Ohio law governs the formation of seven types of public libraries. One type, a Regional Library District, is allowed under the law, but has never been created. Another type, the Association Library, is not clearly dealt with in the law, but is eligible for Public Library Fund (PLF) funding under certain circumstances.
Governed by Articles of Incorporation
- Taxing Authority is not set within Ohio Code.
- Service area – sometimes vaguely established within the Articles of Incorporation. The State Library Board appreciates the opportunity to redefine boundaries or, when possible, consider applications for reorganization as county district libraries. Redefinition as county district libraries also sets the taxing authority.
- Ohio Revised Code (ORC) – this type of library is not clearly dealt with in Chapter 3375 of the ORC, but information is found in Section 1713.28 “Organic rules may be prescribed in articles of certain corporations” of the ORC.
- Number in existence – 19
Board of 6 members appointed by the Judges of the County Court of Common Pleas.
- Taxing authority is the County Commissioners.
- Service area is the county within which it is located, leaving out any areas being served by other libraries.
- ORC Sections 3375.06 – 3375.08
- Number in existence – 3
Libraries that have been given permission to provide service outside their legal boundaries but not within another library’s boundaries.
Number in existence – 28
Board of 7 members, 3 appointed by County Court of Common Pleas and 4 appointed by the County Commissioners.
- Taxing authority is the County Commissioners.
- Service area is set by resolution – usually all school districts within county currently not being serviced by another library.
- ORC Sections 3375.19 – 3375.24
- Number in existence – 58
Board of 7 members appointed by the legislative authority of the municipality.
- Taxing authority is the legislative authority of the municipality.
- Service area is city in which it is located, unless redefined by the State Library Board.
- ORC Sections 3375.12 – 3375.13
- Number in existence – 19
Board of 7 members appointed by School District Board of Education.
- Taxing authority is the School District Board of Education.
- Service area is school district in which it is located unless redefined by the State Library Board.
- ORC Sections 3375.15 – 3375.18
- Number in existence – 148 (This sets us apart from other states; we have far more school district libraries than most other states.)
Board of 3 members appointed by the Township Trustees.
- Taxing authority is the Township Trustees.
- Service area is township in which it is located unless redefined by the State Library Board.
- ORC Sections 3375.09 – 3375.11
- Number in existence – 4
Regional Library District
This type of library would be created from two or more independent libraries in different counties desiring to merge. It is allowed for within the ORC, but there have never been any in Ohio.
- ORC Sections 3375.28 – 3375.31
- Number in existence – 0
Click here to view an interactive map of public libraries in Ohio and download a directory of Ohio public libraries.
Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3375 – Libraries
Below are links to sections of the Library chapter in the Ohio Revised Code
- 01 State library board.
- 02 Appointment of state librarian – duties.
- 03 [Repealed].
- 04 Control and management of state library.
- 05 Application for establishment of library stations, branches, or traveling library service.
- 06 County free public library – appointment of trustees.
- 07 Tax levy for maintenance of county free public library.
- 08 Board of county commissioners may transfer, convey, or lease property for library purposes.
- 09 Tax levy by board of township trustees for maintenance of library.
- 10 Township free public library – appointment of trustees.
- 11 Board of township trustees may transfer, convey, or lease property for library purposes.
- 12 Municipal free public libraries – appointment of trustees.
- 121 Municipal library district created.
- 13 Issuance of bonds – control of property vested in board of library trustees of municipal corporation – agreement with library organization.
- 14 School libraries.
- 15 School district free public library – appointment of trustees.
- 151 Acceptance of bequest, gift, or endowment for school district free public library.
- 16 Board of township trustees may transfer, convey, or lease property for library purposes.
- 17 Tax levy by board of education for operation of library.
- 18 Board of education may provide building or property for public library service.
- 19 County library district.
- 20 Resolution by boards of library trustees requesting formation of county library district.
- 201 Election on creating county district library.
- 21 Resolution for inclusion of subdivision in county library district.
- 211 Submission of resolution to electors.
- 212 Consolidation with another subdivision.
- 213 Assets, liabilities and levies.
- 22 County library district – appointment of trustees.
- 23 Tax levy by board of county commissioners for county library district.
- 24 Notes and bonds may be issued by board of county commissioners – sale of real property.
- 25, 3375.26 [Repealed].
- 27 Amended and Renumbered RC 3375.403.
- 28 Creation of regional library district.
- 29 Resolution by taxing authority for inclusion in regional library district – transfer of title.
- 30 Appointment, term, and compensation of board of library trustees of a regional library district.
- 31 Tax levy by board of county commissioners for regional library district.
