Local Byelaws

Under section 19 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 local authorities may make byelaws regulating the use of library facilities run by each authority under the Act.


Revised Model Library Byelaws for England Template (August 2017)

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The Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 applies to England and Wales though the Secretary of State only exercises his powers in relation to England. Powers for Wales including the approval of library byelaws have been transferred to Welsh Government Ministers. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own arrangements.

The model library byelaws are intended to help libraries, in England, deliver their service within a safe and comfortable environment, to safeguard library property and to make libraries pleasant places for everyone. They assist the library workforce in their daily role, they can be used when necessary to deal with the more extreme cases of behaviour experienced and they allow for flexibility in dealing with local concerns. They only apply to statutory libraries operated by or on behalf of local authorities.

There is no requirement for local authorities to amend their existing library byelaws. However, it is recommended that any local authority wishing to do so should adopt this new model. Following receipt of a request from a local authority to create or revise their library byelaws, using the new model, DCMS will then authorise and return to the local authority. Upon receipt of approval the local authority must: announce the proposed byelaws in local newspapers; deposit a sealed copy of the byelaws for public inspection at the offices of the local authority for one month from the date of the newspaper announcement.

Once this process has been completed you must send to DCMS: the signed and sealed byelaws; newspaper cuttings showing the announcement; a certified copy of the byelaws for departmental records; confirmation that one month public inspection has taken place.

All local authorities must display copies of all their public library byelaws in any library building maintained by them and used by the public

Published 24 August 2017