Library Law Page 2

SUBCHAPTER 2. STATE LIBRARY AID

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.1 Purpose

The purpose of this program is to provide per capita library aid to public libraries according to N.J.S.A. 18A:74-1 et seq.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.2 Governance

(a) Any municipal library which has been established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:54-1 et seq. or pursuant to any special Act shall provide for a library board of trustees in the manner and with the duties and powers specified in N.J.S.A. 40:54-1 et seq. or any special Act.

(b) Association libraries receiving local tax support under N.J.S.A. 40:54-35 shall be governed by a board of trustees and shall be incorporated as a non-profit corporation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 15A:1-1 et seq.

(c) Any joint library which has been established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:54-29.3 et seq. shall provide for a library board of trustees in the manner and with the duties and powers specified in N.J.S.A. 40:54-12, 40:54-29.10, 40:54-29.12 and 40:54-29.13.

(d) Any county library which has been established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:33-1 et seq. shall provide for a county library commission in the manner and with the duties and powers specified in N.J.S.A. 40:33-7, 40:33-8, 40:33-8.1, 40:33-13.2a, 40:33-13.2b, 40:33-13.2d et seq., 40:33-13.2e.a, b and c, and 40:33-13.2f.

HISTORY:

Amended by R.1990 d.179, effective March 19, 1990.

See: 21 N.J.R. 3822(a), 22 N.J.R. 921(c).

Added statutory cites.

Amended by R.2005 d.226, effective July 18, 2005.

See: 37 N.J.R. 723(a), 37 N.J.R. 2697(b).

Added (d).

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.3 Certification

In order to receive any State library aid, all public libraries must annually certify that:

1. Each municipality or county that supports, in whole or in part, library service from municipal or county tax sources pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:33-1 et seq., or 40:54-1 et seq., complies fully with N.J.S.A. 40:33-1 et seq., or 40:54-1 et seq., except that municipal libraries currently funded below the minimum of 1/3 mill for operating expenditures as per N.J.S.A. 40:54-8 due to capital outlay expenditures, shall be exempt from meeting the 1/3 mill requirement for the purposes of State library aid until such time as the current debt is retired;

2. A member or members of the board or commission has or have received a minimum of seven total hours of library-related education annually; and

3. Libraries serving populations of 7,500 or above, the statute notwithstanding, will employ in all professional librarian positions counted for State Library Aid purposes librarians holding a New Jersey State Professional Librarian Certificate as required in N.J.S.A. 45:8A-1 et seq.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.4 Employees

(a) All public libraries (municipal, joint, association and county) shall meet the following minimum requirements based on the population of the area from which the library receives tax support:

1. Number of employees: All libraries shall employ a minimum of one full-time staff member as variously defined in this section. In addition, one full-time employee or the equivalent thereof in part-time paid employment for the initial 4,000 population and each succeeding 4,000 population shall be employed as set forth in Chart A below. Security, janitorial and custodial employees may be counted not to exceed 10 percent of total staff.

Chart A
Minimum Number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Employees

Population Category Number of Professional FTE [na] Required (based on 35 hour work week) Number of all Other Staff FTE [nb] Required (based on 30 hour work week) Total Number of Paid FTE [nc]
0-3,999 0 1 [nb] 1
4,000-4,999 0 1 [nb] 2
5,000-7,499 0 2 (at least one person must work a minimum of 30 hours per week) 2
7,500-7,999 1 1 2
8,000-11,999 1 2 3
12,000-15,999 1 3 4
16,000-19,999 1 4 5
20,000-23,999 2 4 6
24,000-27,999 2 5 7
28,000-29,999 2 6 8
30,000-31,999 3 5 8
32,000-35,999 3 6 9
36,000-39,999 3 7 10
40,000-43,999 4 7 11
44,000-47,999 4 8 12
48,000-49,999 4 9 13
50,000-51,999 5 8 13
52,000-55,999 5 9 14 [nd]
56,000-59,999 5 10 15
60,000-63,999 5 11 16
64,000-67,999 5 12 17
68,000-69,999 5 13 18
70,000-71,999 6 13 19
72,000-73,999 6 13 19
74,000-75,999 6 14 20
76,000-77,999 6 14 20
78,000-79,999 6 15 21
80,000-81,999 6 15 21
82,000-83,999 6 16 22
84,000-85,999 6 16 22
86,000-89,999 6 17 23
90,000-93,999 7 17 24
94,000-97,999 7 18 25
98,000-101,999 7 19 26
102,000-109,999 7 [nc] 20 [nf] 27

