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Trustee Support Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the library under an obligation to follow a No Trespass Order between the library's landlord and a third party?
From Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington:

"Based on our understanding of the facts, the library is not a party to the No Trespass Order, so they should have no duty to ensure that the order is enforced. Indeed, it is probably best for the library not to be involved in the dispute between the landlord and [third party]. Unless or until (1) the [third party] cause issues with the library directly, or (2) the landlord formally involves the library, the library should continue to conduct its business as usual."

Further information may be found in the full MRSC opinion.
May a library board send requests to the community to support library-related election measures?
As per the Public Disclosure Commission:

A library board may submit such requests as long as no library resources were used, i.e. no library computers to send the message, and no official letterhead. Advocacy should be done from personal computers on personal time.

Can registered sex offenders be banned from a public library?

Unless that this is specified part of their parole, registered sex offenders cannot be banned from a public library.

Can the Friends of the Library lose their non-profit status if they don't spend their money?

In 2008 the IRS gave the following response:

The Internal Revenue Service does not set a time limit on when money needs to be spent.  The Friends status would only be in jeopardy if the money is spent on something not specified in the Friends of the Library Charter.

For example, if the Friends of the Library decide to give all their money to the Make a Wish Foundation with NO stipulation that the funds were to be spent on the Library with which they were associated, that action could cause them to lose their nonprofit status because that wasn't the original purpose given when they applied for their nonprofit status. 

Can a public library restrict an individual filming other individuals inside the public library building without their consent?

As of 2008 the Municipal Services and Research Center attorney gave the following advice: 

Inside the library building the library has the implied authority to regulate conduct as it is not a complete public space. Outside the building is a different matter.  People could expect no privacy if they are walking along a street or in a parking lot.

Have a policy written up that can be referenced if an individual asks what the rules are in terms of taking photos or shooting videos inside the building.