LTA Members:Get Questions Answered
Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?
Ask Joe Eisner (click to learn more)

As part of LTA’s expansion of service to aid and assist library trustees and directors, LTA offers members an opportunity to confer with Joe Eisner, free of charge.

Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 or by email at ltafaqjoe@librarytrustees.org. (Question are handled with discretion.)

For more information about Joe Eisner’s experience and background, please click on the “Ask Joe Eisner” tab under “Resources and Links” on LTA’s website.

Please note: The following should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of counsel should be obtained:

Question: What are the changes in the recent amendment to the Open Meetings Law in regard to the notice requirements for publicizing a library board meeting?

Answer: Education Law s260-a requires public and association libraries, and library systems, to convene, provide public notification,  and to conduct board meetings in compliance with the Open Meetings Law. Governor Cuomo signed into law on September 9, 2016, effective immediately, an amendment to Public Officers Law s104 regarding notification to the media of such meetings,  providing electronic transmission as a permissible alternative method of public notification [amendments underlined]:

  1. Public notice of the time and place of a meeting scheduled at least one  week  prior thereto shall be given or electronically transmitted to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or  more  designated public locations at least seventy-two hours before such meeting.
  2. Public notice of the time and place of every other meeting shall be given  or  electronically transmitted, to the extent practicable, to the,news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or  more  designated,public locations at a reasonable time prior thereto.
  3. If  a  meeting will be streamed live over the internet, the public, notice for the meeting shall inform the public of the  internet  address of the website streaming such meeting.  

§ 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

In an accompanying memorandum, the sponsors of this amendment stated:

Municipal governments are required to publish meeting notices in a designated newspaper of general circulation. The continued and increased availability of web-site publications provides an alternate [emphasis added], reliable and easy method whereby every citizen can download, examine and print from any website or computer from home, local library or Wi-Fi available location.

 

Citizens who do not have computers at home, can access the information at their libraries at no cost. Many citizens prefer acquiring news about their community through websites on the Internet rather than print newspapers. Younger citizens are more familiar with the Internet because of an early and consistent exposure to computers, and feel very comfortable going online to download information rather than reading newspapers.

 

Technology is transforming the way in which government interacts with its citizens. Municipalities should have the option of an electronic means for citizens to access municipal notices.

Please note: If you have any additional questions about this topic, please contact Joe Eisner at the e-mail/phone above.