Do You Have a Library Question Which Requires an Answer?

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

Joe is a retired public library director, and current chair of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library Board. He is the compiler of the Handbook of Library Laws and Regulations in New York State (currently being revised).   His expertise includes knowledge gained from 42 years experience as a public library administrator in New York State.

Joe is not an attorney, but he can help you, your board or director with advice or referrals on how to deal with what may be unfamiliar or new situations, or long-standing chronic ones, involving but not limited to such matters as: use of library facilities by outside groups, relations with municipal funding officials, personnel matters, or he can help by providing an opportunity for you to discuss a library problem with an unbiased outside source.

Who Can Use this Service?

Any LTA member — trustees, directors, librarians, and Friends (if your library is a member, you are a member!) — is welcome to contact Joe with a library question.

How to Use this Service:

Joe can be contacted toll-free at 1 (866) 720-8969 ext. 101, by email at or by fax at 1 (516) 942-7042.

This service is offered free of charge.

LTA thanks Joe for his partnership in providing this extremely valuable service and resource.

Please note:  Joe’s advice and information should not be construed as legal advice, for which the services of a competent attorney should be secured, Neither Joe nor LTA shall be held liable for any action taken as a result of the information Joe provides.

More about Joe Eisner :

Joseph Eisner received his Master’s degree in Library Service from Columbia University. He was the founding Director of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library from 1955 to 1968, and Director of the Plainedge Public Library from 1972 until his retirement in 2001. He has been a trustee of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library since 1981 and has been Library Board chair for the past 13 years.

As an adjunct faculty member of Long Island University’ Palmer Graduate School, Eisner taught courses in public library administration and community analysis. He served on the 1972 Commissioner of Education’s Committee on Public Library Service. As a member library director he was chair of the Nassau Library System’s Planning Committee. He created and administered the Public Library Investment Fund which allowed member libraries to pool funds they invested to earn greater interest.

Upon retirement, Eisner became an unpaid consultant to the Nassau Library System, and was active in the creation of nine library funding districts which brought public library services to 45,000 Nassau County residents.  This has reduced the number of un-served Nassau residents by nearly 90%.

Eisner has developed expertise in the areas of New York library laws and regulations.  He compiled and edited the 1963 publication of the Handbook of Laws and Regulations. This was followed by an updated and expanded three-volume loose-leaf 2nd edition in 1976. A successor online publication is in development and is available to members of New York’s library community on request.

Eisner has authored numerous articles on various topics of public library administration and finance. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Velma K. Moore Award from the Library Trustees Association, the LDA Award for Excellence in Library Achievement from the Nassau and Suffolk Library Associations, and most recently, the Outstanding Advocate of Libraries Award from NYLA. He has also been honored by the Nassau Library System as an “Advocate & Adviser Extraordinaire”.

Joe Eisner’s Answers by Category

See Joe’s Answers to Four Common Questions
How does Gov. Cuomo’s memo about a 90-day e-mail management system impact my library?

Board of Trustee Composition
How is the Number of Trustees on a Library Board Determined?
Residency and Office Eligibility
Does a library board president or chair have any greater authority than any other board member?

Meetings and Public Accountability
Best Practice for Preparing an Agenda?
Are You Complying with the Open Meetings Law? A Model Policy to Double Check
Are telephone or emails a violation of the Open Meetings Law?
Association libraries and FOIL requests for minutes?
May the contents or sequence of agenda items at a Board meeting be varied?
Is there a requirement that a library board hold an annual reorganization meeting?

Library Personnel
Who is responsible for appointing library staff?
In municipal libraries, which board can establish leave policies for employees?

Can library funds be used to purchast gifts for retiring trustees or staff members?