MHLS Tips for Member Libraries for Completing the Annual Report

Each year, each member library is required to complete the Public & Association Library Annual Report. Below you will find answers to common questions on completing the annual report organized by report section. If you have additional questions about completing your annual report, you can contact MHLS Library Sustainability Coordinator, Casey Conlin

General Information:

Saving your annual report as a PDF
  • You can use Google’s free Chrome web browser to save your annual report as a PDF file using the instructions below. Other web browsers may offer similar options based on your computer’s configuration.
    • Log in to the software using your username or password at: http://collectconnect.baker-taylor.com:8080/login.aspx
    • Select the Printer icon on the report you wish to save as a PDF.
    • Select Print Entire Survey from the drop-down box.
    • Click the tick-box for Include Annotations.
    • Click either the SHOW WEB REPORT button or SHOW PDF REPORT button (both options produce a web report).
    • Select the 3 dots at the upper right corner of the Chrome browser window
    • Select print
    • In the Destination drop-down, select “Save as PDF”
    • Click the Save button
    • Name your file and click the Save button

Section 1 - General Library Information
  • Report of Unusual Circumstances:This question asks “has the library experienced any unusual circumstance(s) that affected the statistics reported (e.g., natural disaster, fire, closed for renovations, massive weeding of collection, etc.)? If yes, please annotate explaining the circumstance(s) and the impact on the library using the Note.”
    • Additional criteria you can add to this list could be:
    • start of a new library director
    • closed for extreme weather
    • construction on roads around library
    • loss of programming staff
    • loss of funding for programs
    •  global pandemic

Section 2 – Library Collection
  • 2.10 – The total provided by MHLS for this question includes suppressed materials with a status of Discard, Lost & Paid, Claims Returned, Missing, Missing in Transit, Repair, Billed, and On Search. Items with a status of Discard, Lost & Paid, or Claims Returned are purged from the ILS database after 3 months, and items with a status of  Missing, Missing in Transit, Repair, Billed, or On Search are purged from the ILS database after 3 years.
  • 2.13 – If your library provides access to eBooks with a circulation period (including Hoopla or Freading) report the number of circulations for this question. For Hoopla, and other collections that are not individually selected, count the number of items circulated.
  • 2.17 Audio-Downloadable Units – If your library provides access to electronic resources not individually selected by the library with a circulation period (including Hoopla or Kanopy) report the number of items circulated.
  • 2.18 Video-Downloadable Units – If your library provides access to electronic resources not individually selected by the library with a circulation period (including Hoopla or Kanopy) report the number of items circulated.
  • 2.19 – The total MHLS provides to this question includes items with a Material Type of Juvenile Software and Adult Software.
  • 2.23 – The total MHLS provides to this question includes items with a Material Type Juvenile Other, Equip Realia, and Microform.

Section 3 - Library Programs, Policies, and Services
  • For questions 3.17 through 3.80, include Live, virtual program sessions and program attendance regardless of topic. NOTE: Live, virtual programs are conducted via a Web conferencing or Webinar platform such as Facebook, YouTube, or Zoom, during which a library staff member (or other party sponsored by the library) is presenting to or interacting with an audience in real–time.
    • Do not include Recordings of Program Content in this section; report Recordings of Program Content in Q CV10.

Section 4 – Library Transactions
  • Internal Library usage is not considered part of circulation by NYS for the purposes of this report.
  • 4.12 Use of Electronic Material – This question includes your OverDrive eBook, eAudio, and eVideo statistics. If your library has additional statistics for similar online library resources that require user authentication and have a circulation period (for example Freading, Hoopla, or Kanopy) add that usage here.
  • 4.13 Successful Retrieval of Electronic Information – This question includes, your RBDigital, and TumbleBooks statistics (which are collected by library patron barcode prefix). It also includes your portion of the database statistics (assigned on a per capita ratio) from the systemwide group buy databases (JobNow, Mango, Universal Class). If your library has additional statistics for similar online library resources that require user authentication but do not have a circulation period (for example Acorn TV, Qello, Great Courses Online, Freegal, or Indieflix) add that usage here.

