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LAWS OF DELAWARE.

VOL. 22.

CHAPTER 362.

OF FREE PUBLIC LIBRARIES.

AN ACT

PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF FREE PUBLIC LIBRARIES.

Be it enacted, &c.

Section 1. That as soon as may be after the adoption of this Act, there shall be created and established a board to be known as "The State Library Commission for the State of Delaware." Said Commission shall be composed of nine persons to be appointed by the Governor, who shall respectively hold office for the term of five years or until their successors are duly chosen; provided, that in the first Commission created under this Act, the Governor shall appoint three members for the term of one year, three members for the term of three years, and three members for the term of five years. All vacancies on said Commission, whether occurring by expiration of term, or otherwise, shall be filled by the Governor. No person

shall be ineligible by reason of sex to serve on the Commission.

Section 2. The said Commission shall organize by the selection from its members of a chairman and such other officers as are or may be deemed advisable; provided, that the State Librarian shall, by virtue of his office, be the Secretary of said Commission, but shall have no vote or voice in the acts and proceedings of said Commission. No member shall receive any salary or compensation for his services as such Commissioner.

The Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to expend such sum or sums as it shall deem proper and necessary for effectuating the objects of this Act, provided said

sums shall not in the aggregate in any one year exceed the sum of seven hundred dollars exclusive of the expenses actually incurred by the members in attendance on the Commission, and of sums expended for necessary printing, postage and stationery. Such sums, together with the actual expenses of the members incurred in attending the Commission and all bills for necessary printing, postage and stationery, shall be paid by the State Treasurer to the said Commission, upon the order or orders of its Chairman or President, attested by its Secretary.

Section 3. The said Commission shall have general supervision over all Libraries in this State established or maintained under the provisions of this Act; and shall have the supervision and control of all circulating Libraries now, or hereafter to be, established under the provisions of Chapter 220, of Volume 21, of the Laws of Delaware; shall have power to require of any and all District Library Commissions created as hereinafter provided such reports as are or may be deemed proper; shall make certificate to the State Treasurer when any Library is entitled to State aid, as hereafter provided; and shall have all further and other powers necessary and proper for the general supervision of the Libraries aforesaid. The State Library Commission shall have power to make all rules and by-laws for its own government. The said Commission shall, in the month of January in each year in which there is a regular biennial session of the General Assembly of this State, make report to said General Assembly of its doings and of any recommendations deemed advisable.

Section 4. Any single, united, consolidated or incorporated School District in this State may receive in its corporate capacity and hold any devise, bequest or donation for the foundation and establishment or for the maintenance, support and increase of a Free Public Library within the same.

Section 5. Any single, united, consolidated or incor

porated School District in this State is hereby authorized and empowered to establish and maintain a Free Public Library, with or without reading room, provided that at any election held as hereinafter provided, a majority of the qualified electors of said School District then present and voting, shall vote in favor of such establishment.

Section 6. For the purposes of this Act, all the School Districts in this State, single, united, consolidated and incorporated, are classified according to the sums which the several Boards of Education or School Committees are authorized by law to levy and raise by taxation annually for current school expenses, as follows, namely:

Every District in which the sum authorized as aforesaid is six thousand dollars or more, shall be deemed and taken to be a District of the First Class; every District in which the sum authorized as aforesaid is not less than four thousand nor as much as six thousand dollars, shall be deemed and taken to be a District of the Second Class; every District in which the sum authorized as aforesaid is not less than two thousand, nor as much as four thousand dollars, shall be deemed and taken to be a District of the Third Class; every District in which the sum authorized as aforesaid is not less than one thousand, nor as much as two thousand dollars, shall be deemed and taken to be a District of the Fourth Class; every District in which the sum authorized as aforesaid is not less than five hundred, nor as much as one thousand dollars, shall be deemed and taken to to be a district of the Fifth Class; every District in which the sum authorized as aforesaid is not less than two hundred, nor as much as five hundred dollars, shall be deemed and taken to be a District of the Sixth Class; and every District in which the sum authorized as aforesaid is less than two hundred dollars shall be deemed and taken to be a District of the Seventh Class.

Section 7. Every Board of Education or School Committee in this State shall submit the question as to the es

tablishment of a Free Public Library in said District to the qualified electors thereof, at a special election to be held on the day next following the ensuing regular school election in such District, not being Sunday or a legal holiday; provided said Board or Committee be petitioned so to do thirty days at least before the next succeeding regular school election in such District, by a number of the qualified electors thereof. The number of qualified electors who must petition as aforesaid, shall be as follows, namely in Districts of the First or Second Class, twenty qualified electors; in Districts of the Third, Fourth or Fifth Class, ten qualified electors; and in Districts of the Sixth or Seventh Class, five qualified electors.

Section 8. The vote on the question as to the establishment of a Free Public Library, when submitted as aforesaid, shall be by ballot, upon which shall be printed or written either the words "For a Free Library," or the words "Against a Free Library." A majority of the ballots cast legally at said election shall determine the question. All persons entitled to vote at the regular school election next before such special election shall be entitled to vote on such question. In all respects the place of voting, and the conduct of the election, counting of ballots, and the like, shall be as now are, or hereafter may be, provided by law for the regular school election in the School District wherein such question is submitted. Provided, that the Board of Education or School Committee, upon being petitioned to submit the question of the establishment of a Free Library as hereinbefore provided, shall give notice of such submission by printed advertisements posted in at least five public places in said District at least ten days before the election. The said advertisements shall state the question to be submitted as hereinbefore provided, and the time and place of voting upon such question. In case any Board of Education or School Committee shall neglect or refuse to give such notice, any qualified elector may do so,

and the notice so given shall be as effectual as though given by said Board or Committee.

Section 9. If a majority of the ballots cast as aforesaid shall be against the establishment of a Free Library, the question as to such establishment may again be submitted at special elections to be held on the day next following any regular school election thereafter ensuing (not being Sunday or a legal holiday) as often as petitions therefor shall be presented to the said Board of Education or School Committee as herein before provided.

Section 10. If at any election the qualified electors shall in the manner aforesaid, declare in favor of the establishment of a Free Public Library in any District, then the Board of Education or School Committee thereof shall, and it is hereby authorized, empowered and required to levy and raise by taxation for the purpose of the establishment of such Library therein, and also for the maintenance, increase and support of said Library for the year then next ensuing, a sum determinable by the class in which such District belongs, that is to say: If such District be of the First Class, the sum required to be levied and raised as aforesaid shall be not less than two hundred and fifty, nor more than six hundred dollars; if such District be of the Second Class, the sum so required as aforesaid shall be not less than one hundred and fifty, nor more than four hundred dollars; if such District be of the Third Class the sum so required as aforesaid shall be not less than one hundred, nor more than three hundred dollars; if such District be of the Fourth Class, the sum so required as aforesaid shall be not less than seventy-five dollars, nor more than two hundred dollars; if such District be of the Fifth Class, the sum so required as aforesaid shall be not less than fifty, nor more than one hundred and fifty dollars; if such District be of the Sixth Class, the sum so required as aforesaid shall be not less than forty, nor more than one hundred dollars; and if such District be of the

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