Adopted January 2002; Rev. May 2012; Rev. July 2023
By-Laws of the Tuscarawas County Public Library
Article 1 – Name
The name of this organization shall be the Tuscarawas County Public Library.
Article 2 – Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be to provide public library services to the people of its service area in accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio and the mission statements adopted by the Board of Trustees.
Article 3 – Organization
The Tuscarawas County Public Library shall be organized as a County District Library according to the provisions of the Ohio Revised Code. A seven-member Board of Trustees that shall have legal authority to conduct, or to have conducted in its name, all official business of the , shall govern it.
Article 4 – Membership of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of the Tuscarawas County Public Library shall consist of seven members, three of whom shall be appointed by the judges of the county Court of Common Pleas, and four of whom shall be appointed by the County Commissioners. Each member shall serve a term of seven years. State law dictates these regulations.
Members of the Board of Trustees are covered by the Library’s Errors and Omissions Policy; including their liability resulting from either institutional or individual lawsuits.
When a vacancy occurs on the Board of Trustees, it shall be the practice of the Board to solicit viable candidates for the vacancy, keeping in mind the proper geographic, professional and philosophical balance required of such a Board, and present said candidates to the appointing body.
The Board of Trustees shall have all the powers granted to it by the laws of the State of Ohio, and shall establish, in accordance with said law, the basic policies of the with respect to 1) the appropriation and budgeting of funds; 2) the establishment and maintenance of Library agencies and Library services; 3) the acquisition, maintenance, insurance, use and disposition of properties; 4) the practices appertaining to hiring, compensation and responsibilities of, and practices concerning all employees; the practices appertaining to the collection, lending and disposition of all Library materials; and 5) the acceptance of gifts.
The Director shall maintain a file of all Board Policies for appropriate consultation and distribution as directed by the Board and required by law.
The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for the hiring of the Library Director, and for ensuring that said Director carries out all of the policies of the in an efficient manner, consistent with the laws of the State of Ohio. The Board shall conduct yearly performance appraisals of the Library Director, seeking input from the management.
The Board of Trustees shall hire a Fiscal Officer and shall conduct yearly performance appraisals of the Fiscal Officer, with input from the Library Director and the Library management.
The Board of Trustees shall hire a Deputy Fiscal Officer and shall conduct yearly performance appraisals of the Deputy Fiscal Officer, with input from the Library Director and the Library management.
The Board of Trustees shall conduct a self-evaluation as determined by the Board President.
The Board shall demand regular reports from the Library Director, the Fiscal Officer and sundry other employees as needed to assure itself that the library is being operated as required by law, and according to guidelines, such as long-range plans, which the Board may devise.
The Board of Trustees may sanction no action that is contrary to law.
Article 5 – Officers and Committees of the Board of Trustees
Officers of the Board of Trustees shall consist of President, Vice-President and Secretary. There is no limit as to the length of time an individual may serve in any office.
It shall be the duty of the President to preside over all Board meetings; to appoint Board Committees; to act as the Board’s representative as needed; and to sign the Board minutes.
It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to substitute for the President as needed in any capacity.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to act as substitute for the President and/or the Vice-President as necessary, and to sign the Board minutes.
Standing Committees of the Board shall include: Building & Grounds; Personnel; Extension Services; Records Retention; Marketing & Public Relations; and Finance; with others to be appointed as deemed necessary. The President as required shall charge these committees with specific tasks.
Article 6 – Meetings of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall hold a regular meeting once a month, at the time agreed upon. Special meetings shall be called as needed. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the State of Ohio’s “Sunshine Laws.”
The quorum necessary for the Board to transact business shall be four members.
An annual Organizational meeting of the Board shall be held in January of each calendar year, according to law. At this meeting Board Officers will be elected and Committee appointments made. The Fiscal Officer and Deputy Fiscal Officer will be appointed. The Board’s Purchasing Agent will be designated. The oaths of office will be administered and the Board’s annual calendar will be approved.
Article 7 – Parliamentary Authority
Meetings of the Board of Trustees will follow parliamentary procedures as outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order (current edition), when not inconsistent with these bylaws or with the Ohio Revised Code.
Article 8 – Amendments
These bylaws supersede all previous bylaws adopted by this organization. They may be altered or amended, within the limitations imposed by law, by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees.
Article 9– Public Participation
The public is welcome to attend Board meetings at any time, except when the Board is in Executive Session, as defined by law. The time and place of the meetings are to be published in the local newspaper and/or other available media. Any visitor who wishes to address the Board must notify the Library Director’s office at least three (3) business days before the scheduled meeting. Remarks by visitors are limited to three (3) minutes in length, not including questions from the Board; total time for public participation shall not exceed twenty (20) minutes at any board meeting. All visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the orderly completion of the meeting. Exceptions to these rules may be made at the discretion of the Board President. Visitors who cause a disturbance may be asked to leave the meeting.
Article 10 – Statement of Ethics
The Board of Trustees of the Tuscarawas County Public Library subscribes to the Statement of Ethics endorsed by the Board of Directors of the American Library Trustee Association, July 1988, and the Public Library Association, January 1989:
Trustees, in the capacity of trust upon them, shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity, and honor.
Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the situation.
It is incumbent upon any trustee to disqualify himself/herself 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 that particular state’s freedom of information act.
Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.
Trustees who accept appointment to a library board are expected to perform all of the functions of library trustees.
Adopted by the Board of Directors of the American Library Association, July 1985.
Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association, July 1985.
Amended by the Board of Directors of the American Library Association, July 1988.
Approval of the amendment by the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association, January 1989.
The applicable statutes of the Ohio Ethics laws and the rulings of the Ohio Ethics Commission also bind boards of Library Trustees.