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22 Pa. Code § 141.24. Library systems.

§ 141.24. Library systems.

 (a)  General. In approving or disapproving plans for the use of State funds by library systems, decisions of the State Librarian shall be determined by the criteria set forth in subsections (b)—(g).

 (b)  Definitions. The following definitions shall apply to library systems:

   (1)  The term library system shall apply to an organization of two or more independent libraries serving not less than a total of 25,000 people which have voluntarily agreed to participate and have delegated the policy making functions to a system board of directors.

   (2)  A library system may have units and agencies consisting of the following:

     (i)   Headquarters or central library unit. The principal resource unit and administrative center of the system.

     (ii)   Nonheadquarters units: Nonheadquarter units may include the following:

       (A)   Federated or associated local libraries. Local libraries which have agreed to participate in a county, township, or school district public library system from which some or most of its financial support is derived in the form of money, library materials, personnel or services.

       (B)   Branch. A unit with separate quarters, a permanent basic collection of books, a permanent staff and a regular schedule, administered from a central unit.

       (C)   Reading station/center. A unit with separate quarters and limited reader services, minimum basic collection supplemented by rotating collections, a permanent staff, and administered from a central unit.

       (D)   Deposit station. An outlet, usually housed in shared quarters, having no permanent collection or staff and administered by the central unit.

       (E)   Bookmobile. A vehicle especially designed to carry books and other library materials. It may serve not only as a traveling library branch but also as a guide for the location of future branches and reading stations. Bookmobiles serve populations of varying size and maintain regular schedules of community stops throughout the system.

   (3)  A municipality is judged to contribute to the support or aid in the maintenance of a library system when it appropriates to the library system annually an amount of money which is equivalent to 15% or more of the system’s yearly income from all local municipal sources.

   (4)  Effective service area shall be construed to be the geographic area from which come 60% of the unit’s registered borrowers and usage.

   (5)  Full time is at least 35 hours per week. The time of several individuals who regularly work at least 5 hours weekly in year-round jobs, excluding maintenance personnel, may be added together and counted as being equivalent to full time or a fraction thereof.

   (6)  A staff member is a person regularly used in a year-round position, other than maintenance, which is customary and necessary for the provision of library service.

   (7)  Qualified means that the staff member must have the training, skills, and experience necessary to perform the tasks or carry out the responsibilities of the job to which he is assigned and can give evidence of such qualifications. To be qualified, the administrator of a system and the head librarian of each unit of the system must be certified as specified in subsection (f)(2).

 (c)  Structure and government of library systems. The structure and government of library systems shall conform with the following:

   (1)  The structure of the library system shall be determined by those units or agencies comprising the system so long as the system shall be established, organized, and financially supported in conformity with The Library Code (24 P.S. § §  4101—4503), which is the authority for establishing library service at public expense.

   (2)  System board members shall be appointed by the municipal officers of each municipality contributing to the support or aiding in the maintenance of a library system in accordance with section 411 of The Library Code (24 P.S. §  4411).

     (i)   In the case of a Library System established prior to June 14, 1961, each municipality which contributes to the support or aids in the maintenance of the system shall appoint a number of members to serve on the board of library directors of the system as is mutually agreed upon by such municipalities; provided that no single municipality shall be required to appoint more than two board members and provided, further, that the apportionment of board positions agreed to by such municipalities shall be subject to the approval of the State Librarian.

     (ii)   In the case of a library system which receives no contribution in support or aid in maintenance from a municipal government, the system board shall consist of not less than five nor more than nine members selected or appointed as the participating libraries may agree. The apportionment of members and the method of appointment or selection shall be subject to the approval of the State Librarian. The first members shall be appointed or selected as nearly as may be 1/3 for 1 year, 1/3 for 2 years and 1/3 for 3 years. All subsequent appointments or selections to fill the places of those whose terms have expired shall be for a term of three years. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired terms. In the event that a municipality subsequently begins to contribute to support of the system, the system board shall be reorganized to comply with the provisions of subparagraph (i).

   (3)  The system shall have written agreements of participation between the system board and each local library which is a member of the system, in which the obligations, services, and contributions of each party shall be stated.

   (4)  The system board shall have and shall file with its local agencies and the State Library of Pennsylvania a written plan for system-wide service and development. The plan shall be reviewed annually and amended as necessary and shall include in its overall objectives specifications for programming and services to increasingly meet the needs of the public. Each resident of the system service area must be provided with direct and convenient access to library services.

   (5)  The annual operating expenditures of the total system must be equivalent to the State aid for the total population in the total service area of the system and the amount of local effort necessary to qualify for that aid as provided in section 303(1) and (3) of The Library Code (24 P.S. §  4303(1) and (3)), but, in no event, shall such operating expenditures be less than $50,000.

