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Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
Public libraries and their national policies
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Public libraries and their national policies

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  • 1. PUBLIC LIBRARIES AND THEIR NATIONAL POLICIES American Resource Center 31.1.2012
  • 2. Public Libraries in the United States  Very different organization and funding structures from state to state  Even within a single state, there are often multiple types of libraries, and sometimes overlapping library districts  There is no law requiring library service to be provided, so there are no public libraries if a locality is unable or simply unwilling to provide one
  • 3. Public Libraries in the United States  How do public libraries differ from one another in the United States?  Funding  City  County  State  Independent library districts (self-funding)  Non-profits  Misc. (hybrids, tribal libraries, etc.)  Governance  Part of local government  Library Board  Elected or appointed  Autonomous or advisory
  • 4. For example: Indiana  For 2010, in Indiana:  $388,760,477 (95%) from local sources  $19,273,111 (~5%) from state sources  $1,064,604 (.003%) from federal sources
  • 5. For example: Indiana
  • 6. For example: Indiana
  • 7. For example: Indiana A B C D E F G H I J Library County 2000 Popula- tion Property Tax or CEDIT Operating Fund Income CAGIT Property Tax Replacement Credit Operating Fund Income CAGIT Certified Shares Operating Fund Income CAGIT Special Fund Operating Fund Income County Option Income Tax (COIT) Operating Fund Income Contractual Revenue Received for Service Operating Fund Income Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) Operating Fund Income Total Local Operating Income (includes A-G) Financial Institutions Tax (FIT) License Excise (LVET) and Commercial Vehicle Excise Tax (CVET) Operating Fund Income INDIANAPOLIS-MARION CO PL Marion 832,693 $41,090,399 $3,765,434 $44,855,833 $276,235 $2,512,204 ALLEN CO PL Allen 331,849 $16,916,627 $3,576,421 $20,493,048 $57,631 $1,456,979 LAKE CO PL Lake 217,349 $7,437,200 $21,213 $7,458,413 $43,655 $630,009 ST JOSEPH CO PL St Joseph 172,627 $8,758,699 $1,303,481 $10,062,180 $782,380 EVANSVILLE-VANDERBURGH PL Vanderburgh 171,922 $7,169,592 $2,907,615 $10,077,207 $25,257 $696,040 PORTER CO PL SYSTEM Porter 128,665 $3,397,883 $3,397,883 $2,595 $374,100 WILLARD LIBRARY OF EVANSVILLE Vanderburgh 121,582 $747,384 $747,384 $2,633 $66,750 MONROE CO PL Monroe 120,563 $4,785,035 $2,217,128 $7,002,163 $9,829 $372,135 TIPPECANOE CO PL Tippecanoe 119,821 $3,219,794 $882,848 $4,102,642 $22,577 $295,566 VIGO CO PL Vigo 105,848 $4,443,658 $215,332 $597,819 $5,256,809 $49,510 $426,521 GARY PL Lake 96,222 $4,160,150 $4,160,150 $2,733 $191,647 ELKHART PL Elkhart 90,792 $3,799,803 $173,441 $920,087 $4,893,331 $17,664 $290,951 MISHAWAKA-PENN-HARRIS PL St Joseph 84,195 $3,247,520 $566,851 $3,814,371 $2,045 $259,925 JOHNSON CO PL Johnson 84,174 $2,510,841 $279,127 $1,773,905 $4,563,873 $3,042 $254,975 HAMMOND PL Lake 83,048 $2,716,202 $2,716,202 $7,742 $163,130 HAMILTON EAST PL Hamilton 82,296 $2,925,395 $3,216,968 $6,142,363 $11,186 $268,994 KOKOMO-HOWARD CO PL Howard 78,245 $2,199,323 $711,137 $2,595 $2,913,055 $11,710 $338,472 ANDERSON PL Madison 74,719 $3,888,978 $990,971 $4,879,949 $22,350 $382,261 MUNCIE-CENTER TWP PL Delaware 71,396 $3,855,609 $485,780 $4,341,389 $34,105 $303,751 BARTHOLOMEW CO PL Bartholomew 71,143 $1,849,015 $119,258 $542,056 $2,510,329 $2,530 $146,998 NEW ALBANY-FLOYD CO PL Floyd 70,823 $1,835,581 $120,959 $473,443 $2,429,983 $6,640 $187,849 LA PORTE CO PL La Porte 65,836 $2,077,090 $344,590 $2,421,680 $345,509 CARMEL CLAY PL Hamilton 64,709 $2,396,996 $2,785,946 $5,182,942 $1,360 $237,759 JEFFERSONVILLE TWP PL Clark 56,695 $1,023,495 $110,193 $524,744 $1,658,432 $1,645 $82,463 MORRISSON REEVES LIBRARY Wayne 54,134 $1,319,211 $53,683 $239,423 $132,724 $1,745,041 $18,375 $78,961 MORGAN CO PL Morgan 53,198 $908,302 $108,899 $533,472 $107,944 $1,658,617 $1,869 $129,451 HANCOCK CO PL Hancock 48,497 $1,947,985 $1,182,656 $3,130,641 $3,933 $188,285 SHELBYVILLE-SHELBY CO PL Shelby 43,445 $740,157 $32,870 $189,754 $962,781 $6,626 $89,895 CHARLESTOWN CLARK CO PL Clark 39,777 $995,800 $350,564 $38,556 $1,384,920 $5,897 $107,435 NEW CASTLE-HENRY CO PL Henry 39,349 $935,772 $716,615 $1,652,387 $827 $147,225 MICHIGAN CITY PL La Porte 37,528 $2,435,166 $247,627 $2,682,793 $0 $122,288 LOGANSPORT-CASS CO PL Cass 36,821 $859,672 $42,588 $215,991 $1,118,251 $8,381 $79,669 LA GRANGE CO PL La Grange 34,909 $1,280,925 $27,079 $177,185 $9,691 $1,494,880 $1,224 $44,215 GOSHEN PL Elkhart 34,669 $1,149,170 $66,932 $364,973 $1,581,075 $3,160 $84,492 JACKSON CO PL Jackson 34,423 $1,758,162 $87,339 $424,379 $2,269,880 $3,926 $157,985 HARRISON CO PL Harrison 34,325 $1,554,777 $101,744 $470,910 $74,188 $2,201,619 $1,526 $205,618 PUTNAM CO PL Putnam 34,311 $312,003 $42,908 $317,116 $29,854 $701,881 $921 $33,511 BEDFORD PL Lawrence 33,979 $987,836 $54,516 $275,860 $1,318,212 $5,384 $109,904 KNOX CO PL Knox 33,978 $984,260 $188,235 $1,172,495 $5,028 $88,382 CROWN POINT COMMUNITY PL Lake 33,069 $859,790 $859,790 $3,675 $85,428 EAST CHICAGO PL Lake 32,414 $2,890,333 $12,595 $2,902,928 $4,849 $81,225 JEFFERSON CO PL Jefferson 31,705 $987,674 $987,674 $4,161 $80,642 MARION PL Grant 31,273 $1,177,774 $467,117 $1,644,891 $4,149 $39,893 FRANKFORT COMMUNITY PL - CLINTON CO CONTRACTUAL PLClinton 31,030 $2,168,984 $68,904 $362,844 $2,600,732 $3,307 $110,152 OHIO TWP PL SYSTEM Warrick 31,002 $1,303,863 $1,303,863 $1,275 $193,280 JASPER-DUBOIS CO CONTRACTUAL PL Dubois 30,311 $1,006,160 $332,478 $1,338,638 $3,289 $87,323 LAWRENCEBURG PL Dearborn 28,976 $685,895 $350,736 $1,036,631 $1,195 $55,729 WEST LAFAYETTE PL Tippecanoe 28,778 $599,678 $385,715 $985,393 $2,426 $25,123 JASPER CO PL Jasper 27,947 $835,615 $110,518 $582,631 $137,444 $1,666,208 $1,635 $151,213 JENNINGS CO PL Jennings 27,554 $391,683 $22,858 $134,644 $1,054 $550,239 $1,745 $45,030 WELLS CO PL Wells 27,176 $918,851 $105,625 $551,745 $120,252 $1,696,473 $3,397 $97,740 BROWNSBURG PL Hendricks 27,109 $605,661 $63,870 $433,329 $1,102,860 $939 $58,892 GREENWOOD PL Johnson 26,849 $665,322 $86,390 $581,773 $1,333,485 $1,079 $65,564 AVON-WASHINGTON TWP PL Hendricks 26,319 $599,317 $70,442 $506,742 $66,754 $1,243,255 $85 $53,821 FAYETTE CO PL Fayette 25,588 $599,703 $138,933 $738,636 $3,324 $46,586 WARSAW COMMUNITY PL Kosciusko 25,276 $1,276,058 $688,693 $1,964,751 $2,782 $92,139 GREENSBURG-DECATUR CO CONTRACTUAL PL Decatur 24,555 $492,938 $44,481 $149,775 $687,194 $80 $41,690 CRAWFORDSVILLE DISTRICT PL Montgomery 23,837 $818,786 $535,102 $1,353,888 $3,364 $43,778 SCOTT CO PL Scott 22,960 $600,232 $172,722 $772,954 $2,514 $58,244 PLAINFIELD-GUILFORD TWP PL Hendricks 22,895 $1,031,981 $103,749 $680,682 $1,816,412 $4,935 $83,889 NOBLE CO PL Noble 22,892 $492,915 $43,248 $236,488 $772,651 $743 $49,804 HUNTINGTON CITY-TWP PL Huntington 22,364 $1,293,427 $81,427 $395,554 $3,076 $1,773,484 $127,171 OWEN CO PL Owen 21,786 $415,782 $42,743 $289,329 $747,854 $46,094 SULLIVAN CO PL Sullivan 21,751 $967,181 $967,181 $805 $82,264 BOONVILLE-WARRICK CO PL Warrick 21,381 $746,722 $746,722 $1,820 $29,329
