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Requirements for State Aid to Virginia Public Libraries

Requirements which must be met in order to receive grants-in-aid.

In order to qualify for grants-in-aid, all libraries serving more than 5,000 persons must meet the following requirements by July 1, 1992:

  1. Be organized under the appropriate section of the Code of Virginia. Not more than one library in a county or regional library system or a municipal government unit may receive a grant.
  2. Submit to the State Library Board:
    • Charter, resolution, or other legal papers under which they are organized.
    • A copy of the by-laws of the board of trustees, a list of trustees, revised as changes occur.
    • A five-year plan, adopted by the governing body of the library service in the area (areas) served. In order to receive continuing grants, this plan must be updated annually.
    • A written statement of policy covering such items as: service, personnel, and maintenance of book collections and other materials.
    • A copy of the budget for the expenditure of local funds, not including anticipated state and federal funds. This must be submitted annually.
  3. Have local operating expenditures of at least 50% of the median statewide local operating expenditures per capita, two - thirds of which must be from taxation or endowment. The median shall be recalculated each biennium. Libraries obtaining aid for the first time or those falling below the 50% median must meet the requirement within five years. Libraries which fall below 50% of the median in local expenditures per capita must submit a plan to the State Library Board for reaching the minimum requirement. The plan must include a schedule of annual increases in local expenditures of not less than 20% of the amount needed to attain local per capita expenditures of 50% of the median within five years.

    Local operating expenditures from taxation or endowment for any library, or library system, shall not fall below that of the previous year. In cases where the budgets of all the departments of the local government are reduced below those of the previous year, the library's state grant-in-aid would be reduced. The State Library may require that the amount of such reduction in the library's total expenditure be subtracted from the library's eligibility and that the state grant be reduced accordingly. If the library's budget is reduced and other agencies' budgets are not, then the library would receive no state grant-in- aid and would be ineligible for one until local expenditures shall have again reached or exceeded the local effort at the time of the last previous grant.

    The library would be ineligible for any federal funds if local funds are reduced below that of the previous year.

    Grants - in - aid shall be used as supplements to local funds.

    The amount of any undesignated balance in the local operating budget at the end of the fiscal year which exceeds 10% will be subtracted from the grant which is based on that years expenditures.
  4. Have certified librarians in positions as required by state law. Libraries failing to employ a certified librarian in the position of director will have their state aid grant reduced by 25%.
  5. Keep open a headquarters library or centrally located branch at least 40 hours a week for a full range of library services. This schedule must include at least three consecutive evening hours an appropriate weekend hours. Evening hours are defined as the hours after 5 p.m.
  6. Maintain an up-to-date reference collection and set up procedures for securing materials from other libraries through interlibrary loan.
    • Organize materials for convenient use through shelf arrangement, classification and cataloging, and provide a catalog of its resources.
    • Stimulate use of materials through publicity, displays, reading lists, story hours, book talks, book and film discussions and other appropriate means.
    • Lend guidance in all outlets to individuals in the use of informational, educational, and recreational materials.
    • Maintain a collection of currently useful materials by annual additions and systematic removal of items no longer useful to maintain the purposes of quality of its resources. Have a telephone and the number of the telephone listed in the local telephone directory.
    • Provide the basic services listed in this section free of charge to the public as required by law.
  7. Every regional, county, and city library serving an area of more than 400 square miles, or more than 25,000 persons, must provide some form of extension service acceptable to the board.
  8. If the library system has two or more service units, either branches or stations, it must maintain a scheduled, frequent delivery system.
  9. The Library Board may, at its discretion, make exceptions for a specified period of time to any single requirement listed above. The exception will be made only if the library can show that a real effort has been made to meet the requirement and that significant progress has been made toward meeting this requirement.

Approved by the State Library Board, March 13, 1991.