Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Possible state legislation would affect current public library districts

The Indiana Senate just recently passed legislation that if it becomes law could change the organization of public libraries in Indiana. The legislation currently called Senate Bill 348 outlines a process where a local government body called a Library Planning Committee will look at the current districts in its county and make recommendations on whether to change the current districts including possibly merging the present Library Districts. If this legislation becomes law, the Library Planning Committee final recommendation would have to involved all of the county being covered by library districts (whether in the form of one or more districts). In the current language of the bill, there is an option for areas to opt out of becoming part of a library district through referendum.

Wabash County currently has three public library districts. Two of the library districts are city library districts (Wabash and North Manchester) and thus do not go beyond the town/city limits. The third district is Roann Paw-Paw Township Public Library and covers all of Paw-Paw township. The rest of the county is not covered by a public library district. Thus the possible implementation of Senate Bill 348 could have a dramatic impact on our county's current organization of public libraries.

The link to Senate Bill 348 is:

If you have questions, please feel welcome to contact me by phone (260) 563-2972 or e-mail ( and I will share what I can about this legislation.

Thank you for your continued support,

Ware W. Wimberly III, Director