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


New Laws Affecting Libraries

Chapter 70 (Formerly S4430/A5456)

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


Chapter 468 (Formerly S4435B/A6121B)

Requires library board of trustee members to complete a minimum of two hours of trustee education annually. Effective January 1, 2023.


Chapter 481 (Formerly S1150A/A1228A)

Requires that open meeting documents be available upon request or posted to the public body's website at least 24 hours prior to the open meeting at which such documents will be discussed.  Effective November 19.


Chapter 498 (Formerly S4670/A1960)

Allows taxpayers the option to contribute to the State Library Aid Program via a "tax check off." Such contributions are to be made at the same time state taxes are filed.


Chapter 503 (Formerly S6653/A6489)

Provides for a charge-back of refunds of taxes levied by a school district to municipal public libraries, association libraries and special district public libraries.


Chapter 511 (Formerly S4818/A6163)

Relates to the Uniondale public library district and certain dates pertaining to their annual election process and certain rights of the board in the district.


Chapter 563 (Formerly S6511/A7021)

These technical amendments replace outdated provisions with new language to consolidate and modernize programs and streamline planning and reporting requirements to improve efficiency.


Chapter 583

This new law requires private employers who engage in monitoring or intercepting electronic communications of any employee by any electronic device or system to provide notice of such monitoring. Takes effect in 180 days.


Chapter 587

Requires that minutes of meetings of a public body be posted on its website. Unabridged video recordings, unabridged audio recordings, or unabridged written transcripts may be posted in lieu of minutes. Takes effect immediately.


Chapter 627

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. This law will provide library systems, who are responsible for distributing the Program funds to their libraries, greater flexibility.


Policy Initiatives

Policy One-Pager (Summer 2021 Advocacy)


Media Literacy in New York State

These proposals address access, delivery and development.

Media Literacy Profiles (Rack Card)

A6153A (Rosenthal) LMS Professional Development

A6225A (Rosenthal) LMS Requirement

A6142A (Rosenthal) Media Literacy Advisory Group

A8222 (Rosenthal) Media Literacy Standards

Media Literacy Coalition Forms (Press Release)


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.


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)

Vetoed 12/29


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