Policies and Procedures

CLRC provides general information on resources, policies and procedures related to libraries throughout our region and beyond.

If you have information you would like to share, and to be included on this webpage, please do not hesitate to contact Ryan Perry.

A new, updated version of the New York Heritage Metadata Dictionary is now available

The Metadata Dictionary serves to describe and explain metadata requirements and best practices for NY Heritage contributions. Sections were rewritten for clarity or with relatively minor edits.

These are some of the larger changes:
* The Type field is now considered optional
* Subject fields should be renamed to indicate the controlled vocabulary (e.g. “Subject.LCSH”)
* Creative Commons licenses can now be used in the Rights field
* The collection- and institution-level metadata guidelines were completely rewritten and reformatted to conform to the latest (Sept. 2021) refresh of the NY Heritage website.
* New terms were added to the Physical Format list (Educational Films, Glass plate negatives, Sculptures, Advertising cards, Military records, Notebooks, and Trade cards)
* The new Appendix E: Collection Type was added to provide definitions for the collection-level field.

These new guidelines should be implemented for any new uploads going forward.

The 2022 Public Library Collection Policy Template and Guide is available for any New York State public library to use when developing their own policies. Based on requests from public libraries across the state, ESLN and PULISDO have partnered on the creation of an annotated “Collection Management Policy Template & Guide” to help public libraries confirm that their policies are ready for materials challenges.

While inspired by the need of a public library to be “challenge ready”, this resource addresses every phase of collection management. Written by attorney, Stephanie Cole Adams (Ask the Lawyer), but reviewed by experienced library directors, it clarifies and emphasizes not only the law underlying collection management issues, but the very different roles of trustees and directors in the collection management process.

Presented for the Empire State Library Network – April 26, 2022
© 2022 Stephanie A. Adams, Esq. licensed for internal use by the members of the Empire State Library Network, and their member institutions, for internal use only.

Critical Take-Aways
● Case law in NY holds that a library is a limited public forum: See, e.g., Kreimer v. Bureau of Police for the Town of Morristown, 958 F.2d 1242, 1259 (3d Cir. 1992); Armstrong v. District of Columbia Public Library, 154 F.Supp.2d 67, 75 (D.D.C. 2001); The Gay v. 0 ‘Hoopee, 235 F.Supp.2d 1362, 1368 (S.D.Ga. 2002); see also Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131, 86 S. Ct. 719, 15 L. Ed. 2d 637 (1966). “A State or its instrumentality may, of course, regulate the use of its libraries or other public facilities. But it must do so in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner, equally applicable to all and administered with equality to all.”

● A “limited public forum” is created when the government designates “a place or channel of communication for use by the public at large for assembly and speech, for use by certain speakers, or for the discussion of certain subjects.” Bronx Household of Faith v. Bd. of Educ., 492 F.3d 89, 96 (2d Cir. 2007) (quoting Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Def & Educ. Fund, 473 U.S. 788, 802, 105 S. Ct. 3439, 87 L. Ed. 2d 567 (1985).

● In the case of a limited public forum, constitutional protection is afforded only to expressive activity of a genre similar to those that government has admitted to the limited
forum. Travis v. Owego-Apalachin School Dist., 927 F.2d 688 (2d Cir. 1991).

● Unlike the designated public forum, the limited public forum does not require a strict scrutiny analysis. Instead, in this type of forum, “governmental restrictions on expressive conduct or speech are constitutional so long as they are reasonable in light of the use to which the forum is dedicated” and “are not an effort to suppress expression merely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view.” Huminski v. Corsones, 386 F.3d 116, 153 (2d Cir. 2004) (quoting Cornelius, 473, U.S. at 800).

More Take-Aways:
● Your library’s policies set the terms of it being a “limited public forum.”

● In New York, the law allows for public library policies that limit recording so long as they are rationally related to the library’s purpose.
1. Patron privacy
2. Safety
3. Supporting routine operations
are all valid reasons to limit and restrict recording, so long as these reasons are rationally related to the library’s objectives, and the policy is uniformly applied.

● Clear signage and a posted/easily recited policy summary will help enforce your policy.

● Practice, and train for informing, not enforcement, in the moment.

● Consider the implications of involving law enforcement or security.

● Remember that people identifying as “First Amendment Auditors” are part of a larger trend of non-traditional media recording law enforcement, government agencies, and other public servants in the field.

● The Open Meetings Law means that your library (association or public) cannot bar the recording of open board meetings, but that should not be confused with the ability to impose restrictions on recording regular library operations.