Regional Library Concept and Plan of Service 2010 version for SWGRL Board, by Susan Whittle

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REGIONAL LIBRARY CONCEPT
AND PLAN OF SERVICE
By Susan S. Whittle

Historically, library thinking in America suggested that economy in library service delivery was realized when counties with less than 50,000 people joined together. Throughout the United States, state library agencies have provided incentives to encourage formation of regional library systems in order to use resources wisely.

The regional library system serves as an efficient governmental unit of library service because it provides a natural geographic area for service, service to non-residents, a broader base for more efficient use of skilled professional personnel, a central reservoir of books to meet a wide diversity of readers, centrally directed cataloging, processing and acquisition, a central reference collection and central financial and administrative assistance (Joeckel, Carlton, Government of American Public Library).

Currently in Georgia there are 33 regional library systems and 28 single county systems for a total of 61public libraries. Experience has shown that counties which have broken off from regional systems often have doubled or tripled their local budget.

The SWGRL system is governed by a 30 member advisory board appointed by the funding authorities of the three counties of Seminole, Miller, and Decatur, and an operating board composed of 12 appointed or elected advisory board members from Decatur (6 members), Miller (3 members), and Seminole (3 members).

In 2010 funding for the system came from:

1. Local government - Decatur $ 426,802.11* or 15.445 per capita**
Miller 104,852.60* or 17.30 per capita**
Seminole 171,503.34* or 18.61 per capita**
$ 703,158.05

2. Final adjusted State & Federal grants $ 387,695.98
(includes adjusted LBPH $70,530.92)

3. Other $ 74,632.41
___________
$1,165,486.44

Of the total Southwest Georgia Regional Library System expenditure budget ($1,118,697.18), the regional service expenditures were $531,758.97. This included the four state paid librarian salaries, materials, maintenance, System Services grant and other regional expenses. It did not include the Subregional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped grant for the sixteen counties Bainbridge Subregional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped serves. State and federal grants to fund regional services totaled $337,671.04. This was $194,087.93 less than actual expenditures. Therefore a regional fee based on percentage of population (Decatur 65%, Miller 14% and Seminole 21%) is applied to each county to make up the shortfall of revenue to fund regional services.

*FY 10 Annual Report
**2010 OPB Population Projections

The Decatur County branch of the SWGRL system has a not for profit Decatur County-Gilbert H. Gragg Public Library Foundation. Their purpose is to fully develop the potential of the public library through financial support from the private sector and to increase awareness and use of the library; thereby endowing future generations with a broad range of intellectual resources.

CENTRALIZED ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE
HEADQUARTERS ACTIVITIES

BOOKKEEPING:
• Audit
• Deposit funds
• Invoice member funding bodies for appropriations
• Maintain general ledger and account balances
• Maintain separate account records required by federal grant projects
• Prepare and review annual budgets
• Prepare and review financial reports quarterly
• Prepare annual report for federal project grants
• Prepare, maintain, and file state reports
• Receive and pay invoices
• Record distributions of payments
• Record funds for deposit

PAYROLL:
• Annual reports and W2s
• Calculation, processing and distribution monthly
• Employee leave records
• Employee files
• Federal project grant payroll and reports
• Quarterly state & federal reports
• Retirement program files and employee records
• Unemployment compensation records
• Worker’s compensation records and reports

DISTRIBUTIONS:
• Book delivery to region at least weekly
• Daily mail pick-up; outgoing mail preparation and delivery
• Financial reports to each board member quarterly
• Statistics to each library monthly; to board members at least each quarter
• Updates to Trustee Handbook -- as needed

ORGANIZATIONAL:
• Maintain and review board activities (minutes, correspondence, etc.)
• By-laws, articles of incorporation, constitution, etc.
• Communications and publicity: preparation and distribution
• Corporate records and policies
• Correspondence files
• Employee policies and activities
• Fixed asset inventories
• Participating agreements
• Incoming mail distribution
• Insurance policies
• Prepare bids and specs
• Prepare forms for reporting and accountability

OTHER SYSTEM SERVICES:

Technical Services, including selection, acquisitions, cataloging/processing, inter-library loan, reference, professional guidance and training on an as needed basis at least once per month for branches; rotating collections of books in three (3) counties; children’s programs on seasonal basis; adult programs such as: genealogy and author series and bibliographies.

