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[NOTE: Updated per Chapter 389 of the Laws of 2015]

 
    § 255. Establishment of a public library. 1. By a majority vote at any
  election,  or  at a meeting of the electors duly held, any county, city,
  village, town, school district or other  body  authorized  to  levy  and
  collect taxes; or by vote of its board of supervisors or other governing
  elective  body any county, or by vote of its common council or by action
  of a board of estimate and apportionment or other proper  authority  any
  city, or by vote of its board of trustees any village, or by vote of its
  town  board  any  town,  or  any  combination of such voting bodies, may
  individually or jointly authorize the establishment of a public  library
  with  or  without  branches,  and may appropriate money raised by tax or
  otherwise to equip and maintain such library or libraries or to  provide
  a  building  or  rooms  for  its  or their use. Any such municipality or
  district may acquire real or personal property for library  purposes  by
  gift,  grant,  devise,  bequest or condemnation and may take, buy, sell,
  hold and transfer either real or personal property  for  public  library
  purposes. Whenever twenty-five taxpayers shall so petition, the question
  of  providing  library facilities shall be voted on at the next election
  or meeting at which taxes may be voted, provided that due public  notice
  of the proposed action shall have been given. Whenever the electors of a
  school  district  at  a district meeting duly held shall have authorized
  the establishment of a public  library  under  the  provisions  of  this
  section,  at  such  meeting or at any subsequent meeting duly held, they
  may determine by a majority of the voters  present  and  voting  on  the
  proposition  to  levy  a  tax  to  be  collected in installments for the
  purchase or condemnation of a site and the erection thereon of a library
  building or  the  erection  of  a  library  building  on  land  acquired
  otherwise  than by purchase or condemnation, or for the purchase of land
  and a suitable building  thereon  and  make  necessary  alterations  and
  additions and equip such building for use as a library.
    2.  Upon  the  request  of  a majority of the members of the boards of
  trustees of two or more libraries chartered by the regents, if it  shall
  appear to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the establishment of
  a  cooperative  library  system  will  result  in  improved and expanded
  library service to the area and  that  the  area  is  suitable  for  the
  establishment of such a cooperative library system, the commissioner may
  call  a  joint meeting of the trustees of such libraries for the purpose
  of determining whether a cooperative library system shall be established
  and electing a board of trustees of such cooperative library system.  If
  it  shall  appear  to  the  commissioner  that the area proposed for the
  cooperative  library  system  is   not   sufficient   to   warrant   the
  establishment  of  such system; that such area is not otherwise suitable
  or that for sufficient other reason such cooperative library  system  as
  proposed should not be established he shall disapprove such request.
    a.  Notice  of such meeting shall be given by the commissioner to each
  trustee by mail to his last known address at least five  days  prior  to
  such  meeting.  At  such  meeting  the board of trustees of each library
  participating shall have five votes.
    b. Such meeting shall be called to order by the person  designated  by
  the  commissioner  and  shall  thereupon  organize  by the election of a
  chairman.  At such meeting a resolution in substantially  the  following
  form  shall be presented for the action of the meeting: "Resolved that a
  cooperative library system be established consisting  of  the  following
  libraries  chartered by the regents ............... (name libraries) for
  the purpose of expanding and  improving  library  service  in  the  area
  served by the above named libraries."
    c.  If  the  resolution  described  above is adopted, then the meeting
  shall proceed to elect a board of trustees of  such  library  system  to
  consist  of  not  less  than  five  nor more than twenty-five members as
  determined by the meeting.
    d.  Within  one  month  after  taking office, the trustees-elect shall
  apply to the regents for a charter as a cooperative library system.
    e. The board of trustees shall manage  and  control  such  cooperative
  library  system  and  shall  have  all  the  powers of trustees of other
  educational institutions in the university as defined in  this  chapter.
  Such  board  shall  elect  a  president, secretary and treasurer. Before
  entering upon his duties, such treasurer shall execute and file with the
  trustees an official undertaking in such sum and with such  sureties  as
  the  board  shall direct and approve. The treasurer need not be a member
  of such board. The funds of the  cooperative  library  system  shall  be
  deposited  in  a  bank  or banks designated by the board of trustees and
  shall be expended  only  under  the  direction  of  such  trustees  upon
  properly authenticated vouchers.
    f.  The term of office of trustees shall be either three or five years
  except that the members of the first board of trustees  shall  determine
  by lot the year in which the term of office of each trustee shall expire
  so that as nearly as possible the terms of either one-third or one-fifth
  of  the  members  of  such  board  will expire annually. Thereafter, the
  successors of such trustees shall be elected annually by  a  meeting  of
  the  trustees  of the participating libraries in the cooperative library
  system. Where the term of office of a trustee is five years, no  trustee
  shall  hold  office consecutively for more than two full five year terms
  and where the term of office of a trustee is  three  years,  no  trustee
  shall  hold  office  consecutively  for  more than three full three year
  terms. Provided further, however, years served by a trustee appointed to
  fill an unexpired term shall not count  towards  the  term  limit.  Such
  meeting  shall  be  called  by  the secretary of the cooperative library
  system who shall give  notice  to  all  the  trustees  of  participating
  libraries  in  the manner provided in subparagraph a of this subdivision
  for giving notice of the meeting to authorize the establishment of  such
  cooperative library system. Within one month after approving a change in
  the  length  of the term of office of trustees, the trustees shall apply
  to the regents for an  amendment  to  the  charter  of  the  cooperative
  library  system.  Such  change  in  the  length of the term of office of
  trustees shall not take effect until such charter amendment is  approved
  by  the  regents. Any cooperative library system that changes the length
  of the term of office  of  trustees  pursuant  to  this  paragraph,  may
  appoint  an  individual  for  a  shorter term in order to ensure that as
  nearly as possible, an equal number of trustees shall be elected to  the
  board   each  year,  with  the  trustees  assigned  such  shorter  terms
  determined by lot, and provided further that the term of office of  each
  incumbent member of the board shall not be decreased thereby.
