The Board of Library Examiners was established in 1929. Current authority is found at A.R.S. §§11-901 through 11-914 and A.R.S. §§48-3901 through 48-3906.
The purpose of the Board of Library Examiners is to pass on the qualifications of persons desiring to become county librarians. See Laws 2010, Chapter 28, Purpose.
Laws 1929, Chapter 39 authorized county boards of supervisors to establish and maintain county free libraries, created the Board of Library Examiners and provided for an annual tax levy to establish and maintain the library system. The measure described the areas to be served and allowed cities and towns to elect to become part of the county library system. Alternately, rather than establishing a separate county free library, a board of supervisors could enter into an agreement to authorize the city or town to assume the functions of the county library. Either party could terminate such an agreement.
The Board of Library Examiners consisted of the state librarian, the librarian of the University of Arizona and the librarian of the Phoenix Public Library. The Board was authorized to adopt rules and was responsible for determining the professional qualifications for applicants applying to become a county librarian. A certificate of qualification issued by the Board is required to serve as a county librarian.
The measure authorized the county board of supervisors to exercise general supervision over the county library, to appoint the county librarian, to locate branches and stations throughout the county and to levy a county tax in an amount sufficient to establish and maintain the library. The measure also outlined the duties of the county librarian and established the salary for the position.
Laws 1976, Chapter 104 transferred the Division of Library, Archives and Public Records from the Department of Administration and created the Department of Library, Archives and Public Records as a stand-alone agency. The measure made conforming changes to the Board of Library Examiners statutes but did not make substantive changes to Board responsibilities.
Laws 1986, Chapter 366 converted county free library systems to county free library districts and transferred relevant sections to A.R.S. Title 48, related to special taxing districts. The measure identified a county library district as a political taxing subdivision of the state with all the powers, privileges and immunities granted to municipal corporations by the constitution and laws of the state. See A.R.S. §§48-3902 through 48-3906.
Laws 1994, Chapter 49 modified the term of appointment for a county librarian. Rather than serve a term of four years, the county librarian would serve at the pleasure of the county board of supervisors.
Laws 2000, Chapter 88 expanded the number of members on the Board of Library Examiners by adding two county librarians, appointed by the Director of the Department of Library, Archives and Public Records to a term of one year. The Director appoints the county librarian members on a rotating basis in order to represent each county free library. The measure also changed the name of the Department of Library, Archives and Public Records to the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and made conforming changes throughout statutes.
Laws 2016, Chapter 255 allowed a county board of supervisors to choose to either establish a county free library as a special taxing district or to establish a library using county general fund monies. A second measure enacted in 2016 provided a county board of supervisors the option of contracting with the governing board of a school district, community college district or nonprofit corporation to establish a county free library. See Laws 2016, Chapter 337.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§11-901 through 11-914 and A.R.S. §§48-3901 through 48-3906
- Arizona Code Annotated 1939, Sections 17-1501 through 17-1513
- Session Laws
- Laws 1929, Chapter 39
- Laws 1976, Chapter 104
- Laws 1986, Chapter 366
- Laws 1994, Chapter 49
- Laws 2000, Chapter 88
- Laws 2010, Chapter 28
- Laws 2016 Chapter 255 and Chapter 337
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 099 – Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records