The state library commission has the authority to accept federal funds to assist in its rural library program; the commission may designate the state librarian as the individual responsible for carrying out the program.
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January 7, 1957
Miss Maryan E. Reynolds State Librarian Temple of Justice Olympia, Washington Cite as: AGO 57-59 No. 1
Dear Miss Reynolds:
You have asked us for certain information relative to the acceptance by the state library commission of federal funds authorized to be allotted to the various states under the provisions of the "Library Services Act," Title 20 U.S.C.A. § 351, chapter 16, et seq. 1956 Supp.
This act authorizes the allotment to the various states of certain funds, provided that they have submitted and have had approved by the commissioner of education, state plans for the further extension of public library services to rural areas.
You state that as yet you are not ready to submit such a plan for the state of Washington, although the general principles under which you intend to proceed have been established.
You have inquired:
(1) Whether the state library commission has the needed authority to supervise the expenditure of federal funds according to the principles established; and
(2) whether the commission may designate the state librarian as the individual responsible for carrying out the program.
Our answer to both questions is in the affirmative.
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The state library commission is composed of the superintendent of public instruction and four commissioners appointed by the governor. (RCW 27.04.020.) The powers granted to this commission are very broad. That it possesses the authority to supervise the expenditure of such federal funds as may be granted for library use is clear from the explicit terms of RCW 27.04.060, which reads as follows:
"The state library commission is authorized to accept and to expend in accordance with the terms thereof any grant of federal funds which may become available to the state for library purposes. For the purpose of qualifying to receive such grants, the state library commission may make such applications and reports as may be required by the federal government as a condition thereto."
That the commission may designate the state librarian as the individual responsible for carrying out the federal program seems necessarily to be implied from the language of RCW 27.04.030, reading as follows:
"The state library commission shall have charge and control of the state library. It shall appoint the state librarian, who shall hold office at the pleasure of the commission. It may make rules and regulations governing the administration of the library and formulate policies for the development of all types of library service throughout the state." (Emphasis supplied.).