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This officer is to be chosen at the annual meeting of the district. In case the inhabitants neglect at such meeting to choose such officer, the district clerk becomes ex-officio librarian, until the vacancy is filled by the trustees, or by the inhabitants, at their next annual meeting.
By the first section of chap. 177, Laws of 1839, (No. 180,) “ The librarian of any district library shall be subject to the directions of the trustees thereof, in all matters relating to the preservation of the books and appurtenances of the library, and may be removed from office by them for wilful disobedience of such directions, or for any wilful neglect of duty; and whenever they shall have reason to apprehend the loss of any such books, or their injury, or destruction by his misconduct; and whenever a vacancy shall exist in the office of librarian, the same shall be supplied by the trustees until the next annual meeting of the inhabitants of the district."
By the third section of the same act, (No. 182,). set of general regulations respecting the preservation of school district libraries, the delivery of them by librarians and trustees to their successors in office, the use of them by the inhabitants of the district, the number of volumes to be taken by any one person at any one time, or during any term, the periods of their return, the fines and penal. ties that may be imposed by the trustees of such libraries for not returning, losing or destroying any of the books therein, or for soiling, defacing or injuring them, may be framed by the Superintendent of common schools, and printed copies thereof shall be furnished to each school district of the state ; which regulations shall be obligatory upon all persons and officers having charge of such libraries, or using or possessing any of the books thereof.
Such fines may be recovered in an action of debt in the name of the trustees of any such library, of the person on whom they are imposed, except such person be a minor ; in which case they may be recovered of the parent or guardian of such minor, unless notice in writing shall have been given by such parent or guardian to the trustees of such library, that they will not be responsible for any books delivered such minor. And persons with whom minors reside shall be liable in the same manner, and to the same extent, in cases where the parent of such minor does not reside in the district.”
By $ 35, (No. 184,) “The legal voters in any two or more adjoining districts may, in such cases as shall be approved by the Superintendent of common schools, unite their library moneys and funds as they shall be received or collected, and purchase a joint library for the use of the inhabitants of such districts, which shall be selected by the trustees thereof, or by such persons as they shall designate, and shall be under the charge of a librarian to be appointed by them; and the foregoing provisions of this act shall be applicable to the said joint libraries, except that the property in them shall be deemed to be vested in all the trustees for the time being of the districts-so united. And in case any such district shall desire to divide such library, such division shall be made by the trustees of the two districts whose libraries are so united, and in case they cannot agree, then such division shall be made by three disinterested persons, to be appointed by the Superintendent of common schools.”
By the regulations of the Superintendent made in pursuance of this provision, the librarian is required, whenever any library is purchased and taken charge of by him to make out a full and complete catalogue of all the books contained therein. At the foot of each catalogue he is to sign a receipt in the following form:
I, A. B., do hereby acknowledge that the books specified in the preceding catalogue have been delivered to me by the trustees of school district No. in the town of to be safely kept by me as librarian of the said district for the use of the inhabitants thereof, according to the regulations prescribed by the Superintendent of common schools, and to be accounted for by me according to the said regulations to the trustees of the said district, and to be delivered to my successor in office. Dated, &c.
A correct copy of the catalogue and receipt is then to be made, to which the trustees are to add a certificate in the following form : We the subscribers, trustees of school district No. in the town
do certify that the preceding is a full and complete cata logue of books in the library of the said district now in posses sion of A. B., the librarian thereof, and of his receipt thereon. Given under our hands this
18 The catalogue having the librarian's receipt, is to be delivered to the trustees, and a copy having the certificate of the trustees, is to be delivered to the librarian for his indemnity.
Whenever books are added to the library, a catalogue with a similar receipt by the librarian is to be delivered to the trustees, and a copy with a certificate of the trus tees that it is a copy of the catalogue delivered them by the librarian, is to be furnished to him. Every catalogue received by trustees is to be kept by them carefully among the papers of the district and to be delivered to their suc cessors in office.
