Board of Trustees Bylaws

Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of the Wood County District Public Library

Article I. Name and Location

This organization shall be called the Board of Trustees of the Wood County District Public Library.  The board exists by virtue of the provision of the laws of the State of Ohio, exercising the powers and authority, and assuming the responsibilities, delegated to it under the Ohio Revised Code.

The library shall be called the Wood County District Public Library.

The board’s mailing address shall be: Board of Trustees, c/o Library Director, 251 North Main Street, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402.  Communications with the board are to be through the director or President. 

Article II.  Membership

The Wood County District Public Library is organized as a County District Library. The board consists of seven members, three of whom are appointed by the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and four of whom are appointed by the County Commissioners.

Each trustee is appointed to a seven year term.  Appointments are staggered such that no more than one term is scheduled to expire in the same year. One trustee is appointed or reappointed each July 15.  A trustee appointed to complete an unexpired term or to succeed another trustee shall be appointed by the same appointing authority that appointed his or her predecessor. 

A trustee must be a qualified elector of the library’s legal service area. 

All trustees serve without compensation. 

The insight of each trustee is valuable to the board, thus regular attendance is expected. 

Any trustee who must resign before the end of their term shall do so in writing to the president and director.  The director shall inform the proper appointing authority when a resignation occurs or a term ends.  The board or director may recommend to the appointing authority a list of names to be considered when filling a vacant position. 

Article III.  Duties and Powers of the Board

The board shall have all the powers and duties granted to it by law and detailed in Ohio Revised Code 3375.40.  The board shall determine the needs of the library with respect to the: procurement and appropriation of funds; acquisition, improvement, maintenance, use, and disposition of property; adoption of policies; adopting plans of service; and acceptance of gifts.

A key area of responsibility for the board is for the library’s financial well-being, including advocating for state funding and also making requests to the Wood County Commissioners for necessary funding for operations and capital projects.

Policies approved by the board shall remain in effect until changed or rescinded by further action of the board or the law.  These policies shall be administered by the director.  The director shall maintain a file of all policies established by the board for consultation and distribution as needed.

The board shall be responsible for hiring the director and fiscal officer, and for ensuring that the director and fiscal officer carry out the policies of the library in an effective, efficient, and lawful manner.  The board shall provide adequate funding to cover staffing costs needed to deliver library services.

In order to speak with a consistent voice, all news of board actions or statements by the board released to the media shall be made by the board president or library director.  No one board member, other than the president, shall speak for the board unless directed to do so by a majority of board members voting at a regular board meeting. 

All powers of the board are vested in it as a board, and none at all in its individual members.  The individual trustee has no power to act for the board in any way, unless authorized to do so by the board itself in an open meeting. 

Article IV.  Officers

At the annual organizational meeting the board shall elect from its membership a president, vice-president, and secretary, each of whom shall serve a term of one year, commencing immediately upon election and continuing to the election of officers at the next annual organizational meeting.  The fiscal officer shall preside at the election of the president.

Vacancies in office shall be filled by vote at a regular meeting of the board after the vacancy occurs.  If all three officers are absent at a meeting, a temporary presiding officer shall be selected to handle all business of that meeting.

The board delegates to the director the authority to sign, along with the fiscal officer, each check issued by the library.  However, the president and secretary shall sign any conveyance of real property.  

Section A. President

The president shall preside at all meetings of the board; appoint all committees; execute all documents authorized by the board; and perform all other duties generally associated with that office.   The president attends committee meetings and serves as an ex-officio voting member of all committees.  The president shall have the authority to provide advice to the director on matters of policy and in any situations that may develop where the director feels the need for such counsel.

Section B. Vice President

If the president is absent or unavailable, or declines to act in the capacity of his office, or if the office of president is vacant, the vice-president shall have all the powers and duties of the president except as otherwise provided by law.  

Section C.  Secretary

The secretary shall preside at board meetings in the absence of the president and vice-president.  The fiscal officer shall keep a true and accurate record of meetings of the board that shall be signed by the secretary.

Article V.  Meetings

The board may hold meetings of several different types as described in the Ohio Revised Code.  The board will hold an organizational meeting in January of each year to elect officers and perform other administrative tasks.  The organizational meeting may be part of a regular board meeting.  Special meetings may be called by the president, the director, or any four members of the board who feel a need for such a meeting.