Section 5 – Technology & Telecommunications
  • 5.7 – 5.9 – To see if your library files for E-rate Benefits, you can visit this site, and search for your library.  MHLS does not apply for E-rate Benefits for member libraries as part of a consortia, so the answer to 5.8 and 5.9 would be “no.”
  • 5.10  – Contact for person responsible for the library’s IT services: Unless your library employs an on-site IT person, the contact information here should be for the library director.

Section 7 – Minimum Public Library Standards
  • 7.7 – DLD has advised libraries that did not meet the minimum number of hours required by the minimum standard in Section 7 of the report should answer “No” to this question and add the following to the Notes field for that question, “Due to COVID.” A variance will not be required for libraries that answer “No” to this minimum standard question.
  • Although Minimum Public Library Standards (As of 2021) is marked as optional, libraries should complete this section.

Section 9 – Service Outlet Information

Test the download and upload speed of your public computer at http://testmy.net

  • Run both the Download Test and Upload Test on one of your public PC’s and report the results for Questions 28 and 29 in Section 9.

Section 10 – Officers and Trustees
  • You can email your list of trustees using the Spreadsheet Template and email address provided in the Annual Report software in Section 10 Part 1.
    • As indicated in the Annual Report software, you must enter Board President info in the Annual Report, even if you plan to use the spreadsheet for the rest of your trustees.
  • If you choose to add your trustees in the Annual Report, you can follow the procedure below.
    • The Annual Report Software provides you with a set of fields to collect info for the Board President, and one additional Trustee.
      • Fill in the info for your Board President first in the Board President part of Section 10, questions 10.9 to 10.24
      • Hit Save at the bottom or top of the page.
      • Fill in the info for you next Trustee as you did the Board President for questions 1 to 16.
      • Hit Save at the bottom or top of the page.
    • To add more Trustees, click the Add Group button to get a new set of Questions for trustee info.
      • When you hit the Add Group button, the page will reload, and bring you back to the top.
      • Scroll down past the last Trustee you entered, and you should find a new set of questions 1 to 16, beginning with Question 1, Title of Board Member.
      • Fill in the relevant info for this Trustee for questions 1 to 16.
      • Hit Save.
      • Repeat this step until you have entered all your library’s Trustees.
    • Please note: when entering Trustee info in Section 10, there is a point at which the software will push the info and questions for the most recent Trustee you’ve entered to another page or Part.
      • After you enter the info for your third trustee (the first time you’ll use the Add Group button) the software will create a Part 2 page in your report under Section 10, and your third Trustee will be in that Part.
      • Each Part of Section 10 will list up to five Trustees. When you use the Add Group button to add a sixth Trustee to Part 2, or Part 3, you will scroll down and enter that Trustee info in that Part, but after a you hit Save, that Trustee will show up on a new Part page, which will also be listed in the Annual Report’s Navigation Menu on the left side of the report.

Section 11 – Operating Funds Receipts

DLD has issued the following clarifying guidance around Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

  • Where should PPP loans be reported as revenue in section 11?
    • If the funds were received in 2020 and the loan was forgiven in 2020, it should be reported under Q11.11 with a note that the funds are PPP funds.
  • Would it matter whether the notification of forgiveness was received in 2020 or 2021?
    • Yes, if the loan was received in 2020 but not forgiven, it should be reported under Q11.21, Budget Loans, with a note that it’s a PPP loan that was not forgiven in 2020 but may be forgiven in 2021.