[na] For municipalities of 7,500 population or more, one FTE is the director and must work a minimum of 35 hours per week.

[nb] For municipalities of under 5,000 population, one FTE must be filled by a person working at least 30 hours per week or two part time persons working a combined 30 hours per week with neither working less than 10 hours per week.

[nc] Professional FTE at 35 hours/week and all other staff FTE at 30 hours/week (security, janitorial and custodial employees may be counted not to exceed 10 percent of total staff).

[nd] Add one additional full time equivalent for each additional 4,000 population over 52,000.

[ne] 110,000 requires eight professionals, 130,000 and over requires nine professionals plus one additional full time equivalent professional for each additional 20,000 population.

[nf] To continue the increase of “number of all other staff FTE,” subtract the “number of professional staff FTE” from the “total number of paid FTE.”

i. Full-time means a minimum of 30 hours per week except that for municipalities of under 5,000 population, full-time may be defined as two part-time persons working a combined 30 hours per week. At no time shall either part-time employee work less than 10 hours per week.

2. Professional staff:

i. N.J.S.A. 45:8A-3 notwithstanding, all libraries serving populations of 7,500 or more must employ as library director a full-time professional librarian who holds a New Jersey State Professional Librarian Certificate. Libraries serving between 7,500 and 9,999 in population shall be exempt from meeting the requirement of a professional library director until such time as the incumbent director, employed at the time of the adoption of this revision, of said library is no longer employed by that library.

ii. The minimum full-time work week shall be 35 hours. The minimum work week shall apply to all libraries receiving aid under this section.

iii. Libraries serving 7,500 to 50,000 population must employ a minimum of one full-time professional librarian holding a New Jersey State Professional Librarian Certificate or the full-time equivalent for each 10,000 population up to 50,000 and one additional full-time professional librarian or the full-time equivalent for each 20,000 population over 50,000 as set forth in Chart A above.

iv. Libraries serving a population over 50,000 must employ a minimum of one full-time professional librarian holding a New Jersey State Professional Librarian Certificate or the full-time equivalent for each 20,000 population over 50,000 as set forth in Chart A above.
 
HISTORY:

Amended by R.1987 d.398, effective October 5, 1987.

See: 19 N.J.R. 1128(a), 19 N.J.R. 1796(a).

(a)2iii population changed from 10,000 to 20,000.

Amended by R.1990 d.179, effective March 19, 1990.

See: 21 N.J.R. 3822(a), 22 N.J.R. 921(c).

Recodified from 1.4 and added new (a)1i.

Administrative Correction to (a)2iii: changed 129,000 to 129,999.

See: 22 N.J.R. 2359(a).

Amended by R.2000 d.145, effective April 3, 2000.

See: 32 N.J.R. 174(a), 32 N.J.R. 1244(b).

Rewrote (a)2.

Amended by R.2005 d.226, effective July 18, 2005.

See: 37 N.J.R. 723(a), 37 N.J.R. 2697(b).

Rewrote the section.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.5 Library materials

(a) A minimum collection of 8,000 volumes or one volume per capita, whichever is greater, shall be available in all libraries established pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:54-1 et seq., N.J.S.A. 40:54-29.3 et seq. and N.J.S.A. 40:33-1 et seq.

