2024 Legislative Session

Check back regularly for updates to bill numbers, bill sponsors and supporting documentation.
(Updated 2/29/2024)

Looking Ahead to 2024

Fund - Protect - Empower

The 2024 New York State Legislative Session has begun!

Since the close of the 2023 Legislative Session in June, NYLA staff and members have collaborated with library advocates and legislators from across the state to position our collective cause for success in the year to come.

With the start of Session, NYLA is urging lawmakers to fund New York's libraries, protect them from threats to their ability to effectively serve all members of their communities, and empower them through legislation that enables the effective use of existing resources and the innovation of new ways to serve their patrons.

As such, we are advocating for robust increases to Library Operating Aid, Library Construction Aid, Library Materials Aid, and funding for NOVELny, as well as a set of diverse legislative initiatives that reflect the wide range of issues currently impacting libraries and librarianship.

In addition to those existing legislative initiatives not realized during this year's session, NYLA has formally adopted two new initiatives in response to emerging issues from the field that require immediate attention: 

  • Funding for NOVELny
  • Protection of Patron Access to Library Materials and Services

This page will provide you with summaries of NYLA's 2024 funding and legislative initiatives, as well as resources to assist you in your advocacy. Please check back regularly for new materials, developments, and information on upcoming advocacy opportunities.

Your advocacy efforts were essential in avoiding budget cuts and securing policy wins for libraries in 2023, and will make all the difference for our efforts in 2024. Together we can make 2024 a year where libraries break through the noise of budget and session and assert our worth in Albany!

Important Dates:  

  • Spring on the Hill:                    April 23, 2024

The Legislature

Senate Library Committee

Assembly Libraries Committee

New York State Senate Directory

New York State Assembly Directory

Senate X Directory

Assembly X Directory

New York State Senate Website

New York State Assembly Websit

Policy Initiatives

2024 Policy Initiatives One-Pager

Protection of Patron Access to Library Materials and Services

Libraries across our state face rapidly expanding efforts to censor materials and programming they deem objectionable based on subjective personal sensibilities and partisan ideologies. We require legislation that empowers library professionals to exercise their expertise and ensure public access to materials, services, and programs that represent their interests.

Freedom to Read Act

S6350B/A6873B - NYLA Memo of Support

If enacted, this bill would require the commissioner of education to develop policies to ensure that school libraries and library staff are empowered to curate and develop collections that provide students with access to the widest array of developmentally appropriate materials available.
 

Protection in Public Libraries

S7677A (May) / A7843B (Kelles)

Multiple pieces of legislation intended to curb threats to patron access to materials and services in the public library setting have been introduced in the State Assembly and Senate. NYLA has helped craft the above legislation that would include in the state's Standards of Library Service a requirement that libraries adopt policies and procedures that ensure library materials, services, and programming shall not be proscribed or removed due to partisan or doctrinal disapproval. Conversations on this issue are ongoing and responsive to new information from ongoing efforts around the country.
 



Elimination of Library Construction Cap

S7093 (Chu) - NYLA Support Memo

Libraries serving economically distressed communities may be eligible for Library Construction Aid awards beyond 75.00%.  However, the law currently only allows public library systems to award 50% of their total allocation to such projects. 

This proposal would eliminate the 50% cap to ensure that libraries serving economically distressed communities and libraries in rural regions will be able to make use of the library construction aid intended to benefit these communities.   



Book Fair Tax Exemption

S5955A (Chu) / A5538B (Rivera) - NYLA Support Memo

This bill would make books, magazines, pamphlets and other items sold at both school sponsored book fairs & events hosted by friends of libraries groups exempt from sales tax.


Association Library Retirement Opt-In Option

S4245 (Palumbo) / A4885 (Thiele) - NYLA Support Memo

This bill would allow association libraries that meet certain criteria the ability to join the New York State Retirement System upon approval of their board.


Access to Publicly Funded Research

S6562 (Chu) / A9139 (Santabarbara)

This bill would ensure original research that is the result of state funding would be available, free of charge, to the public.   


