Beginning July 1, 2014, all Rhode Island public libraries must annually certify compliance with the 2013 Minimum Standards for RI Public Libraries in order for the municipality to be eligible for state aid for library services. If the library does not meet a standard, a waiver request must be submitted to the Office of Library and Information Services, one for each standard not met. The library or combined libraries in a municipality must meet all standards or have waivers approved by the Office of Library and Information Services and meet maintenance of effort requirements for local library funding in order to be eligible to receive state aid for library services.
The Chief of Library Services will render a written decision from the Office of Library and Information Services within six weeks of receiving the request. If the request for waiver is denied, the library/combined libraries of a city or town may appeal the decision.
If a library wishes to appeal a denied waiver request, the library/combined libraries of a city or town must file a written notice of appeal within ten calendar days of the decision. A letter of appeal is sent to the Chair of the Library Board of Rhode Island with a copy to the Chief of Library Services at the Office of Library and Information Services. The appeal will be heard by the Library Board of Rhode Island at its regular meeting or within six weeks, whichever comes first. Written response to the appeal will be sent to the library/combined libraries of a city or town within ten days of the appeal hearing.
Every year each library must certify compliance with all standards in conjunction with their application for public library grant-in-aid. All libraries must meet all standards, with the exception of Standard 17, which applies only to municipalities that have designated more than one library to provide library services, known as "combined libraries." Combined libraries must certify individual compliance with all standards, and that their combined services comply with the population categories in Standards 4, 11 and 12. In addition, Combined Libraries must meet Standard 17.