STATISTICS:
• Compile bi-monthly accumulation of region
• Prepare annual reports to state/ALA and federal government
• Prepare quarterly reports

SUPPLIES:
• Order all library supplies for volume discounts
• Balance petty cash expenses and prepare reimbursement for supplies

PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Library programs are scheduled at times for maximum audience participation, but there are occasions when patrons do not utilize the excellent programs and resources available to them. At this time, the library uses flyers, posters, radio public service announcements, area businesses signboards, the weekly library column in the Post Searchlight, Miller County Liberal, and the Donalsonville News, announcements in church bulletins, flyers to school children and posted at businesses throughout town, the Main Street Association calendar, the Chamber of Commerce, and word of mouth to promote its programs, e-mail lists and a library e-newsletter as well as e-newsletters available in each county. Information on the library and programs can be found on the Southwest Georgia Regional Library System website, www.swgrl.org, as well as on social network sites FaceBook and Twitter. For special programs, such as the John Rosemond program sponsored by the Kirbo Foundation and the Decatur County Friends of the Library, the Decatur County School system was contacted and agreed to offer extra credit due to the serious topic of parenting. Statistics on audience attendance are kept for our programs.

REGIONAL SERVICES TO THE BRANCHES

Central selection and non-duplication of resources totaling more than $4,800. Each year the library purchases subscriptions to Library Journal ($157.99) and School Library Journal ($136.99) and updates of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated ($360). Every few years the library alternates purchase of the Dewey Decimal Classification ($375), Library of Congress Subject Headings Book ($295), and The Library and Book Trade Almanac ($217). These are just some of the bibliographic tools used in collection management. Additionally, the bookmobile acquires approximately 400-500 new materials, and Headquarters collection supplements the audio-visual collections in branches.
Gift books received by headquarters from various sources are processed and distributed to the branches.

Professional Librarians:
• Assess community needs and wants;
• Conduct on-line searching on appropriate databases and CD-ROM products as needed and answer reference queries which cannot be answered at the branches;
• Develop bibliographies and public relations plans;
• Develop individualized programming in children and adult services;
• Develop policies and procedures for their areas of expertise;
• Plan, guide and coordinate programs;
• Provide assistance in selection and deselection of books and AV materials;
• Provide cataloging and classification of materials;
• Train and advise paraprofessionals on all pertinent aspects of library services;
• Write and direct grants; speak to various civic, social and other organizations.

Paraprofessionals:
• Process all materials for branches;
• Provide accounting, secretarial and administrative functions for system;
• Provide bookmobile and deposit collection services to unincorporated residents;
• Provide core collection and back-up collection to support region loan services.

Additionally, staff members:
• Provide genealogical and local history assistance;
• Provide system loans of books and AV through the region; and PINES loans of books to other member libraries; and interlibrary loan through the OCLC at headquarters;
• Provide literacy materials and information;
• Provide substitute staff at branch locations as needed;
• Provide talking book services through the Bainbridge Subregional Library for the Blind;
• Provide technology, network administration and system analyses throughout the library system.

word\board\sw reg library concept10
From Susan Whittle 1989 original regional library concept document.

POLICIES FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY
STATE GRANTS PROGRAM

Georgia Public Library Service – December 1, 2009

The Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS), a unit of the Board of Regents, University
System of Georgia, is responsible for the administration and distribution of state grant
funds to public libraries in Georgia, as set forth in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-3-39. State laws governing the operation of public libraries in Georgia are found in O.C.G.A 20-5-40 – 20.5.59.

