By-Laws—Haston Free Public Library, North Brookfield, MA

 Mission Statement:

 The Haston Free Public Library enriches people’s lives by providing easy access to the world of information and culture for all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.  The library encourages a love of reading, supports diverse personal interests, and enhances lifelong learning by offering a wide range of materials, services, and programs through traditional and innovative technologies.  The library builds community by providing a welcoming meeting place for individuals and groups to explore ideas and the arts or to serve their community.  The library preserves and expands North Brookfield’s architectural legacy while adapting library services to the changing needs of our growing community.

Article I:  Name of the Organization:

The organization shall be called “The Board of Trustees of the Haston Free Public Library.”  Its authority and responsibilities are defined by the provisions of Ch. 78 et. Seq. of the General Laws of Massachusetts.

Article II:  The Board of Trustees (“The Board”)

Section 1.  Number and qualifications

The governing body of the library is made up of seven (7) members elected by the town’s voters.  A trustee must be at least eighteen years of age.

Section 2.  Term of office

The term of office shall be three (3) years.

Section 3.  Resignation

A member of the Board of Trustees may resign by filing a written notice with the Board of Selectmen.

Section 4.  Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy on the Board of Trustees, the Trustees may recommend to the Board of Selectmen a candidate or a list of candidates they deem qualified to serve as a replacement.  The Board of Selectmen shall have the final authority to appoint a replacement who shall serve until the next town election.  Any remaining portion of the three year term shall be filled by election.

Article III:  Officers and Duties

Section 1. Officers

The officers of the Haston Free Public Library Board of Trustees shall be a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman and a Secretary.  Officers shall be elected annually at the first meeting of the Board following the annual town election.

Section 2. Duties of the Chairman

•    To serve as presiding member at all meetings of the Board of Trustees.

•    To call special meetings of the Board.

•    To serve ex-officio as a member of all committees of the Board and to preside at all meetings of such committees which he or she attends.

Section 3.  Duties of the Vice-Chairman

To perform the duties of the Chairman of the Haston Free Public Library Board at the request of the Chair or in the Chair’s absence. 

Section 4.  Duties of the Secretary

•    To keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board

•    To issue and post due notice of all regular and special meetings

•    To perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office.

Article IV:  Library Director and Staff

The Board shall appoint a qualified Library Director who shall be the executive and administrative officer of the library on behalf of the Board, under its review and direction.  The Director shall recommend to the Board the appointment, and specify the duties of the staff.  These duties shall include the care and maintenance of library property, adequate and proper selection of the books and other library materials in keeping with the stated policy of the Board, offering efficient library service to the public, and managing financial operation within the limitations of the budgeted appropriation. 

(Chapter 78: Section 34. Employment contracts for library employees)   

             The board of trustees of a free public library in any city or town, or in the absence of such board, the city or town official possessing the appointive powers of such board shall, except in the case of those employees subject to the provisions of chapter one hundred and fifty E, execute a written employment contract with an employee of said library outlining the basic conditions of employment, including but not limited to the establishment of a probationary period and the procedure for dismissal during this period and the establishment of a procedure which specifies the cause for dismissal after the completion of such probationary period.)

Article V:  Committees

Section 1.  Standing Committees

The Board shall establish such standing committees as it deems appropriate.  Examples of standing committees are:  bylaws review, policy development and review

Section 2.  Ad hoc Committees

The Board shall establish ad hoc committees as needed.  Such committees may include individuals who are not members of the Board of Trustees.  When each committee’s specific task is completed, the committee shall dissolve.

Section 3.  Committee Reports

    All committees shall report at each meeting of the Board.

 Section 4.  Committee Scope of Authority

    All committees will have advisory power only unless granted specific power to act by a vote of the Board.

Article VI:  Meetings

Section 1. The Board shall meet on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 P.M. at the Haston Library, or at such other time and place as designated by the Board.

Section 2. Open Meeting Law.  All meetings of the Trustees shall be subject to the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law, as elaborated in Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 39S 23A-23 C.  In part, all meetings are open to the public unless held in executive session under terms of the law.  A notice of all meetings except in case of emergency will be filed with the Town Clerk at least 48 hours beforehand and a copy of the notice will be posted in the town office.  Further, all records or minutes of meetings will be available for public inspection.

Section 3.  Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called by the Chairman, or upon written request of two members, for the transaction of business, as stated in the meeting request.  Notice stating time and place of any special meeting, and the purpose for which it is called shall be posted as required by the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law and in advance of the meeting.

Section 4. A quorum for transaction of business shall consist of a simple majority, that is, four (4) members.

Section 5. Order of business at regular meetings shall be:

1.  Call to order

2.  Approval of minutes of previous meeting

3.  Librarian’s Report

4.  Old Business

5.  New Business

6.    Adjournment

Article VII. Duties of the Board of Trustees

1.  Select and regularly evaluate a qualified Library Director.

2.    Provide a written employment contract for the Library Director including the   conditions of employment as provided by Massachusetts General Laws, Ch. 78 S 33.

3.    Establish written policies for the library.  Review policies annually and   establish new policies as needed.  Any motion dealing with policy or regulation must be continued over to a subsequent meeting for a final vote.  Policies regarding selection of library materials and use of library materials and facilities shall be in accord with the current standards of the American Library Association (ALA), as described in Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 78 S 33.

4.    Participate with the Director in the development of the annual budget and work to secure adequate municipal funding to support library operations.  Meet with other municipal boards as needed.

5.    Work with the Director to manage and maintain the library’s facilities and   assets.

6.    Participate in the ongoing planning process to assure that the library meets the needs of the community.  Develop a written plan for maintenance and improvement of library services.

7.    Work with the Friends of the Library to support and promote library functions and needs.

8.    Advocate for the Haston Library and libraries in general at the local, regional, and state level.

Article VIII:  Parliamentary Procedure

The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of meetings on procedural matters not covered by these bylaws.

Article IX. Amendments

These by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board with a quorum present, by a majority vote of the members present, provided the amendment was stated at the preceding meeting, or was sent to the members at least 30 days prior to the meeting.  All proposed amendments are subject to Town Counsel approval.

Last Updated:  September 3, 2008