From: Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 4:04 PM
Subject: Library committee meetings.
Attached is an opinion (OML-AO-3026) that deals expansively with the issue that you raised. In brief, if a board of trustees constitutes a “public body” that would be subject to the Open Meetings Law, even in the absence of the requirements imposed by §260-a of the Education Law, I believe that committees consisting of two or more members of such a board are also public bodies that fall within the scope of the OML. If, on the other hand, a library board of trustees is not a governmental entity, but rather a not-for-profit corporation, it would not constitute a public body, and but for the enactment of §260-a, would not be subject to the OML. That being so, the committees of that kind of library board, other than such a board in New York City (again, based on the language of §260-a), are not, in my view, subject to the OML.
I hope that this and the attached opinion offer the clarification that you are seeking and that I have been of assistance.
And yes, issues involving the Mid York Library System appear to have diminished. I would conjecture that many are happy about that.
Robert J. Freeman
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231