May 05, 2021 NYSED Directive for Public Libraries to Resume In-Person Services
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to advise you that, consistent with a recent communication from the NYS Department of Education, all public libraries (including free association libraries) must resume “in-person services” by June 1, 2021, for a certain minimum number of “open hours” per week, depending on the size of the population served, in accordance with Minimum Public Library Standard #7 (updated January 1, 2021).
The State defines “open hours” as “any time a patron receives direct, in-person services,” including services provided via curbside, “lobby pickup,” and on-site (i.e., in-library or outside of a library via, for example, a tent on the premises). Libraries are expected to maintain a regular, publicized/posted schedule of days and hours during which library staff may interact directly with the public. E-mail and telephone services alone, however, will not count towards the minimum open hours.
Libraries should let their respective Library System know as soon as possible if they anticipate an issue with meeting the June 1, 2021 compliance deadline.
If you have any questions regarding this memorandum, please contact Alyssa Zuckerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or one of our other attorneys at 631-694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
 More information about the standard for meeting the minimum public library weekly hours, including a chart of the number of minimum open weekly hours based on the population served, is available at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/helpful/standard07.htm.
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© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2021