Winter 2017

The Trustee communicates issues affecting libraries and library services. Once a library and systems join LTA, all their trustees automatically receive this quarterly publication published by LTA. To learn more about membership in LTA, Click Here.

Get Your Library Questions Answered!

Winter 2017 issue of Trustee

A Service for LTA Members: Ask Joe Eisner
Another service of provided by LTA- have a question? Ask Joe by e-mail: or by calling toll- free: 1-866-720-8969.
(All questions are handled with appropriate discretion. The questions posted in Mr. Eisner's columns are generalized frequently asked questions.)

Q. Can a board of education refuse to schedule a bond issue referendum requested by a school district public library board to finance construction or improvement of a library's facility?

A. No.
This should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained:

  1 The board of trustees of a public library established and supported by a school district, in addition to any other powers conferred..., shall have the power to determine the necessity for construction of library facilities, to select a library site or sites, to select the architect, and to require that the board of education call, give notice of and conduct a special district meeting in accordance with the provisions of subdivision nine of this section for the purpose of designating and acquiring a site or sites and authorizing the issuance of obligations of the school district for acquisition and construction of library facilities, or either (Education Law s260(10)).

"...Education Law s260(10) must be read in conjunction with s260(9) and s260(11). Subdivision (10) gives a school district public library board the authority to determine the need for construction of library facilities and to compel a board of education to conduct a special district meeting to seek district approval for financing of such construction[emphasis added]. That subdivision states that a special district meeting for such... must be held in accordance with subdivision (9)... [which] gives a school district public library board the authority to give notice of and conduct a special district meeting of the qualified voters of the school district for any proper library purpose 'at a time and place designated by... [the library] board' [emphasis added]. Subdivision 11 specifies that any election held pursuant to subdivision (9) shall be noticed and conducted in the same manner as school district elections 'except that the meeting need not, in the discretion of the board of trustees of the library, be held in separate election districts in those school districts where election districts have been established by the board of education'..." (Appeal of Kalman Weber..., 2006, Commissioner's Decision 15,349, 45 Ed Dept Rep 361).

2 "...[I]t would appear that the actual management and control of the library building is by law placed with the trustees, although the title resides in the school district. The board of education of the school district is given no express right to control the action of the trustees...[T]he Legislature intended to vest in the library trustees the exclusive right to manage and control library property regardless of whether the title thereto is in the library corporation or school district; that consequently the board of education has no duties or powers relative to the management and control of such property..." (4 Op State Compt 609-10, 1948).

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