Governor Signs Bill to Support County Law Libraries

CA SB 711 – support for county law libraries

Late yesterday California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law legislation by State Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) enabling county law libraries to charge a fee to recoup for the cost of providing an array of modern services to their patrons.

County law libraries provide Californians with access to information about the state’s legal system, and have expanded the services they offer in order to address the modern needs of library users and the broader community. Senate Bill 711 adds services such as electronic delivery and other delivery services, educational programs, special events, and provision of supplies or food services to the list of services for which county law libraries are authorized to provide and charge.

“County law libraries are not supported by state or local tax dollars, and continue to experience diminishing operations revenues. In fact, over the past 5 years county law libraries have seen a nearly 32 percent decrease in revenue,” Wolk said. “This new law won’t solve this funding shortfall, but it will enable libraries to recover the costs of providing some of these services to the public and insulate them from lawsuits alleging they have no authority to charge a fee for these services.”

County law libraries are public libraries

SB 711 also defines county law libraries as public libraries, allowing the State Librarian, Greg Lucas,  to work with county law libraries and create partnerships among libraries throughout the state

library logo

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