Whenever a new librarian shall be chosen, all the books are to be called in. For this purpose the librarian is to refuse to deliver out any books for fourteen days precede ing the time so prescribed for collecting them together: At these periods, they must make a careful examination of the books, compare them with the catalogue, and make written-statements in a column opposite the name of each book, of its actual condition, whether lost or present, and whether in good order or injured, and if injured, specify. ing in general terms, the extent of such injury. This catalogue, with the remarks, is to be delivered to the suco cessors of the trustees to be kept by them; a copy of it is to be made out, and delivered to the new librarian with the library, by whom a receipt in the form above pre scribed is to be given, and to be delivered to the trustees. Another copy certified by them as before mentioned, is to be delivered to the librarian.
Trustees, on coming into office, are to attend at the library for the purpose of comparing the catalogue with the books. They are at all times when they think proper, and especially on their coming into office, to examine the books carefully, and note such as are missing or injured.
For every book that is missing the librarian is accountable to the trustees for the full value thereof, and for the whole series of which it formed a part: such value to be determined by the trustees. He is accountable also for any injury which a book may appear to have sustained, by being soiled, defaced, torn, or otherwise. And he can be relieved from such accountability only by the trustees, on its being satisfactorily shown to them that some inhabitant of the district has been charged or is chargeable for the value of the book so missing, or for the amount of the injury so done to any work. It is the duty of the trustees to take prompt and efficient measures for the collection of the amount for which any librarian is accountable.
The librarian must cause to be pasted in each book belonging to the library, a printed or written label, or must write in the first blank leaf of each book, specifying that the book belongs to the library of school district No.
in the town of , naming the town and giving the number of the district; and he is on no account to deliver out any book which has not such printed or written declaration in it. He is also to cause all the books to be covered with strong wrapping paper, on the back of which is to be written the title of the book, and its number in large figures. As new books are added, the num. bers are to be continued, and they are in no case to be al. tered ; so that if a book be lost, its number and title must still be continued on the catalogue, with a note that it is missing.
The librarian must keep a blank book, that may be made by stitching together half a dozen or more sheets of writing paper. Let these be ruled across the width of the paper so as to leave five columns of the proper size for the following entries, to be written lengthwise of the paper: in the first column, the date of the delivery of any book to any inhabitant ; in the second, the title of the book delivered, and its number ; in the third, the name of the person to whom delivered ; in the fourth, the date of its return; and in the fifth, remarks, respecting its condition, in the following form :
Time of delivery. Title & No. Book. To whom. When returned. Condition.
1839, June 10. History of Va. 43. T. Jones. 20th June. Good.
As it will be impossible for the librarian to keep any trace of the books without such minutes, his own interest to screen himself from responsibility, as well as his duty to the public, will, it is to be hoped, induce him to be exact in making his entries at the time any book is delivered; and when it is returned, to be equally exact in noticing its condition, and making the proper minute.
A fair copy of the catalogue should be kept by the librarian, to be exbibited to those who desire to select a book; and if there be room, it should be fastened on the door of the case.
REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE USE OF THE BOOKS IN DISTRICT
LIBRARIES PRESCRIBED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF COMMON SCHOOLS PURSUANT TO THE THIRD SECTION OF THE ACT RESPECTING SCHOOL DISTRICT LIBRARIES," PASSED APRIL 15, 1839.
I. The librarian has charge of the books and is responsible for their preservation and delivery to his succes
II. A copy of the catalogue required to be made out by Articles III. and IV. of Regulations No. I, is to be kept by the librarian, open to the inspection of the inhabitants of the district at all reasonable times. It will be found convenient to affix a copy of it on the door of the book-case containing the library.
III. Books are to be delivered as follows: 1st. Only to inhabitants of the district. 2d. One only can be delivered to an inhabitant at a time;
and any one having a book out of the library must re
turn it before he can receive another. 3d. No person upon whom a fine has been imposed by the
trustees under these regulations, can receive a book
while such fine remains unpaid. 4th. A person under age cannot be permitted to take out
a book unless he resides with some responsible inhabitant of the district; nor can he then receive a book if notice has been given by his parent or guardian or the person with whom he resides, that they will not be re
sponsible for books delivered such minor. 5th. Each individual residing in the district, of sufficient
age to read the books belonging to the library, is to be regarded as an inhabitant, and is entitled to all the be