In order to receive any state, federal or private library grant funds administered by GPLS
and/or the benefits of any state administered program or service, a Library System shall
meet all of the following Requirements for State Grants.

1.0 Administration and Governance

1.1 Library System Boards of Trustees shall adopt and maintain a current Materials
Selection Policy (collection development and maintenance policy) for all libraries within
the Library System that shall include:

•Procedures for the selection of Library Materials
•Criteria for the selection of Library Materials
•Procedures for the maintenance and evaluation of the Library System’s collection of Library Materials
•Procedures for handling requests to reconsider Library Materials in the Collection

1.2 The Library System Director shall ensure the maintenance and quality compliance
of all permanent cataloging and acquisition records for Library Materials acquired for or
by the Library System.

1.3 The Library System Board of Trustees shall maintain a current Plan for the
Distribution of Services.

1.4 The Library System Board of Trustees shall provide for Basic Library Service to the
Library System’s Service Area.

1.5 Library System Boards of Trustees shall meet a minimum of 4 times each year and
shall maintain at the Headquarters Library the official minutes of all meetings.

1.6 Library System Boards of Trustees shall adopt and maintain a current written
Personnel Policy that is in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and
requirements.

1.7 Each Library System Board of Trustees shall adopt and maintain a current
Technology Plan.

1.8 Each Library System Board of Trustees shall adopt and maintain a current Internet
Acceptable Use Policy.
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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

1.9 Each Library System Board of Trustees shall adopt and maintain a current Library
System Policy on the Use of Facilities.

1.10 The Library System Director shall offer training for Library System Trustees.

2.0 Types of Grants

2.1 State Paid Public Library Position Grants

2.1.1 Library System Boards of Trustees shall use State Paid Public Library Position
Grants only to employ Professional Librarians (Grade 5b or higher).

2.1.2 Persons holding a Librarian’s Semi-professional Certificate and employed in a
state-paid librarian position before July 1, 1985, and who have continuously been
employed in that position may continue to be employed as a state-paid librarian by the
same library system.

2.1.3 If a person holding a Librarian’s Semi-professional Certificate leaves a state-paid
librarian position, he or she may not be reemployed by the same or any other public
library system in a state-paid librarian position unless he or she obtains a Librarian’s
Professional Graduate Certificate from the Georgia State Board for the Certification of
Librarians.

2.2 Public Library Materials Grants

2.2.1 The Public Library Materials Grant shall be used for the purchase of Library
Materials and the cataloging and processing of these materials in accordance with the
Library System Materials Selection Policy.

2.2.2 The Public Library Materials Grant shall not be used for personnel costs.

2.3 Public Library System Services Grants

2.3.1 The System Services Grant shall be used for the general operation of library
services.

2.3.2 The System Services Grant shall not be used for land acquisition or construction.

2.4 Sub-Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Grants.

2.4.1 The use of the SLBPH grant shall be delineated in the annual contract with GPLS.

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

2.4.2 This grant is provided only to designated library systems.

2.5 GPLS reserves the right to make additional grant awards as deemed
necessary for the provision of library service in Georgia.

3.0 Financial Management

3.1 Library System Boards of Trustees shall adopt and maintain an annual balanced
Budget that includes all local, state, federal and private funds. A Budget should be in
place prior to the beginning of each Fiscal Year and should be amended as needed
throughout the Fiscal Year.

3.2 Library System Boards of Trustees may choose to charge an annual non-resident
fee for a library card to those who reside outside the Service Area of the Library System.
This fee shall entitle non-residents to all Basic Library Services. PINES libraries will
follow PINES policies addressing non-resident fees.

3.3 Library System Boards of Trustees may choose to recover unique, identifiable costs
from customers for specific transactions that exceed basic library services, e.g.
photocopying, faxing, fees or deposits charged for the use of library facilities or property
in accordance with the Library System Policy on the Use of Library Facilities.

