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37 2001


Chapter 3

Library and Archival Functions

Library authorities.

77. —(1) Each of the following is a library authority:

(a) a county council,

(b) a city council,

(c) a joint library committee standing established at the commencement of this provision and carrying out the functions of a library authority:

and references to “library authority” shall be read accordingly.

(2) (a) A joint library committee referred to in subsection (1)(c) continues to stand established for the purposes of carrying out the functions of a library authority under this Chapter.

(b) The Minister may make regulations under this subsection for the purposes of the membership and continued operation of a joint library committee referred to in subsection (1)(c) as if it was a joint committee to which section 52 (2)(b) applies and such regulations may for such purposes include provisions corresponding to paragraphs (a) to (e) of section 52 (5).

Functions of library authorities.

78. —(1) A library authority may take such measures, engage in such activities or do such things in accordance with law (including the incurring of expenditure) for the provision of library services as it considers necessary or desirable.

(2) A library authority may, in particular, arrange for the provision of the following services:

(a) premises and facilities (including mobile facilities) for the borrowing of and reference to books and other printed matter, tapes and discs (being audio, video or both), slides, and such other material, including material available by means of the use of computers and information technologies, as it considers appropriate;

(b) activities and events of artistic, linguistic, educational, cultural, recreational, community or similar interest;

(c) such other information services, including services available by means of the use of computers and information technologies, as can in its opinion be supplied in conjunction with its functions as a library authority.

(3) A library authority is not, by virtue of subsection (1) or (2), to undertake any activity which in its opinion would unnecessarily duplicate activity arising from the performance of a statutory function by any other public authority or person.

(4) A library authority may make such arrangements as it considers desirable for the provision of library services to any other library authority, public authority or other body (including a school) or by any such body to that library authority.

(5) A library authority shall from time to time, or if requested by the Minister, prepare and adopt a programme for the operation and development of its library service (in this section referred to as the “library development programme”).

(6) Every library development programme prepared by a library authority under subsection (5) shall include—

(a) an outline of the existing library services,

(b) the development objectives and priorities for the library service,

(c) the measures taken or proposed to be taken to secure those development objectives,

(d) the financial or other implications of the library development programme,

(e) such other matters as are considered necessary by the library authority or as the Minister may specify in writing.

(7) The adoption of a library development programme is a reserved function.

An Chomhairle Leabharlanna.

79. —(1) In this section “Act of 1947” means the Public Libraries Act, 1947 , which was repealed by the Local Government Act, 1994 .

(2) The body known as An Chomhairle Leabharlanna (in this section referred to as the “Council”) standing established on the commencement of this section shall continue to stand established and shall continue to be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a seal, and power to sue and be sued in its corporate capacity and hold land.

(3) Judicial notice shall continue to be taken of the seal of the Council, and every document claiming to be sealed with the seal of the Council and to be authenticated in the manner prescribed by regulations made by the Minister shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been duly and lawfully so sealed and be received in evidence without further proof and, in particular, without proof of any signature affixed to such document for the purpose of such authentication and without proof of the office or authority of the person whose signature such signature claims to be.

(4) A person who immediately before the commencement of this section was either the chair (by whatever name called) or any other member of the Council continues to hold that office until the next appointment of members.

(5) The Council shall operate in accordance with this section and with the provisions of regulations made under subsection (7), without prejudice to the continued application of the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926 , to an office under the Council in so far as it applies on the commencement of this section.

(6) The functions of the Council include—

(a) the provision of advice, assistance and services to library authorities in relation to the public library service,

(b) the making of such recommendations to and the provision of such services for the Minister in relation to the public library service as the Minister may request or as the Council sees fit,

(c) action to promote and facilitate library co-operation,

(d) the maintenance and operation of the central library established under section 2 of the Act of 1947,

(e) such other functions as are specified in regulations made under subsection (7).

(7) (a) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of the continued establishment and operation of the Council.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), regulations for such purposes may contain provisions in relation to—

(i) the expenses, funding and functions of the Council,

(ii) any matter provided for in the Act of 1947 or any matter which may be included in an order under the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act, 1971 , or

(iii) such other provisions as the Minister may think proper for the purposes of this section.

(8) Regulations made under section 34 of the Local Government Act, 1994 , and in force at the commencement of this section continue in force and have effect as if made under subsection (7) and may be amended or revoked accordingly.

(9) The Minister may give to the Council, directions in writing on any matter relating to its functions or operation and the Council shall comply with any such directions.

Records and archives of local authorities.

80. —(1) In this section—

“local archives” includes—

(a) such records and documents (including copies) as are, at the commencement of this section, held by any local archives service operated by any local authority (whether alone or in co-operation with another person or body),

(b) archival material acquired by a local authority under subsection (3), and

(c) other local records which are more than 30 years old, except such records as are certified, in accordance with directions under subsection (4), to be unsuitable for classification as local archives;

“local records” includes books, maps, plans, drawings, papers, files, photographs, films, micro-films and other micrographic records, sound recordings, pictorial records, magnetic tapes, magnetic discs, optical or video discs, other machine-readable records, other documentary or processed material made or received, and held in the course of its business or as successor to any other body by a local authority and includes copies of any such records duly made, but does not include—

(a) grants, deeds or other documents of title relating to property for the time being vested in the local authority, and

(b) any part of the permanent collection of a library, museum or gallery.

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this section, it is a function of a local authority to make arrangements for the proper management, custody, care and conservation of local records and local archives and for inspection by the public of local archives.

(3) A local authority may acquire, by purchase, donation, bequest or loan, and undertake the care and conservation of, archival material of local interest which is in the possession of any other person or body (including another local authority).

(4) The Minister may, after consultation with the Director of the National Archives, give advice or directions to local authorities in relation to any matter relating to local records and local archives and, in particular and without prejudice to the foregoing, in relation to—

(a) the retention, management, preservation, restoration and reproduction of local records and local archives,

(b) the certification of local records to be unsuitable for classification as local archives, and the review of such certification at specified intervals,

(c) the availability of local archives for public inspection,

(d) the making and provision of copies and extracts from local archives,

(e) circumstances in which local archives, or particular classes of local archives, may be withheld from public inspection,

(f) the preparation of guides, lists, indexes and finding aids to local archives,

(g) the lending of local archives to appropriate institutions, bodies and societies, whether in the State or elsewhere, and

(h) the disposal of local records and local archives.

(5) Section 13 of the National Archives Act, 1986 , shall cease to have effect in relation to records or documents of a local authority.

(6) Without prejudice to subsection (4), the National Archives Advisory Council may advise the Minister on any matter affecting local archives and their use by the public.

(7) Nothing in this section affects any rights of a person claiming to be the owner of a document to recover the document.

(8) The making or supplying of reproductions by or under the direction of a local authority of archives which are held in accordance with this section and are open to public inspection shall not, subject to any terms or conditions under which archival material was acquired under subsection (3), infringe the copyright of such archives.

(9) A person shall not remove, conceal, damage or destroy archives held by a local authority in accordance with this section.

(10) A person who contravenes subsection (9) is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,500.

(11) Summary proceedings for an offence under this section may be brought by the local authority concerned.