USE OF LIBRARY FUNDS. Letter, October 19, 1973, to Charles E. Sims, State Librarian, Topeka, Kansas.

You request our opinion upon the following:

A municipality such as a county establishes a public library in accordance with K.S.A. 12-1220. Within that municipality there is another another municipality, such as a city, which was already supporting a public library at the time of the election, and whose library board and governing body chose not to be included in the county library. The residents of the city did not vote on the question of establishing the county library.

You question whether funds raised by the county library levy may be turned over to and expended by the city library. K.S.A. 12-1220 states in pertinent part thus:

"If a majority of the votes cast at such election on such proposition shall be in the affirmative, the governing body shall forthwith establish such library and is hereby authorized to and shall annually levy a tax for the maintenance of such library in such sum as the library board shall determine the limitations fixed by law." [Emphasis supplied.]

The phrase "such library," underscored above, restricts the use of the levy authorized by this statute to the support of the library the establishment of which was authorized by the election held pursuant to K.S.A. 12-1220.

K.S.A. 12-1225 (f) authorizes the library board
"to contract with other libraries established under the provision of this act or with the governing body of the municipality not maintaining a public library for the furnishing of library service to the inhabitants of such municipality to the extent and upon such terms as may be agreed upon, and to contract with any school board to furnish library service to any school library or to use the library facilities of the public school to supplement the facilities of the public library."

Although the county library is authorized to contract with any other library established under the act, and may agree to pay the latter compensation for any services provided by it pursuant to the contract, such an agreement may not be used as a vehicle for diverting proceeds from the county library levy for the support, operation and maintenance of the city library.

The expenditure of all funds in the hands of the county library board must be made pursuant to K.S.A. 12-1226. If you should have further questions, please do not hesitate to call upon us.

- Quoted from Kansas Public Library Laws, Attorney General’s Opinions and Rules and Regulations, State Library of Kansas, March 1979.


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