CHAPTER 10. PUBLIC LIBRARIES; PUBLIC RECREATION; ATHLETIC ESTABLISHMENTS; MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS; ROSTER OF SERVICEMEN; EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING AUTHORITY.
ARTICLE 1. PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
§10-1-1. "Public library" and "governing authority" defined.
The term "public library" as used in this article shall be
construed to mean a library maintained wholly or in part by any
governing authority from funds derived by taxation and the services
of which are free to the public, except for those charges for which
provision may be made elsewhere in this article. The term shall
not, however, include special libraries, such as law, medical or
other professional libraries, or school libraries which are
maintained primarily for school purposes. The term "governing
authority" shall be construed to mean county court, county board of
education or the governing body of any municipality.
§10-1-2. Power of governing authority to establish and maintain
A governing authority either by itself or in cooperation with
one or more other such governing authorities, shall have the power
to establish, equip and maintain a public library, or to take over,
maintain or support any public library already established. Any
library established, maintained or supported by a governing
authority may be financed either (1) by the appropriation from the
general funds of the governing authority of a sum sufficient for
the purpose, or (2) by the imposition of an excess levy for library
purposes, in accordance with the provisions of section sixteen,
article eight, chapter eleven of this code.
Such sums as are appropriated hereunder may be transferred to
the public library board for deposit and disbursement as the public
library board shall direct. By such transfer the governing
authority designates the public library board as its disbursing
§10-1-3. Regional library defined; apportionment of regional
A regional library is a public library established and/or
maintained by two or more counties, by action of their governing
authorities, under the terms of a contract to which they all agree.
The expenses of the regional library shall be apportioned between
or among the counties concerned on such a basis as shall be agreed
upon in the contract.
§10-1-3a. Authority of regional library board to disburse funds.
The governing authorities which maintain a regional library
may contribute the apportioned sum to the regional library board,
such contributions to be deposited as the regional library board
shall direct and to be disbursed by the officer designated by that
board. By such contribution the governing authority designates the
regional library board as its disbursing agent.
§10-1-4. Contract with existing public library.
The governing authority may, in lieu of supporting and
maintaining its own public library, enter into a contract with an
existing public library and make annual payments of money to such
library, whose library materials and services shall be available
without charge to all persons living within the area represented by
such governing authority. Any school board may contract for school
library service from an existing public library which shall agree
to furnish books to a school or schools under the terms of the
All money paid to a library under such a contract shall be
expended solely for the maintenance and support of the library.
WVC 10 - 1 - 5
§10-1-5. Board of library directors -- Qualifications; term of
office; vacancies; removal; no compensation.
(a) Whenever a public library is established under this
article, the governing authority or authorities shall appoint a
board of directors with five members chosen with reference to their
fitness for such office, from:
(1) The citizens of the library's service area, as determined
by the Library Commission; or
(2) The county in which the library is located.
(b) The board of directors for a regional library shall
consist of not less than five nor more than ten members, with a
minimum of one member from each county in the region. The total
number of directors and the apportionment of directors by county
shall be determined by joint action of the governing authorities
(c) The term of office for a director is five years from the
first day of July following the appointment. Directors may serve
until their successors are appointed and qualified.
(d) For a new board of directors under this article, the
initial appointment of the directors shall be staggered.
Thereafter all appointments shall be for terms of five years.
(e) Vacancies in the board shall be immediately reported by
the board to the governing authority and filled by appointment.
Vacancies for an unexpired term shall be immediately reported by
the board to the governing authority and filled by appointment for the remainder of the term only.
(f) A director may be removed for just cause in the manner
provided by the bylaws of the library board.
(g) No compensation shall be paid to any director.
§10-1-6. Board of library directors -- Powers and duties.
The board of directors of each public library established or
maintained under this article shall: (a) Immediately after
appointment, meet and organize by electing one member as president
and one as secretary, and such other officers as may be necessary.