   (6)  The library system shall be an agency of local governments.

     (i)   Each municipality which maintains a library system or which contributes to the support or aids in the maintenance of a library system within the meaning of subsection (b)(3), shall pass an ordinance or resolution establishing or designating the library system to be the agent of the municipality to provide library services to the residents and taxpayers thereof in accordance with section 415 of The Library Code (24 P.S. §  4415). If the library system was not established by the municipality, the system board shall pass a resolution accepting the designation.

     (ii)   The system board shall make written financial and statistical reports at least quarterly to its municipalities and other funding agencies and to the member units of the system.

   (7)  The system board shall commit the system, by resolution, to participation in the District Library Center Cooperative Program.

   (8)  The functions of the system board and of the system administrator shall be clearly differentiated in a written statement.

   (9)  The board shall develop criteria for membership in the system and adopt policies that will be applicable throughout the system.

   (10)  The system administrator and the heads of the participating units shall meet at least bi-monthly to consider system services and activities.

 (d)  Services. Library system services shall include the following:

   (1)  Each unit within the system shall provide free access including free lending and reference services to all residents of the system’s total service area.

   (2)  The units within the system shall maintain well-planned hours of service which will permit all residents of the system’s community convenient access to library materials and services.

   (3)  The library system shall be open for services weekly in accordance with the following minimums:

  DescriptionPopulationper week
Headquarters unit25,000—49,99950
50,000—and over65
Nonheadquarters units0—4,99910
25,000—and over40

   (4)  The system shall develop an interlibrary loan service among the members of the system which will assure a status report or delivery of the item requested within three days after receipt of the request.

 (e)  Library materials. The library system shall conform with the following regarding library materials:

   (1)  The system shall have a written statement of policy governing selection and maintenance of library materials.

   (2)  The system as a whole shall provide a well-balanced collection of not less than one title per capita and not less than 1 1/2 currently useful items per capita using the population of the system as the basis for determining the total required; provided that no system shall be required to have more than 100,000 titles. The holdings of all units of the system shall be used to arrive at the actual holdings of the system in order to determine compliance with this minimum standard.

   (3)  The system shall develop rotating collections to supplement the basic collections of the units as required by the system plan.

   (4)  No unit in a system shall subscribe to fewer than ten periodical titles. The system headquarters unit shall subscribe to a balanced collection of currently useful periodicals in accordance with the following minimums:

Population of
the System
25,000—49,999 75
50,000—and over125

   (5)  The system shall develop and maintain a catalog of acquisitions after the effective date of the standards.

 (f)  Personnel. The library system shall conform with the following regarding personnel:

   (1)  The system shall have a written personnel policy.

   (2)  The system shall be administered by a certified professional librarian with at least two years public library experience including some supervisory experience or its equivalent; provided, however, that no system shall be deprived of State aid because of having a noncertified administrator appointed prior to the effective date of this section. Each unit within the system shall have a head librarian qualified in accordance with its effective service area as follows:

     (i)   Population up to 5,000. System certified personnel with at least in-service training provided by the system.

     (ii)   Population 5,00014,999. Certification at least as a Library Assistant by the State Library of Pennsylvania.

     (iii)   Population 15,00019,999. Certification at least as a Provisional Librarian by the State Library of Pennsylvania.

     (iv)   Population 20,000 and above. Certification as a Professional Librarian by the State Library of Pennsylvania.

   (3)  The library system shall have one qualified staff member, full time or equivalent, excluding maintenance personnel, for each 4,500 persons in the total service area of the system. One-fifth of the staff shall be certified professional librarians. For systems with populations 100,000 and over, at least 22 staff members, full time or equivalent, excluding maintenance personnel, plus one for every 5,500 persons over 100,000 population, shall be required. In determining compliance with this standard, all staff members, exclusive of maintenance personnel, in all units of the system shall be considered as part of the final total staff.

 (g)  Facilities. Library system facilities shall conform with the following:

   (1)  After the effective date of this section, it shall be the responsibility of the system board to review and approve plans for construction, remodeling, or enlargement of units in the system to confirm that the units fulfill the needs of the area served.

   (2)  Each member unit shall have an outdoor sign stating it is a library.

   (3)  Each member unit shall have a telephone listing.

   (Editor’s Note: The Library Code (24 P.S. § §  4101—4503) was repealed by the act of November 1, 2012 (P.L. 1683, No. 210) and replaced by 24 Pa.C.S. Chapter 93 (relating to Public Library Code).)


   The provisions of this §  141.24 amended through May 22, 1981, effective May 23, 1981, 11 Pa.B. 1800. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (56592).

Cross References

   This section cited in 22 Pa. Code §  142.1 (relating to definitions).

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