AM. These will hopefully be in-person; we will keep everyone updated if that changes.

Delivery Reminders from Suzanne

The schedules will be changing very slightly starting today. The libraries that have been impacted have been notified. Schedules are available on OWWL Docs.

Please do not fill the bins above the handles. Use another bin or a blue collapsible tote for overflow items.

Please keep the areas near your outgoing bins clear of equipment, furniture, etc. the best you can. Some spaces are difficult for the Drivers to navigate with the hand trucks, and as we see the number of transit items slowly increase towards pre-COVID levels, there are more bins to bring in and out.

Last, but most importantly, if your library is undergoing construction that will block access for Delivery (driveway, parking lot, roof, etc.), please let us know.

DLD Tracking Library Reopening

If you have a moment this week, please consider updating the Division of Library Development's reopening survey.

Question of the Week: Reserve Funds

Question: When transferring money from a reserve fund to our general fund, does a library need to have a public hearing?

This one comes up quite often because the OSC has determined this as a necessary practice for certain organizations. Luckily, for libraries, there has been a ruling by the OSC indicating that "...monies received from taxes and other public sources for library purposes shall be kept as a separate fund by the municipal or school district treasurer and expended only upon the direction of the library trustees…Thus, library funds, whether held in the custody of the library treasurer, or by the municipal or school district treasurer as custodian for the library, are under the exclusive control of the library board..."

This means that your boards have ultimate control over any funding designated to the library, and moving reserve funds around requires a motion from the board. Reserve funds should be defined in a Reserve Fund policy with an explanation of the purpose of the fund. Here is a snippet from the Trustee Handbook saying as much:

"Library boards may establish other special purpose funds for accounting and planning purposes. Monies may be transferred into and out of such funds only with formal board approval at an open meeting. It is common for the library to maintain an “undesignated” fund, or “fund balance,” to meet the cash flow requirements of the organization prior to the receipt of taxes." Source: Trustee Handbook, p. 51

Great question. If you have more, please send me an email, and we can discuss.
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