All officers shall hold office for one year and shall be eligible
for re-election. (b) Adopt such bylaws, rules and regulations as
are necessary for its own guidance and for the administration,
supervision and protection of the library and all property
belonging thereto as may not be inconsistent with the provisions of
this article. (c) Supervise the expenditure of all money credited
to the library fund. All money appropriated or collected for
public library purposes shall be deposited in the treasury of the
governing authority to the credit of the library fund, to be paid
out on the certified requisition of the library board, in the
manner provided by law for the disbursement of other funds of such
governing authority, or shall be deposited as the library's board
of directors shall direct and be disbursed by the officer
designated by that board, such officer before entering upon his
duties to give bond payable to and in an amount fixed by the board
of directors of the library, conditioned for the faithful discharge
of his official fiscal duties. The cost of such bond shall be paid
from the library fund. The books, records and accounts of the
library board shall be subject to audit and examination by the
office of the state tax commissioner of West Virginia. (d) Lease or
purchase and occupy suitable quarters, or erect upon ground secured
through gift or purchase, an appropriate building for the use of such library; and have supervision, care, and custody of the
grounds, rooms or buildings constructed, leased, or set apart for
library purposes. (e) Employ a head librarian, and upon his
recommendation employ such other assistants as may be necessary for
the efficient operation of the library.
§10-1-7. Free use of libraries.
Each library established or maintained by any governing
authority shall be free for the use of all persons living within
the area represented by such governing authority, except for those
charges for which provision may be made elsewhere in this article.
The use of the library is subject to reasonable rules and
regulations adopted by the library board. The board may extend the
privilege and use of the library to nonresidents upon such terms
and conditions as it may prescribe.
The board may exclude from the use of the library under its
charge any person who wilfully and persistently violates any rule
or regulation prescribed for the use of the library or its
§10-1-8. Annual report.
The board of directors shall make an annual report for the
fiscal year ending June thirtieth to the governing authority or
authorities appointing it, stating the conditions of the library
property, the various sums of money received from the library fund,
and all other sources, and how such money was expended, the number
of books and periodicals on hand, the number added and withdrawn
during the year, the number of books lent, the number of registered
users of such library, with such other statistics, information and
suggestions as may be deemed of general interest. A copy of this
report shall be sent to the West Virginia library commission.
§10-1-9. Library board to be a corporation; vesting of title to
bequests or donations.
The board of directors of each public library shall be a
corporation; and as such it may contract and be contracted with,
sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, and shall have and use a
The title to all bequests or donations of cash or other
personal property or real estate for the benefit of such library
shall be vested in the board of directors to be held in trust and
controlled by such board according to the terms and for the
purposes set forth in the deed, gift, devise or bequest: Provided,
however, That the person making the bequest or donation of cash or
other personal property or real estate for the benefit of such
library shall have the right and privilege to vest the title
thereto in a trustee, or trustees, of his own selection, and to
provide for the selection of successor trustees, and to designate
the manner in which said fund or property shall be invested and
§10-1-9a. Fees, service and rental charges; fines; sale of surplus
or obsolete materials or equipment; deposit and
disbursement of receipts.
The board of directors of a library established or maintained
under this article may fix, establish, and collect such reasonable
fees, service and rental charges as may be appropriate; may assess
fines, penalties, damages, or replacement costs for the loss of,
injury to, or failure to return any library property or material;
and may sell surplus, duplicated, obsolete, or other unwanted
materials or equipment belonging to the library. All moneys
received from these or other sources in the course of the
administration and operation of the library shall be deposited in
the library fund and shall be disbursed by the board of directors
in the manner prescribed elsewhere in this article.
§10-1-10. Injury to library property; penalty.
Any person who shall wilfully deface or injure any building or
furniture, or deface, injure or destroy any picture, plate, map,
engraving, newspaper, magazine, or book, or subject of art, or any
other article belonging to a public library shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by a
fine of not less than ten dollars, nor more than fifty dollars, or
by imprisonment not exceeding six months.
§10-1-11. Willful retention of library property.
