2021 Legislative Session

Meeting with your official(s) this Fall? Make sure to fill out the 2021 Advocacy Meeting Report afterwards!

Head over to the 2022 Legislative Session Page for latest updates for the upcoming session!

The Legislature

Senate Library Committee (NEW 2021)

Assembly Libraries & Education Technology Committee

New York State Senate Directory

New York State Assembly Directory

Senate Twitter Directory

Assembly Twitter Directory

New York State Senate Website

New York State Assembly Website


The State Budget

The State Budget was passed the week of April 5. The following details are pertinent to the library community:

  • Library Aid $94.1M
  • Library Construction $34M
  • Bullet Aid $23M
  • Digital Inclusion Grant Program $15M
  • Consolidation of Expense Based Aid - Rejected

Senate Bullet Aid 2021

Assembly Bullet Aid 2021


From the Field

Public Library System 101

School Library System 101

ESLN 101

An Introduction to New York's Library Systems

New Year, New Legislature: Preview of the 2021

Informal Advocacy Chat with ALA



Advocacy Structure

As we enter the 2021-2022 Legislative Session, NYLA and its membership have an incredible opportunity before it. 

In January 2021, the New York State Capitol welcomed a new cohort of representatives. From seasoned veterans to eager freshman, the views and issues of our elected officials have never been more diverse. 

It’s time for libraries to be given the spotlight, and for the State to recognize who they are – community.

Beginning this winter, members will have opportunities to speak up & act on more issues than ever before through the New York Library Association. The Director of Governmental Relations & Advocacy will be working hand-in-hand with the Legislative Committee to determine issues and bills that members can impact through their advocacy. 

Libraries continue to evolve and as such, so do their needs. An expanded approach will provide NYLA and its members with opportunities to be far more proactive. Providing increased exposure to State & Federal representatives will result in more chances to speak about the complexities of the library community and advocate for desired changes. 

How will the new approach differ from how NYLA has historically approached advocacy?

For the 2021-2022 session, all state legislation will be reviewed and tracked upon introduction and throughout its “life-cycle”. Pertinent bills will be categorized and tracked by NYLA’s Director of Government Relations & Advocacy.

If it is determined that the library community will be significantly impacted by a piece of legislation, the bill and its contents will be provided to the Legislative Committee and a decision will be made as to whether any supporting or opposing documentation will be distributed on NYLA’s behalf and if membership engagement will be sought.


What are the categories that will be tracked?

HR & Internal Operations
Information Privacy & Censorship
Patron (Community) Interaction
Pre-Kindergarten – 12th 
Professional Standards & Regulations
Publishing & Content Distribution
Taxes & Exemptions


Advocacy Expansion FAQ


Policy Initiatives

Updated August 25, 2021

Policy One-Pager (Summer 2021 Advocacy)


Reduce Petition Requirements for Library Elections

S4430 (Ryan)/A5456 (Jean-Pierre)

The election of library trustees, and the petition for ballot access for some libraries, poses a health and safety issue for the 2021 cycle due to the pandemic.

This bill would reduce the required amount of signatures needed for petition purposes for 259 and school district library elections in 2021, to 25.

Signed by the Governor 3/7.

Effective immediately. 

NYLA Support Memo



Streamline & Modernize Library Program Requirements

S6511 (Ryan) / A7021 (Jean-Pierre)

The distribution of state funding for New York State’s public libraries and library systems is governed by complicated formulas contained in the Education Law. These laws occasionally need to be updated to reflect changes in the way library and information services are now delivered.

These technical amendments replace outdated provisions with new language to consolidate and modernize programs and streamline planning and reporting requirements to improve efficiency.

Passed Senate & Assembly.

Awaiting delivery to Governor. 

NYLA Support Memo

Board of Regents Support Memo

ESLN Support Letter

NYLA Committee Support Statement


Training for Library Trustees

S4435B (May) / A6121B(Jean-Pierre)

Library trustees play an important role in the success and long-term growth of their libraries. Their actions effect policy, personnel and finances. Currently, the state does not require library trustees to obtain any formal training.

Passage of this bill would ensure that those choosing to serve their libraries as a trustee have annual comprehensive training. 

Signed by Governor.

Effective for field beginning January 1, 2023.

NYLA Support Memo (2021)

PULISDO Support Memo

LTA Support Memo


Media Literacy in New York State

These proposals address access, delivery and development.

Status: 3 One-House proposals. 1 Pending Introduction.

Media Literacy Profiles (Rack Card)

A6153A (Rosenthal) LMS Professional Development

A6225A (Rosenthal) LMS Requirement

A6142A (Rosenthal) Media Literacy Advisory Group

A82222 (Rosenthal) Media Literacy Standards


School Library Facility Modernization

S6053 (Kaplan) / A6339 (Jensen)

The current regulation that defines a school library facility has not been updated in over twenty years. 

This proposal would address the antiquated metrics within NY-CRR 91.1 and insert characteristics associated with a successful, 21st century school library.

Status: New Bill.

Referred to Senate Libraries Committee & Assembly Education Committee.


Increased Access to the Library Construction Program

S5753A (Ryan)/A7060A (Jean-Pierre)

Small and rural public libraries are in dire need of capital improvements and are often disproportionately disadvantaged by the Public Library Construction Aid Program's requirements. 

If signed, this bill would provide library systems, who are responsible for distributing the Program funds to their libraries, greater flexibility. 

Passed Senate & Assembly.

Awaiting delivery to Governor.

NYLA Support Memo

PULISDO Support Memo


Access to E-Books

S2890B (May) / A5837B (Jean-Pierre)

This bill would require that publishers who offer electronic books to the private market, also extend licenses to libraries within the State, without discrimination. Contracts would stipulate “reasonable terms” that would allow libraries across the state, and their patrons, to have equitable access to the content they seek.

NYLA Support Memo

Community Engagement Press Release (2020)

Passed Senate & Assembly.

Awaiting delivery to Governor. 


Miscellaneous Memos

Manhasset Certification Error (S5558/A6473) Memo

Right to Repair Act (S4104/A7006) Memo


Funding Initiatives

NYS Library Operating Aid: $123.1M

Increased aid is needed to support the foundational framework of New York State libraries, improving the lives of residents of all ages, abilities and economic status.

Adequate funding is needed to support school, public, and academic libraries and library systems.

Library Aid One Pager

History of Library Aid Chart 

Impact of Underfunding (New)


NYS Library Construction Aid: $45M

Increased investment is needed to maintain and develop the physical infrastructure of New York State’s libraries, in order to ensure a safe, accessible and sustainable environment for the future.

The New York State Library estimates the deferred maintenance need at over $1.6B.

Over half of New York’s libraries are over 60 years old.
Investments allow libraries to invest in energy-efficiency and support the local construction industry

Construction Aid One Pager

History of Construction Aid Chart (Updated)


Historic Documents