Report Title:

Libraries

Description:

Establishes goal of funding and staffing parity for community libraries and Hawaii state library. Appropriates $5 million to implement.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1948

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to community Libraries.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that an informed populace, with free and easy access to a wide ranging well of different viewpoints and ideas, is the cornerstone of democracy.

In Hawaii, this lofty goal is admirably met at the state-of-the-art facilities of the Hawaii state library, commonly known as the "main library", in downtown Honolulu.

The legislature recognizes, however, that the same levels of staffing and resources are not available throughout our statewide system of community/school and public libraries. The legislature reaffirms its commitment to serve all of the people of our island state and vows vigilant efforts to see that our citizens in rural areas of Oahu and on the Neighbor Islands are not "short changed", particularly in this most important community resource.

The legislature is cognizant that fiscal constraints in recent years have strained our libraries' personnel and resources. Rural and Neighbor Island libraries have found their budgets drastically cut, personnel relocated, and services reduced in greater proportion than libraries in major metropolitan areas on Oahu. The legislature finds that priorities must be set to establish parity within the library system by allocating additional resources in order to provide the people of Hawaii, and in particular communities in rural areas of Oahu and on the Neighbor Islands, with the most accurate and comprehensive information available.

The purpose of this Act is to set as a goal for the public library system parity in staffing and collections for every community/school and public library with the Hawaii state library.

SECTION 2. Section 312-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"312-1 Duties of the board of education. (a) The board of education shall [care]:

(1) Care for, manage, and control all property set apart, donated, loaned to, or in any manner acquired for the use of libraries; [receive,]

(2) Receive, care for, expend, and account for any money which may be received for the purpose of erecting buildings for libraries or for any other purposes of the libraries; [collect,]

(3) Collect, purchase, receive gifts of, and otherwise acquire all books and other [publications] resources proper for libraries[, and]; arrange, classify, and catalogue the same; and provide for their safekeeping; [expend]

(4) Expend moneys appropriated by the legislature and otherwise acquired for the development, use, support, and maintenance of libraries; [provide]

(5) Provide ways and means for placing libraries within reach of all residents throughout the State and particularly of all public and private school children[; provide and maintain], including branch libraries, offices, or places for the distribution of books and [periodicals] materials throughout the State[;].

In fulfilling its function of providing statewide access to books and materials, it shall be the goal of the board of education to provide each community in the State with a state-of-the-art library with adequate staffing and resources, thereby establishing parity within the statewide library system.

(b) The board of education may:

(1) [make] Make such contracts as may be necessary to carry into effect [the] its general duties [herein imposed; appoint] with respect to the public library system;

(2) Appoint such officers and employees as it deems necessary; and [make]

(3) Adopt rules for the management and use of libraries, and for the control of the property under its management."

SECTION 3. Section 312-2.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"312-2.1 Appointment of state librarian; duties; salary. (a) The state librarian shall be appointed by the board of education[,] without regard to chapter 76, shall be under the direction of the board, [shall be responsible for the operation, planning, programming, and budgeting of all community/school and public libraries within the State,] and may be removed by a majority vote of its members. The state librarian may be appointed:

(1) Without regard to the state residency provisions of section 78-1(b); and

(2) For a term of up to four years.

(b) The state librarian shall be responsible for the operation, planning, programming, and budgeting of all community/school and public libraries within the State. The state librarian shall implement the goal of the board of education to provide each community in the State with a state-of-the-art library with adequate staffing and resources, thereby establishing parity within the statewide library system.

[(b)] (c) The salary of the state librarian shall be set by the board of education at a rate no greater than $120,000 a year."

SECTION 4. Section 312-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"312-5 Annual report [to the governor]. [Annually during the month of July but as of June 30 preceding, the] The board of education shall submit an annual report to the governor on the moneys received from all sources and expended for all purposes during the preceding year, and any other matters pertaining to the [libraries] public library system which it may deem important, or the governor may require. The board of education shall include in its annual report progress made in implementing its goal to provide each community in the State with a state-of-the-art library with adequate staffing and resources, thereby establishing parity within the statewide library system."

SECTION 5. The state librarian shall convene a temporary advisory committee on parity in public libraries. The committee shall consist of no more than fifteen members and shall include representatives of school/community libraries; libraries in rural areas of Oahu; and libraries on each of the Neighbor Islands.

The advisory committee shall:

(1) Survey books and resources available to each school/community and public library in the State;

(2) Evaluate professional, para-professional, and technical staff available at each school/community and public library in the State, including hours of operation; and

(3) Develop an action plan to implement the goal of providing each community in the State with a state-of-the-art library with adequate staffing and resources, thereby establishing parity within the statewide library system.

The advisory committee shall submit a report on its recommendations to the state librarian and the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the 2005 regular session.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $5,000,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2004-2005, for staffing and resources for libraries in rural areas of Oahu and on the Neighbor Islands.

SECTION 7. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 8. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 9. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.

INTRODUCED BY:

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