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Oregon Library Laws - Revised Statutes - Public Libraries
Oregon Revised Statutes
Chapter 357 - Libraries; Archives; Poet Laureate

PUBLIC LIBRARIES

357.400 Definitions for ORS 357.400 to 357.621. As used in ORS 357.400 to 357.621:
(1) "Governing body" means the board, commission, council or other body which governs the local government unit.
 
(2) "Local government unit" means any city, county, library service district established under ORS chapter 451, school district, community college district or a library district established under ORS 357.216 to 357.286.
 
(3) "Public library" or "public library system" means a public agency responsible for providing and making accessible to all residents of a local government unit library and information services suitable to persons of all ages.
357.410 Authority of local government units for public libraries. Any local government unit may:
(1) Establish, equip and maintain a public library.
 
(2) Contract with an established public library or with a private society or corporation owning and controlling a secular or nonsectarian library for the purpose of providing free use of the library for the residents of the local government unit, under such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon.
 
(3) Contract with one or more units of local government or library boards pursuant to ORS 190.003 to 190.620 to provide jointly a public library or public library service or share in the use of facilities, under such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon.
 
(4) Enter into an interstate library agreement pursuant to Article VI of the Interstate Library Compact (ORS 357.340).
 
(5) Contract with the Trustees of the State Library for assistance in establishing, improving or extending public library service.
 
(6) Levy annually and cause to be collected, as other general taxes are collected, a tax upon the taxable property in the local government unit to provide a library fund to be used exclusively to maintain such library.
 
(7) Levy and cause to be collected, as other taxes are collected, a special tax upon the taxable property in the local government unit, or contract bonded indebtedness under the provisions of ORS chapter 287 to provide a public library building fund to be used exclusively for the purchase of real property for public library purposes and for the erection and equipping of public library buildings including branch library buildings.
 
(8) Levy or impose such other taxes as may be authorized to the unit by city charter or the charter of a home-rule county.
357.417 Methods of establishing public library by local government unit.
(1) A public library may be established by a local government unit by any of the following ways:
(a) The governing body may pass and enter upon its minutes a resolution or ordinance to the effect that a public library is established under the provisions of ORS 357.400 to 357.621.
 
(b) When a petition requesting an election on the question of establishing and supporting a public library is filed as provided in this section, the governing body shall make and enter an order for an election requesting approval by the electors of the establishment and support of a public library.
 
(c) Upon its own motion, the governing body may make and enter an order for an election requesting approval by the electors of the establishment and support of a public library.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the requirements for preparing, circulating and filing a petition under this section shall be as provided for an initiative petition:
(a) In the case of a county, in ORS 250.165 to 250.235.
 
(b) In the case of a city, in ORS 250.265 to 250.346.
 
(c) In the case of any other local government unit, in ORS 255.135 to 255.205.
(3) If ORS 250.155 makes ORS 250.165 to 250.235 inapplicable to a county or if ORS 250.255 makes ORS 250.265 to 250.346 inapplicable to a city, the requirements for preparing, circulating and filing a petition under this section shall be as provided for an initiative petition under the county or city charter or an ordinance adopted under the county or city charter.
 
(4) Elections held under this section shall be held on a date specified in ORS 255.345.
357.430 Methods of financing public library by local government unit. If a governing body acts under ORS 357.417 (1)(a) or (c), its order shall state the manner in which the local government unit proposes to finance the library, including the estimated amount of any annual tax levy necessary to provide for the library. If the governing body determines that financing may be had only through a local option tax to be submitted to the electors pursuant to ORS 357.525, the order shall so state. The notice, time and manner of election shall be governed by the applicable provisions of ORS chapters 250 and 255.

357.435 Local government required to file plan with State Library. Any local government unit acting under ORS 357.417 shall notify in writing the State Library of its plan for establishing a public library. The State Library shall respond in writing within 30 days, commenting on the plan for establishing the library and on its relationship to the long-range plans for the statewide development and coordination of library services. The State Library's advice or comment is not binding upon the local government unit, and if no such advice or comment is received within 30 days of the request, the local government unit may act without further delay.
 
357.460 Financial interest of public library board and appointive body; compensation.
(1) No member of any public library board or the body appointing such board shall have any financial interest, either directly or indirectly, in any contract to which the library is a party, nor shall receive a salary or any payment for material or for services rendered the board.
 
(2) Board members may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
357.465 Public library board.
(1) Each public library established under ORS 357.417 shall be governed by a library board unless some other method is specified in the charter, ordinance or resolution establishing the library.
 
(2) Upon resolution, ordinance or election pursuant to ORS 357.417, the governing body may appoint a library board. The library board of a city, county or county service district, as determined by the governing body, shall consist of not less than five members nor more than 15 members. In the case of a school district or community college district, such board shall consist of five, seven or more members at the discretion of the governing body.
 
