CHAPTER 480

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 644

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENTS NO. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9, TITLE 14 AND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO LIBRARY SERVICES IN DELAWARE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 71, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 2. Amend Title 9 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new chapter, to be designated as Chapter 8, which shall read as follows:

CHAPTER 8. COUNTY LIBRARIES

§801. Creation of county library agency; powers, county library administrator

(a) The government of each county shall create a library agency as a part of the executive branch of county government and, in accordance therewith, shall have the power:

(1) to administer a countywide library system which offers every resident of the county free and equal access to service and resources, and guidance in their use;

(2) to receive, by taxation or otherwise, accept, administer and expend any monies, materials or other aid granted, appropriated or otherwise provided by local, state or federal governments, or by any source, public or private, in accordance with the terms thereof, for the purpose provided in this Chapter;

(3) to perform all other activities pertinent to the organizational function of the library agency.

(b) The County Executive or President of Levy Court, whichever applies, upon the approval of the County Library Advisory Board, shall appoint a County Library Administrator who shall be referred to as County Librarian and who shall be the Administrator of the county library agency.

§802. County Library Advisory Board

There is hereby created in each county a County Library Advisory Board which:

(1) shall serve in an advisory capacity to the County Library. Administrator and the county library agency;

(2) shall bring local library needs to their attention and shall recommend to them means for implementation of an effective county library system;

(3) may, through its members on the Council on Libraries, bring library matters to the attention of the Administrator of State Library Services.

Section 3. Amend §8603, Chapter 86, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by striking subparagraph (C) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new subparagraph (C) to read as follows:

"(C) A state librarian who shall be a graduate of a school accredited by the American Library Association."

Section 4. Amend Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by striking §8610 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new §8610 to read as follows:

§8610. Powers and duties of the department relating to library services

(a) The powers and duties of the Department relating to library services shall be:

(1) to provide information, resource materials and library services to state agencies, state and local governmental units and their subdivisions, and, in the Department's discretion, to organizations in need of library services;

(2) to coordinate library services of the several counties in order to assure to every Delaware citizen free and equal access to services, resources and guidance in the use of such for continuing self-educational, political, cultural, economic, recreational and intellectual enrichment;

(3) to receive, accept, administer and expend any monies, materials, or other aid granted, appropriated or otherwise provided by local, state or federal governments, or by any source, public or private, in accordance with the terms thereof, and for the purposes provided hereinafter;

(4) to foster the recruitment, development and maximum utilization of library personnel throughout the state;

(5) to encourage broad community participation in library development, program planning and the implementation of such plans;

(6) to establish and promote cooperation among all types of libraries at all service levels;

(7) to ensure the state's compatibility to and reciprocity within a national information resources network;

(8) to provide access to a complete collection of current documents published by state government and a comprehensive collection of current local, state and federal documents of interest to the state;

(9) to stimulate every Delaware citizen to fully utilize the state's cultural resource materials and to maintain the individual's right of access to those materials;

(10) to offer resources which supplement and reinforce local libraries;

(11) to collect, compile, research, publish and disseminate information, including statistics, affecting the efficient operation of the state's library system;

(12) to recommend legislation to achieve meaningful statewide library development and use;

(13) to establish, interpret and administer standards of effective library services;

(14) to enter into contracts and agreements to provide or to obtain library services and materials;

(15) to perform all other activities pertinent to the organizational function of library services.

(b) Every state agency shall provide and deposit with the Department sufficient copies of all publications issued by such agencies for the purpose of making accessible to Delaware and other citizens, resource materials published at the expense of the State."

Section 5. Amend Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by striking §8611 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new section §8611, which shall read as follows:

§8611. Council on libraries

(a) There is hereby established the Council on Libraries.

() The Council on Libraries shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Department and shall consider matters relating to libraries and library standards throughout the state and such others matters as may be referred to it by the Governor, the Secretary of the Department, or the General Assembly. The Council on Libraries may study, research, plan and make advisory recommendation to the Governor, the Secretary of the Department, or the General Assembly on matters it deems appropriate to provide the best possible library service in Delaware.

(a) The Council on Libraries shall be composed of two members who shall be elected annually by each County Library Advisory Board and who shall serve at its pleasure and seven members appointed by the Governor. Of the seven members appointed by the Governor, three members shall be appointed for a term of one year, two members shall be appointed for a term of two years, and two members shall be appointed for a term of three years; at fro time shall there be more than a bare majority representation of one major political party, but any person who declines to state his political affiliation shall be considered eligible for appointment as a member; and after the initial appointments, all terms shall be for three years.

