Knowledgebase-Review of State Statutes on Libraries and a Limited Survey of Library Services in Tennessee Cities


Information Product

Title:Review of State Statutes on Libraries and a Limited Survey of Library Services in Tennessee Cities
Summary:MTAS was asked for assistance as a city takes over the funding and operation of the public library.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:08/11/2011
Last Reviewed on::08/17/2011
Subject:Libraries--Administration--Tennessee; Libraries--Boards; Libraries--Public--Tennessee; Libraries--Surveys
Type:Survey
Original Document: Municipal Libraries.pdf

Reference Documents: June 16 library letter to Ted Rogers.docx

Text of Document: August 11, 2011


Mr. Ted Rogers, City Manager
City of Collegedale
4919 Swinyer Drive
Collegedale, Tennessee 37315-1880

Dear Mr. Rogers

It is my understanding that Hamilton County has discontinued the library service in Collegedale and that the city has taken over the funding and operation of the public library. It appears that the city is assessing its operation, procedures, organization and funding. In anticipation of our meeting with Attorney Sam Elliott on Monday, I have reviewed the state statutes and conducted a limited survey in summary form of library organization and operation in other Tennessee cities. Following is a brief report that you may want to share with Mr. Elliott prior to the meeting:

Municipal Libraries

TCA 10-3-101.

The legislative body of any incorporated city 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 inhabitants of such city, or enter into contractual agreements with 1 or more counties or cities for joint operation of a free public library.

TCA 10-3-102. Taxes. Levy

(a) It shall levy for the purpose of a property tax, or shall use the funds raised by taxes for municipal purposes, such a library service being declared to be a municipal service.
(b) If the county levies a general library tax to all residents, such funds shall be maintained separate by the trustee, who shall make quarterly distributions of the same between the county library board and the governing body of the free public library or the city within the limits of the county on the basis of the population enumerated by the most recent federal census. Subject to the preceding sentence, funds raised under section 10-3-101—10-3-109 may be contributed toward the maintenance of any free public library maintained by a municipality in such county as provided in 10-3-101.

TCA 10-3-103.

In lieu of giving support to a free public library or of contracting with another library for library service, or of contracting with other counties and/or cities for joint operation of a free public library, establishes an independent free library of its own, it shall appoint a board of 7 members. Not more than one member of the governing body may serve on this board. The term shall be for three years. Not more than 5 of the members shall be of the same sex.

(note: The population exceptions in (b) and (c) do not appear to be Hamilton County.)

TCA 10-3-104. Powers and duties of library board.

The board has the power to direct all the affairs of the library, including the appointment of a librarian, who shall direct the internal affairs of the library, and such assistants or employees as may be necessary. Provide staff training if employee agrees to work 2 years after receiving training. It may hold and convey realty and personal property and negotiate leases for and on behalf of the library. It shall make annual reports to the city governing body.

TCA 10-3-105. Borrowing money to acquire library buildings and equipment.

The city governing body has power to borrow money for the purchase of realty and the erection or purchase of suitable buildings for the library and its branches, and for their equipment. The title may be vested in trust in the library board and its successors, which shall be responsible for disbursing bond proceeds as provided in section 10-3-106.

TCA 10-3-106. Tax funds held by city treasurer-disbursement-audit of accounts.

(a) All city tax funds for library purposes, raised by bonds or taxation, shall be held by the city treasurer separate from other funds.
(b) Such funds may be disbursed when drawn upon by vouchers or orders authenticated by 2 officers of the library board.
(c) All library accounts of every character shall be audited annually by or under the city governing body.

TCA 10-3-107. Libraries free to inhabitants—Extension of privileges to non-residents.

Libraries so established or supported shall be free to the inhabitants. The board may extend the privileges and facilities of the library to persons residing outside the city upon such terms as it may deem proper.

TCA 10-3-110. Title to Property.

The title of all property acquired by a library board operating under the provisions of this chapter shall be taken in the name of the county for the use and benefit of the public library and the proceeds from all activities conducted by the library board or from the disposition of its assets shall be taken in the name of the county for the use and benefit of the public library.

TCA 10-3-111. Financial report of operation.

Such library board shall furnish a report to the county legislative body, at its first meeting of each fiscal year, setting forth its capital and operating receipts and expenditures for the preceding fiscal year.

TCA 10-5-101. Agreements to create regional boards.

A summary review of library boards in Tennessee cities indicates:

Lavergne-the library board is a 7 member board that serves at the pleasure of the governing body. It submits its budget to the governing body and provides annual reports to the governing body. Funds are held by the city treasurer. The service is free to inhabitants of the city; however, the board may, in its discretion, extend the privileges and facilities of the library to persons residing outside the city upon such terms as it may deem proper.

