CHAPTER 521

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 467

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO 1

AN ACT 10 AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO A PROFESSIONAL LIBRARIAN AND ARCHIVIST INCENTIVE PROGRAM

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE

Section 1. Amend Title 14. Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Chapter 89C to read as follows:

'Chapter 89C' Professional Librarian and Archivist Incentive Program

§8901C Purpose.

It is the intent and purpose of the General Assembly through this chapter to enable and encourage academically talented Delawareans to pursue careers as librarians and archivists in the public libraries, public school libraries, state agencies and political subdivisions of Delaware.

§8902(c) Administration.

(a) this chapter shall be administered by the Delaware Higher Education Commission hereinafter referred to as the 'Commission.’

(b) this Commission shall adopt rules and regulations as it deems necessary and proper to the administration of this subchapter.

(c) The Commission shall annually report to the General Assembly the number of recipients, the institutions attended by the recipients, and the total amount of expenditures made under this subchapter

§8903C Scholarship Loans

(a) The Commission is hereby authorized to award educational scholarship loans subject to the limits of its appropriations for this purpose.

(b) For the purposes of this section. a scholarship/loan referred to hereinafter as 'award'. is a loan, the repayment of which is forgiven when the borrower is employed as a librarian or archivist in the public libraries, public school districts, state agencies, or political subdivisions of the State of Delaware for a period or time in accordance with the conditions specified in section 8905C of this title

(c) Awards shall be provided for graduate education in library and information studies at any institution of higher education offering a Master's Degree program accredited by the American Library Association.

(d) No student shall be eligible for such award who is not a resident of the State for at least one year prior to the approval of the award the place of residence of a student who is either under 18 years of age or dependent on parental financial support shall be the legal residence of his parent or guardian who must have qualified as a registered voter in Delaware and who is subject to payment of Delaware income tax. A student over 18 years of age, who is not dependent on parental financial support must meet the federal government's financial self-supporting student definition and must have qualified as a registered voter in Delaware and must be subject to payment of Delaware income tax. to satisfy the requirement of this section. An independent student may not satisfy the requirement for legal residence in Delaware while his/her principal occupation is that of student.

(e) Awards shall be made to college graduates who have received a baccalaureate degree and who are accepted and enrolled as full-time or part-time students in an American Library Association accredited graduate program of library and information science.

(1) The number of awards will be determined annually by the Commission.

(f) Awards shall be based on criteria established by the Commission. Preference shall be given to persons currently employed by a Delaware public library, county department of libraries, public school library, or state agency library or archive. Selection criteria may include consideration of community service, academic achievement, and financial need.

(g) The amount of each award will be determined annually by the Commission, except that the award shall not exceed the cost of tuition, books, fees, and other direct educational expenses. Full-time and part-time students are eligible for awards covering full reimbursement of qualified educational expenses.

(h) Awards shall be renewable within the limits of appropriations for the program, provided the student meets the academic progress standards which shall be set by the Commission and communicated in writing to the recipient at the time the initial award is granted. No student shall receive more than two year's support from this program, or the equivalent on a prorated basis for qualifying part-time students.

§8904C Disbursement.

Funds awarded from this program shall be disbursed on a quarter or semester basis. Payment will be made directly to the institution, not to the student. The Commission may grunt exceptions to these payment procedures when, in the opinion of the Commission, adherence would case unwarranted inconvenience for the recipient and/or the Commission, or when the approved direct educational expense is not payable to the institution.

§8905C Payment and Forgiveness.

(a) Repayment or forgiveness will commence six months after the student completes the master's degree program or immediately after the student discontinues enrollment prior to completion. If a student discontinues enrollment prior to completion of the master's degree program, the full amount of the award must be repaid, regardless of whether the student employed as a librarian or archivist in a Delaware public library, public school district, or state agency or political subdivision. Should a student have a compelling reason to temporarily interrupt coursework, a deferment may be approved by the Commission for a student requesting a leave of absence of up to six months. The student should provide satisfactory justification Or delaying completing of degree coursework. Any request for deferment must be made in %%ruing. and only one deferment will be granted.

(b)(1) If after six months following graduation, the recipient is employed as a librarian or archivist by a Delaware public library, public school district, or state agency or political subdivision, no repayment of award principal or interest will be required. For each year the recipient is so employed, the repayment of one quarter of the award will be forgiven.

(b)(2) If during the period of repayment the recipient terminates employment as a librarian or archivist in a Delaware public library, public school district, state agency or political subdivision, the recipient will be required to commence repayment of the awards or portions thereof which have not been forgiven at the time of the employment termination.

(b) (3) If after six months following graduation the recipient is not employed as a librarian or archivist in a Delaware public library, public school library. state agency or political subdivision, the recipient shall be obligated to make monthly payments to the Commission until the full amount of the award and interest on the award from the date of origination is paid in lull A borrower who is unable to obtain a position as a librarian or archivist in a Delaware public library, public school district, or state agency or political subdivision may apply for a single one-year deferment from the normal repayment provisions by providing to the satisfaction of the Commission documentation of his or her unsuccessful efforts to obtain qualified employment. Any request for deferment must he made in writing and only one deferment will he granted.

(b)(4) If during the period of repayment the recipient becomes employed as a librarian or archivist in a Delaware public library, public school library, state agency or political subdivision, payments will be deferred and one quarter of the award amount will be forgiven for each year the recipient is so employed. Under no circumstances will payments already made by the recipient be reimbursed as a result of subsequent employment.

(b) (5) The Commission shall determine the amounts of monthly payments, the length of the repayment period, and the rate and type of interest to accrue on awards.

(b) (6) The Commission shall communicate the terms of repayment and interest accrual to the recipient and secure a promissory note from the recipient attesting to the recipient's agreement to such terms as shall he established."

Approved July 18, 1996