Statutory Authority


  1. The State and County laws governing libraries are less changeable than Library Board policies which require a periodic review necessary to reflect the changing times and the needs of the community.
  2. Library Laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia
    1. State Library and Library Board — Section 42.1 1 establishes the State Library as the library agency of the State, vesting it with power and responsibility to provide direction, assistance, advice and counsel to all public libraries, communities and interested persons in the Commonwealth; to fix penalties for loss or damage of library materials; and to administer and distribute State and Federal library funds to local libraries.
    2. Local Libraries — Section 42.1-33 2 empowers local governing bodies to establish free public libraries and requires those governing bodies to provide sufficient support (land, buildings, equipment, materials, personnel, maintenance). In Fairfax County, the Board of Supervisors created the Library Board of Trustees which is responsible for library functions, policy, and direction. As with the State Board, the local Board appoints a Director of Libraries to administer the Board's policies and objectives.
    3. Library Funds — Section 42.1-35 prescribes control by the local library board over the Library Fund (which in Fairfax County has been made a part of the General Fund).
      1. Section 42.1-35 provides for the local library board to accept donations and bequests and prescribes as to the accounting for same.
      2. Section 42.1-41 provides for the custody of funds by the "Treasurer" (in Fairfax County this function is handled by the Office of Finance).
    4. State and Federal Aid 3 — Section 42.1-46-58 prescribes the limitations, obligations, minimum standards and other requirements governing library grants by the Federal and State governments. The status requires the State Library Board to establish standards of eligibility.
      1. The State Requirements 4 — which must be met by local library systems to qualify for grants-in-aid were promulgated in 1977.
      2. Minimum Standards Approved by the State Library Board 5 — Minimum standards developed by the Virginia Library Association and adopted by the State Library Board on January 30, 1978, revised and titled Planning for Library Excellence, adopted by the Virginia State Library Board, on November 7, 1987. The document is organized according to three central categories: Administration, Resources, and Services.
      3. The Law for Certification of Librarians 6 Section 42.1-15.1 of the Code of Virginia requires the employment of certified librarians in positions requiring professional expertise.
    5. Regional Library — Section 42.1-33 through 42.1-35 authorizes a regional library when two or more political jurisdictions join and contract to establish and maintain a regional library system. Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax entered into a regional arrangement on April 7, 1965 and the contract renegotiated in 1972. 7

1 State Library and Library Board, Section 42.1, Addendum 1
2 Local and Regional Libraries, Sections 42.1-33 - 42.1-45, Addendum 2
3 State and Federal Aid, Sections 42.1-46 - 42.1-58, Addendum 3
4 State Requirements for Grants-in-Aid, Addendum 4
5 Planning for Library Excellence, Addendum 5
6 Certification of Librarians, Addendum 6
7 Agreement Between Fairfax City and Fairfax County Regarding Regional Library, Addendum 7

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