Any person who willfully retains a book, newspaper, plate,
picture, photograph, engraving, painting, drawing, map, magazine,
document, letter, public record, microfilm, sound recording, audio
visual materials in any format, magnetic or other tapes, artifacts
or other documentary (written or printed) materials, or all
materials of any kind whatsoever belonging to any public library
for thirty days after the mailing date of a written notice
demanding the return of said material and giving notice of said
violation, forwarded to that person's last known address, is guilty
of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not
more than two hundred dollars: Provided,
That a date or dates
designating a grace period for the return of library materials to
public libraries shall be established, said dates to be established
by the state library commission pursuant to rules and regulations
A conviction or payment of any fine shall not be construed to
constitute payment for library material, nor shall a person
convicted under this section be thereby relieved of any obligation
to return to the library such material. Further, a conviction or
payment of any fine shall not be construed as a waiver of any
nominal daily fine which may be imposed by library rules,
regulations or policies.
The parent or guardian of a minor who willfully commits any
act prohibited by this section shall be liable for all damages so
caused by the minor up to the amount of two thousand five hundred
dollars, after the parent or guardian is served with proper written notice as aforementioned.
§10-1-11a. Effect of article on existing laws.
Nothing in this article shall be construed to abolish or
abridge any power or duty conferred upon any public library already
established by virtue of any city or town charter or other special
act, or to affect any existing local laws allowing or providing
municipal aid to libraries. Any library now operating under any
city or town charter or other special act has, however, the
privilege of reorganizing under the provisions of this article.
All powers granted herein shall be considered to be conferred
upon public libraries existing at the time of the passage of this
Any provision concerning the disbursement of funds including
the designation of the depository of the library funds or of the
library board's disbursing officer contained in this article may be
adopted by a library board organized under the provisions of this
article, notwithstanding any other provisions of law.
§10-1-12. State library commission.
There shall be a state library commission, known as the "West
Virginia library commission", which shall consist of five members
who shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, each for a term of four years. Thereafter,
on the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five,
four additional members shall be appointed: Provided,
That for the
four new members added to the commission in the year one thousand
nine hundred ninety-five, one shall serve an initial term of four
years and three shall serve an initial term of two years. No more
than three members may reside in the same congressional district.
At least four members of the commission shall be women and at least
four members shall be men. No member of the commission shall
receive compensation for services rendered, nor be engaged or
interested in the publishing business.
The members of the commission in office on the date this code
takes effect shall, unless sooner removed, continue to serve until
their respective terms expire and their successors have been
appointed and have qualified. On or before the expiration of the
terms for which said members are appointed, the governor shall
appoint their successors.
WVC 10 - 1 - 13
§10-1-13. State library commission -- officers.
(a) The officers of the commission are a chairman, elected
from the members of the commission, for a term of one year, and a
secretary, who shall be a person trained in modern library methods,
not a member of the commission. The secretary shall be appointed
by the commission and shall serve at the will of the commission.
The commission may establish headquarters or maintain its office at
any point in the state determines.
(b) The secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of
the commission, have charge of its work in organizing new libraries
and improving those already established, supervise the work of the
traveling libraries, and in general perform such duties as may from
time to time be assigned to him or her by the commission.
§10-1-14. Same. -- Powers and duties.
The commission shall give assistance, advice and counsel to
all school, state-institutional, free and public libraries, and to
all communities in the state which may propose to establish
libraries, as to the best means of establishing and administering
them, selecting and cataloging books, and other details of library
management, and may send any of its members to aid in organizing
such libraries or assist in the improvement of those already
It may also receive gifts of money, books, or other property
which may be used or held for the purpose or purposes given; and
may purchase and operate traveling libraries under such conditions
and rules as the commission deems necessary to protect the
interests of the state and best increase the efficiency of the
service it is expected to render the public.
It may purchase suitable books for traveling libraries and
distribute them as needed to those persons and places in the state
without adequate public library service. It may collect books and
other suitable library matter and distribute the same among state
institutions desiring the same.
The commission may issue and offer for sale printed material,
such as lists and circulars of information, and in the publication
thereof may cooperate with other state library commissions and
libraries, in order to secure the more economical administration of
the work for which it was formed. It may conduct courses of library instruction and hold librarians' institutes in various
parts of the state.
The commission shall perform such other service in behalf of
public libraries as it may consider for the best interests of the
§10-1-15. State library commission -- Disposition of monetary
If any sums of money are received by the commission as gifts,
they shall be paid into the state treasury and used exclusively for
carrying out the provisions of this article, and paying expenses of
the commissioners. The commission shall expend no sums unless they
are available by gift, appropriation or otherwise.
