Library Trustees Resources

2018 Handbook For Library Trustees Of New York State

Full PDF Available Here

Acknowledgments | Welcome | Preface | Introduction



For print copies of the 2018 edition of the Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State please contact your regional public library system.


NYS Laws and Regulations for Libraries

Click here for a full list of NYS Laws and Regulations regarding Libraries.


An LTA Exclusive Service: Ask Joe Eisner


If an association library’s increase in the appropriation is rejected by school district voters, what recourse does the library have?

 If the library board chooses not to resubmit the request for a revote, the following opinions and the provisions of Education Law s259(1)(a) are applicable:


“…Once voters approve the levy of taxes for library purposes, such taxes remain in effect each year, without annual voter approval, until altered in a subsequent proposition [emphasis supplied]  (Appeal of Cole, et. al., 37 Ed Dept Rep 407, Decision No. 13, 891 ;  Opinion St. Compt 70-471) [1970]… …. A school board is required to place a library proposition on the ballot when requested to do so by a free association library (Op St. Compt 81-167; Appeal of the Board of Trustees of the Earlville Free Library [1990], 30 Ed Dept Rep 172, Decision No 12,243…. These decisions imply that a board of education cannot act without a request . Indeed, there is no express statutory provision that authorizes unilateral action by a board of education. Therefore, I find that as school board lacks authority to place a library funding proposition on the ballot unless it receives a request from the library board or a proper petition from district residents to do so (see, Education Law s2008(2)…. (Appeal of the Beaver Falls Public Library… 2003, Commissioner’s Decision 15,002, 43 Ed Dept Rep 303)”. 


“Taxes, in addition to those otherwise authorized, may be voted for library purposes by any authority named in section two hundred fifty-five of… [the Education Law] and shall, unless otherwise directed by such vote, be considered as annual appropriations therefor until changed by further vote and shall be levied and collected yearly, or as directed, as are other general taxes [emphasis supplied]In the case of a school district, the appropriation for library purposes shall be submitted to the voters of the district as proposed by the library board of trustees in a separate resolution and shall not be submitted as a part of the appropriation of the necessary funds to meet the estimated expenditures of the school district.

All money received from taxes or other public sources for library purposes shall be kept as a separate library fund by the treasurer of the municipality or district making the appropriation and shall be expended only under the direction of the library trustees on properly authenticated vouchers…. (Education Law S259(1)(a))”.

Have a question?

Ask Joe by e-mail:
or by calling: 1-516-931-3868

(All questions are handled with appropriate discretion. The questions posted in Mr. Eisner’s columns are generalized frequently asked questions.)


Stephanie Cole Adams – Ask The Lawyer

Please use the Ask The Lawyer request form to submit your question. Participating ESLN councils have their own Ask The Lawyer request form.  As a Trustee, you may ask questions via the appropriate regional library council.  Please use the form for the council your institution or region is affiliated with.

Participating council forms are linked below:
Capital District Library Council (CDLC)
Central New York Library Resources Council (CLRC)
Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC) - Login required
Northern New York Library Library Network (NNYLN)
Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC)
South Central Regional Library Council (SCRLC)
Southeastern New York Library Resources Council (SENYLRC)
Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC)

Not sure of your council affiliation? Find your council here: 

Please keep in mind: the "Ask the Lawyer" service is not legal representation of your organization. Always alert officers at your institution if a lawsuit is threatened, or if a matter is so specific or critical that your own institution's attorney should be involved. And yes -- you can always "Ask the Lawyer," if you don't know if a particular issue hits that threshold!

Learn more about how to ask Stephanie Cole Adams questions and the services she provides for libraries across New York State. Also, check out Western New York Library Resources Council Ask The Lawyer database here.


Holly Nowak - Ask The HR Expert

We are excited to announce our newest member "Ask" service: Ask The HR Expert with Holly Nowak. Several of the ESLN councils have retained Holly's firm, HMN Resources, LLC, for timely input on employee relations, research, and HR Document policy and development. Participating ESLN councils will have their own Ask The HR Expert request form. Please refer to the council your institution or region is affiliated with for more information.
“Ask the HR Expert” will work in tandem with “Ask the Lawyer,” and HR questions will be identified on the back end and transferred to Holly.  Please remember, if you are a school or public library, you are required to check with your library system first since they may already have the information you need. Also, if we feel your question has already been answered by either the Ask the Lawyer or Ask the HR Expert RAQs, we will direct you to those.

Like Ask the Lawyer, this valuable service is provided currently at no cost to our members. However, it is currently a pilot service, and we will continue to evaluate its usage throughout the year to determine if it will become a regular service.


Library Advocacy Resources

The New York Library Association provides a plethora of ways to engage in library advocacy as well as important information all libraries and their trustees should know about the happenings at the Capital. See below a comprehensive list of some of these resources. 

COVID-19 Executive Order Update Page

NYS Shared Database of Re-Opening Plans

Comprehensive Advocacy Tools

NYLA Library Advocacy Action Center

NYLA Library Advocate Enrollment Form


Important Links

Click Here to Visit ALA's United For Libraries Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations Click Here to Visit the New York State Library's Division of Library Development (DLD)