(b) Members of the Council on Libraries shall serve without compensation, except that they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incident to their duties.

(e) A Chairman of the Council on Libraries shall be named by the Governor and shall serve in that capacity at his pleasure.

(f) A vacancy prior to the expiration of term of a member of the Council on Libraries shall be filled only for the remainder of that term.

Section 6. (a) Title to all property, personal-tangible and intangible, and real, including, but not limited to, books, buildings and equipment, previously acquired by any District Library Commission under the provisions of Subchapter II, Chapter 71, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, entitled "District Libraries", shall be vested in the governing agency of the county in which such library exists for library purposes as provided herein, and each District Library Commission shall evidence the transfer of title as herein set forth, subject to the provision in subsection (b) of this section, relating to property donated by virtue of a trust, devise, bequest or other method for use of a specific library. Each said District Library Commission shall remain in existence until it shall have performed its functions as herein directed, whereupon it shall be automatically discharged from further responsibility, without any added formality or procedure. All delinquent taxes for library purposes when collected by any reorganized school board, as provided in Subchapter II, Chapter 71, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, or by any county, shall be transferred to and shall be vested in the governing agency of the county wherein such taxes were collected and shall be used for library purposes as provided herein. All obligations and liabilities of each District Library Commission, including but not limited to liability for rent, shall become the responsibility, liabilities and obligations of the governing agency of the county wherein the said District Library Commission existed.

(b) Each District Library Commission in each of the counties is hereby authorized and directed, on behalf of the State of Delaware, to convey and transfer in fee simple to the respective governing agency of the county in which said Commission exists all of the said District Library Commission's right, title and interest to and in all real estate, and to assign, transfer and deliver to the governing agency of each respective county wherein said District Library Commission exists, all equipment and property, including monies, bank accounts, and other assets, all records, files and other papers which are held by and in the custody of each District Library Commission; provided, however, that as also set forth in Section 8 of this Act, all property heretofore acquired by a School District Library Commission through donation by virtue of a trust, bequest, devise or other method when such property as acquired was designated to be used only for a particular library, as well as all property hereafter acquired by the county governing agency through donation by virtue of a trust, bequest, devise or other method and designated to be used only for a particular library, shall be used only for that library, and all funds designed for a particular library which are transferred to the county governing authority by a District Library Commission by virtue of this Act and all funds hereafter acquired by the county governing authority through donation by virtue of a trust, bequest, devise or other method and designated for use of a particular library, shall be kept by the county governing authority in a special bank account and used only for such designated library.

(c) Any District Library Commission wishing to be exempt from the provisions of Sections 6A and 6B may do so by request in writing to the County Governing Agency. Such an exemption shall not disqualify such District Library Commission from eligibility for local, county or federal funds. Receipt of the letter requesting such exemption shall serve as notification and qualify it for exemption.

Section 7. Any qualified employee of the school district libraries encompassed by this Act shall be continued in employment and shall not suffer any diminution of salary or responsibilities as a result of this Act, and shall receive full credit for the time he was employed by his respective District Library Commission in computing the number of years of service required to receive pension benefits within the meaning of the respective county pension plan which has been adopted at the time of the passage of this Act.

Section 8. For the purposes of this Act, the state shall appropriate, in each annual budget, a per capita amount to the Department of Community Affairs and Economic Development for the development and implementation of public library services in the State. Such state funds shall be allocated by the said Department to the individual counties for their disbursement, but the allocation of such state funds shall be contingent upon the county library system meeting standards established by the said Department. Before actual allocation of such state funds, each county must have expended in the second preceding fiscal year or have been available for expenditure, by countywide or other taxation, municipal appropriation and private donations, in the fiscal year in which the said Department is to make payment, a sum equaling twice the per capita amount allocated by the said Department to that county. In no case shall the county funds available for expenditure in the current fiscal year, including designated and undesignated donations, be less than the amount actually expended in the second preceding fiscal year. Monies derived by county taxes and undesignated donations shall be spent in the county of derivation and donation. All donations acquired by the county governing authority by virtue of a trust, bequest, devise or other method and designated for a specific library shall be used by the county governing authority only for that library, and in the manner specified in Section 6 of this Act, and that library's share of county monies shall not be reduced by a like amount, but such donations may be counted toward the county's matching share.

Section 9. If any provision of this Act, or of any rule, regulation or order thereunder, or the application of such provision to any persons or circumstances, shall be held invalid, the remainder of this Act and the application of such provisions of this Act or of such rule, regulation or order to persons or circumstances other than those to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected.

Approved July 19, 1974.