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N.J.S.A. CHAPTER 33. LIBRARIES

ARTICLE 1. FREE COUNTY LIBRARIES

N.J.S.A.
40:33-1. County library; establishment

The board of chosen freeholders of every county shall, in the manner hereinafter in this article provided, establish a free public library to be known as “the free county library”. This library shall be established for such subdivisions of the county as do not maintain and control free public libraries, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 54 of this title (40:54-1, et seq.).

N.J.S.A.
40:33-2. Referendum

No such library shall be established until assented to by the legal voters of the county at any election at which the question of the establishment thereof shall be submitted. In counties which have heretofore adopted the provisions of an act entitled “An act to provide for the establishment and maintenance of county free libraries,” approved April seventh, one thousand nine hundred and twenty, the referendum election provided for herein need not be held and the provisions of this article shall apply to such counties.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-3. Petition for submission

At the request in writing of not less than three hundred qualified voters of the county, the board of chosen freeholders shall submit, at any general or special election, the question of the establishment of such library to the voters of the county for adoption or rejection.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-4. Ballot; form and content

The board of chosen freeholders shall cause the question to be printed upon the ballots to be used at such election, in substantially the following form:

“To vote upon the public question printed below, if in favor thereof mark a cross (X) or plus (+) in the square at the left of the word YES, and if opposed thereto mark a cross (X) or plus (+) in the square at the left of the word NO.

“Shall the provisions of article 1 of chapter 33 of the title Municipalities and Counties of the Revised Statutes ( 40:33-1 et seq.), providing for the establishment and maintenance of county free libraries, be adopted?”

___ YES ___ NO

N.J.S.A
40:33-5. Results canvassed and returned; vote required for adoption

The result of the election shall be returned and canvassed in the same manner and at the same time as other elections. If a majority of the votes cast on the question shall be in favor thereof the provisions of this article shall take effect in the county.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-5.1. Establishment by resolution in counties under 150,000

The board of chosen freeholders of any county with a population of less than 150,000 which, on the effective date of this act, has not established a free county library pursuant to the provisions of article 1, chapter 33 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes, may, by resolution, establish such a library for all the municipalities within the county. All libraries established pursuant to this act shall be governed by the provisions of article 1, chapter 33, Title 40 of the Revised Statutes insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act.

L.1963, c. 46, 1.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-6. Establishment, maintenance of libraries

Upon the adoption of the provisions of this article the board of chosen freeholders may contract with an existing library, or library board, within the county or the library commission of a county library already established and furnishing county library services in another county, for the establishment and maintenance of the county free library in accordance with the provisions of this article and subject to the rules and regulations of the board of chosen freeholders. No independently operated county library shall be established hereafter in any county unless a plan for the financing of the same, indicating the amount annually to be assessed, levied and collected in taxes for the establishment and thereafter for the maintenance, thereof, shall be submitted to, and shall be approved as sufficient by, the head of the Library Development Bureau in the State Library.

As amended L. 1950, c. 189, p. 423, 1. Amended by L.2001, c.137, 45.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-7. Library commission; membership; term; vacancies; no compensation

a. Should the governing body not enter into the contract provided for in R.S. 40:33-6, it shall within 60 days after this article becomes operative, appoint a commission to be known as “the county library commission.” The commission shall consist of five members except as provided below. On the first commission one member shall be appointed for 1 year; one for 2 years; one for 3 years; one for 4 years and one for 5 years, and thereafter all appointments shall be for terms of 5 years, except in the case of appointments to fill vacancies occurring other than by expiration of term, which vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as appointments are made, but for the unexpired terms only. The county library commission shall serve without compensation.

b. The governing body of any county that has a county library commission with fewer than three members who are residents of municipalities supporting the county library system shall increase the size of its commission to seven members. Additional members shall be residents of municipalities that support the county library system, serve for terms of five years and have the same powers and duties as other members of the commission. Within five years of the effective date of this act each county library shall have a majority of members who are residents of muncipalities which support the county library system.