(b) A minimum of 1/10 of volume per capita shall be purchased annually. Non-print materials, computer software and electronic reference services may be equated to volumes purchased. To equate non-print materials, computer software and electronic reference services with print purchases:

1. Divide total materials budget, excluding expenditure for periodicals, by the average price per volume as computed in New Jersey Library Statistics for the preceding calendar year; or

2. Divide total expenditure for non-print materials, computer software and electronic reference services by average price per volume as computed in New Jersey Library Statistics for the preceding calendar year. Add resulting figure to number of volumes purchased. The total of the two figures should be equal to or exceed the minimum requirement of 1/10 volume.

(c) Each library shall purchase or provide indexes and back issues as set forth in Chart B below.

Chart B
Periodical Holdings

Population Number Listed in Indexes Any Format (Include Online) Number Retained for Three Years Any Format (Include Online)
0-5,000 15 8
5,000-9,999 30 17
10,000-24,999 45 25
25,000-49,999 60 33
50,000 and over 90 50

1. Each library shall provide the index or indexes that are necessary to provide access to information contained within the periodicals, or subscribe or have access to an on-line, full-text database. These indexes may be hard copy subscriptions, electronic services purchased or leased by the library or an online database that indexes periodicals.

(d) Each library shall provide the public free access to the Internet all hours the library is open.

(e) Those libraries which are in municipalities providing tax support for a county library may count the materials provided by the county library to the local library toward meeting the requirements of (a), (b) and (c) above. The materials provided can be used to satisfy the requirements for volumes purchased, minimum collection, and periodical subscriptions and holdings by the exact number provided by the county library in each category.

HISTORY:

Amended by R.1990 d.179, effective March 19, 1990.

See: 21 N.J.R. 3822(a), 22 N.J.R. 921(c).

Amended by R.2000 d.145, effective April 3, 2000.

See: 32 N.J.R. 174(a), 32 N.J.R. 1244(b).

In (b), substituted references to non-print materials for references to audio-visual materials throughout; rewrote (c); inserted a new (d); and recodified former (d) as (e).

Amended by R.2005 d.226, effective July 18, 2005.

See: 37 N.J.R. 723(a), 37 N.J.R. 2697(b).

Rewrote the section.

Amended by R.2010 d.290, effective December 20, 2010.

See: 42 N.J.R. 1492(b), 42 N.J.R. 3069(b).

In (c), deleted “annually periodical holdings” preceding “indexes”; and in Chart B in (c), deleted the “Number of Paid Titles: Print, Microform or CD Based” column.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.6 Service

(a) The following concerns hours of service:

1. The following minimum hours of service are required as set forth in Chart C below.

Chart C
Population Served and Hours Open

Population Served Hours Open Per Week Minimum Hours Open Per Year
0-7,499 30 1,500
7,500-9,999 35 1,750
10,000-24,999 45 2,250
25,000-49,999 50 2,500
50,000 and over 60 3,000

2. Minimum hours open to the public must be scheduled to provide some service five days per week with a minimum of three evenings and some weekend hours every week. Variations are permitted as long as the minimum hours open per year standard is met as set forth in Chart C above, or as authorized by The State Librarian.

3. Libraries serving communities of under 7,500 population must meet the minimum requirement of 30 hours per week. However, the 30 hours may be scheduled to provide only two instead of three evenings per week.

(b) Libraries shall provide the minimum level of service set forth in this subsection. Libraries shall:

1. Offer interlibrary loan through current technology;

2. Provide children’s programming; and

3. Provide a library webpage with links to databases offered by the State or  library cooperative.

(c) Libraries shall provide knowledgeable service.

1. All public libraries must certify that a member or members of the staff who do not hold a New Jersey State Professional Librarian Certificate and are counted to meet the minimum requirements of N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.4 has or collectively have received annually a minimum of library-related education as set forth in Chart D below.

Chart D
Annual Minimum Hours of Library Related Continuing Education

Population Category Training for Professionals [na] Training for All Other Staff [nb]
0-3,999 0 3
4,000-4,999 0 6
5,000-7,499 0 6
7,500-7,999 7 3
8,000-11,999 7 6
12,000-15,999 7 9
16,000-19,999 7 12
20,000-23,999 14 12

2. All public libraries must certify that a member or members of the staff who hold a New Jersey State Professional Librarian Certificate and are counted to meet the minimum requirements of N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.4(a) has or collectively have received annually a minimum of library-related education as required in Chart D above.

