For immediate release | March 24, 2015

ALA, PLA release joint statement regarding ruling in support of Kentucky public libraries

CHICAGO — In April of 2013, Kentucky Circuit Courts ruled against the Campbell County Public Library and the Kenton County Public Library, a decision that would have resulted in the libraries losing property tax revenues dating as far back as 1979. Local library advocates appealed the ruling, and the Kentucky Court of Appeals has announced its decision to rule in favor of Campbell and Kenton County public libraries.

Today’s ruling will block efforts from local opposition to require the public libraries to refund millions in collected tax revenues and reduce tax rates. Such a move would have forced libraries in Campbell and Kenton Counties to reduce hours, staff, and ultimately, close library doors. This decision could have affected 99 counties in Kentucky, blocking access to libraries for roughly 83 percent of Kentucky residents.

The following is a joint statement from American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young and Public Library Association (PLA) President Larry Neal regarding today’s ruling.

“The ALA and PLA would like to extend our congratulations to the Kentucky Library Association for their efforts to win this appeal and to safeguard library service within Campbell and Kenton Counties, and within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“Kentucky libraries play a vital role within their communities and serve as a lifeline to resources that foster self-help and lifelong learning. State library usage figures from FY 2013 – 2014, show that Kentuckians checked out more than 30 million items from the state’s 119 public library systems. This is the highest usage rate ever recorded and is a 2 percent increase from the previous year.

“More than just a vital resource, we know that libraries are vital to democracy in the great state of Kentucky and everywhere.”

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for members, librarians, and library users.

The Public Library Association (PLA) enhances the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services. With more than 8,700 members, PLA is one of the fastest growing divisions of the American Library Association (ALA). PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve.


Macey Morales

Media Relations Manager

ALA Public Information Office