Trustee Newsletter June 2020

System-Wide Reopening

Last week I asked library directors to complete a questionnaire to see where they are in planning for reopening. We received 40 responses and while all were in various stages of planning modified services, writing reopening plans, and acquiring safety equipment, 90% of them (36 libraries) are planning on opening during the scheduled Phase Four from the Governor's office. The estimated date provided in the System-Wide Reopening Plan is June 30; those 36 libraries will be opening within a few days of that target.

A few libraries in our system received pressures from other outside sources that have accelerated their plans. This is perfectly fine. From the beginning, the decision to open has been up to the library and I understand that you have many stakeholders and local concerns to make decisions around. While we are unable to expedite system services for early reopening, we will certainly do everything we can to support libraries no matter what phase they begin services.

Even if you have not received questions or pressure to date, you will most likely begin to as we move through the next couple of weeks. Libraries, state-wide organizations, and professionals in our field have been posting a variety of messages to social media and news outlets. Some are helpful, others have caused issues. In a briefing email sent to directors on May 26, I gave the opinion that library news and publications should be read with caution. New York State guidance on libraries should be used to plan your reopening; opinion pieces and general news can serve as a distraction. Especially the pieces that dictate only one path forward for libraries. Because of the abundance of confusion on the legal status of libraries and what phase each on reopens there will never be one path. Reopening is solely dependent on a library's preparedness and each one across the state is at a different stage. At this point, the only publications that matter are your reopening plan and compliance forms that dictate the rules for your phased approach.

Try not to let opinions dictate the speed of your plan. Even if the system-wide approach does not work for you, just remember to proceed with caution. We're not out of this yet.

Reopening Resources

System Services

The Pioneer Library System Director's Advisory Council (PLSDAC) will be making decisions this Friday on several important topics relating to our Integrated Library System (Evergreen). These decisions will help get things rolling for implementing system-wide services for libraries. We are also working on scheduling e-rate equipment installation in libraries. Thank you for everyone who has been able to work with us on that. Finally, starting within the next week we will begin temporary, clean-up delivery runs. These runs are meant to get as many items back to their home libraries prior to reopening. More information will be sent to library directors as we move forward.

Upcoming Trustee Workshops

Board President Meetup - June 15, 2020

Monday, June 15, 2020, 4:30 pm via GoToMeeting

Prior to the Roles and Responsibilities of Board Officers workshop on Monday, June 15, Board Presidents are invited to this casual meetup to discuss topics related to their board and libraries.

Facilitator: Christine Ryan, Board President, Pioneer Library System

Click here to register.

Responsibilities of Board Officers - June 15, 2020

Monday, June 15, 2020, 6:00 pm via GoToMeeting

Discussion points:
  • Duties of each board officer
  • How to look at the "big picture" of your library
  • Using committees effectively
  • The role the CEO plays in relationship to your board
Presenters: Christine Ryan, Board President, Pioneer Library System; and Ron Kirsop, Executive Director of Pioneer Library System

Click here to register.

Last Month's Issue

Trustee Newsletter May 2020
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