MHLS Home Small Libraries Roundtable
January 2007

Topic: Personnel Policies & Employee Handbooks PART II

Notes from the January 2007 Meeting


Different set of "rules" and benefits for director is allowable
Define a normal workday for your library in your policy/employee handbook
Address whether or not time be taken as hours or days; Define by vacation vs. personal
Comp time: can be limited [i.e. "must be used by" or "may be used up to ___ hours at a time"]
Define what can be carried over in a new year [Can sick time be rolled over to a new year in your organization?]
P/T leave solution - flex time up to salary cap
Describe for the position rather than a particular person in a position
MS Excel instructions for setting up a spreadsheet to track employee time (provided by Julie Johnson, Kinderhook)
Define who is exempt vs. nonexempt if necessary for directors
Civil service defined in policy if necessary [See "A Librarian's Guide to Civil Service in New York State" provided by LAMS]

Directors Contract with Board is recommended (especially for non-civil service libraries); should at least define: salary, vacation
Evaluation as implied contract if a corrections timeline is instituted

NYS is an employment-at-will state
Recommended course of action with a problem employee: documentation/warning / counseling (written record and date) have employee sign it
Probation period - 6 months by default - define in policy that you can be let go without explanation at end of that time; define that you can extend probation
Have a letter of hire for all new hires: state start date / salary / probation period [Job Offer Letter sample from]
Generate a similar letter for a current employee that moves into a new position within the organization
Non civil service - post all job ads / even internal promos
CS - less than 20 hours can non/civil service
Employee application necessary: should include work history, educational background, physical, mental impairments that would keep them from doing the job being applied for [Sample from Beufort, SC]
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title I: Employment (applies to workplaces with 15 or more employees)

Tips for getting staff to create a courteous, welcoming warm environment:

Internal vs. patron confidentiality - statement in employee handbook regarding internal confidentiality (i.e. designated spokesperson/public face for the library); training on patron confidentiality

Conflict of interest - staff as Friends, board as volunteers --> Staff can't be voting member of Friends --> create boundaries for a staff person, define role / context of their work

Department of Labor - Resources

Diversity training (Hudson Area Association Library is now mandating annual diversity training for staff)
diversity issues are not just about race, also consider age (i.e. teens), mental disabilities, behavorial problems...

Signature line in employee handbook - not a guarantee of employment (see
Roeliff Jansen Community Library Employee Handbook sample under "Related Resources)

Separate Volunteer policy [samples]
Regular Volunteers: service expectations, confidentiality, scheduling / fill in procedure should be in writing - volunteer manual/handbook
RoeJan Library requires a minimum commitment of hours: 2, 2- hour shift minimum



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