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Union County Public Library By Law

Adopted October 8, 2012

ARTICLE I – Identification

Section 1:        The name of this Board is the “Board of Trustees of the Union County Public Library,” hereinafter referred to as “the Board.” The Union County Public Library will be hereinafter referred to as “the Library.”

Section 2:        Geographical boundaries of the Library and taxed library district include all of Union County, Indiana.

ARTICLE II – Purpose and Authority

The Union County Public Library operates according to the Indiana Public Library Law as amended (IC 36-12). The Indiana Library Trustees Manual will be a guideline for the structure of the Board of Trustees.

Section 1:        The Board shall govern the Library, a municipal corporation and Class C library organized under the public library provisions, according to the purposes and authority set forth in IC 36-12, as amended, and such other Indiana and federal laws as affect the operation of the Library.

Section 2:        Members of the Board (Trustees) shall serve without compensation, except that the Treasurer may be paid, per IC 36-12-2-21. A Board member may not serve as a paid employee of the public Library.

Section 3:        Necessary travel and/or meal expenses of any Board member incurred in the interest and business of the Library may be      reimbursed out of library funds, per policy or board resolution. Such travel on behalf of the Library shall be approved by the Board.

Section 4:        The Board may engage legal counsel as needed for legal advice.  The President of the Board or library director may request the legal opinions of legal counsel for any matter which comes within the jurisdiction of the Board, and shall report the opinion to the Board.

ARTICLE III – Personnel

 Section 1:        The Board shall select a librarian who holds a certificate under IC36-12-11 to serve as the director of the library. The selection shall be made solely upon the basis of the candidate’s training and proficiency in the science of library administration. The Board shall fix the compensation of the director.

The director, as the administrative head of the library, is responsible to the Board for the operation and management of the library, per IC 36-12-2-24(a).

Section 2:        The director shall have the power to write and enforce administrative regulations or procedures governing the Library which logically stem from adopted and approved Board policies. Such regulations or procedures shall be consistent with the policies of the Board.

Section 3:        The director shall be held responsible for the care of the building and equipment, for the employment and direction of the staff, for the efficiency of the Library’s service to the public, for the administration of the long range plan and short term goals, and for the operation of the library under the financial conditions set forth in the annual budget.

Section 4:        The director shall attend all library Board meetings, except those at which his/her appointment, salary, or performance is to be discussed or decided.

Section 5:        Further duties of the Director, as well as Board specified duties of the staff, may be established by the board.

ARTICLE IV – Conflicts of Interest and Nepotism

Section 1:        Board members in the capacity of trust imposed upon them shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity and honor.

Section 2:        Board members shall avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues or the institution.  Board members will not use the library for personal advantage or the personal advantage of friends or relatives.

Section 3:        Board members will declare any conflict of interest between their personal life and their position on the Library Board and avoid voting on issues that appear to be a conflict of interest. It is incumbent upon any Board member to disqualify or recues himself/herself from voting immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.

Section 4:        Employees may not be related to the Director. If a relative of a board member is hired, that board member may not be involved in the hiring, setting of salary or evaluation of that individual. If the individual to be hired is living in the same household as the board member, the board member must complete a conflict of interest form.

ARTICLE V-Amendments

Section 1:        These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board by the majority vote of the members.

Section 2:        Amendments shall be proposed one month in advance of voting, and a copy provided to each Board member at least 15 days before the meeting.

Section 3:        Amendments may be proposed by any member of the Board.

Section 4:        The amendments for each year shall be sent to the Indiana State Library upon submission of the annual report.

ARTICLE VI Membership

Section 1:        In accordance with the provisions of IC 36-12, the Board shall consist of members chosen for their fitness for public library trusteeship.  

Section 2:        Members of the Board shall be appointed pursuant to IC 36-12-2-9, as follows:

  • Three (3) by the Union County School Board
  • Two (2) by the Union County Commissioners
  • Two (2) by the Union County Council

Section 3:        Members shall be appointed for four (4) year terms and may serve a maximum of four (4) consecutive terms.

Section 4:        A member of the Board shall cease to be a member upon missing six (6) regular Board meetings out of twelve (12) for any reason, except when the Board waives this provision in advance due to extenuating circumstances applicable to such member.

Section 5:        Appointments to fill vacancies created by death, resignation, or otherwise, shall be for the unexpired term.

Section 6:        All members of the Board shall serve without compensation.

Section 7:        All members of the Board shall:

  1. Attend meetings regularly; notify the director if unable to attend.
  2. Be familiar with the purposes and duties of the library board.
  3. Determine library policy in line with the general objectives and review such policy at regular intervals.
  4. Assist in preparation of the budget and obtaining required funds.
  5. Be responsible for proper maintenance of buildings and grounds.
  6. Be loyal to the Director and the staff of the library, and be discreet in public discussion of internal library affairs.
  7. Attend the annual and/or special meetings for budget, salary-personnel and policy review.
  8. Have an open mind and an intellectual curiosity regarding broadening the scope of library services as well as respecting the opinions of others.

