[Close this window]

[NOTE: Chapter 287 of the laws of 2014 amended subparagraph 3 of paragraph j of subdivision 1 of Education Law 272 to authorize the Commissioner of
Education to grant a waiver from the maintenance of effort requirement to a public library system or central library for up to three consecutive years (instead of two); underlined text indicates new language.]

§ 272. Conditions under which library systems are entitled to state
aid. 1. Public library systems. a. The term "public library system" as
used in this article means:
(1) A library established by one or more counties.
(2) A group of libraries serving an area including one or more
counties in whole or in part.
(3) A library of a city containing one or more counties.
(4) A cooperative library system established pursuant to section two
hundred fifty-five of this chapter, the plan of library service of any
of which shall have been approved by the commissioner.
b. The "area served" by a public library system for the purposes of
this article shall mean the area which the public library system
proposes to serve in its approved plan of service. In determining the
population of the area served by the public library system the
population shall be deemed to be that shown by the latest federal census
for the political subdivisions in the area served. Such population shall
be certified in the same manner as provided by section fifty-four of the
state finance law except that such population shall include the
reservation and school Indian population and inmates of state
institutions under the direction, supervision or control of the state
department of corrections and community supervision,the state department
of mental hygiene and the
state department of social welfare. In the event
that any of the
political subdivisions receiving library service are included within a
larger political subdivision which is a part of the public library
system the population used for the purposes of computing state aid shall
be the population of the larger political subdivision, provided however,
that where any political subdivision within a larger political
subdivision shall have taken an interim census since the last census
taken of the larger political subdivision, the population of the larger
political subdivision may be adjusted to reflect such interim census
and, as so adjusted, may be used until the next census of such larger
political subdivision. In the event that the area served is not
coterminous with a political subdivision, the population of which is
shown on such census, or the area in square miles of which is available
from official sources, such population and area shall be determined, for
the purpose of computation of state aid pursuant to section two hundred
seventy-three by applying to the population and area in square miles of
such political subdivision, the ratio which exists between the assessed
valuation of the portion of such political subdivision included within
the area served and the total assessed valuation of such political
subdivision.
c. Members of a public library system shall be those public, free
association, and Indian libraries located within the service area which
have been admitted to membership prior to July first, nineteen hundred
seventy-eight, or which apply for and are granted membership subsequent
to that date with the approval of the commissioner. No public library
system shall be subject to any loss of benefits under these provisions
where such system has made reasonable effort to prevent the unapproved
withdrawal of such library from the system and the system demonstrates,
in a manner satisfactory to the commissioner, that the residents of the
area encompassed by the withdrawing library will continue to benefit
from the library services provided by the public library system.
d. "Approved plan" as used in this article means a plan of library
service by a public library system approved by the commissioner
subsequent to May first, nineteen hundred fifty-eight.
e. Approval shall not be given to a public library system unless it
will serve at least two hundred thousand people or four thousand square
miles of area, provided, however, that provisional approval may be given
to a public library system which will serve at least fifty thousand
persons provided the area served includes three or more political
subdivisions and provided further that a satisfactory plan of expansion
of service to be followed during the ensuing five-year period is adopted
by such library system and approved by the commissioner.
f. The board of trustees of the public library system shall submit to
the commissioner the plan of library service. Such plan shall be
supported by such information as the commissioner may require in the
form prescribed by him.
g. No such plan of library service shall be approved by the
commissioner unless he finds that it provides for the residents of the
area served thereby a method conforming to the regulations of the
commissioner by which the participating libraries are obligated to
permit the loan of books and material among members of the system for
use on the same basis permitted by the library which owns or controls
them.
h. The commissioner shall by regulation provide the standard of
service with which such a public library system must comply. Such
regulations shall, among other things, relate to the total book stock;
the diversity of such book stock with respect to general subjects and
type of literature, provided that such regulations shall not, directly
or indirectly, prohibit the inclusion of a particular book, periodical
or material or the works of a particular author or the expression of a
particular point of view; annual additions to book stock; circulation of
book stock; maintenance of catalogues; number and location of libraries
or branch libraries; hours of operation and number and qualifications of
personnel, necessary to enable a public library system to render
adequate service. Such regulations may establish standards which differ
on the basis of population; density of population; the actual valuation
of the taxable property within the area served; the condition of library
facilities in existence on April first, nineteen hundred fifty-seven;
the amount raised by taxation by or for the area served; the relation of
such amount to population and actual value of the property taxed; the
relation of the amount of funds received by a public library sytem from
local taxes to that derived from private contributions; or on such other
basis as the commissioner finds necessary to provide for the equitable
distribution of state aid.
i. Each public library system receiving state aid pursuant to this
section and section two hundred seventy-three shall furnish such
information regarding its library service as the commissioner may from
time to time require to discharge his duties under such sections. The
commissioner may at any time revoke his approval of a plan of library
service if he finds that the public library system operating under such
plan no longer conforms to the provisions of this section or the
regulations promulgated by the commissioner hereunder; or, in the case
of provisional approval, if such library system no longer conforms to
the agreement, plans or conditions upon which such provisional approval
was based. In such case a public library system shall not thereafter be
entitled to state aid pursuant to this section or section two hundred
seventy-three unless and until its plan of library service is again
approved by the commissioner.
