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over education vested in governing bodies of school districts. For example, the authorization “to do all things necessary for the best interests of the school" could be construed as allowing them to do this. However, as a matter of practice it is well known that many school districts are unable to do so because of lack of funds.
Table 1.–Legal provisions for the establishment of school libraries in 21 States'
Arizona “Any" school district.
"May establish and maintain" district Board of trustees.
District board of education.
City board of education.
“Authorized and empowered to establish County board of public instruc
and maintain” adequate libraries and tion.
library services. Idaho.
"Every school district” except inde- “Shall spend funds” for establishment and School district trustees.
pendent and joint independent Class maintenance of school libraries.
A districts. Illinois (a) District with fewer than 1,000 “Authorized” to furnish libraries.
Board of directors. inhabitants and not governed by
special act. (6) District between 1,000 and 100,000 “Shall have the power and it shall be their Board of education,
inhabitants and not governed by duty" to furnish libraries.
Board of directors.
People of "school house dis
trict. 1 Limited to States in which laws expressly provide that libraries shall be established.
Table 1.-Legal provisions for the establishment of school libraries in 21 States-Continued
(a) “Township’ school district.
“Authorized to establish and maintain'
district library. (6) “Third class” school district
“Authorized to establish and maintain or
continue" a library. “Any” school district
“May provide” library facilities.. “Any public school” in district that has Compulsory if district wishes to receive
raised funds for establishment of State grant.
school library. (a) “Any” school district
“Authorized to vote a tax for the establish
ment and maintenance" of a school
“Authorized to establish and maintain
libraries.' “Any” school district.
“May provide for the establishment, con
а trol, and maintenance” of a school library
“May establish and maintain” libraries.
Board of school directors.
"shall assist in establish
ment" of school libraries. County board of education.
Laws in 33 States (listed in column 1 of table 2) expressly provide financial support for school libraries. The types of districts or schools affected in the 33 States are given in column 2 of table 2. In order to avoid misinterpretation in listing these districts and schools, the plan used in column 2 of table 1 is followed here, namely, to enclose in quotation marks the terms used in the law.
One very important point about the laws relating to financial support for school libraries is whether they are compulsory or optional. Owing to the difficulty of determining this from the phraseology, the attempt to do so has not been made, and instead, the exact wording of the law has been given, just as in the case of table 1, column 3. Whether the phrase, “duty of trustees” to apportion money to libraries should be interpreted as compulsory and whether "authorized” to approve the purchase of library books should be interpreted as optional is often a matter which only a court decision or a ruling of an attorney general can decide.
The sources of funds for financial support of school libraries, as provided by law, have been placed in three categories—district, county, and State (columns 4, 5 and 6, table 2). In some instances it is difficult to determine the source because of the overlapping of funds. For example, the laws of Iowa provide that the money withheld by the county auditor for school libraries shall be taken from the “apportionment” of the several school districts. The “apportionment” referred to comes from three sources: The proceeds of the county-wide property tax, the interest on the State permanent school fund which is distributed through counties, and the proceeds of fines from violations of State penal laws. In this case the source was designated as State and the explanation made under a note in the State digest. (See Iowa digest, p. 72.) Iowa has also another source of funds for school libraries which is the "general school fund” of the district. This is undoubtedly made up of funds from district, county, and State sources, but was designated as district.
An examination of columns 4, 5, and 6 of table 2, shows that in the
North Dakota Vermont
Wyoming In 4 States it is county only—Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia; in 3, State only--California, Louisiana, and North Carolina. It is from both district and county in 4 States-Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, and Oregon; district and State in 7—Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Wisconsin; district, county, and State in 2—South Carolina and Virginia ; and county and State in 1-Florida.