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Library Board Powers and Duties

The powers and duties of Library Boards of Trustees are set forth in Montana Code Annotated 22-1-309.

22-1-309. Trustees — powers and duties.

The library board of trustees shall have exclusive control of the expenditure of the public library fund, of construction or lease of library buildings, and of the operation and care of the library. The library board of trustees of every public library shall:

  1. adopt bylaws and rules for its own transaction of business and for the government of the library, not inconsistent with law;
  2. establish and locate a central public library and may establish branches thereof at such places as are deemed necessary;
  3. have the power to contract, including the right to contract with regions, counties, cities, school districts, educational institutions, the state library, and other libraries, to give and receive library service, through the boards of such regions, counties, and cities and the district school boards, and to pay out or receive funds to pay costs of such contracts;
  4. have the power to acquire, by purchase, devise, lease or otherwise, and to own and hold real and personal property in the name of the city or county or both, as the case may be, for the use and purposes of the library and to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of property real or personal, when no longer required by the library and to insure the real and personal property of the library;
  5. pay necessary expenses of members of the library staff when on business of the library;
  6. prepare an annual budget, indicating what support and maintenance of the public library will be required from public funds, for submission to the appropriate agency of the governing body. A separate budget request shall be submitted for new construction or for capital improvement of existing library property.
  7. make an annual report to the governing body of the city or county on the condition and operation of the library, including a financial statement. The trustees shall also provide for the keeping of such records as shall be required by the Montana state library in its request for an annual report from the public libraries and shall submit such an annual report to the state library.
  8. have the power to accept gifts, grants, donations, devises, or bequests of property, real or personal, from whatever source and to expend or hold, work, and improve the same for the specific purpose of the gift, grant, donation, devise, or bequest. These gifts, grants, donations, devises, and bequests shall be kept separate from regular library funds and are not subject to reversion at the end of the fiscal year.
  9. exercise such other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for the effective use and management of the library.

History: Ap. p. Sec. 5, Ch. 260, L. 1967; Sec. 44-222, R.C.M. 1947; Ap. p. Sec. 1, Ch. 47, L. 1927; re-en. Sec. 5668.17, R.C.M. 1935; Sec. 11-1006, R.C.M. 1947; R.C.M. 1947, 11-1006(part), 44-222.

See appendix for the statute interpretation by several Attorney General’s Opinions summarized by Assistant Attorney Jim Scheier for the Montana State Library on April 19, 2013

Adopted: 1/27/2016

Terry Guidi, Chair
Library Board of Trustees

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