ARTICLE VII – Officers

Section 1:        Officers of the Board shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2:        The officers shall be elected by ballot at the January meeting for a term of one year. Vacancies in office shall be filled by ballot at the next regular meeting of the Board after the vacancy occurs.

Section 3:        The president of the Board shall preside at all meetings, authorize calls for any special meetings, appoint all committees, execute all documents authorized by the board, may serve as a voting member of all committees, enforce observance of the by-laws and policies and generally perform all the duties of the presiding officer.

The vice-president shall assume the duties of the president if the president is absent from or unable to perform his/her duties during  any meeting of the board.

In the absence of both the president and vice-president, either the secretary or the treasurer shall preside if a quorum is present.

The secretary of the Board shall keep a true and accurate account of all proceedings of the board meeting. The secretary shall handle all correspondence for the board.

The treasurer shall be the disbursing officer of the Board, co-sign all checks with any other co-signer designee nominated by the board, and be responsible for all money and securities of the library in accordance with the provisions of the Public Depository Act of 1937, as said act has been amended or may be amended. If the treasurer is unable to perform his/her duties, the board shall elect and bond a temporary replacement.



Section 1:        The Board shall meet on the second Monday of each month at 5 o’clock at the Library. The December meeting shall be the annual meeting.

Section 2:        Special meetings may be called by the President, or upon written request of members, for the transaction of business as stated in the call.  Notice stating the time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which called shall be given each member of the Board at least 2 days in advance of such meeting and to the local media 48 hours in advance, as according to law.

Section 3:        Board meetings shall be held in accordance with the Open Door Law of Indiana (IC 5-14-1.5).

Section 4:        Four members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A majority vote of any quorum present shall pass any resolution or motion.

Section 5:        Robert’s Rules of Order, last revised edition, and shall govern the parliamentary procedure of the board.

Section 6:        The order of business for regular meetings shall include, but not be limited to, the following items, which shall be covered in the sequence shown so far as circumstances will permit:         

  1. Call to order
  2. Approval of minutes (as read or distributed)
  3. Library Director’s financial report of the library
  4. Approval of payment of claims
  5. Librarian’s report
  6. Committee reports
  7. Unfinished business
  8. New business
  9. Public presentation to, or discussion with, the board
  10. Adjournment

ARTICLE IX – Committees

Section 1:        The president shall appoint committees of two or more members each for such specific purposes as the business of the Board may require from time to time. Such committees shall serve until the completion of the work for which it was appointed.

Section 2:        Standing committees shall be appointed at the regular January meeting of the Board. The committees and duties are as follows:

Finance Committee: The full Board and its officers constitutes the Board of Finance and shall meet annually in January, after the first Monday and on or before the last day of January, to review finances and depositories, per IC 5-13-7-5 et seq.

Review Committee: It shall consist of three (3) board members. It shall have the duty of hearing complaints regarding the selection and withdrawal of library materials and shall make a recommendation to the Board.

Section 3:        Community members may be invited to serve on committees to establish Long Range and Technology plans. The invitations may be at the discretion of the director or Board members. All committees shall make a progress report to the library Board at each of its meetings.

Section 4:        No committee will have other than advisory power unless, by suitable action of the Board, it is granted specific power to act.

ARTICLE X – Indemnification of Board Members

IC 34-6-2-127 and IC 34-30-4 provide that board members are immune from civil liability arising from negligent performance of duties. “Performance” is defined as acts pertaining to the setting of policy and controlling or overseeing of the activities or functional responsibilities of the library.

The Library carries Directors and Officers Liability Insurance and Employment Practices Liability Insurance through the Indiana Library Federation’s program.

ARTICLE XI –Policies, Plans, Rules, and Regulations

Section 1:        In addition to operating in accordance with these Bylaws

the Library adheres to applicable federal, state, and local laws. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act,
  • Federal employment law,
  • Indiana laws governing municipal corporations,
  • Indiana library law (IC 36-12),
  • Indiana public library standards (590 IAC 6),
  • Indiana public librarian certification (590 IAC 5).
  • Indiana Library an History Department law (IC 4-23-7), and
  • Any building or health and safety codes for our locality.The Board is also responsible for writing and adopting public library policies which include but are not limited to collection development, principles of access, and employment. In addition, the Library’s long-range plan and technology plan must also be adopted by the board according to the schedules in the public library standards (590 IAC 6-1-4(h)).

ARTICLE XII – Review of Bylaws 

Section 1:        A review of the bylaws will be done every three (3) years (590 IAC 6-1-4(g)) at the Library’s annual meeting of the appropriate year.