New York State Library

Required Policies

The following library policies, which are mandated by law, are required for the approval of an Application for Library Registration in New York State:

  • Open Meeting Policy: All public and association libraries are subject to the open meetings law (Education Law, Section 260-a).
  • Confidentiality of Library Records: All public and association libraries are required to keep library records confidential according to Civil Practice Laws and Rules, Section 4509.
  • Internet Use Policy: Chapter 357 of the Laws of 2000 requires that the Board of Trustees of a public, free association or Indian library, which provides public access to the Internet, establish a policy governing patron use of computer terminals that access the Internet. The law provides that a verification of such policy shall be included in the annual report submitted to the State Education Department.
  • Conflict of Interest Policy: All public and association libraries are subject to Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, Section 715-a.
  • Whistle Blower Policy: All public and association libraries with twenty or more employees AND an annual revenue in excess of one million dollars in the previous fiscal year are subject to Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, Section 715-b. (Note that this is required only for certain libraries.)
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy: All public and association libraries are subject to Labor Law, Section 201-G. All employers in NYS are required to have a sexual harassment prevention policy and are required to provide sexual harassment prevention training. Additional information is provided at https://www.ny.gov/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace/employers

Other Recommended Library Policies

The publications Helpful Information for Meeting Minimum Library Standards and Handbook for Library Trustees of New York State include lists of other recommended policies for chartered (incorporated) public and association libraries in New York State.

Public Access Requirements for Library Policies

In accordance with the provisions of Commissioner’s Regulation 90.2, every library policy must be approved by the Board of Trustees, dated and made available to the public both in the library and online.

Last Updated: January 18, 2022