L.1950, c. 189, p. 423, 2; Amended by L.1981, c. 564, 1; L.1985, c. 541, 3.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-8. County library commission

The county library commission shall organize by the election of a chairman, and shall adopt rules and regulations for the establishment and maintenance of the county library. It shall employ a librarian, if any, as may be required, who shall hold appropriate certificates issued by the State Board of Examiners and such other employees as it shall deem necessary for the performance of its functions. It may purchase such supplies and equipment and incur such expenses as it may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this article, but shall not incur expenses or make purchases in any fiscal year from public funds in excess of the appropriation for county library purposes for that year. In addition to its other powers, it may accept gifts, devises, legacies and bequests of property, real and personal, and hold and use the property and income of the same in any manner, which is lawful and consistent with the purpose for which the commission is created, and with the provisions of the conveyance, will or other instrument in or under which such gift, devise, legacy or bequest is made and may dispose of the same subject to the same conditions. It shall make an annual report to the financial officer of the county which shall include a statement setting forth in detail all county appropriations made to the library, other public revenues received by the library, all State aid received by the library, all expenditures made by the library and the balance of funds available. The report shall also include an analysis of the state and condition of the library and shall be sent to the county, governing body and to the State Library. The State Librarian, with the approval of the President of Thomas Edison State College, shall prescribe by regulation the form of all such reports.

As amended L.1950, c. 189, p. 424, 3; L.1985, c. 541, 4. Amended by L.2001, c.137, 46.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-8.1. Purchases not requiring advertisements for bids

The county library commission of any county or the board of trustees of any regional library established by 2 or more counties may, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the commission or board, purchase the following without advertising for bids therefor: (1) library materials including books, periodicals, newspapers, documents, pamphlets, photographs, reproductions, microforms, pictorial or graphic works, musical scores, maps, charts, globes, sound recordings, slides, films, filmstrips, video and magnetic tapes, other printed or published matter, and audio-visual and other materials of a similar nature; (2) necessary binding or rebinding of library materials; and (3) specialized library services.

L.1968, c. 227, 1.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-8.2. County libraries; voter registration forms and instructions to be displayed and supplied

The director or other chief administrative officer of each free county library shall:

a. cause copies of the voter registration forms and instructions furnished under subsection f. of section 16 of P.L.1974, c. 30 (C. 19:31-6.4) to be displayed at the principal and any branch location of that library and to be made available to each person who, when appearing in person at such location to apply for services administered by the library, may wish, on a voluntary basis, to register to vote;

b. provide for the continuous supply of the forms and instructions specified in subsection a. of this section to each such principal or branch location; and

c. provide the forms and instructions specified in subsection a. of this section in both the English and Spanish languages to each library which provides services under any program administered by the library which is located in any county in which bilingual sample ballots must be provided pursuant to R.S.19:14-21, R.S.19:49-4 or section 2 of P.L. 1965, c. 29 (C. 19:23-22.4).

L.1994, c. 182, 36.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-9. Appropriations for establishment and maintenance; amoun

Upon the adoption of the provisions of this article, the board of chosen freeholders shall determine a sum sufficient for the establishment and, annually thereafter, for the maintenance of the library, the sum so to be raised shall be certified by the board of chosen freeholders to the county board of taxation, which shall apportion such amount among the municipalities receiving the benefits of this article in accordance with the provisions of section 54:4-49 of the Revised Statutes. The sum so raised shall be not less than 1/15 of a mill per dollar on the “apportionment valuation,” as defined in section 54:4-49 of the Revised Statutes, of the municipalities receiving the benefits of this article. The amount thus apportioned to each municipality shall be assessed, levied and collected in the same manner and at the same time as other county taxes are assessed, levied and collected therein.

As amended L.1957, c. 14, p. 32, 1.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-10. Borrowing money in anticipation of library taxes; tax notes

The board of chosen freeholders may borrow money, in anticipation of the receipt of taxes levied for county library purposes, not in excess of the amount levied in any year for such purposes, and may issue notes therefor. Notes issued for this purpose shall be termed “county library tax anticipation notes” and shall be issued as other notes of the county are issued in anticipation of county taxes. The notes shall be paid on or before December thirty-first of the year in which and for which they are issued. They shall bear interest at a rate of not more than six per cent per annum and the interest and principal thereof shall be paid from the funds of the county library.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-11. Tax revenue notes or bonds for delinquent taxes

The board of chosen freeholders may issue tax revenue notes or tax revenue bonds for the county library tax which has become delinquent for the amount of such delinquent tax. Loans of this class shall be evidenced by the issue of “tax revenue notes” or “tax revenue bonds”, and when issued shall be governed by the conditions set forth in sections 40:2-48 to 40:2-511 of this title, governing “tax revenue notes” or “tax revenue bonds”.

