Did FOSL use library resources or funding for the recent community mailer?
The Friends of Samuels Public Library (FOSL) is an independent, non-profit organization with its own funding. FOSL is funded through memberships, donations, and fund raising events such as bake sales, used-book sales, etc. The FOSL Board of Directors voted to send the mailer to community members to inform them of the potential defunding of the library. This action is consistent with FOSL‘s mission to support the library. No Samuels Public Library funds were used.
What is FOSL?
The Friends of Samuels Public Library, Inc is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation (EIN 54-0610300) registered with the Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission. The Friends supports the mission of Samuels Public Library by:
- Promoting a diverse and active membership in the Friends
- Enhancing the Library’s financial resources for its provision of literacy and cultural opportunities in the community
- Supporting and sponsoring family, adult, and children’s programming
- Providing volunteer assistance for the Library operations
- Stimulating community awareness of the Library as a valuable educational resource
Is the Library a County operated facility?
The Library has been engaged in a Public‐Private Partnership in one form or another since its inception in 1799. Samuels Public Library was granted status as a 501(c)(3) not‐for‐profit business in 1978 from the Internal Revenue Service with the sole mission to provide Library services to the citizens of Warren County and the Town of Front Royal that would otherwise be provided by the County. As a not‐for‐profit business the Library has always relied on other funding sources and private volunteer hours to keep costs down.
What are the advantages of this Public‐Private Partnership?
The advantage of this type of partnership, like others a county may have for example, include paving, tree cutting, and waste removal. As in this case, our Library, the government and residents get more value while saving taxpayers money. (There are 21 non-profit libraries in Virginia.)
What is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)?
The Library has enjoyed a supportive working relationship with the County for many years, and in 2017 engaged in a Memorandum of Agreement with success. The County would like the Library Trustees to engage in a new Memorandum of Agreement. The Library Trustees have requested and would welcome the opportunity to sit down face to face with the Supervisors and come to a mutual agreement.
What is the difference between the County and Trustee MOAs?
To learn more about the MOAs, please read the different versions that are posted on this website. The MOA draft by the Library Trustees is trying to preserve the Public‐Private Partnership that has worked so well, without changing the Library’s successful organizational structure as outlined in its Articles of Incorporation and By‐Laws.
What about financial accountability?
The Library Trustees are accountable to the County government and more importantly to the citizens of Warren County that we serve. Each year the Library submits a fiscal year funding request via the Warren County Budget Preparation Form: Partner Agency Documentation Form. This includes a line item budget accompanied by reports and statistics reflecting the Library’s accomplishments during the previous year. Library management gives a presentation and is available to answer questions.
How are books added to the collection?
The Library has curated an extremely well‐rounded collection reflecting items of interest to ALL citizens of Warren County. Books are not purchased using County funds. The Library strictly follows the VA statutes and Supreme Court rulings. Removing books that have been falsely described as pornographic is discrimination and would expose the Library to lawsuits.
How can parents make sure books their children are reading are appropriate?
Any book that includes sexual content will be shelved in the Adult or New Adult section. Parents can now opt‐in for Limited cards that restrict access to older, adult or online items. The Library has spoken to and heard from many parents who recognize that there are books that they would not select for their children but appreciate that it is the parent’s responsibility to guide their child’s literary journey.
How are Trustees selected?
As outlined in its By‐Laws, the Board of Trustees are all volunteers. Trustees have been selected based on experience to advise and guide the staff about the legalities and best practices of running the Library. The result is a Board with a strong mission and a track record of success.
It is not in the best interest of the people of Warren County to have Trustees randomly appointed without consideration of all the needs of the Library. Appointments without expertise, historical context, or familiarity with Library services is simply bad management. There has always been a County Board of Supervisor representative on the Library Board, it is written into the By‐Laws.
How can citizens have input?
All Board of Trustees bi‐monthly and committee meetings are public. Citizens have always been welcome to attend, and every agenda has always included an opportunity for public comment during “Citizens’ Time” at the bi‐monthly meetings.