  • 8. Public Libraries in the United States
  • 9. Public Libraries in the United States  Even neighboring states can have wildly different ways of providing library service.  Indiana  100% library districts  Illinois  50% city government, 50% library districts  Ohio  Funded almost entirely by state
  • 10. Research Questions  Is this how public library policy has always been in the United States?  How does the United States’ system compare to those of other countries?  Is there anything approaching an ideal library policy that can be adapted and implemented either on a national or state level in the United States?
  • 11. Historical Examples of Library Policy  United States  Public libraries were often used to prepare areas for statehood  Early public libraries in Hawaii were seen as alternatives to the prevailing drinking culture; the library was first known as the “Temperance Reading Room”  Britain  One of the first attempts to legislate public libraries in Britain was brought about, tellingly, by the “Select Committee on Inquiry into Drunkenness” in 1834.
  • 12. Historical Examples of Library Policy  Russia  Early Russian public libraries were first thought of as ways to transmit the values of the upper class to the workers, essentially teaching them the benefits of the Tsarist feudal system  When the Soviets came to power, libraries held essentially the same position in society, but with the goal of advancing socialism. Lenin was acutely aware of the potential of public libraries; his wife was a librarian by training.
  • 13. Historical Examples of Library Policy Nadezhda Krupskaya  Directed a census of Russian libraries  Encouraged librarians to address patrons in common speech  Advocated for the creation of better library training  All of this had the goal, of course, of advancing Marxism
  • 14. Historical Examples of Library Policy  Sweden  Parish libraries began appearing in the mid-1800s and were mainly designed to give people the necessary literacy skills to study the Bible, but also contained useful household instructions  These were largely replaced by the end of the century with “study circle” libraries, which were established by social groups to further specific causes, like temperance
  • 15. Historical Examples of Library Policy  What do these policies have in common?  Governments have long realized the potential for libraries to influence and educate their patrons  Attention from government can be enormously helpful in starting, maintaining, and improving a library system  When governments misuse library policy the effect on libraries can be dramatic
  • 16. IFLA and UNESCO Recommendations  The International Federation of Library Association and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recommend that:  Libraries should be “based on legislation”  Administered and funded by the appropriate level of government  Governed by a body of local community members, which should be open and transparent  A library to serve every 3,000 people and within a mile of the people that it serves
  • 17. Modern Public Library Policy  A variety of policy models are being used  Governance  National – Local  Prescriptiveness  Specific – Loose  Funding  Balanced – Imbalanced
  • 18. Modern Public Library Policy: Governance  Finland  United Kingdom  Authoritarian Countries  Turkmenistan  North Korea  United States  India  China National Local
  • 19. Local Library Governance  India  If IFLA standards were adopted, India would need 343,000 public library outlets (it currently has 60,000) to serve all 560,000 villages.  India has largely left the growth of libraries up to the provinces.