- 32 Meeting of boards of library trustees – organization – election of clerk – bond.
- 33 Boards of library trustees are bodies politic and corporate.
- 34 Name of board of library trustees.
- 35 Rules of procedure – annual report.
- 351 Payment of employees by direct deposit.
- 36 Treasurer of library funds – deposits of moneys – monthly statement – financial statement.
- 37 Statement filed with county auditor.
- 38 Compliance with duties relating to moneys credited to board of library trustees.
- 39 Accounting by clerk – count and certificate.
- 391 Treasurer to credit earnings on investments.
- 392 Policies for use of credit card accounts.
- 40 Board of library trustees – powers and duties.
- 401 Purchase of liability insurance.
- 402 Establishment of museums.
- 403 Contract for public library service.
- 404 Issuance of notes and anticipation notes.
- 405 Evaluating library buildings for energy conservation; energy conservation report; implementation.
- 41 Contracts over fifty thousand dollars to require bidding procedure.
- 411 Retirement systems for library employees.
- 42 Contract for library service – tax levy.
- 43 Submission of question – issuance and sale of bonds by subdivision for library purposes.
- 431 Board of education may issue bonds for libraries.
- 44 Payment of interest – retirement of bonds – annual levy.
- 45 Control and management of sinking or bond retirement fund.
- 46 Bureau of municipal research and information may be established.
- 47 [Repealed].
- 48 [Repealed].
- 481 Consortium of county law library resources boards.
- 49 Board of county commissioners shall provide for law library.
- 50 Allowance to law libraries from fines and penalties of municipal courts.
- 61 Financial aid to Martha Kinney Cooper Ohioana Library Association.
- 62 Appointment of trustees.
- 63 Eligibility for membership on board of public library trustees.
- 64 Public library information network.
- 65 Library information network board of trustees.
- 66 Duties and powers of board of trustees.
- 67 Dissolution of network.
- 79 Bill and Melinda Gates foundation grant fund.
- 70 to 3375.73 [Repealed].
- 80 Libraries designated as resource centers.
- 81 Essential library services support program.
- 82 Administration of grants.
- 83 Interstate library compact.
- 831 Instrument to identify state agency for whose use and benefit real property is acquired.
- 84 Interstate library compact definitions.
- 85 Aid to interstate library district partly within state.
- 90 Formation of regional library system.
- 91 Board of trustees of regional library system – powers and duties.
- 92 Clerk and deputy clerk of board – duties.
- 93 Dissolution of or withdrawal from regional library system.
Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3375 – State Library Board
These are links to the Administrative Rules adopted by the State Library Board
The current process for reviewing library boundaries is outlined in chapter 3375-4 of the Ohio Administrative Code. In addition to detailing the application process for redefining or reaffirming a library boundary, this Administrative Code section gives all potentially affected libraries the opportunity to participate in a hearing process governed by the Administrative Procedures chapter of the Ohio Revised Code (Chapter 119). This gives the State Library Board adjudicatory powers which are ultimately appealable to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
The procedures for adjusting, defining or redefining public library boundaries are contained in OAC 3375-4.
The procedure for establishing a new County District Library is outlined in OAC 3375-4-01. This is the only way under law for a new library type to be established. It requires the library to change taxing and appointing authority. The law does not allow for other types of new libraries to be formed essentially capping the number of Public Libraries eligible for PLF funding at 251.
The procedures for adjusting, defining, redefining or reaffirming boundaries for any other situation is outlined in OAC 3375-4-05.
In addition to the procedure outlined in the appropriate OAC section, libraries applying for boundary determinations should also provide the State Librarian with the following:
- Adopted resolution of the library board requesting a boundary determination
- Documentation of current services to any new area in the proposed boundary
- Documentation of planned services to any new area in the proposed boundary
- A long-range plan of service for the library
- Demographics of current and proposed areas
- Library service statistics deemed relevant to the request; and Evidence of communication/cooperation with other libraries in the county or contiguous counties whose boundaries will be altered as a result of the proposed boundary.
When a proposed boundary change is received by the State Librarian, a recommendation to the State Library Board must be made within 60 days, unless the parties agree otherwise. At that time, all affected libraries are notified of the proposed boundary recommendation via certified mail. That notice also informs the libraries of their right to request a hearing within 30 days of the mailing of the notice. If a hearing is requested, the State Library Board sets the time and place for the hearing within 15 days but not earlier than seven days after the hearing is requested unless otherwise agreed to by the parties involved. A certified copy of the State Library Board’s final decision is sent to local boards of elections, taxing authorities, library boards and other appropriate state and local offices within 30 days of its passage.