Monday Briefing - September 27, 2021

ICYMI: 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!

New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements

As a reminder, we're coming up on another year of mandatory Sexual Harassment training for all employees. Kelly has sent out the EAP information which is the easiest place to obtain training for your library.

It is that time of year again! With Andrew Cuomo stepping down following an investigation into harassment allegations against him, it is a good time to remind New York employers that sexual harassment prevention training needs to be conducted annually. Employers also need to keep in mind that all newly hired employees need to be trained “as soon as possible” after their start date. This mandate creates an ongoing training requirement when there are new hires in addition to the annual training requirement for existing employees. Employers must also provide a copy of their policy on harassment prevention to new hires as part on their onboarding process and again, at the time of training, along with a copy of all training presentation materials.


Recent OSC Findings

Penn Yan Central School District – Network Access Controls (2021M-79)
  • Regularly review network user accounts and permissions to determine whether they were appropriate or needed to be disabled. As a result, we identified 1,094 unneeded user accounts and six user accounts with unnecessary administrator permissions.
  • Enter into a service level agreement (SLA) with the District’s Information Technology (IT) service provider to clearly identify the provider’s responsibilities and services to be provided.
Mineola Union Free School District – Financial Condition Management (2021M-44)
  • Develop budgets that include reasonable appropriation estimates, and only appropriate fund balance when needed.
  • Comply with the statutory fund balance limit.

Sneak Peek: Public Library Minimum Hours and Curbside/Lobby Hours

Late last week DLD sent the draft message below to System Directors. It should be sent to the NYLINE list sometime this week, but I thought since I had it I would send it along early so you had a heads up. The main takeaway is that starting January 1, 2022, only building hours can be used to count towards Minimum Standards . Other outlets will no longer be counted. If this is going to be an issue, please let me know ASAP so we can work on determining if a variance is something we can submit.

Congratulations to all those public libraries that have made significant progress in reopening their doors for in-person services during this difficult COVID year. With assistance from New York’s 23 public library systems, a NYSL and PULISDO Committee has been collecting and reviewing monthly snapshot data about the status of library reopening since late fall 2020. The August Snapshot data indicates that 89% of public libraries are currently meeting minimum standards for open hours including curbside and lobby hours and 96% have regularly scheduled hours including curbside and lobby hours. The State Library’s current definition of “hours open” for compliance with NYS minimum standards during the pandemic includes curbside and/or lobby service hours. The State Library said that it would continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and the reopening status of local libraries and would notify library systems and libraries at least three months in advance if curbside and lobby service hours will no longer be accepted as “hours open” for the purposes of minimum standards compliance.

Therefore, effective January 1, 2022, only in building hours will be accepted for the purposes of minimum standards compliance.

Please notify your Library System by November 30, 2021 if you won’t be in compliance with minimum open hours. The Public Library Systems would like to help member libraries be successful in meeting this requirement.

August 2021 Open Hours Snapshot Survey Results

- Survey data was entered for 1008 (95%) of 1065 outlets.
- Survey data was entered for 710 (94%) of the 755 main libraries; no data was entered for 45 main libraries.
- Of the 1008 outlets entering data, 965 (96%) had regularly scheduled hours (including curbside and lobby hours) and 43 (4%) did not have regularly scheduled hours (including curbside and lobby hours).
- Of the 467 outlets entering data for regularly scheduled in building hours, 448 (96%) had regularly scheduling in building hours and 19 (4%) did not have regularly scheduling in building hours. 598 outlets do not have data.
- Of the 710 main libraries for which data was entered, 635 (89%) are meeting minimum standards for hours open per the survey definition (including curbside and lobby).
- Of the 324 main libraries for which data was entered for building access, 302 (93%) are meeting minimum standards for hours open (based on building access only).
- All library systems entered data, but 8 library systems did not enter data for all their libraries. 12 systems did not enter any in building hours.
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