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Trustee Support Resources

Island Library District

Definition: RCW 27.12.010(3): "… a municipal corporation organized to provide library service for all areas outside of incorporated cities and towns on a single island only, and not all of the area of the county, in counties composed entirely of islands and having a population of less than twenty-five thousand at the time the island library district was created:  PROVIDED, That any city or town meeting the population requirements of RCW 27.12.360 may be included therein as provided in RCW 27.12.360 through 27.12.390" (i.e., RCW 27.12.370RCW 27.12.380, and RCW 27.12.390)


  • Petition, signed by at least 10% of registered voters in the unincorporated area of the island, asking that a proposal to create an island library district be submitted to a vote of the people of the island, is filed with the board of county commissioners;
  • The board of county commissioners, after verifying the petition, places proposition on the ballot for the next general or special election;
  • If majority approves proposition, the board of county commissioners declares the island library district to be established.

See also RCW 27.12.400.

Any city or town with a population of 300,000 or less at the time of annexation may become a part of any island library district lying contiguous to it by annexation as follows:

  • An ordinance for annexation is submitted to the library board of the city or town for review and recommendations. If no library board exists in the city or town, the state library shall be notified of the proposed ordinance;
  • The legislative authority of a city or town desiring annexation adopts the ordinance stating its intent to join the library district;
  • If the board of trustees of the library district agrees to the annexation, notification is transmitted to the legislative authority or authorities of the counties of the city or town to be annexed.

See also RCW 27.12.360.

Books and other printed materials belonging to the library shall go to the state library. All other library property shall be disposed of as the legislative body of the governmental unit shall direct.

If an island library district is dissolved due to the establishment of a county library district, pursuant to RCW 27.12.450, all property, assets, and liabilities of the preexisting island library district within the area included in the county rural library district shall pass to and be assumed by the county rural library district:

PROVIDED that in cases where the preexisting island library district has incurred a bonded indebtedness that was outstanding when the country rural library district was formed, the preexisting island library district shall retain its corporate existence as is necessary untill that indebtedness is paid in full.

PROVIDED FURTHER, that a special election may be called for by the board of trustees of the county rural library district, to be held at the next general or special election, to allow voters residing within the area outside of the preexisting island library district the opportunity to assume the obligation of the bonded indebtedness of the preexisting island library district. Such a proposition may be submitted to the voters as a separate proposition at the election on the proposal for the formation of the county rural library district.

See also RCW 27.12.320.

An island library district that serves a single island in a county shall be dissolved if a rural county library district serving all unincorporated areas of the county is established.

An island library district may also be dissolved after it has been in operation for 3 or more years provided that:

  • A petition by at least 10% of registered voters in service area to dissolve library district is filed with the board of trustees of the district at least 90 days before a general election that includes the proposition on the ballot;
  • A proposition is approved by a majority of registered voters living within the service area.

Note: Provisions are made for withdrawal from a library district as well as reannexation after an area has been withdrawn from the boundaries of a library district in RCW 27.12.355.

See also RCW 27.12.450RCW 27.12.320.