3. All public libraries should be members of the library cooperative.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.7 Reduction of aid for failure to meet minimum requirements

(a) Failure to meet the requirements of N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.2 and 2.3 will result in the loss of all per capita State Aid (PCSA).

(b) Failure to meet the requirements specified in N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.4 through 2.6 will result in the loss of PCSA by a percentage in proportion to the number of requirements not yet achieved, each requirement to have the following weights (not to exceed 100 percent):

   1. N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.4:
   i. Employees: 50 percent.

   2. N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.5:
   i. Basic book collection: 50 percent.
   ii. Annual purchases: 50 percent.
   iii. Periodicals: 50 percent.
   iv. Public Internet access: 50 percent.

   3. N.J.A.C. 15:21-2.6:
   i. Hours of service: 50 percent.
   ii. Extended Service: 50 percent.
   iii. Knowledgeable Service: 50 percent.

Chart E
PCSA Percent Loss

N.J.A.C. Covers Percent Loss
15:21-2.3 Library Director, 100
Trustees, Compliance
with applicable statutes
15:21-2.4 Employees 50
15:21-2.5 Materials — Basic book collection 50
Materials — Annual purchases 50
Materials — Periodicals 50
Materials — Some free 50
public Internet access
15:21-2.6 Service — Hours 50
Service — Extended service 50
Service — Knowledgeable service 50

HISTORY:

Amended by R.1990 d.179, effective March 19, 1990.

See: 21 N.J.R. 3822(a), 22 N.J.R. 921(c).

Deleted (b).

Amended by R.1995 d.290, effective June 5, 1995.

See: 27 N.J.R. 620(a), 27 N.J.R. 2202(a).

Added (b).

Amended by R.2000 d.145, effective April 3, 2000.

See: 32 N.J.R. 174(a), 32 N.J.R. 1244(b).

In (b)2, substituted “20 percent” for “30 percent” in ii, and added iv.

Amended by R.2005 d.226, effective July 18, 2005.

See: 37 N.J.R. 723(a), 37 N.J.R. 2697(b).

Rewrote (b).

Amended by R.2018 d.175, effective October 1, 2018.

See: 49 N.J.R. 3808(a), 50 N.J.R. 2069(b)

In (a), inserted “(PCSA)”; and in the introductory paragraph of (b), substituted “PCSA” for “per capita State Aid (PCSA)”.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.8 Use of per capita aid; decision by public library board of trustees or county library officials

(a) State Aid must be used for library purposes. Upon receipt of State Aid checks pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:74-3, municipal and county treasurers shall make these funds immediately available to public library trustees, county library commissioners or the board of chosen freeholders. Decisions on the use and expenditures of per capita State Aid rest with the board of trustees of municipal, joint and association libraries and with the county library commission of the county libraries or the county board of chosen freeholders. The State Librarian may require a certified audit if he or she deems necessary.

(b) State Aid funds must be expended within two years of the date of receipt of the funds. If not expended, the board of trustees, the county library commission or the board of chosen freeholders must submit to the State Librarian a plan for the use of the unspent balances at least 60 days before the deadline for expenditure. Failure to submit such a plan, or disapproval of the plan by the State Librarian, shall result in the withholding of State Aid payments.

(c) In reviewing the plan, the State Librarian will give consideration to the following:

1. Priority for the use of balances for expenditures which enable the library to comply with the provisions of this chapter;

2. Demonstration that expenditures contribute to the provision of efficient and effective library services, including capital needs and facilities;

3. Inclusion of realistic, attainable, time-bounded objectives.

HISTORY:

As amended, R.1978 d.121, effective April 7, 1978.

See: 10 New Jersey Register 95(a), 10 New Jersey Register 183(b).

Amended by R.1990 d.179, effective March 19, 1990.

