- Report Published -
|The Reorganization of the Library of Virginia|
|General Assembly; Joint Subcommittee|
|SJR 173 (Regular Session, 1998)|
|Adopted by the 1994 Session of the General Assembly, Senate Joint Resolution No. 96 established a nine-member joint subcommittee to study the future and possible reorganization of the Commonwealth's state library agency. The subcommittee was also directed to "inventory the collection of historical art work'' in the State Capitol and develop recommendations regarding its restoration and preservation, and to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 1995 Session of the General Assembly.|
Recognizing that further study was necessary to review The Library's internal reorganization and to develop recommendations that would not only help ensure the fulfillment of The Library's multi-faceted mission but also support its commitment to preserve and restore its holdings, and to serve those who use its facilities and records, the joint subcommittee proposed, and the General Assembly adopted, resolutions continuing the study in 1995 (SJR 258), 1996 (SJR 45), 1997 (SJR 300), and, finally, in 1998 (SJR 173).
Initial appointees to the joint subcommittee were Senators Stanley C. Walker, Hunter B. Andrews, and Robert L. Calhoun; Delegates Robert B. Ball, Sr., John J. Davies III, Harvey B. Morgan, and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Thomas W. Moss, Jr.; and citizen members Ruth Ann Brooks and Eric Grundset. Senator Walker and Delegate Ball served as chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the joint subcommittee. In 1996, Senators Marsh and Schrock were appointed to replace the positions previously held by Senators Andrews and Calhoun, and Delegate Murphy assumed the appointment previously filled by Delegate Ball. In 1998, the Speaker's membership on the joint subcommittee was filled by Delegate Brink, pursuant to a letter by the Speaker. (*1)
Throughout its five-year study, the joint subcommittee has sought the input and expertise of agency leadership and staff, archivists, genealogists, and university librarians, and has examined the history, mission, and duties of The Library of Virginia and the designation and application of funds for The Library, including salary levels. The joint subcommittee also reviewed document preservation techniques and current archival practices, current and projected archival storage and space needs and preservation efforts, and the progress of construction of the new Library facility and a proposed Records Center.
Also warranting subcommittee consideration were the economic impact of The Library on tourism in the Richmond area, as well as the organization and funding of state libraries and archives in other states. Finally, the subcommittee focused on the financial and policy implications of creating separate organizational structures for the State Archives and The Library, and reviewed The Library's internal reorganization, initiated in 1995 in response to directives of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force on Government Reform. This reorganization made several significant changes, including eliminating the Archives and Records Division, placing archival research functions in a Research and Information Services Division, and modifying certain job descriptions and salary bases.
In the final year of its study, the committee was specifically directed to examine (i) the efficacy and appropriateness of establishing an autonomous state archives agency separate from The Library; (ii) The Library's internal reorganization plan and the funding and staffing levels for the various divisions within The Library and the Archives; (iii) current and projected storage and space needs and preservation efforts, including the status of preservation needs of The Library's historic art works; and (iv) such other matters as it deems appropriate. The committee was to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 1999 Session of the General Assembly.
(*1) May 6, 1998, letter from the Honorable Thomas W. Moss, Jr., Speaker of the House of Delegates, to the Honorable Robert H. Brink.