Christie Signs Legislation To Protect Donations To Libraries

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie this week signed legislation that prohibits municipal library trustees from transferring donated funds to municipalities. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblymen Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer), and Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), ensures that municipal libraries will be able to retain all funds donated through charitable gifts.

“Donations are an important source of funding for libraries,” said Norma Blake, New Jersey State Librarian. “This law makes certain that donations will be used for their intended purpose and that libraries will have the necessary financing to pay for needed resources for their customers when government funds may not be available or appropriate.”

Another bill signed into law, sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden), Assemblyman Matthew Milam (D-Cape May) and Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), allows for the State Library to ensure greater accessibility of public records at a lower cost. Under the new law, publications produced by the state that are to be made available to the public must be filed with the New Jersey State Library, to include one electronic copy and six printed copies.

“The library has always been a primary depository for state publications, serving judges, lawyers and the public,” said Blake. “With so many publications now available online, this legislation brings us into the digital era. “

Blake added that the law will allow for greater efficiency and less waste by reducing the amount of materials and manpower needed to reproduce these documents. “Moving to a paperless environment offers many benefits to government agencies as long as continued accessibility to public documents is ensured,” Blake said. “Most importantly, it drives the state government toward greater savings and efficiency.”

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