By-laws of the Board of Trustees of the Kingston Public Library

Revised December 20, 2010

ARTICLE I Name and authorization

This organization shall be called the “Board of Trustees of the Kingston Public Library,” existing by virtue of the provisions of Chapter 78, Sections 10 – 13, and 21 of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) and the By-Laws of the Town of Kingston.

ARTICLE II. Membership

  1. The Board shall be composed of six members, two of whom shall be elected each year at the Annual Town Meeting elections, as provided for in MGL, Chapter 78, Section 10. Trustees shall serve without compensation for a term of three years.
  2. Any member may resign by written notice filed with the Town Clerk, as provided for in MGL, Chapter 41, Section 109. Upon receipt of the notice, the Town Clerk will notify the remaining members of the Board.
  3. A vacancy on the Board shall be filled by joint majority vote of the Board of Library Trustees and the Board of Selectmen in accordance with MGL, Chapter 41, Section 11.
  4. Any member who fails to attend four consecutive regularly scheduled Board meetings will receive a letter from the Chairperson reminding the member that regular attendance is a responsibility of all trustees and that those unable to attend regularly should consider resigning from the Board. Copies of these letters shall be included in the Board’s minutes. In the event of illness or other extenuating circumstances, exceptions to this provision may be made by formal vote of the Board.

ARTICLE III. Responsibilities

  1. The Board shall have those responsibilities as provided by MGL, Chapter 778, Section 11 and the By-laws of the Town of Kingston as regards the custody and management of the Library and of all property owned by the Town pertaining to the Library. The Board shall be responsible for all monies appropriated by the town for the Library and all money or property received by the Town by gift or bequest for the Library.
  2. The Board shall appoint a qualified Library Director who shall be the executive and administrative officer of the Library on behalf of the Board and under its review and direction. Responsibilities delegated by the Board to the Library Director shall include implementation of policies approved by the Board, selection and supervision of personnel, selection of books and other materials, maintenance of library collections, expenditure of funds within the approved budget, direction of library operations and provision of services to the public. The Library Director shall attend all Board meetings.
  3. The Board shall establish written policies governing library activities and services, including a policy for the selection of library materials and the use of library materials and facilities which is in accord with the current standards of the American Library Association as provided for by the MGL, Chapter 78, Section 33.
  4. The Board shall execute a written employment contract with the Library Director outlining the basic conditions of employment as provided for by the MGL, Chapter 78, Section 34.
  5. In accordance with the By-laws of the Town of Kingston, the Chairperson shall submit to the Office of the Board of Selectmen on or before December 15th each year a report of the activities of the Board for inclusion in the Town’s Annual Report.

ARTICLE IV. Officers

  1. The officers shall be a Chairperson, a Secretary, and a Treasurer
  2. The Chairperson shall conduct all meetings, appoint all committees, serve as the official representative of the Board, and fulfill all legal functions on behalf of the Board.
  3. The Treasurer, in the event of the absence or disability of the Chairman, or of a vacancy in that office, shall assume and perform the duties and functions of the Chairperson.
  4. The Treasurer shall be the disbursing officer of the Board, sign all checks, and perform such duties as generally devolve upon the office. He or she shall be bonded in an amount as may be required by the resolution of the Board. In the absence or inability of the Treasurer, those duties shall be performed by such other members of the Board as the Board may delegate.
  5. The Secretary shall post all meetings as required by law, keep a true and accurate record of all meetings with the Board, shall issue or delegate responsibility for issuing notice of all regular and special meetings, and be responsible for correspondence as directed by the Board.
  6. Officers shall be elected from the Board at that regular meeting of the Board which immediately follows the annual town elections. The term of office shall be one year. In the event of a vacancy in any of the officer’s positions during the year, that vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the Board.

ARTICLE V. Meetings

  1. Regular meetings shall be held at the Library on the first Tuesday of each month beginning at 7:15 p.m. Regular attendance is expected. A Trustee is expected to give advance notice to the Chairperson or Library Director whenever he or she cannot attend a meeting.
  2. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson or at the request of at least two members.
  3. A quorum shall be four members.
  4. All meetings of the Board shall be subject to the State’s Open Meeting Law as contained in the MGL, Chapter 39, Section 23A-23C. In particular, all meetings are open to the public unless held in executive session under terms of the law. A notice of all meetings will be filed with the Town Clerk along with the meeting’s agenda at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting date and time, and a copy of the notice will be posted in the Town Hall. All records of minutes of meetings will be available for public inspection.
  5. An affirmative vote of the majority of all members of the Board present at the time shall be necessary to approve any action before the Board. The Chairperson may vote upon and may move or second a proposal before the Board.

ARTICLE VI. Committees

Special Committees for the study and investigation of special problems or for the performance of specially assigned tasks may be appointed by the Chairperson. Such committees shall function as ad hoc committees and shall consider only that purpose for which they were appointed. They shall disband when their work has been completed.

ARTICLE VII. Collective Authority of the Board

All decisions of the Board are made by the Board as a collective body. No individual member may make decisions or, with the exception of the Chairperson, act or speak for the Board unless specifically authorized to do so by a vote of the membership of the Board.

ARTICLE VIII. Parliamentary Rules

Except as provided for by these By-laws, the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.

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, providing that a motion presenting the amendment was duly made and seconded at the previous meeting, or that written notice of the proposed amendment shall have been mailed to all members at least ten days prior to the meeting at which such action is proposed to be taken.

ARTICLE X. Inconsistent Provisions

To the extent that any provision of these By-laws is inconsistent with any provision of the Massachusetts General Laws or the Town By-laws, the Massachusetts General Laws or the Town By-laws, as the case may be, shall govern.