j. (1) In the event that the sum total of local sponsor support raised
by local taxation exclusive of the sum raised for capital expenditures
for the support of a public library system and participating libraries
in a twelve month period is less than ninety-five per centum of the
average of the amounts raised for such purposes by local taxation for
the two preceding twelve month periods, the state aid to which such
library system would otherwise be entitled shall be reduced by
twenty-five per centum. Such state aid shall likewise be reduced by
twenty-five per centum in the event that the public library system shall
refuse after reasonable notice to make provision for the expansion of
the area served in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner.
Upon receipt of annual systems and participating libraries activity
reports satisfactory to the commissioner, the commissioner shall
determine the amount of any underpayment or overpayments related to
maintenance of effort and shall apply such adjustment to the next annual
payment due such library system. In the first year in which any library
system changes its reporting from the calendar year to a fiscal year
other than the calendar year, it shall file any additional reporting
schedules deemed necessary by the commissioner for the purpose of
determining maintenance of effort as required herein, in order that no
period of time shall be exempt from such requirement.
(2) In the event that the total sum raised by local taxation,
exclusive of the sum raised for capital expenditures, for the support of
a central library of a public library system in a twelve month period,
is less than ninety-five per centum of the average of the amounts raised
for such purposes by local taxation for the two preceding twelve month
periods, the state aid to which such library system would otherwise be
entitled for the development of its central library shall be reduced by
twenty-five per centum. Upon receipt of annual central library activity
reports satisfactory to the commissioner, the commissioner shall
determine the amount of any underpayment or overpayments related to
maintenance of effort and shall apply such adjustment to the next annual
payment due such library system. In the first year in which any library
system changes its reporting from the calendar year to a fiscal year
other than the calendar year, it shall file any additional reporting
schedules deemed necessary by the commissioner for the purpose of
determining maintenance of effort as required herein, in order that no
period of time shall be exempt from such requirement.
(3) The commissioner may waive the requirements of subparagraphs one
and two of this paragraph, if the commissioner determines that the
application of such subparagraphs would result in excessive hardship for
the public library system or central library brought about by an
extraordinary change in a local sponsor's economic condition, loss by a
local sponsor of state aid to local governments provided under section
fifty-four of the state finance law, or by a natural disaster. The commissioner may grant
such waiver for a period of up to three consecutive calendar years. The
commissioner shall report any waivers granted under this subparagraph to
the speaker of the assembly, the temporary president of the senate, the
chairs of the legislative fiscal committees and the director of the
division of the budget.
(4) A "local sponsor" shall mean any municipality, district or
school district, as defined in the general municipal law, or any
combination thereof.
k. In promulgating regulations and approving, rejecting or revoking
plans of library service pursuant to this section, consideration shall
be given to:
(1) The prevention of unreasonable discrimination among the persons
served by such public library system.
(2) The need for rapid expansion of library facilities in areas not
now served.
(3) The need of each public library system for the professional
services of an adequate number of librarians having, in addition to
general familiarity with literature, special training with respect to
book selection and organization for library use.
(4) The need for a book stock sufficient in size and varied in kind
and subject matter.
(5) The need for regular fresh additions to book stock.
(6) The need for adequate books, materials and facilities for research
and information as well as for recreational reading.
(7) The need for libraries, branches, and other outlets convenient in
location, and with adequate hours of service.
(8) The desirability for the integration of existing libraries and new
libraries into systems serving a sufficiently large population to
support adequate library service at a reasonable cost.
(9) The need for the economic and efficient utilization of public
funds.
(10) The need for full utilization of local pride, responsibility,
initiative and support of library service and the use of state aid in
their stimulation but not as their substitute.
(11) The needs of special populations.
l. Each public library system shall provide access to the internet in
designated libraries located within their systems for the purpose of
connecting residents of this state who are serving in the military on
active duty in a combat theater or combat zone of operations to spouses,
domestic partners, children, including adopted, step, or foster
children, and parents, including those who stood in the relationship of
a parent to the serviceperson for one year or more, at any time prior to
the serviceperson's entry into active military service.
(1) Each public library system shall assign within its system six
computer terminals with internet access for such use, and shall ensure
that each county within its system has a library with at least one
computer terminal for such use.
(2) Notwithstanding subparagraph one of this paragraph, in a library
system containing a city with a population of one hundred twenty-five
thousand or more individuals, at least two terminals shall be assigned
within such city in a designated library or libraries that serve such
city. Furthermore, in a city with a population of one million or more,
there shall be at least ten terminals assigned in any county which is
wholly contained within such city.
(3) When determining which libraries are to be assigned computer
terminals for such purpose, the system shall consider the location and
current availability of computer terminals with internet access. In the
event that within a public library system there are no libraries within
a county that have a computer with internet access, a computer with
internet access shall be provided by the department to the assigned
library within such county. Furthermore, in public library systems with
fewer than six counties, when determining where additional terminals
should be assigned after terminals have been placed in each county
within the system pursuant to subparagraphs one and two of this
paragraph, such systems shall give priority to libraries that serve
areas which support and maintain military bases or to libraries that
serve the largest populations.

