BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             SB 683             
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          |Author:    |Wolk                                                 |
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          |Version:   |February 27, 2015                      Hearing Date: |
          |           |   April 15, 2015                                    |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Olgalilia Ramirez                                    |
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          Subject:  Public library services:  foundation program

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill modifies the definition of the "foundation program"  
          thereby authorizing the use of funds for this purpose to include  
          technology services provided by public libraries, for the  
          purchase of equipment and payment of fees for major capital  
          projects, and makes other technical changes. 

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law declares that each public library provide a minimum  
          level of service, known as the foundation program, to the extent  
          state funds are made available. Existing law defines the  
          foundation program as those elements of library services which  
          are basic to its function as a provider of information,  
          education, and cultural enrichment to all segments of the  
          community, including but not limited to, collection development  
          and maintenance, lending services, information services,  
          facility maintenance, and administration. Existing law  
          specifically excludes "major capital improvements" from the  
          foundation program, defined as the purchase of real property,  
          the construction or improvement of buildings and the purchase of  
          the equipment and the payment of fees or other costs in  
          connection with the same.  (Education Code 18013 and 18015)

          Existing law establishes the Public Library Fund for the  
          purposes of funding the foundation program for public libraries.  
           (EC  18024)







          SB 683 (Wolk)                                           Page 2  
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            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill expands the use of funds for the purposes of the  
          library foundation program.  Specifically it:

             1.   Adds technology to the list of services provided by  
               public libraries deemed an element of the foundation  
               program.

             2.   Deletes the exclusion of the cost of equipment and fees  
               related to major capital projects from the foundation  
               program thereby potentially expanding the elements of the  
               foundation program to include these costs.  

             3.   Makes other non-substantive technical changes. 

          

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
          1.   Need for the bill. According to the author, this bill is a  
               technical cleanup of Education Code section 18015  
               pertaining to public libraries. The library foundation  
               program provided direct state aid to California public  
               libraries for basic public library services. This bill, to  
               the extent funding is available, makes technology services  
               and equipment purchases and fees related to major capital  
               improvements an acceptable use of these funds.  

          2.   Federal Library Services and Technology Act.  The Institute  
               of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) supports libraries in  
               the 50 states through funding from the federal Library  
               Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which is administered  
               in California by the State Librarian. The funds are used to  
               promote, through a competitive grant process, improvements  
               in services to all types of libraries; to facilitate access  
               to, and sharing of, resources and services through the  
               California State Library; and to achieve economical and  
               effective delivery of service for the purpose of  
               cultivating an educated and informed citizenry. In  
               addition, LSTA funds are targeted for statewide library  
               services and support a wide array of programs, from early  
               learning to digital access and preservation.  In order to  








          SB 683 (Wolk)                                           Page 3  
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               clearly reflect this and other existing programs, this bill  
               includes technology services as a basic function of public  
               libraries under the foundation program. 

          3.   Public Library Fund. The Public Library Foundation was  
               established by legislation in 1982 by Senator Nielsen  
               (Chapter 1498, Statutes of 1982). Under the Davis  
               administration, funding for the program was greatly reduced  
               and subsequently defunded under in fiscal year 2011-12.   
               The stated intent of the program was to embody the State's  
               interest in the general diffusion of information and  
               knowledge through free public libraries; encourage lifelong  
               learning; supplement the system of free public education;  
               help libraries serve as sources of information and  
               inspiration to persons of all ages, cultural backgrounds  
               and economic status; and furnish a resource for continuing  
               education. If the program were to receive state funding in  
               the future this bill would clarify that funds can be spent  
               on technology services. 

               Current law prohibits appropriation of these funds, to the  
               extent funding is made available, for major capital  
               improvements, defined as the purchase of real property, the  
               construction or improvement of buildings and the purchase  
               of the equipment and the payment of fees or other costs in  
               connection with the same. Omitting fee payments and  
               equipment purchases from the statute would give libraries  
               greater flexibility to use Public Library Funds for those  
               stated purposes. 

            SUPPORT
          
          None received.

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received.

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