Signal Mountain-the library board is a 7 member board-5 of whom shall reside in the town. The board is advisory to the library director, the city manager, and the town council. The board recommends policies, programs, capital improvements and other functions.

Madisonville-A code of ordinance authorizes an advisory library board.

Spring Hill-the library board is a 7 member board appointed by the governing body. Members can be removed by majority vote of the governing body. It is a division of the town. The librarian is an employee of the town. The library board makes recommendations to the governing body. The Library board and city manager interviews and the city manager appoints. The library board directs affairs and makes recommendations to the governing body. The budget is submitted to the governing body. The board of mayor and aldermen make all agreements and the city controls all funds. Monthly finance reports are submitted to the city recorder. The service is free to residents of the town. The services may be extended to non-residents by the board of mayor and aldermen.

Norris- the library board is a 5 member board appointed by the governing body. Vacancies that occur prior to the expiration of a term are filled by the mayor until the vacancy term expires. Ex-Offico members include the librarian and the mayor. The library board makes recommendation to the city council. The library commission shall choose its own officers and maintain records. Meetings are quarterly and minutes and records are submitted to the city council. The library board only has the powers granted by the city council.

Harriman-the library board is a 5 member board serving without pay. They are appointed by the city council. The code goes on to say that the library board is composed of an alderman and 6 citizens. Five shall be residents of the city. One is to be from Roane County. Vacancies during a term are filled by the mayor. The library board shall provide, conduct and supervise the public library and other related facilities and activities on any of the properties owned by the city or on other properties. The library board shall have the power to appoint or designate someone to act as librarian who is trained and properly qualified for the work and such other personnel as the board deems proper. The library board shall make full and complete annual reports to the city council.

White House-the library board is a 7 member board appointed by the governing body. Members shall be the mayor or his designee and 6 citizen’s resident of the city. Nor more than 5 shall be of the same sex. Vacancies prior to the expiration of a term are appointed by the mayor. The library board shall provide, conduct and supervise the public library, as well as other related facilities and activities on any of the properties owned or controlled by the city or other properties. The board shall have the authority to appoint or designate someone to act as librarian who is trained and properly qualified for the work and such other personnel as the board deems proper. The board shall submit a budget to the governing body and shall make full and complete annual reports to the governing body. The library board will initiate and conduct an annual performance evaluation of the librarian and forward to the city administrator so that it may be used for possible future pay increases.

Kingston-the library board is a 7 member board appointed by the governing body. No more than one member of the city council may serve. The head librarian shall be an ex-Offico member. The board members shall be qualified voters and preferably residents of the city. The board shall have jurisdiction over the affairs of the library. The board may, by agreement with the city, relinquish all personnel responsibilities to the city to be administered as if the library board was a department of the city. All library board personnel shall be city employees. The library board shall submit a detailed budget to the city council.

Elizabethton-the library board is a 5 member board with full authority to operate. Two members shall be members of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc. One or more may be council members.

East Ridge-the library board is a 5 member board, residents of the city, appointed by the governing body. The chairman shall preside over all meeting of the board and shall have general charge of and supervision over the activities of the board. The secretary shall take minutes and provide copies to the city council. The library board is authorized to direct the affairs of the library, including the appointment of a librarian. Funds shall be held in accordance with TCA 10-3-106 and shall be disbursed by the city. Service is free to residents of East Ridge and the board may extend the privileges and facilities of the library to persons residing outside the city upon such terms as may be deemed proper.

Englewood-the library board is a 7 member board organized pursuant to TCA 10-3-101 et seq. Members must be citizens of McMinn County and qualified to vote. No officials; employee of the city nor member of any city board shall be a member or director of the public library board, except that the mayor or a council member may serve. No more than 5 shall be of the same sex. The city council shall make appointments. Board members may be replaced for neglect of duties or misconduct. The council shall fill all vacancies. The library board may appoint or employ a librarian. The librarian and all assistants and employees, and the operations and administration of the library shall be under the supervisory control and direction of the library board. Title to all property shall be in the name of the city. The service is free to inhabitants of the city; however, the board may extend privileges to others as they deem proper. The library board shall submit annual reports to the city council. All library accounts are to be audited annually.

Summary

It is my opinion that a municipal library service must be provided under the provisions of TCA 10-3-101. That the service must be free to city residents and that the board can charge non- residents a fee for using the municipal service. I found it interesting that upon discontinuance of the service all assets revert to the county. It appears that the City of Englewood is operating a library in compliance with the provisions of TCA 10-3-101 and you all may want to look at that as a model.

Sincerely



Ron Darden
Municipal Management Consultant

CC. MTAS Senior Legal Consultant Sid Hemsley
MTAS Librarian Frances Adams-O'Brien