1Repealed.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-12. County treasurer custodian of the library funds; payment of bills

The county treasurer shall be the custodian of the county library tax collected and of all other funds or moneys of the commission, and upon receipt of bills properly authorized by the commission, payment thereof shall be made if sufficient funds are on hand.

As amended L.1950, c. 189, p. 424, 4.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13. Participation by municipalities

When any municipality, maintaining a public library and situated in a county which has adopted a county library system under the provisions of this article, desires to participate in the benefits of this article, the governing body thereof, by resolution, may apply to the county library commission of such county to be included in the county library system, and the municipality shall be admitted to said county library system upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by the governing body thereof and the county library commission of the county, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act1; provided, and so long as provision is made for assessing, levying and collecting within the municipality the special tax assessed, levied and collected in the other municipalities served by such county library system and thereafter such municipal public library shall continue to be operated as a municipal public library under its own governing board or body and shall be entitled to receive municipal appropriations notwithstanding its inclusion in the county library system and shall be entitled to receive from the county library system the same book loan, advisory, and other services as are received by the other municipalities within said system.

As amended L.1950, c. 189, p. 425, 5.

1Sections 40:33-6 to 40:33-8, 40:33-12 and 40:33-13.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13a. Withdrawal by municipality from membership in county library system; resolution; notice to county board; failure to comply with section; effect

Any municipality which is a member of a county library system not exempted as provided hereafter, may withdraw from that system by resolution of the governing body adopted after a public hearing held thereon. Within 30 days of the adoption of such resolution, the municipal governing body shall provide the county governing body with notice of its intent to withdraw from the county library system. Such notice shall not become effective until January 1 of the year following the year in which the notice was given and shall provide that the municipality remain a member of the county library system for two years after the effective date of the notice.

Any municipality which withdraws from the county library system and which fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be required to provide the county library with financial support in the manner provided in chapter 33 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes for a period of two years from the year of the municipality’s withdrawal from the system.

This section shall not apply to any county library system reorganized under the provisions of P.L. 1977, c. 300 (C. 40:33-15 et seq.) or P.L. 1963, c. 46 (C. 40:33-5.1 et seq.).

L.1985, c. 541, 6.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13b. Vote on withdrawal of municipality

Any municipality which is a member of a county library system pursuant to R.S. 40:33-1 on the effective date of this amendatory and supplementary act shall continue as a member of the county library system unless the governing body of the municipality determines by resolution to propose withdrawing from that system and establishing a free public library or a joint free public library.

Following the adoption of that resolution and after a public hearing held thereon the governing body shall cause the question of withdrawal from the county library system to be submitted to the legal voters of the municipality at an election to be held in the manner provided for the establishment of free public libraries pursuant to R.S. 40:54-1 et seq.

The question shall be submitted in one of the following forms:

a. “If in favor of the public question printed below mark a cross (X), or plus (+) in the square at the left of the word YES, and if opposed to the public question printed below mark a cross (X) or plus (+) at the left of the word NO.

Shall ………… (name of municipality) withdraw from the county library system pursuant to P.L. 1985, c. 541 (C. 40:33-13b) and establish a free public library pursuant to the provisions of chapter 54 of Title 40 of the Revised Statues?”

___ Yes ___ No

b. “If in favor of the public question printed below mark a cross (X), or plus (+) in the square at the left of the word YES, and if opposed to the public question printed mark a cross (X) or plus (+) at the left of the word NO.

Shall ……….. (name of municipality) withdraw from the county library system pursuant to P.L. 1985, c. 541 (C. 40:33-13b) and unite with………..(name of other municipality or municipalities) and establish a joint free public library pursuant to the provisions of chapter 54 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes?”