2. Reference and research library resources systems.
a. The term "reference and research library resources system" as used
in this article means a duly chartered educational institution resulting
from the association of a group of institutions of higher education,
libraries, non-profit educational institutions, hospitals, and other
institutions organized to improve reference and research library
resources service. Such reference and research library resource systems
may be registered upon meeting the standards set forth by the
commissioner.
b. The "area served" by a reference and research library resources
system for the purposes of this article shall include not less than
seven hundred fifty thousand persons, as based upon the latest approved
federal census, or not less than ten thousand square miles; and the
defined area of service shall:
(1) Include more than one county; and
(2) Respect the integrity of the area of service of a public library
system; and
(3) Constitute a service area effectively related to the availability
of information resources and services and to the area of service of
other reference and research library resources systems, as determined by
the commissioner.
c. Membership in a reference and research library resources system.
(1) The membership shall include at least four chartered
degree-granting institutions of higher education of the four year level
whose libraries meet departmental standards.
(2) Membership shall also include either:
(i) at least one chartered degree-granting institution of higher
education offering graduate programs for a masters degree whose library
holds not less than two hundred seventy-five thousand volumes and
currently receives not less than three thousand periodical titles, or
(ii) a public library which holds not less than four hundred thousand
adult volumes and currently receives not less than one thousand five
hundred periodical titles.
(3) The membership may also include approved public and school library
systems which are within the region served by the reference and research
library resources system.
(4) A public library in Suffolk or Nassau county that provides service
within the area served by the system except that no such public library
which is not a member of a public library system shall be eligible for
membership in a reference and research library resources system.
(5) A reference and research library resources system may set its own
minimum standards for membership consistent with regulations of the
commissioner, except that;
(i) any chartered institution of higher education whose library meets
the departmental standards shall be eligible for membership, and
(ii) any chartered institution of higher education whose library does
not meet the departmental standards may not be eligible for membership
unless it submits to the department a five-year plan for the realization
of the standards, the plan bearing the signed approval of the head
librarian, the president, and the academic dean of the institution, and
(iii) any hospital whose library meets the standards established by
the regents in accordance with section two hundred fifty-four of this
article shall be eligible for membership, and
(iv) any hospital whose library does not meet the standards
established by the regents will not be eligible for membership unless it
submits to the commissioner a five year plan for the realization of the
standards, such plan bearing the signed approval of the head of the
governing board of such hospital.
(6) The member institutions of each reference and research library
resources system shall be broadly representative of the chartered
educational agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals and other
special libraries providing library service within the defined area of
services of the system.
d. Plan of service.
(1) The reference and research library resources system shall submit a
plan of service to the commissioner for approval, in a form to be
prescribed by the commissioner to cover resources, needs, proposed
program, budget, contractual agreements, and any other information which
the commissioner may require.
(2) The plan of service must show the manner in which the reference
and research library resources system will improve the library resources
and services presently available in the area to the research community,
including improved reader access.
(3) The plan of service shall indicate the manner in which the
reference and research library resources system strengthens the library
programs of its members and the manner in which the system program is
related to appropriate regional programs in higher education.
(4) The plan of service shall identify the resources and needs of each
hospital library, or library serving hospitals and show the manner in
which the reference and research library resources system will improve
hospital library services and in which it will assist each hospital
library which does not meet the regents' standards to attain such
standards and will assist each non-member hospital library or library
serving a hospital to attain membership in the system.
e. The commissioner shall by regulation establish the standard of
service to be met by such a reference and research library resources
system.
f. Each reference and research library resources system receiving
state aid pursuant to this section and section two hundred seventy-three
of this article shall furnish such information regarding its library
service as the commissioner may from time to time require to discharge
his duties under such sections. The commissioner may at any time revoke
his approval of a plan of library service if he finds that the library
system operating under such plan no longer conforms to the provisions of
this section or the regulations promulgated by the commissioner
hereunder. In such case a library system shall not thereafter be
entitled to state aid pursuant to this section and section two hundred
seventy-three of this article unless and until its plan of library
service is again approved by the commissioner.
g. In promulgating regulations and approving, rejecting or revoking
plans of library service pursuant to this section, consideration shall
be given to:
(1) The prevention of unreasonable discrimination among the persons
served by such library system;
(2) The need for regional resources of sufficient size and varied in
kind and subject matter;
(3) The need for adequate books, materials (print and non-print) and
facilities for research and information;
(4) The need for outlets convenient in time and place for the sharing
of library materials;
(5) The need for the economic and efficient utilization of public
funds;
(6) The need for full utilization of local responsibility, initiative
and support of library service and the use of state aid in their
stimulation but not as their substitute.
(7) The need for adequate books, materials, including both print and
non-print materials, and facilities for current medical information
services to be provided each hospital.

[Close this window]