  • 20. Local Library Governance  Rural provinces are put at an extreme disadvantage.  There are 28 states and 6 union territories in India; 11 have passed public library legislation and 4 allow for the collection of taxes to support libraries.  Public libraries are technically addressed by the national “Five Year Plan,” but the sum total of this attention is a few sentences in a 1,000 page document  Libraries in India received 7.1% less funding than was called for in the previous Five Year Plan
  • 21. Local Library Governance  China  Libraries in China were once guided by a strong national policy, but are now basically governing themselves  Many libraries in China do not receive enough funding to operate from the government and must supplement their budgets themselves  User fees are commonplace  Library quality varies widely across China
  • 22. National Library Governance  Finland  Library Act of 1961 heavily subsidized the construction of rural public libraries  Library Act updated in 1998 to specify that municipalities are responsible for carrying out the library and information services that it described  Regular national plans and goals are issued, which local libraries are then responsible for working toward
  • 23. National Library Governance  Turkmenistan and North Korea  Dictate exactly which books are and are not permitted in public libraries  Strictly control library funding  In effect, public libraries become storerooms of books that no one wants to read
  • 24. Modern Public Library Policy: Prescriptiveness  United Kingdom  United States (certain states)  Finland Specific Loose
  • 25. Specific Library Standards  United Kingdom  First standards were adopted in 2001  Highly specific, quantitative measures called Best Value Performance Indicators  Circulation, attendance, Internet use, etc.  Standards were updated and replaced several times over the next decade before being abandoned completely in 2011
  • 26. Specific Library Standards  Since 2001, libraries in the United Kingdom have been asked to adhere to:  Public Library Service Standards  Best Value Performance Indicators  Public Library Impact Measures  Public Library Position Statements  Annual Library Plans  Comprehensive Area Assessments  Public libraries in the UK face widespread closure, privatization, and consolidation
  • 27. Non-specific Library Standards  Finland  Library policies define broad goals (improving access, upgrading technology infrastructure, etc.)  Not very many specific numbers are mentioned in the library policies (one exception is the number of experienced staff a library must have per 1,000 residents)  Adherence to library guidelines is voluntary, but library administrators can use them as supporting documents when making the case for funding to local administrators
  • 28. Modern Public Library Policy: Funding  Finland  Sweden  United States  Australia Balanced Imbalanced
  • 29. Balanced Library Funding  Finland  Construction projects and other major works are funded (at least partially) by the national government  Daily operations are funded by the local districts that are served by public libraries  This allows libraries to devote all of their resources to doing what they do best, which is providing library service
  • 30. Local Library Funding  United States  Libraries in the United States are funded almost entirely with local funds  Rich areas have rich libraries  Some areas have no library service at all  Australia  Libraries in Australia are ostensibly funded by both the state and local governments, but in practice states provide a miniscule amount of funding  Libraries in Australia are desperately underfunded
  • 31. Local Library Funding  An example from Indiana  When the Bloomfield-Eastern Greene Public Library wanted to build a much-needed addition to its original, 1911 Carnegie building it was forced to:  Form a shell corporation, since libraries are forbidden from assuming certain amounts of debt  Issue bonds through the shell corporation, which financed the construction of the addition  “Lease” the new building from the corporation  Levy a new tax to pay for the debt, alongside the regular tax to pay for daily operations  When the debt is paid off, the library will no longer qualify for the “optional” income tax it is able to levy (In other words, having debt puts the library in a better financial position!)
  • 32. Benefits of national library policies  Even growth of libraries nationally, not just in lucky areas  Mandating library service while leaving specifics up to locals ensures that everyone has at least baseline service  Spreading out the funding obligations enable libraries to provide superior service  Libraries are supported in their efforts to expand and add new services  Even if there is no national funding, a national policy allows librarians to make their case to local decision- makers
  • 33. Drawbacks of national library policies  Government is not always a good friend to libraries  Turkmenistan shuttered every single public library in the country for five years  South Africa’s public library legislation is so unclear that different branches of government cannot agree on who is responsible for funding libraries  Even well-meaning governments can wind up creating laws or standards that hinder more than they help  By tying funding to statistical measures, struggling libraries are often unable to right themselves  Creating too many statistical benchmarks sometimes gives the illusion that libraries are struggling, when in fact they are providing quality service to the patrons they have
  • 34. What does the ideal policy look like?  In the presenter’s (humble) opinion, the ideal national public library policy should:  Clearly define the parties responsible for providing library service and the sources of funding  Supplement local funding with state/national funding for large projects or experiments  Provide goals for growth without demanding strict adherence to certain metrics  Be a collaborative effort of librarians and government
  • 35. National Public Library Policies Questions or comments? John Helling Associate Director for System-wide Services Johnson County (Kansas) Public Library johnhelling@gmail.com

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