LIBRARIES - IDLE FUNDS - INVESTMENT. Letter, May 14, 1962, to Mr. Charles D. Green, Attorney for the Board of Directors for the Manhattan City Library, Manhattan, Kansas.

Dear Mr. Green:

Question: Does the Board of Directors of a Library have authority to invest idle funds? Answer: No.

G.S. Supp., 12-1223, provides that a library board established under that act "shall constitute a body corporate and politic, possessing the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes. . . ." It is thus manifest that the library board is a municipal corporation separate and distinct from the county, township or city which establishes it. The only exception to this autonomy appearing in the statute is the provision that the library board's acquisition or disposition of real property is subject to the approval of the governing body of the municipality establishing the library. (G.S. 1961 Supp,. 12-1223 and 12-1225 [b].)

Article 12, section 5 of the Kansas Constitution (the Home Rule Amendment) is inapplicable to the question since it clearly applies only to cities. Each subsection of the amendment refers to cities and to no other municipal corporation. It is the opinion of this office that a library board, being a separate corporation from the city establishing it, takes no power either directly from the amendment or from an ordinance enacted by the establishing city under authority of the amendment. With the exception of approval of real property transactions already noted, the library act (G.S. 1961 Supp. 12-1215, et seq.) gives an establishing city no authority to enlarge or limit the powers of the library board.

It follows that since the library board does not have express statutory authority to invest idle funds such power is not available to it without new legislation. In Russell State Bank v. Steinle, 159 Kan. 293, 298, 153 P. 2d 906 (1944), our court said:

"Municipal corporations are creations of law and can exercise only powers conferred by law and take none by implication. . . . The only powers municipalities ever acquire in addition to those expressly granted are powers necessary to make effective the powers expressly granted."
We cannot state that it is necessary for library boards to have the power to invest idle funds in order that the powers expressly given in chapter 12, article 12 of the General Statutes 1949 may be effective.

It is also noteworthy, as the request for this opinion points out, that G.S. 1961 Supp., 12-1225, provides that the library board has the power and duty, inter alia," (g) to receive, accept and administer any money appropriated or granted to it . . . for the purpose of aiding or providing library service. . . ." This office is of the opinion that this legislation providing that the board has the duty to use the public money it receives for the purpose of aiding or providing library service" necessary obviates any claim that the board has an implied authority to invest idle funds.
- Quoted from Kansas Public Library Laws, Attorney General’s Opinions and Rules and Regulations, State Library of Kansas, March 1979.


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