___ Yes ___ No

If a majority of the voters approve the withdrawal from the county library system, the municipal governing body shall provide the county governing body with notice of its intent to withdraw from the county library system. Such notice shall not become effective until January 1 of the year following the year in which the notice was given and shall provide that the municipality remain a member of the county library system for two years after the effective date of the notice.

Any municipality which withdraws from the county library system and which fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be required to provide the county library with financial support in the manner provided in chapter 33 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes for a period of two years from the year of the municipality’s withdrawal from the system.

Nothing in this section shall prevent a municipality from establishing a municipal free public library pursuant to chapter 54 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes.

L.1985, c. 541, 7. Amended by L.1988, c. 38, 5.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13.1. Contracts with other municipalities for additional library service

The governing body of any municipality which forms part of a county library system may, by resolution, contract with any other municipality which maintains a free public library, for the furnishing of additional library service to the inhabitants of the first municipality, and may appropriate annually for this purpose, such sum of money as may be agreed upon between the contracting parties, which sum shall be in addition to the amount raised annually in such municipality for the support of the county library system.

L.1951, c. 101, p. 506, 1.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13.2. Use of money received under contract

The governing body of such other municipality may, by resolution, enter into contract as provided in this act1, and all sums of money paid under such contract shall be appropriated and used for library purposes in accordance with the terms of said contract.

L.1951, c. 101, p. 506, 2.

1Sections 40:33-13.1, 40:33-13.2.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13.2a. Authority to acquire real property or other interest; maintaining facilities; bonds; ad valorem taxes

Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, the board of chosen freeholders of any county is hereby authorized and empowered to acquire real property or any interest therein by purchase, condemnation, gift or otherwise, and to lease as lessor or as lessee, and to purchase, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, alter or improve, and to furnish and equip, and to operate and maintain, any buildings or facilities which are necessary or desirable in the judgement of said board for the purpose of establishing or providing a free county library or free county library services for the use of residents and inhabitants of the county, or jointly for such purpose and for any other county purpose or use, and to raise and appropriate moneys therefor in the same manner as moneys are raised and appropriated for other county purposes pursuant to the Local Budget Law1, and to issue bonds or other obligations of the county for such purpose pursuant to the local bond law and to levy ad valorem taxes upon all the taxable property within the county for the payment of the principal of and interest on such bonds or other obligations without limitation as to rate or amount.

L.1966, c. 223, 1.

1Section 40A:4-1 et. seq.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13.2b. Agreements with respect to provision, leasing, use, operation or maintenance; payments on account

Said board of chosen freeholders and any county library commission, governing body of any municipality or board of trustees of any free public library in the county are hereby authorized and empowered to enter into agreements with respect to provision, leasing, use, operation or maintenance of all or any part of such real property, buildings or facilities, and for payments on account of any cost or expense or the use of services thereof, or the establishment or provision of such free county library or free county library services. Any such contract may be made with or without consideration and for an unspecified or unlimited period of time and on any terms and conditions therein set forth and shall be valid and binding on the parties thereto whether or not appropriation with respect thereto shall have been made prior to authorization or execution thereof.

L.1966, c. 223, 2.

N.J.S.A.
40:33-13.2c. Employee of county library system formerly employee of municipal free public library; classified service

Any former employee of a municipal free public library who has become an employee of a county library system pursuant to an agreement providing for the admission or merger of the municipal free public library to or into the county library system, shall be placed in the classified service of the civil service of the county, subject to individual entry qualifying examinations. Those employees so placed shall continue in the position in which employed at the time of the admission or merger and shall be subject to subject to all provisions of Subtitle 3 of Title 11 (Civil Service) of the Revised Statutes.1

As used in this act;

“Municipal free public library” means a free public library established pursuant to Article 1 of chapter 54 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes2 by a municipality in which the provisions of Subtitle 3 of Title 11 (Civil Service) of the Revised Statutes have not been adopted;

“County library system” means a county library system established and organized pursuant to Article 1 of chapter 33 of Title 40 of the Revised Statutes3 in a county in which the provisions of Subtitle 3 of Title 11 (Civil Service) have been adopted.

L. 1978, c. 23, 1.

1Repealed. See, now, 11A:1-1 et. seq.
2Section 40-54-1 et seq.
3Section 40:33-1 et seq.

 


Last Updated: July 17, 2013.

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