3.4 Each Library System Board of Trustees shall ensure the maintenance of all financial
records in accordance with the Georgia Public Library Standard Chart of Accounts and in compliance with all GAAP regulations.

3.5 The Library System’s financial statements shall be subject to an annual audit, when required
by a granting authority, or an attestation engagement for agreed-upon procedures, as deemed
appropriate by the Library System’s Board of Trustees, conducted by a Certified Public
Accountant (CPA) currently licensed to practice in the State of Georgia. However, an agreedupon
procedures engagement performed by the BOR/GPLS Internal Auditors will meet the
requirement for an attestation engagement if performed on the System. The report shall be
directed to the Director and Board of Trustees of the Library System. The Director shall provide a
copy of the report to each funding agency. If deemed necessary by GPLS, a corrective action
plan must be filed and implemented for any findings or exceptions noted in the report.

4.0 State Grants

4.1 The Library System Board of Trustees shall have the sole authority to apply for and
receive any Grants administered by GPLS.

4.2 Library System Boards of Trustees shall annually submit for approval to GPLS an
Annual Report and Application for the Renewal of State Grants.

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

4.3 Library System Boards of Trustees shall use State Grants only for stated purposes.

4.4 Total local governmental annual operating support for each library system shall be
equal to or greater than that of the preceding fiscal year. Failure to sustain this
maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement will result in the forfeiture of state grants and
state-funded benefits to the library system, including but not limited to PINES and
Galileo. Special funds or appropriations (eg. SPLOST, Impact Fees) shall not be
calculated as part of MOE.

4.5 All new library systems established after December 1, 2009, shall have local
committed governmental operating funding (direct appropriation, in-kind or on-behalf)
totaling a minimum of $400,000 annually.

4.6 Single-county library systems established on or after December 1, 2009, providing
local funding support as described above, shall be allocated one professional position
grant. Second and subsequent professional position grants may be allocated when
county population achieves increments of 75,000.

4.6.1 Single-county library systems established between January 1, 2007 and
November 30, 2009, were provided state grant funding under interim but identical
policies.

4.7 In instances where existing library systems or parts of existing library systems (a
single county joining a multi-county; single county systems joining together; multi-county
library systems joining together or a county from one multi-county system joining another multi-county system) join together to form a new library system, positions shall be allocated according to the currently-approved formula.

4.8 The Library System Board of Trustees shall include in the calculation of required
Local Governmental Support all auditable funds provided by Local Governmental
Authorities, in cash and On-behalf and shall report all funding from Local Governmental
Authorities in the Annual Report and Application for the Renewal of Grant Funds.

4.9 All revenue from all sources that comes to the library system or a member library is
public funds and shall be reported in the Annual Report and Application for the Renewal
of Grant Funds and shall be subject to annual audit.

4.10 The Library System Board of Trustees shall provide a description of services to be
provided to and/or for each county for each of the State Grants. Additionally, a budget
showing the use of the System Services Grant and State Materials Grants for each
county in the Library System shall be submitted.

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

5.0 Definitions

Affiliated Library – see Member Library

Annual Report and Application for the Renewal of State Grants – A report filed each year by the Library System Board of Trustees showing fiscal activity and library activity for the Prior Fiscal Year.

Appropriated or Levied Tax Funds – Governmental funds from a local taxing authority
that have been budgeted for Library System operations by the legal body (council,
commission or board of education).

Audit – An annual review of the Library System’s fund level financial statements,
prepared in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
(GAAP) for governmental agencies and submitted to GPLS, and documentation
supporting those financial statements will be completed in accordance with either
auditing or attestation standards promulgated by the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), as deemed appropriate by the Library
System’s Board of Trustees or, where appropriate, agreed-upon procedures
performed by the BOR/GPLS auditor.