(3) If the board will consist of five members, one member shall initially hold office for one year, one for two years, one for three years and two for four years, from July 1 in the year of their appointment. If the board will consist of seven members, one member shall initially hold office for one year, two for two years, two for three years, and two for four years, from July 1 in the year of their appointment. If the board will consist of six members or more than seven members, the members first appointed shall hold office for such terms as will achieve the staggered term base established for smaller boards by this section. Succeeding appointees shall hold office for a term of four years from July 1 in the year of their appointment. At the expiration of the term of any member of such board, the governing body shall appoint a new member or may reappoint a member for a term of four years. If a vacancy occurs, the governing body shall appoint a new member for the unexpired term. No person shall hold appointment as a member for more than two full consecutive terms, but any person may be appointed again to the board after an interval of one year.
357.470 Board organization; name of library. After appointment, the public library board shall meet and organize by the election of a chairperson from among its members. The librarian shall serve as secretary to the board and keep the record of its actions.

357.490 Library board general powers. In the ordinance or resolution establishing the library, the governing body shall determine the library board's responsibility for:
(1) Appointment of the librarian and staff, fixing their compensation, determining their working conditions and prescribing their duties.
 
(2) Formulating rules and policies for the governance of the library.
 
(3) Preparing and submitting an annual budget request.
 
(4) Approving, or delegating to the librarian the responsibility for approving, all expenditures from the library fund or the public library building fund.
 
(5) Acceptance, use or expenditure of any real or personal property or funds donated to the library, or purchase, control or disposal of real and personal property necessary for the purposes of the library, except that each donation shall be administered in accordance with its terms, and all property or funds shall be held in the name of the governing body.
 
(6) Selection of sites for public library buildings or for location of library facilities.
 
(7) Entering into contracts.
 
(8) Such other activities as the governing body may assign.
357.520 Annual report. Each public library established under ORS 357.417 shall make an annual report to the State Library and to the governing body on a form supplied by the State Library.
 
357.525 Election to authorize local option tax.
(1) A local option tax for any of the purposes stated in ORS 357.410, 357.417 or 357.490 shall be submitted at an election as provided in this section. The governing body of the local government unit:
(a) May order the election on its own resolution; or
 
(b) Shall order the election when a petition is filed as provided in this section.
(2) The resolution or the petition calling the election under this section shall state the purpose for which the funds are to be expended, the period during which the proposed taxes are to be levied and the amount to be levied each year, which amount shall be uniform throughout the period of levy.
 
(3) Except as provided in subsections (4) and (5) of this section, the requirements for preparing, circulating and filing a petition under this section shall be as provided for an initiative petition:
(a) In the case of a county, in ORS 250.165 to 250.235.
 
(b) In the case of a city, in ORS 250.265 to 250.346.
 
(c) In the case of any other local government unit, in ORS 255.135 to 255.205.
(4) If ORS 250.265 to 250.346 apply to a city, then notwithstanding ORS 250.325, the city governing body shall submit the local option tax question to the electors without first considering its adoption or rejection.
 
(5) If ORS 250.155 makes ORS 250.165 to 250.235 inapplicable to a county or if ORS 250.255 makes ORS 250.265 to 250.346 inapplicable to a city, the requirements for preparing, circulating and filing a petition under this section shall be as provided for an initiative petition under the county or city charter or an ordinance adopted under the county or city charter.
 
(6) The notice, time and manner of election shall be governed by the applicable provisions of ORS chapter 250 and:
(a) In the case of a county or city, ORS chapters 246 to 260.
 
(b) In the case of any other local government unit, ORS chapter 255.
(7) Upon approval by a majority of the electors voting at the election, the taxing unit shall levy each year during the approved period the amount so approved. The tax proceeds shall be handled as provided by ORS 357.410 or 357.430, or as otherwise provided by law.
357.610 Conformity to ORS 357.400 to 357.621 by libraries organized prior to enactment of those statutes; effect on executed library contracts.
(1) Libraries organized under Oregon laws prior to September 13, 1975, are continued, and may have their organizations changed so as to conform to ORS 357.001 to 357.200, 357.330, 357.360, 357.400 to 357.621, 357.975 and 357.990 by resolution of the governing body of the local government unit which established the library. The resolution shall outline the procedure necessary to be taken for such change.
 
(2) Nothing contained in ORS 357.001 to 357.200, 357.330, 357.360, 357.400 to 357.621, 357.975 and 357.990 shall affect nor change the terms of any library contract executed prior to September 13, 1975. However, by mutual consent, the parties to the contract may amend the contract so as to make it conform to all or any of the provisions of ORS 357.001 to 357.200, 357.330, 357.360, 357.400 to 357.621, 357.975 and 357.990.
357.621 Public hearings required prior to abolishing or withdrawing support from public library. No governing body which has established a public library under the laws of this state shall abolish or withdraw support for such library without first holding at least two public hearings on the matter at least 90 days apart. The governing body shall give public notice of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the area for two successive weeks at least 30 days prior to the first hearing.