Library Buildings


I am seeking clarification on the legal provisions regarding the oversight and management of construction projects by a municipal library. Our Law Department has previously indicated that the library board is not authorized to handle construction projects directly, asserting that it is the responsibility of the town.


Let's begin by breaking this question down a bit and giving one-word answers.

Question 1: Is it legally possible for a municipal library to manage its own construction projects?

Answer: YES.

Question 2: Can a library board take on such a role?


Question 3: What is the legal framework for such an arrangement?


Some of my member libraries have questions about the new Gender Neutral Bathroom Legislation:

1) Type of signage required to be placed on or near the bathroom door. That is, does the sign have to specify "gender neutral", or, is "bathroom" ok.  Also, can one use a sign that uses symbols (male, female, ADA) rather than sex?


Above all, "Ask the Lawyer" strives to provide useful, plain-language legal information and analysis for the members of New York's regional library councils.

So before I delve into the background, legal analysis, and compliance tips I would like to offer in response to these questions, here are some useful, plain-language answers:


We are a Special Legislative District Library. We are constructing a new library and will be selling our current building. I would like to know if there are any specific steps we are legally required to take in selling the property. For example is public notice of the sale required? Are we required to entertain a certain number of offers, etc.?


A new library building!  How exciting.  And what a huge additional array of additional duties it presents, as the library begins to think about moving.

Transitioning library space is a huge undertaking.  And when it involves selling the legacy structure previously occupied, the task can get even bigger.