Basic Library Service – The minimum services that must be provided to the community
at large by a Georgia public Library System receiving state funding, with no charges,
are:
•Organized Collection of Library materials
•Library System sponsored programs
•Assistance in the use of library resources from Professional
Librarians and other qualified staff for general reference and
information purposes as defined by Library System policy
•Access to Internet services in accordance with the Library
System Internet Acceptable Use Policy

Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia: (BOR) – The state agency within
which the Georgia Public Library Service is administratively located.

Book Deposit – A Book Deposit is a collection of library materials housed in a location
outside the library facility. A Book Deposit has no set hours of operation or is open less
than 18 hours weekly. A Book Deposit may or may not have a paid staff.

Bookmobile – A traveling library consisting of at least a truck or van that carries an
organized collection of Library Materials, has a paid staff and makes regularly scheduled
stops for being open to the public.

Branch Library – A Branch Library is open 30 or more regularly scheduled hours weekly.
It has a paid library staff with an organized collection of Library Materials accessible

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

through an on-site catalog. A Branch Library is in separate quarters from other
governmental agencies with defined space used solely for library purposes, with a
minimum of 1,000 gross square feet. A telephone must be on site and not shared. A
Branch Library must have a separate line for computer use and a computer dedicated to
patron use. Branch Libraries do not include administrative office buildings, Service
Outlets, and Bookmobiles, separate meeting or classroom buildings, processing centers
or warehouses.

Budget – An itemized summary of estimated or intended expenditures for a given period
that includes proposals for financing them.

Central Library or Headquarters Library – The single library or a library which houses the
operational center of a multiple-facility library or a separate facility that is the
administrative office and/or operational center of a multiple facility Library System.
Single outlet headquarters libraries must meet or exceed branch requirements.
Circulation – The checking out and renewing of Library Materials or equipment to a
customer for use outside of the facility. In-house use is counted and reported separately.

Current Fiscal Year – The Fiscal Year currently in operation.

Deposit – A sum of money given as security for the use of Library Materials or equipment that is returned to the patron when the equipment or materials are returned to the library.

Federal Grants – Grants awarded to Library System Boards of Trustees by GPLS from
funds received through LSTA from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Fee – A fixed charge for a service.

Financial Activity – Use of any money by a Library System Board and all member
libraries and their boards. This does not include funds spent by a Local Governmental
Authority On-Behalf of a library or In-Kind spent for a library.

Financial Statements – The Library System’s annual fund level financial
statements, prepared in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles (GAAP) for governmental agencies, filed with GPLS.

Fiscal Year – The fiscal year for which the state government operates its budget. (July 1
through June 30)

Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) – The State Library Agency that is responsible for the distribution of state and federal library grant funds to Library Systems in Georgia.
GPLS is a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

Georgia State Board for the Certification of Librarians – The licensing board of the Office of the Secretary of State for Professional Librarians.

In-Kind – Unquantifiable support from a Local Governmental Authority provided to a
library.

Internet Acceptable Use Policy – A Library System Board policy that details the
acceptable use for Internet computers, by whom and any other parameters deemed
necessary, as defined by OCGA 20.5.5.

Kiosk – A Kiosk is a library facility that is maintained within another established business
or agency that provides access either virtually or in person to library services and
resources. A Kiosk may be classified as a Branch Library or as a Service Outlet if it
meets the definition.

Library Materials – Informational resources in a variety of formats such as books,
periodicals, serials, pamphlets, video, audio and digital recordings, computer software,
databases, electronic resources, microforms and maps for use by the general public or
by the Library System staff.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) – The federal grant program for library
services that is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, typically
administered by GPLS.

Library System – A single library or a group of libraries from one or more counties that
have been established by the governing authorities of any county or municipality by
resolution or act, by approval of the voters or by contractual agreement among
governing authorities to provide public library services to the constituents in the
jurisdictions of the governing authorities.

Library System Director – The individual hired by the Library System Board of Trustees
to administer the total library program as defined in OCGA § 20-5-45.

