NOT YOUR AVERAGE LIBRARY MEETING

BY CANDACE RIVERA

Terri Thal, the former library board president who caused a stir when she refused to recite the pledge of allegiance, briefly quit her position on the New City Library Board of Trustees this week, but quickly rescinded her statement. In the early 1960s Thal was the manager of a young Bob Dylan.

What’s in a word? By the letter of the law, a lot. Just ask the New City Library Board of Trustees.

The New City Library Board held a special meeting Monday night to discuss the committees’ bylaws, but not everything on the agenda could be handled due to fevered passions cutting the evening short.

The first item discussed was the finalization of whether the New City Library should be referred to as association or corporation in its bylaws. The debate lasted almost an half an hour. The motion was to change the library’s bylaw, not the library’s actually name, from association to corporation.

“It is not an association it is actually a corporation,” said Treasurer Jeffrey Greenberg. “It is a not-for-profit corporation that operates under the name of the New City Free Library.”

Vice President Tom Ninan argued that on paper the library has always been referred to as an association. If the name was changed from association to a corporation then it may change the way New York State looks at the library, possibly affecting its grants.

Seceratary, Edward Kallen snapped back saying “All associations are corporations, not all corporations are associations.”

The motion to change the name of the New City Free Library’s in their bylaw from association to corporation failed. Three members voted for the motion. Three members voted against the motion. The vote needed six members to pass.

The next motion was on the language of the New City Library’s service coverage bylaw. The bylaw states that the library’s coverage will be determined by the Board of Regents. This quickly escalated into a debate of what areas the library actually does cover.

The library covers New City, Congers, and Bardonia. However, there is a small section of Nanuet that could be included. The coverage area is based on the New City census tracts, and what the Board of Regents determines is New City Library’s coverage area.

Some members of the board also believe that NY State overlapped the coverage area of the New City Library and the West Nyack Library.

“Our service area is not neatly tied up in a bow because it is not a school district. It coincides with the census tracts,” said Greenberg.

Board members Ninan and Terri Thal angrily deliberated on this issue leading to Ninan’s aggravation. “You think I [want] to spend 45 minutes changing our bylaws?” said Ninan to Thal. “I want to make sure my children’s futures, who are attending school right now, don’t get screwed up by this corporation nonsense.”

Out of frustration, Thal announced her resignation from the board, but just as quickly withdrew it. One member of the board was heard saying “Terri resigns every week.” Thal is still a member of the board. She was the board president earlier in 2012, causing a stir at one point when she refused to have the pledge of allegiance recited at the beginning of a meeting. She resigned that post in June after only five months.

A solution was proposed by Kallen: “We can create a data base of some kind that could be changed by whatever the board of regents approves.” This data base would be used by the library’s front desk in order to determine if someone is eligible to apply for a New City library card. Thal and Ninan had similar ideas and agreed with Kallen. There is no word yet on how far this idea will go.

The discussion continued in circles on what the exact locations the New City Library covers. The confusion is due to the fact that the board was prepared to vote on the language of the bylaw which states that the board of regents decides what their service area is. They were not prepared to perfectly define themselves what the service area is for the library.

The board determined that an agreement to this issue could not be agreed upon at this time, so the meeting was adjourned. The board’s next meeting will be held today, Thursday, October 18 at 7 p.m. at the New City Library.