Public libraries in two or more counties, or four or more libraries, including two or more types, within a metropolitan area, as defined by the state library board, may form a regional library system by agreement in the manner set forth in this section.
(A) The libraries authorized to form a regional library system may include any of the following types of libraries: academic, public, special, and school, including cooperative ventures established by two or more school districts. For the purposes of this section, those libraries may be serving the general public, public or private schools, colleges or universities, or a profession, occupation, or business. An agreement for the formation of a regional library system shall first be approved by the governing bodies of the participating libraries. For the purposes of this section, the "governing body of a library" means the board of trustees of a public library, the board of education of a public school or school system if the library is a public school library, or otherwise the board of trustees or directors or other recognized governing board or committee of any private school, college, university, association, or union, public or private, which provides, controls, or maintains a library that is intended to be a participating library.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in division (D) of this section, the agreement and an application for the formation of the regional library system shall be submitted to the state library board in the form and in accordance with rules prescribed by the state library board, with a plan of service describing the specific purposes for which the system is formed and the means by which those purposes are to be accomplished.
(C) Upon approval of the application by the state library board and the making by that board or some other authority or authorities of a grant or grants for the system, the regional library system shall become operable. The state library board shall approve no more than seven regional library systems. A regional library system shall be governed by a board of trustees consisting of at least seven and no more than fifteen persons, to be selected from among the representatives of the participating libraries, duly appointed as such representatives by the governing bodies of the participating libraries.
The number of trustees, the manner of selection, the terms of office, and the provisions for filling vacancies shall be determined by the agreement between the governing bodies of the participating libraries and shall be set forth in the application submitted to the state library board. Nothing pertaining to the organization and operation of a regional library system shall be construed to infringe upon the autonomy of any participating library or of the governing body of any library.
(D) No area library service organization or metropolitan library system in existence on March 30, 1999, shall be required to submit a new agreement and application to the state library board in order to continue operation as a regional library system on and after that date. Any agreement that applied under this section immediately prior to March 30, 1999, to an area library service organization or metropolitan library system that continues operation as a regional library system under this division shall continue to govern the applicable regional library system to the extent authorized by sections 3375.90 to 3375.93 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 09-29-1999