New Minimum Standards for New York's Public and Association Libraries (Effective January 1, 2021)


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All public and association libraries in New York State must meet minimum standards of service according to Section 90.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. These standards support improved public library services for the people of New York and are intended to:

  • promote quality local public library service in all communities of New York State,
  • empower libraries to strengthen community relations and promote public support for quality library services, and
  • support a culture of transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement

When Must a Library Meet the Minimum Standards?

All the minimum standards for public and association libraries must be met at the time of application for a library charter or registration. Education Law requires that a library be chartered and registered in order to legally receive local and State funds.

Any public or association library that was registered (licensed) by the department on or before December 31, 2020, shall meet the new minimum standards by January 1, 2021 to continue to be registered by the department. A public or association library seeking to register with the department on or after January 1, 2021 shall be registered with the department if it meets the new minimum standards.

What if a Library Cannot Meet Minimum Standards?

If a library cannot meet one or more of the minimum standards, the director or board president should contact the library system to discuss available options. Education Law and Commissioner's Regulations provide a process for libraries that cannot meet a standard because of circumstances beyond the library board's control.

How do Public Library Systems and the State Library Help Libraries Meet the Minimum Standards?

The Public Library System Directors Organization (PULISDO) and the New York State Library work together in a strong partnership to help public and association libraries meet the minimum standards.

What are the minimum standards?

New York Public and Association Libraries Minimum Standards Comparison Chart


More Information:

Helpful Information for Meeting Minimum Public Library Standards

New York State Public and Association Libraries and Public Library Standards Compliance Chart

Last Updated: November 8, 2019 -- sm