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SECTION 255
Establishment of a public library
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 1, ARTICLE 5, PART 2
§ 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.