§10-1-16. Regional libraries and library areas -- Establishment
The West Virginia library commission is hereby authorized to
develop a plan for the establishment and location of regional
libraries, and library areas throughout the state, based on a
detailed survey to be made by the commission of the needs of the
various localities of the state. A region shall include two or
§10-1-17. Regional libraries and library areas -- Referral of plan
to county courts; action on; alteration of plan.
On completion of the survey of any proposed region, the
executive secretary of the commission shall refer the proposal to
the county courts of all the counties included in such proposed
region. The county courts shall act upon such proposal by
resolution, and the votes of a majority of each of the county
courts of the counties included in the proposed region shall be
necessary for the adoption of such proposal. In case of the
rejection of such proposal by the county courts of any of the
counties included in such proposed region, the library commission
is hereby authorized to alter its plan in accordance with such
action in order to provide for a region in such section of the
state. The vote of a majority of each county court in the counties
in such altered region shall be necessary for the adoption of such
§10-1-18. Regional libraries and library areas -- Powers of West
Virginia library commission.
The West Virginia library commission shall have the following
powers for the establishment and maintenance of regional areas and
(a) To establish, maintain, and operate a public library for
(b) To appoint a librarian and the necessary assistants, and
to fix their compensation, such appointments to be based upon merit
and efficiency as determined by the commission. The librarian
shall hold a certificate from an approved school of library science
and shall have had not less than three years of practical
experience in library work. Said library commission shall also
have the power to remove said librarian and other assistants;
(c) To purchase books, periodicals, equipment and supplies;
(d) To purchase sites and erect buildings, and/or to lease
suitable quarters, and to have supervision and control of said
(e) To borrow books from and lend books to other libraries;
(f) To enter into contracts to receive service from or give
service to libraries within or without the region and to give
service to municipalities without the region which have no
libraries, or to cooperate with and aid generally without such
contracts, public school, institutional and other libraries;
(g) To make such bylaws, rules and regulations not
inconsistent with this article as may be expedient for the
government of such regional library areas and the regional libraries therein, and for the purpose of carrying out the
provisions of this article;
(h) To accept for the state of West Virginia any
appropriations of money that may hereafter be made out of the
federal treasury by an act or acts of Congress and to disburse such
funds for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this
article, in accordance with sections eleven and twelve, article
ten, chapter eighteen of the code of one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended.
§10-1-18a. Establishment of state publications clearinghouse;
definitions; powers of West Virginia library
commission; designations by state agencies.
(a) There is hereby established the state depository library
clearinghouse which shall be under the direction of the state
(b) As used in this section, the following terms have the
(1) "Public document" means any document, report, directive,
bibliography, rule, newsletter, pamphlet, brochure, periodical,
request for proposal, or other publication, whether in print or an
unprinted format, that is paid for, in whole or in part, by funds
appropriated by the Legislature and may be subject to distribution
to the public;
(2) "Depository library" means a library designated to
collect, catalog, maintain and make available all or particular
selected state publications to the general public; and
(3) "State agency" means any state office, whether
legislative, executive or judicial, including, but not limited to,
any constitutional officer, department, division, bureau, board,
commission or other agency which expends state appropriated funds.
(c) The state library commission shall establish a state
depository library clearinghouse to receive and distribute all
state public documents to the depository libraries around the
(d) The commission shall designate a state library staff
member as director of the state publications clearinghouse for librarians. The director shall hold a graduate degree in library
science from an accredited institution of higher learning. The
clearinghouse shall establish requirements for eligibility to
become and remain a depository library.
(e) In designating a library as a depository library the
clearinghouse shall consider the geography of the state and the
existing federal depository libraries. West Virginia University
library, Marshall University library and the state department of
archives shall be designated as complete depository libraries that
shall receive two copies of all public documents. The
clearinghouse shall also, pursuant to the requirements it
establishes hereunder, designate other libraries around the state
as depository libraries, upon request from a library.