See: 21 New Jersey Register 3822(a), 22 New Jersey Register 921(c).

Board of Chosen Freeholders added and 60 days before deadline for expenditure in (b) added.

Amended by R.2005 d.226, effective July 18, 2005.

See: 37 New Jersey Register 723(a), 37 New Jersey Register 2697(b).

In (a), added the first sentence.

Amended by R.2018 d.175, effective October 1, 2018.

See: 49 N.J.R. 3808 (a), 50 N.J.R. 2069(b)

In (a), rewrote the second sentence; and inserted a comma following “joint”.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.9 Application of special census

An application for the use of a special census for the receipt of aid pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:74-3 shall be submitted in writing to the State Librarian for transmittal to the State Treasurer on or before October 15 of the year preceding that in which the special census would be used as a basis for the payment of per capita State Aid. The application must include the new census figure to be used and written verification from the United States Bureau of the Census.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.10 Library buildings; submission of program

Any library planning to use State Aid moneys for new construction, an addition or structural changes to the present building shall submit its building program and preliminary building plans to the State Librarian for review and approval.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.11 Revision of criteria

The State Librarian shall review all State Library Aid rules every seven years and recommend appropriate revisions to the Secretary of State to ensure that libraries throughout the State move toward the achievement of national standards and the development of appropriate library service. The State Library Advisory Council may recommend appropriate revisions to the State Librarian.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.12 State Library Aid application

(a) An application form is available at the following address:

New Jersey State Library
Per Capita State Aid
185 West State Street PO Box 520
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0520

N.J.A.C.
15:21-2.13 (Reserved)

 

SUBCHAPTER 3. (Reserved)

 

SUBCHAPTER 4. EMERGENCY AID

N.J.A.C.
15:21-4.1 Purpose

The purpose of this emergency aid grant program is to help alleviate unforeseeable, emergency conditions in any public library.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-4.2 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

“Adequate insurance” means insurance covering, at a minimum, losses of 80 percent of replacement value, resulting from fire, floods, lightning, aircraft, earthquake, vehicles, explosions, riots, civil commotion, vandalism or malicious mischief.

“Emergency” means any damage or loss suffered by a public library in excess of $50,000 or 10 percent of that library’s current operating budget, whichever is less, and which directly affects the accessibility to the library and its collections to the public. Damages or losses caused by normal wear and tear, deterioration, defect, mechanical breakdown or neglect are not considered emergencies.

“Reimbursable loss” means such damage or loss which is not indemnified elsewhere such as through insurance or similar payments.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-4.3 Emergency aid grants

(a) Emergency aid grants up to 100 percent of reimbursable losses may be made as funds permit.

(b) In general, no more than 50 percent of the sum allocated annually for emergency aid and incentive grants will be expended as emergency aid grants.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-4.4 Method of application

(a) An intent to file a request for emergency aid must be received by the State Librarian within 90 days of damage or loss.

(b) An actual application for emergency aid must be received by the State Librarian within one year of damage or loss.

(c) A letter of application for emergency aid under N.J.S.A. 18A:74-6 must be submitted to the State Librarian. This letter of application, made by an officer of the library’s board of trustees, shall include:

1. The amount of grant requested;
2. The date the emergency occurred;
3. The cause of damage or loss;
4. A detailed description of the damage or loss and the cost of replacement;
5. Sources and amounts of indemnification (such as insurance payments), if any;
6. An assurance that the library holds adequate insurance; and
7. Any additional reports or information the State Librarian may request.

N.J.A.C.
15:21-4.5 Eligibility

(a) In order to be eligible for assistance, the library must demonstrate that:

1. Adequate insurance was in effect for 12 months prior to the emergency;
2. Preventive maintenance was budgeted for and performed during each of five years prior to the emergency; and
3. Reasonable effort has been made to correct the condition that caused the emergency. Written documentation, such as copies of bills, requests for quotations, work orders, must be submitted.

SUBCHAPTERS 6 through 8. (Reserved)


Last Updated: September 2023.