2020 Annual Report Questions Added in Response to COVID-19
  • Topic: Closed Outlets Due to COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Were any of the library’s outlets physically closed to the public for any period of time due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: An outlet is considered physically closed when the public cannot access any library buildings or bookmobiles, regardless of staff access. A building can be physically closed but still offer virtual, Wi-Fi, or “curbside” services outside the building.
  • Topic: Public Services During COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did library staff continue to provide services to the public during any portion of the period when the building was physically closed to the public due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Services to the public can include activities such as
    • answering calls, emails, or texts with answers to information requests from the public;
    • hosting virtual programming or recorded content;
    • offering “curbside,” delivery (mail or drop-off), or drive-thru circulation of physical materials;
    • managing IT services to ensure external Wi-Fi access; and
    • providing other types of online and electronic services, regardless of the location of library staff when they provided services (i.e., working from home or in the building that was closed to the public).
  • Topic: Electronic Materials Added Due to COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library add or increase access to electronic collection materials due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Adding or increasing materials can include
      • increasing the concurrent or monthly borrowing limits for electronic materials,
      • increasing the number of electronic materials and holdings, or
      • otherwise augmenting the public’s ability to use electronic materials. These materials can include those the library did not pay for itself, such as those provided through the state library administrative agency, library consortium, or vendor at no cost in response to the pandemic.Types of electronic materials include e-books, audio and video downloadables, e-serials (including journals), government documents, databases (including locally mounted, full text or not), electronic files, reference tools, scores, maps, or pictures in electronic or digital format, including materials digitized by the library.
  • Topic: Electronic Library Cards Issued Before COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library allow users to complete registration for library cards online without having to come to the library before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Online library cards provide users access to electronic collection materials and databases without having to be physically present at a library outlet to register for the card. Refer to the definition of Number of Registered Users (Q16.13).
  • Topic: Electronic Library Cards Issued During COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library allow users to complete registration for library cards online without having to come to the library during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Online library cards provide users access to electronic collection materials and databases without having to be physically present at a library outlet to register for the card. Refer to the definition of Number of Registered Users (Q16.13).
  • Topic: Reference Service During COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library provide reference service via the Internet or telephone when the building was physically closed to the public during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Refer to the definition of Reference Transactions (Q4.18). Include references service provided via email, chat, and text.
      • Reference (Q4.18)
        Reference Transactions are information consultations in which library staff recommend, interpret, evaluate, and/or use information resources to help others to meet particular information needs.
        A reference transaction includes information and referral service as well as unscheduled individual instruction and assistance in using information sources (including web sites and computer-assisted instruction). Count Readers Advisory questions as reference transactions.
        Information sources include
        printed and non-printed material;
        machine-readable databases (including computer-assisted instruction);
        the library’s own catalogs and other holdings records;
        other libraries and institutions through communication or referral; and
        persons both inside and outside the library
        The request may come from an adult, a young adult, or child
        in person,
        by phone,
        by fax,
        by mail
        by electronic mail, or
        by virtual reference
        When a staff member uses information gained from previous use of information sources to answer a question, the transaction is reported as a reference transaction even if the source is not consulted again.
        If a contact includes both reference and directional services, it should be reported as one reference transaction. Duration should not be an element in determining whether a transaction is a reference transaction.
        NOTE: It is essential that libraries do not include directional transactions in the report of reference transactions. Directional transactions include giving instruction for locating staff, library users, or physical features within the library. Examples of directional transactions include, “Where is the reference librarian? Where is Susan Smith? Where is the rest room? Where are the 600s? Can you help me make a photocopy?”
        If an annual count of reference transactions is unavailable, count reference transactions during a typical week or weeks, and multiply the count to represent an annual estimate. [If the sample is done four times a year, multiply totals by 13, if done twice a year multiply by 26, if done only annually, multiply by 52.] A “typical week” is a time that is neither unusually busy nor unusually slow. Avoid holiday times, vacation periods for key staff, or days when unusual events are taking place in the community or in the library. Choose a week in which the library is open its regular hours.
  • Topic: Outside Service During COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library provide ‘outside’ service for circulation of physical materials at one or more outlets during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Includes any contactless or minimal contact provision of circulation items. Similar terms could include curbside, vestibule, or porch pickups, delivery (mail or drop-off), drive-thru, etc.

