Legal Service Area Population for Public and Tribal Libraries

New Mexico Administrative Code (4.5.2) J Legal Service Area

“Legal service area” means the geographic area for which a library has been established to offer services and from which, or on behalf of which, the library derives income. The legal service area may be defined by a written agreement with a political subdivision of the state for which the library is the primary service provider. The most recent United States or tribal census determines the population of the legal service area if the population figures are given separately for that area. If the census does not report a discreet population figure for the legal service area, then the state library in its sole discretion shall determine the population for the library’s legal service area.

The population of a library's legal service area is used to determine the distribution of GO Bond funds. Additionally, legal service area is used by federal and private agencies to distribute funds, determine eligibility, and affect planning. Having a clear definition for a legal service area is vital to maintain a consistent standard that is equitable to all New Mexico libraries. The LSA population is not used to calculate state grants-in-aid awards.


The following criteria is used to determine the population of a library's Legal Service Area.