Knowledgebase-Continuation of Library Service

Information Product

Title:Continuation of Library Service
Summary:MTAS was asked for a review of options about continuing library service after the expiration of a sales tax agreement.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Product Create Date:06/16/2011
Last Reviewed on::06/17/2011
Subject:Libraries--Administration--Tennessee; Libraries--Boards; Libraries--Public--Tennessee
Original Document: June 16 library letter to Ted Rogers.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: June 16, 2011

Mr. Ted Rogers, City Manager
City of Collegedale
4910 Swinyar Drive
Collegedale, Tennessee 37315-1880

Dear Mr. Rogers

With the expiration of the Chattanooga/Hamilton County area sales tax agreement, the city of Collegedale is faced with making decisions about the continuation of library service for the community. You have asked MTAS for a review of options.

TCA 10-3-101 states that the legislative body of any county and/or the governing body of any incorporated city/town has the power to establish and maintain a free public library, or give support to any free public library already established therein, or contract with another library for library service for the use of the inhabitants of such county, city or town, or enter into contractual agreements with one (1) or more counties or cities for joint operation of a free public library. TCA 10-3-103 requires the appointment of a seven (7) member library board to operate and maintain a library.

It appears that a library must be operated and maintained by a library board as required by general law rather than as a city department. It also appears that a city may contract with other libraries or with other governments for joint operation of a free public library. If you are considering contracting with a private firm for the operation and maintenance of the library, MTAS recommends that you review such provisions with your city attorney.

Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.


Ron Darden
Municipal Management Consultant

Cc. MTAS Senior Legal Consultant Sid Hemsley