 

  • Topic: Live Virtual Programs During COVID-19Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library provide live, virtual programs via the Internet during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Live, virtual programs are conducted via a Web conferencing or Webinar platform such as Facebook, YouTube, or Zoom, during which a library staff member (or other party sponsored by the library) is presenting to or interacting with an audience in real-time.
  • Additional NYS Annual Report Questions – Part 3, Library Programs, Policies and Services (Optional response. Responses to new questions requiring numerical data may be estimated or left blank the first year.)
    • Report total number of live virtual programs during COVID-19 pandemic
    • Report total attendance at live virtual programs during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Topic: Recordings of Program Content During COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library create and provide recordings of program content via the Internet during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Recordings of program content include video or audio recordings created by a library staff person (or other party sponsored by the library) and posted to a video or audio hosting platform for the audience to view or listen to on-demand. Do not include promotional or marketing content.
  • Additional NYS Annual Report Question – Part 3, Library Programs, Policies and Services (Optional response. Responses to new questions requiring numerical data may be estimated or left blank the first year.)
    • Report total number of recordings of program content during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Topic: External Wi-Fi Access Before COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library provide Wi-Fi Internet access to users outside the building at one or more outlets before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Includes “parking lot access,” bookmobiles or other mobile facilities with Wi-Fi capabilities.
  • Topic: External Wi-Fi Access Added During COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library intentionally provide Wi-Fi Internet access to users outside the building at one or more outlets during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Includes “parking lot access,” bookmobiles or other mobile facilities with Wi-Fi capabilities.
  • Topic: External Wi-Fi Access Increased During COVID-1
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did the library increase access to Wi-Fi Internet access to users outside the building at one or more outlets during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Includes “parking lot access,” bookmobiles or other mobile facilities with Wi-Fi capabilities. Increasing access could mean removing restrictions on sign-in authorizations, expanding router reach, leaving Wi-Fi service on 24 hours, installing or moving access points to promote or improve external access, etc.
  • Topic: Staff Re-Assigned During COVID-19
    • Answer Yes or No to the following question: “Did library staff work for other government agencies or nonprofit organizations instead of, or in addition to, their normal duties during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?”NOTE: Include reassignments to other government agencies (e.g., to process unemployment claims), as well as other activities such as the use of library staff to distribute school lunches and other materials. Volunteering during work hours would count but volunteering off hours would not.
  • Topic: Number of Weeks an Outlet Closed Due to COVID-19
    • This is the number of weeks during the year that due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an outlet building was physically closed, and the public could not enter, when it otherwise would have been open. NOTE: Round to the nearest whole number. If building did not close to the public due to the pandemic, enter zero. The sum of the Number of Weeks an Outlet is Open (Q9.16) and the Number of Weeks an Outlet Closed Due to COVID-19 should equal or be fewer than 52 weeks. An outlet is considered physically closed when the public cannot access any library buildings or bookmobiles, regardless of staff access. A building can be physically closed but still offer virtual, Wi-Fi, or “curbside” services outside the building.
  • Topic: Number of Weeks an Outlet Had Limited Occupancy Due to COVID-19
    • This is the number of weeks during the year that an outlet implemented limited public occupancy practices for in person services at the library building in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. NOTE: Round to the nearest whole number. If building did not have a limited occupancy or similar practice due to the pandemic, enter zero. Weeks can be counted in both the Number of Weeks an Outlet is Open (Q9.16) and the Number of Weeks an Outlet Had Limited Occupancy Due to COVID-19 (that is, a library was open to the public and implementing limited occupancy practices in the same week). The Number of Weeks an Outlet Had Limited Occupancy Due to COVID-19 should not be greater than the Number of Weeks an Outlet is Open (Q9.16). Limited public occupancy practices can include reduced hours open, limits on the number of public members inside the physical building, appointment only on-site library use, visitor time limits, closed stacks or meeting rooms, etc.
      • Number of Weeks This Outlet is Open (Q9.16) – This is the number of weeks during the year that this outlet is open to the public. Include the number of weeks open for public service. For bookmobiles, count only the weeks during which the bookmobile is open to the public. The count should be based on the number of weeks that the library outlet was open for half or more of its scheduled service hours. Extensive weeks closed to the public due to natural disasters or other events should be excluded from the count even if the staff is scheduled to work. Do not calculate the number of weeks based on total number of service hours per year at this outlet by dividing total hours by the average hours open per week. Round to the nearest whole number of weeks. If the outlet was open less than half its scheduled hours, round down.

More info From the Division of Library Development

COVID-19 Questions on the 2020 Annual Report for Public and Association Libraries, Friday, November 20

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