Section A. Public Notice of Meetings

At its organization meeting in January, the board shall establish a schedule of meetings for the year.  The director shall then publicize this list on the library webpage and via a notice to appropriate local media.  If changes to this schedule occur throughout the year, or if special meetings are called, the director shall communicate these changes/additions in a similar fashion.

Section B. Quorum and Rules of Proceedings

The quorum necessary for the board to transact business shall be four members.  Lack of a quorum will automatically adjourn the official meeting and no business may be conducted.  Meetings of the board will follow procedures as outlined in Roberts Rules of Order, when not inconsistent with these bylaws. 

Except when a larger majority is required by law, an affirmative vote by a simple majority of members present shall be necessary to approve any action before the board.  The president may make or second a proposal before the board, may participate fully in discussions, and may vote upon all proposals. Each member shall have one vote.

Section C.  Executive Session

The board may enter into executive session for purposes as described in ORC 121.22.  The motion to hold an executive session shall state the purpose of such a session, and the motion must be approved in open meeting in a roll call vote by a majority of the quorum of the board.

Section D.  Public Participation

The main purpose of board meetings is to conduct the business of the library. Time is set aside on each regular meeting agenda for public participation from the audience.  Any person, group, or delegation wishing to address the board must sign in when entering the meeting room.  Speakers must identify any groups or organizations for which they will speak in an official capacity. 

Each public participant may be allowed up to five minutes to address the board.  However, in order for the board to fulfill its obligation to complete the meeting agenda in an effective and efficient fashion, the board president may limit by time the comments of each public participant and will do so by announcing the time limit at the beginning of the meeting, and applying the time limit equally to all participants. 

Public comments should be addressed to all members of the board.  All visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the orderly completion of the meeting. 

Article VI.  Committees

The standing committees of the board shall be Building & Finance, Policy & Personnel, and the Records Commission.  Ad hoc committees may be appointed and charged with specific tasks by the board president as needed; such committees are automatically dissolved upon completion of the assigned tasks. 

Committees serve an advisory role and make recommendations to the board.  All committee actions are subject to approval by the board.   Committees will work in conjunction with the director and meet only on an as needed basis.

The Records Commission shall consist of the board of trustees and the fiscal officer.  The commission shall meet at least once every twelve months and shall be responsible for overseeing the library’s compliance with the Ohio Records Law as described in Chapter 149 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Article VII.  Library Director

The board shall appoint and fix the compensation of the library director.  The director shall have full charge of the administration and operations of the library in accordance with the objectives and policies adopted by the board and under the review of the board. 

The library director has the authority to administer and is responsible for the care of all property, buildings, furnishings, and equipment; for the employment and direction of library staff; for the selection, acquisition, and disposition of library materials and equipment; and for developing and maintaining excellent library services for the community. 

The director also serves as the deputy fiscal officer on an as needed basis.

The director shall be bonded at all times at an appropriate level set by the board.

Article VIII. Fiscal Officer

The board shall appoint and fix the compensation of the fiscal officer by motion in December of each year for the next calendar year.  The fiscal officer is the library’s chief financial officer and acts as the board’s financial agent in library matters. 

The fiscal officer shall administer and manage the funds of the library in accordance with law and with the objectives and policies adopted by the board and under the direction and review of the board.  The fiscal officer has the authority to administer, and is responsible for the receipt, deposit, and expenditure of funds, and the documenting and reporting of financial activity. 

The fiscal officer shall be bonded at all times at an appropriate level set by the board.

Article IX. Ethics

The board subscribes to the statement of principles promulgated by the American Library Association as listed below and is bound by the applicable statutes of the Ohio Ethics Law and the rulings of the Ohio Ethics Commission.

ETHICS STATEMENT FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY TRUSTEES

  • Trustees shall observe ethical standards with truth, integrity and honor.
  • Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of the library users or its patrons.
  • It is incumbent upon any trustee to disqualify themselves immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.
  • Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the institution, acknowledging the formal position of the board even if they personally disagree.
  • A trustee must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.
  • Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.

Article X. Amending of Bylaws

These bylaws will be reviewed by the president as needed.  These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by the affirmative vote of a majority of members present. 

Article XI. Indemnification

Members of the board are covered by the library's Errors and Omissions coverages, including their liability resulting from either institutional or individual lawsuits.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees – April 19, 2016


Source URL: https://www.wcdpl.org/content/board-trustees-bylaws