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History


The Queens Supreme Court Library was established by an Act of the New York State Legislature, Chapter 557 of the Laws of 1911, on June 30, 1911. However, the legislation did not provide mandatory funding from the state or local authorities. Fortunately, the Queens County Bar Association magnanimously donated its collection (established in 1876) to the newly created Supreme Court Library by deed of gift. The library was originally located in the courthouse in Long Island City and by 1938, it had outgrown this space. In 1939, the General Courthouse was built in Jamaica as one of the projects of the Works Progress Administration. The Supreme Court Library moved into the new courthouse where it remains today. Since 1911 the library's enabling legislation and governance has changed several times. The library's current enabling act is set forth in sections 813 and 814 of the Judiciary Law (c.662 of 1993).

The library has developed a comprehensive collection of print and non-print materials.The Library Director is Principal Law Librarian, Andrew Tschinkel. The collection primarily consists of New York materials for the Supreme, Family, Civil, Criminal and Surrogate Courts, and Statutes for the Tri-State area and other selected States. A comprehensive Federal materials section includes textbooks, treatises, statutes, treaties, regulations and case law.

Library Photo

 

Judiciary Law ' 813

ARTICLE 21--COURT LIBRARIES

' 813. Court law libraries

Each county of the state shall have a court law library which shall be governed as provided by section eight hundred fourteen of this article. Such libraries shall be open to the public, however, the chief administrator of the courts may issue guidelines for the use and operation of such libraries. All supreme court and county court libraries established as of the effective date of this section are continued as court law libraries, including the following as they have been named:

JOSEPH F. BARNARD MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT POUGHKEEPSIE;
DAVID L. FOLLETT MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT NORWICH;
HAMILTON ODELL LIBRARY AT MONTICELLO;
EMORY A. CHASE MEMORIAL LIBRARY AT CATSKILL;
FRANCIS BERGAN LAW LIBRARY AT ALBANY;
LOUIS H. FOLMER LAW LIBRARY AT CORTLAND;
JOSEPH F. EGAN MEMORIAL SUPREME COURT LAW LIBRARY AT SCHENECTADY;
ERNEST N. WARREN LAW LIBRARY AT ITHACA;
F. WALTER BLISS SUPREME COURT LIBRARY AT SCHOHARIE;
JOSEPH P. MOLINARI SUPREME COURT LIBRARY AT COOPERSTOWN;
COURT OF APPEALS LIBRARY AT SYRACUSE and
CHARLES B. SWARTWOOD LAW LIBRARY AT ELMIRA.

 

Judiciary Law ' 814

ARTICLE 21--COURT LIBRARIES

' 814. Care and management of court law libraries

1. Each court law library shall be under the care and management of the chief administrator of the courts. Each shall have a board of trustees, which shall consist of four members, all of whom shall be residents of the county in which the library is located, and who shall be appointed by the chief administrator in accordance with this section. The chair of the board shall be a justice of the supreme court or, if no justice resides in the county, a judge of the county court, family court or of the surrogate's court of the county. Of the remaining members of the board, one shall be an attorney who has been admitted to the practice of law in this state; one shall be a member of the board of supervisors or other legislative body of the county in which the library is located, or in the case of a county wholly contained within a city, of the legislative body of such city, and one member shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the president of the county bar association. In addition to the four members of each board of trustees provided for hereinabove, the chief administrator of the courts may, in his discretion, appoint such other members as he deems appropriate. The members of the board shall serve without pay for a term of two years and shall be eligible to be reappointed to successive terms of office. Membership on a board of trustees shall terminate whenever a member ceases to be a resident of the county, or ceases to hold public office if the holding of such public office was required at the time of such member's appointment to the board. A vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as an original appointment.

2. Each board of trustees shall provide the chief administrator with such assistance as he or she shall require in maintaining and operating the court law library.

3. In the event of any change in the designation of a court law library for the purpose of receiving materials transmitted pursuant to paragraph c of subdivision four of section one hundred two of the executive law, the chief administrator shall cause the previously designated library within such judicial district to transfer all such materials in its possession to the newly designated library.

4. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the supreme court library in borough of Brooklyn nor to the supreme court library at Buffalo until April first, nineteen hundred ninety-four. Such libraries are continued as court law libraries under the provisions of this article effective April first, nineteen hundred ninety-four.