(f) Each state agency shall designate one person as its
documents officer while notifying the clearinghouse of his or her
identity. The documents officer shall, prior to the public release
of any state public document, deposit with the clearinghouse a
minimum of fifteen copies as required to meet the needs of the
depository library system. If fewer than forty copies of a public
document are produced, no more than two such copies are required to
be deposited with the clearinghouse.
§10-1-19. Regional libraries and library areas -- Transfer of
certain libraries to library commission.
After the establishment of a regional library area or regional
library, as provided for in this article, the county court,
legislative body of any city or town, the board of education of any
county, or any other governing body of any political subdivision of
this state, already maintaining a public, school or county library,
may notify the West Virginia library commission and such county,
city or town, or other subdivision library may be transferred to,
leased to, or used by said library commission for regional library
purposes under such terms as may be mutually agreed upon between
the said library commission and the respective county courts,
legislative bodies of cities or towns, boards of education, or
governing bodies of other political subdivisions.
§10-1-20. Aid to libraries by library commission.
The West Virginia library commission is hereby authorized and
empowered to render such aid and assistance, financial, advisory
and/or otherwise, to public, school, county, or regional libraries,
whether established or maintained by said library commission or
not, under such conditions and rules and regulations as the said
commission deems necessary to further the interests of the state
and best increase the efficiency of the service it is expected to
render the public.
Having determined that the development and support of such
libraries will further the education of the people of the state as
a whole and will thereby aid in the discharge of the responsibility
of the state to encourage and foster education, the West Virginia
library commission is authorized and empowered to pay over and
contribute to any board of library directors created and maintained
pursuant to the provisions of this article or any special act of
the Legislature such sum or sums of money as may be available from
funds included in appropriations made for the West Virginia library
commission for such purpose. The amount of any such payment or
contribution by the commission to any such local library board of
directors shall be determined in accordance with rules and
regulations promulgated by the commission. The library commission
shall have authority to promulgate rules and regulations governing
the manner in which such amount or amounts of money shall be
accounted for and expended.
§10-1-21. Collection and preservation of library data; surveys;
employment of personnel; use of data.
The West Virginia library commission is hereby authorized and
empowered to collect and preserve statistics and other data,
concerning libraries of any sort located within this state; to make
surveys relating to the needs or conditions of such libraries or
the library conditions of any city, town, county, regional library
area, or other subdivision of this state; and to publish the
results and findings thereof in accordance with the provisions of
section fourteen of this article. The commission may employ all
necessary personnel for any of these purposes, such appointments to
be based on merit and efficiency as determined by the commission.
Such data, surveys and findings of the library commission shall be
available to all school, public, institutional, regional and/or
other libraries within this state, whether proposed or established.
§10-1-22. Confidential nature of certain library records.
(a) Circulation and similar records of any public library in this state which identify the user of library materials are not public records but shall be confidential and may not be disclosed except:
(1) To members of the library staff in the ordinary course of business, including paid employees and unpaid volunteers upon completing a written confidentiality agreement which shall prevent disclosure of circulation records, personal information, and similar records of any public library except to the extent allowed under this subsection and obtaining written permission from the library director of the library system wherein he or she will be working;
(2) Upon written consent of the user of the library materials or the user's parents or guardian if the user is a minor or ward; or
(3) Upon appropriate court order or subpoena.
(b) Any disclosure authorized by subsection (a) of this section or any unauthorized disclosure of materials made confidential by that subsection (a) does not in any way destroy the confidential nature of that material, except for the purpose for which an authorized disclosure is made. A person disclosing material as authorized by subsection (a) of this section is not liable therefor.
§10-1-22. Confidential nature of certain library records.
(a) Circulation and similar records of any public library in
this state which identify the user of library materials are not
public records but shall be confidential and may not be disclosed
(1) To members of the library staff in the ordinary course of
(2) Upon written consent of the user of the library materials
or the user's parents or guardian if the user is a minor or ward;
(3) Upon appropriate court order or subpoena.
(b) Any disclosure authorized by subsection (a) of this
section or any unauthorized disclosure of materials made
confidential by that subsection (a) does not in any way destroy the
confidential nature of that material, except for the purpose for
which an authorized disclosure is made. A person disclosing
material as authorized by subsection (a) of this section is not
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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