    g.  A  contract may be entered into between the board of trustees of a
  cooperative library system and the  department  under  which  the  state
  library  will  provide services, facilities and staff to the cooperative
  library system upon terms agreed upon by and between the parties to such
  contract.
    h.  Nothing  herein  contained  shall  be  deemed   to   deprive   any
  participating library of its property.
    i. The board of trustees of any library chartered by the regents which
  is  not  participating  in  a  cooperative  library  system  may adopt a
  resolution requesting that such library become a  participating  library
  in  a  cooperative  library  system. Duplicate copies of such resolution
  certified by the clerk of such board of trustees shall be filed with the
  board of trustees of the  cooperative  library  system.  If  such  board
  approve  such  resolution  such approval shall be endorsed thereon and a
  copy thereof shall be filed with the commissioner. Upon such  resolution
  being  approved by the commissioner such additional library shall become
  a participating library in such system and shall have the  same  rights,
  duties and privileges as other libraries participating therein.
    j.  The  participating libraries in such library system shall be those
  libraries,  members  of  the  boards  of  trustees  of  which  join   in
  petitioning  the  commissioner to call the meeting for the establishment
  of the cooperative library system pursuant to this section, and who  are
  named in the resolution voted upon by such meeting and in the charter of
  the library system.
    k.  The  board of trustees of each public library system shall meet no
  fewer than six times a year.
    3. Trustees of a reference and research library resources system shall
  have those powers set forth in section two hundred  twenty-six  of  this
  article  with  respect  to  trustees  of  corporations  chartered by the
  regents, and in addition shall have the following powers and duties:
    a. The board of trustees of a reference and research library resources
  system shall include at least one  representative  of  each  constituent
  public  library  system,  at  least  one  representative  of  the member
  academic  library  with  the  largest  collection,  and  at  least   two
  nonlibrarians from the research community served by the system.
    b.  The term of office of trustees shall be five years except that the
  members of the first board of trustees shall determine by lot  the  year
  in  which  the  term  of  office of each trustee shall expire so that as
  nearly as possible the terms of one-fifth of the members of  such  board
  will  expire annually. Thereafter, the successors of such trustees shall
  be elected annually by a meeting of the  designated  representatives  of
  the  member  institutions  participating  in  the reference and research
  library resources system. No trustee shall hold office consecutively for
  more than two full terms. Such annual meeting shall  be  called  by  the
  secretary  of  the  reference  and research library resources system who
  shall give notice to all the participating libraries by  mail  at  least
  five days prior to such meeting.
    c. The board of trustees shall meet no fewer than six times a year.
    4.  By  a  majority  vote  of  the  tribal  government  of  an  Indian
  reservation, or upon the request of the tribal government of  an  Indian
  reservation,  an  Indian  library  may  be  established, with or without
  branches, and may make application to the  state  or  other  source  for
  money  to  equip  and maintain such library or libraries or to provide a
  building or rooms  for  its  uses.  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of
  section  seven of the Indian law, the board of trustees of such library,
  on behalf of  the  tribal  government,  may  acquire  real  or  personal
  property  for  use  by an Indian library by gift, grant, devise, bequest
  and may take, buy, sell, hold  and  transfer  either  real  or  personal
  property  for  the  purposes  of  such  library. No more than one Indian
  library may be established on a reservation and such library shall serve
  all  inhabitants  of  that  reservation.  No  such  library   shall   be
  established  on  any  reservation  that  has  fewer  than  three hundred
  permanent residents and one thousand acres of land.
    5. The boards of trustees of  any  two,  or  more,  public  libraries,
  Indian  libraries,  reference  and  research  library resources systems,
  cooperative library systems, or association  libraries,  as  defined  in
  this  article,  may  pool  surplus  funds to be used for the purchase of
  certificates of deposit in any bank or trust company, provided that such
  certificate of deposit be secured by a  pledge  of  obligations  of  the
  United  States of America, or any obligation fully guaranteed or insured
  as to interest and principal by the  United  States  of  America  acting
  through  an  agency,  subdivision,  department  or  division thereof, or
  obligations of the state of New York. Each participating public library,
  Indian  library,  reference  and  research  library  resources   system,
  cooperative  library  system or association library shall be entitled to
  its pro-rata share of interest earned on such certificates in proportion
  to its contribution to the purchase price of such certificates.
    6. The board of trustees of any two, or more, public libraries, public
  library  systems,  reference  and research library resources systems, as
  defined in this chapter, shall have the  power  to  enter  into,  amend,
  cancel  and terminate agreements for performance among themselves or one
  for the  other  of  their  respective  functions,  for  the  purpose  of
  cooperatively  advertising and awarding bids for equipment, supplies and
  services, provided:
    a. such advertising and awards have been made in accordance  with  the
  requirements of article five-A of the general municipal law;
    b.  the purchasing and making of contracts shall be subject to general
  laws applicable thereto; and
    c. that any such agreements shall include a manner of  responding  for
  any  liabilities  that  might  be incurred in the operation of the joint
  service or agreement.

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