Library System Board of Trustees – The Board that has governing authority for a county
or multi-county Library System. (OCGA 20.5.41, 20.5.43, 20.5.47)

Local Governmental Support – The funding provided to Library System Boards of
Trustees by a Local Governmental Authority.

Annual Operating Funds – Funding provided to the Library System for the general
operation of a Library System or appropriated and expended for Library System services
by a local governmental agency.

•Funding by way of a direct appropriation (cash)

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

•Payment of expenses (including payroll and all other budgetary
line items) by a Local Governmental Agency acting as the Library
System’s fiscal agent. (On-behalf)
•Auditable expenditures for library services included in a Local
Governmental Agency’s line items that include expenses other than
those exclusively for library services. (On-behalf)

Special Funds – Funding that may be temporary and/or conditional including but not
limited to grants and matching funds, SPLOST and impact fees.

Local Governmental Authority – The governing body of any county, municipality or board
of education.

Maintenance of Effort – The requirement that local governmental annual operating
support for library systems shall be equal to or greater than that of the preceding fiscal
year in order to qualify for state aid.

Materials Selection Policy – A written statement of the policies of the Library System
Board of Trustees for developing and maintaining the library’s collection of Library
Materials.

Member Library – A library (Branch Library, Service Outlet, Bookmobile, Kiosk, or Book
Deposit) that is a member of a Library System.

On-Behalf – Auditable funds, to which an object of expenditure can be assigned, spent
by a Local Governmental Authority in support of public library activities and services but
not given in cash to the Library System Board or any member Library or Library Board.

Other Grants – Grants that are administered by GPLS with the funding source being
private or public funding, e.g. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Endowment
for the Humanities.

Personnel Policy – A comprehensive policy for the personnel of the Library System
including all member Libraries detailing employment relations.

Plan for the Distribution of Services – A comprehensive description of services offered by the Library System.

Policy on the Use of Library Facilities – A comprehensive policy for the use of all library
facilities (Central and all member Libraries).

Preceding Fiscal Year – The fiscal year immediately prior to the Current Fiscal Year.

Professional Librarian – A person who holds a minimum of a Librarian’s Professional
Certificate grade 5B or higher from the Georgia State Board for the Certification of
Librarians.

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES) – The shared automation
system sponsored by GPLS and used in Library Systems on a voluntary contractual
basis.

Public Library Materials Grant – A state grant provided by GPLS to each qualifying
Library System each year for the purpose of purchasing and making Library Materials
available to customers. Grants are awarded on a formula basis.

Service Area – The geographical area within the county or counties of the Library
System.

Service Outlet – A Service Outlet is open at least 18 hours weekly with a paid library
staff. It has an organized collection of library materials accessible through an on-site
catalog. The Service Outlet is in separate quarters with defined space used solely for
library purposes. A telephone must be on-site and not shared. The Service Outlet must
have a separate line for computer use and a computer dedicated to patron use.

State Grants – Grants awarded by GPLS to Library System Boards of Trustees from
state funds appropriated through the Georgia General Assembly.

State Paid Public Library Position Grants – Grants awarded each year by GPLS to
qualifying Library Systems for the reimbursement of salaries and benefits of locallyemployed Professional Librarians. Grants are awarded on a formula basis.

System Services Grant – A grant awarded each year by GPLS to each qualifying Library
System to help support the provision of Library System services. Grants are awarded on
a formula basis.

Sub-regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (SLBPH) – a contract
service between a library system and GPLS to provide specified library services in an
assigned geographic area to persons certified to receive library services under the
requirements of the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind and
Physically Handicapped program.

Technology Plan – A comprehensive plan for all facilities within a Library System
showing current and planned deployment of technology and telecommunications.

Virtual Library – A library which exists solely in electronic form or on paper, with no
physical facility.

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State Grants Policies – December 1, 2009

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