Bulletin Header
Vol. 14-30                                                                                                                      7.29.14
Nonprofit Revitalization Act

State Librarian Bernie Margolis shared the results of the State Education Department Counsel's interpretation of the Nonprofit Revitalization Act for libraries last week. Their findings are that all types of public libraries, as well as Systems, fall under the new requirements to adopt "Conflict of Interest" and "Whistleblower" Policies.

 

These requirements became effective on July 1, 2014.

 

Applicability:

  • The "conflict of interest" policy requirement applies to all types of libraries.
  • The "whistleblower" policy is recommended by MHLS for all types of libraries as well, however the requirement in this new law technically applies only to those that meet both of the following requirements:
o have twenty or more employees, AND 
o in the prior fiscal year had annual revenue in excess of one million dollars.

 

A brief description of the minimum requirements for each such policy is as follows:

 

The Conflict of Interest policy should include, at a minimum:

  1. a definition of the circumstances that constitute a conflict of interest;

  2. procedures for disclosing a conflict to the audit committee or, if no audit committee, to the board;

  3. a requirement that the person with the conflict not be present at or participate in board/committee deliberation or vote on the matter giving rise to the conflict;

  4. a prohibition against any attempt by the person with the conflict to influence improperly the deliberation or voting on the matter giving rise to the conflict;

  5. a requirement that the existence and resolution of the conflict be documented in the corporation's records, including in the minutes of any meeting at which the conflict was discussed or voted upon; and

  6. procedures for disclosing, addressing, and documenting related party transactions in accordance with NPCL 715.

The Whistleblower policy should include:

  1. A provision that no director (or trustee), officer, employee or volunteer of a corporation who in good faith reports any action or suspected action taken by or within the corporation that is illegal, fraudulent or in violation of any adopted policy of the corporation shall suffer intimidation, harassment, discrimination or other retaliation or, in the case of employees, adverse employment consequence;

  2. Procedures for reporting violations or suspected violations of law or corporate policies, including procedures for preserving the confidentiality of reported information;

  3. A requirement that an employee, officer or director of the corporation be designated to administer the policy and report to the audit committee or other committee of independent directors, or if none, to the board; and

  4. A requirement that a copy of the policy be distributed to all directors, officers, employees and to volunteers who provide substantial services to the corporation.

Samples of both policies are available on the MHLS website.

Professional Development

The Library Instruction Leadership Academy consists of a series of online modules, in-person workshops and regional mentoring opportunities designed for new, retooling and pre-service librarians to gain confidence, perspective and practice in library instruction and/or workshop delivery. The program will begin with a one-day, in-person workshop but then expand its participant cohort online, where all LILAC students will join from across NY regions.

 

The program will begin in August with an on-site, all-day regional workshop with professional trainers:

 

Opportunities closest to the MHLS region to attend the one-day, in-person workshop: 

  • Wednesday, August 13th: Empire State College (Saratoga Springs) 

  • Thursday, August 14th: Southeastern NY Library Resources Council (Highland)

LILAC participants will then work online in a series of learning modules, observe in-person and online library instruction sessions, and connect with online and in-person mentors. The eight-week course concludes with participants creating lesson plans and a final project that demonstrate what they have learned. LILACs Across NY, is funded in part by a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant, and in-kind and volunteer support from several New York State Libraries, and Library Councils. 

 

To be considered for admission into the academy, they require a three-part application. Access more information and to apply online.  

Administration & Management

Broadband Speed Test
All libraries are urged to participate in a brief broadband speed test as part of the larger Digital Inclusion Survey (digitalinclusion.umd.edu). As part of its E-rate Program modernization effort, the Federal Communications Commission is gathering data to inform changes in the program and better understand library and school broadband needs. Speed test data from your library will help determine upload/download speeds that users experience at different times during the day - providing a critical measure of service quality in public libraries and helping to inform the FCC about library broadband needs. The E-rate Program is critical to libraries in New York State. Each year an average of 379 New York libraries and library systems have received an average of $11.2 million in E-rate discounts. You can help by taking the speed test by August 1, 2014. To begin, go to http://digitalinclusion.pnmi.com/speedtest/

 

The study is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and conducted by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland College Park.

MHLS recommends that the minimum starting salary of a full or part-time librarian with an MLS degree be at least equal to that of a teacher with a master's degree in the same community.

 

Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: bulletin@midhudson.org

The MHLS Bulletin is available online at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.