Check Out New York 

S5956A (Chu) / A4112A (Jensen) - NYLA Support Memo

This bill would provide one-pass per public library to every state park, historic site, and recreational facility operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.


Media Literacy in New York State

Media Literacy Professional Development

A32 (Rosenthal) -NYLA Support Memo

This bill would require teachers and certified school librarians to receive professional development related to media literacy.

The tiered training, 5 hours for teachers and 15 hours for librarians, would be deducted from the required 100 hours required by education law.  

Library Media Specialist Requirement

A40 (Rosenthal) - NYLA Support Memo

If enacted this bill would require, based on student population and other specified criteria, that school have access to a library media specialist. 

Media Literacy Advisory Group

A35 (Rosenthal) NYLA Support Memo

If enacted, this bill would direct the Commissioner of Education to appoint a Media Literacy Advisory Committee to study the teaching of media literacy across New York State.

The assembled group would include staff from school library systems, school libraries and individuals from high education institutions that offer information studies programs. 

 Media Literacy Standards 

A1695 (Rosenthal) - NYLA Support Memo

If enacted, this legislation would direct the State Education Department to develop a set of media literacy standards and ensure media literacy education is being provided to students across New York State.

Such standards will ensure that all students, grades K-12, are receiving broad media literacy education that is inclusive of the use of technology and social media, responsible online behavior, proper use of online resources for research, curating a positive digital footprint, internet safety, civility and more.


School Library Facility Modernization

S6744 (Chu) / A3174 (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. 

Additional Library Legislation

Library Related Legislation with NYLA Support  

eBooks Terms Legislation

S6868 - Sen. Chu

This bill would allow library access to electornic books and digital audiobooks, providing requirements for contracts between libraries and publishers for access to electronic library material.


DASNY Eligibility

If enacted, these bills would include individual libraries with those eligible for assistance through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY)

Parma Public Library - S7670 (Ortt) / A8042 (Jensen)

Ogden Farmer's Library - S7669A (Ortt) / A8043A (Jensen) 


In the Works

Modernization of Civil Service

Working with the Civil Service Committee, legislative partners and allies at external organizations, we are seeking amendments to processes and protocols within Civil Service for the field of librarianship.

Civil Service Reform Coalition Letter

NYLA Testimony at the New York State Senate Civil Service and Pensions Committee Public Hearing - 10/11/2023 

There are nearly a dozen other initiatives currently in the research or draft phase. Check back throughout the year to learn more.

The State Budget

Executive Budget

The Executive Budget was released by Governor Kathy Hochul on January 16, 2024. It includes:

  • Library Aid $102.1M
    • +$3.5M increase from FY2023 Enacted Budget
  • Library Construction $34M
    • Flat to FY2024 Enacted Budget
  • Library Materials Aid: $6.25/pupil
    • Flat to FY2024 Enacted Budget
  • NOVELny: $3M
    • New allocation for FY2025

FY2025 NYS Executive Budget Briefing Book

Aid to Localities Budget Bill

Capital Projects Budget Bill

2024 - 2025 School Aid Runs

Funding Initiatives

2024 Budget and Policy Initiatives Handout

NYS Library Operating Aid: $147.1M 

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

 NYS Library Construction Aid: $69.4M

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 $1.5B.

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

NYLA Testimony at the Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries and Education Technology's Public Hearing on Construction Aid - 10/25/2023

 Increase Rate for Library Materials Aid: $11.00/pupil

The per pupil rate of $6.25 has remained stagnant since 2007. We are seeking an increase to the rate to reflect general inflation and the rising costs of materials in school libraries.

LMA One Pager 

Secure Funding for NOVELny: $3M

NYLA supports the New York Board of Regents' proposed FY2025 budget priority for $3 million to continue NOVELny beyond its scheduled funding-related termination on June 30, 2024, and for consistent future funding. 

Doing so would ensure equity of access to essential database resources for all New Yorkers, from students in K-12 classrooms to life-long learners in the public setting.   

Historic Priorities