Siting, Acquisition, Ownership & Operation of Library District Facilities Policy


Fort Vancouver Regional Library District (District) has established the following guidelines to be considered in siting library facilities. It is understood, however, that not all of these conditions will be able to be met in all situations. Priority is dependent on local community needs and conditions. Site selection should always consider the current long range facility plan.

Legal considerations:

  • In accordance with Chapter 27 of the RCW, District policy will prevail in all matters related to District facilities. This includes the selection and retention of materials and open public access to the collection, services and facilities.
  • There are no easements or other legal considerations that would unduly restrict use of the property or impose financial or other liability on the District.
  • Zoning requirements for library use can be achieved within a reasonable time period.


All the sites should:

  • Be located where as many people as possible in the service area can easily reach it.
  • Be on a route where people to be served may easily combine use of the library with other activities.
  • Be easily and safely accessible by as many means of transportation as possible such as by bicycles, automobiles, public transportation or on foot.
  • Have the availability of adequate, well-lit off-street or other safe parking, and walkways.

Site capacity and infrastructure for buildings should:

  • Be of a size to provide a sufficient “footprint” for parking, landscaping, and the desired building size and possible future expansion.
  • Allow placement of the building in such a way as to allow for safe and convenient entrance/exit for library users and deliveries.
  • Have accessible technology and utility infrastructures.

Visibility and neighborhood suitability:

  • The library should be compatible in appearance with the neighborhood and its surroundings.
  • The site should be easily visible from the street.
  • The placement of the library on the site should have minimal adverse environmental impact.
  • Placement of a library on the site should fit within the historical context of the neighborhood.

Minimizing costs:

  • Necessary utilities should be readily available.
  • Land should be free of hazardous material or such material should be easily removed.
  • The cost of the site and needed site improvements must be considered as to their effect on the overall cost of the project.
  • A funding plan adequate to complete the purchase must be in place.

Site capacity and infrastructure for service outlets other than buildings:

  • Distance to a full service library responsible for servicing the outlet is reasonable.
  • Technology infrastructure which provides reasonable access speed is already on site.
  • A safe and convenient entrance/exit for library users and deliveries is available.
  • The outlet is located in proximity to existing population and/or in an area frequented by people living in an area.
  • Location is sheltered from the weather and provides reasonable protection from vandalism.
  • Parking adequate to the location should be available.

Acquisition, ownership and operation

Multiple acquisition options will be considered when acquiring library facilities. Among those options are: purchase, commercial lease, agreements with governmental jurisdictions including LCFAs, and agreements with non-profit organizations.

When the facility is owned by a governmental jurisdiction, the District may enter into an intergovernmental agreement.

When the facility is owned by a non-profit or commercial entity, the District may enter into an agreement for the purchase or lease of said facility. For commercially leased facilities, a ten-year lease with a ten-year option to renew is the preferred terms. For lease from a governmental jurisdiction, a much longer term is expected.

All agreements and contracts, other than purchase agreements, shall specify the responsibilities of the parties for maintenance, repair and operation of the facility. Purchase agreements may include common area maintenance responsibilities.

If the facility will at some time become the property of the District, the agreement shall specify the terms of the transfer and the timeline.

The Library Executive Director, or designee, is authorized to enter into negotiations and conclude agreements for such facilities, subject to Board approval.

Policy History:
March 8, 2010: two policies combined and revised (Acquisition, Ownership & Operation of Library Facilities Policy and Siting Library Facilities Policy).
Prior history as separate policies:
Acquisition, Ownership & Operation of Library Facilities policy:
Original policy approved August 11, 2003
Siting Library Facilities policy: Board Approved:
Original Policy May 2, 1994
Revised: July 28, 1999
Revised: August 13, 2001
Policy name revised for easier indexing, 2/10/03 (formerly titled Site Guidelines Policy)
Revised: April 21, 2008