Public Library Boards in Iowa
Public library boards have five primary roles:
1. Advocate for the library in the community and advocate for the community as a member of the library board. To be a library advocate is to work for the betterment of library services for the community. Advocacy includes working to obtain adequate funding for the library; pursuing opportunities to meet and speak with community groups; getting to know the mayor and city council; making sure the community’s needs and interests are paramount when making board decisions.
2. Plan for the future of the library. Planning is one of the most important trusts that the community gives to the library board. Planning is deciding what is going to happen with library services over the next few years. It is taking charge of the library’s future and creating it to be responsive to what the community needs.
3. Monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the library. The community puts its trust in the library board to make sure the library is operating the way it should. For example, the library boards is familiar with the library’s budget - where the money is coming from and how it will be spent. The board monitors monthly financial reports and approves the bills so they can be paid. The board also helps determine whether the community is satisfied with the service received from the library.
4. Set library policies. The library boards spends much of its time on policy issues - developing policies and monitoring the effectiveness of those policies. (Policy is a carefully designed, broadly stated, written guideline for actions and decision of the library.) Once adopted by the board, library staff carries out the policies on a day to day basis.
5. Hire and evaluate the library director. The board hires a qualified director to manage the day-to-day operations of the library and works with the director, carefully respecting each other’s roles. The board also regularly evaluates the director to make sure the library operates well and in the best interest of those the library serves.
Sec. I The Board of Trustees of the Fonda Public Library, hereinafter referred to as the board, consists of 5 members. Resident board members are to be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the council. The non-resident member is to be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the county board of supervisors.
Sec. II (Qualifications) All resident members of the board shall be bona fide citizens and residents of the city. The non-resident member of the board shall be a bona fide citizen and resident of the county. Resident and non-resident members shall be over the age of 18.
Sec. III (Organization of the board)
1. Terms of office. All appointments to the board shall be for 6 years, except to fill vacancies. Each term shall commence on July 1st. Appointments shall be made every 2 years of one-third the total number, as near as possible, to stagger the terms. The present incumbents are confirmed in their appointments and terms. The trustee should serve no more than 2 terms with consideration for time period of vacated terms by discretion of the Board.
2. Vacancies. The position of any resident trustee shall be vacant if he/she moves permanently from the city. The position of the non-resident trustee shall be vacated if he/she moves permanently from the county or into the city. The position of any trustee shall be deemed vacated if he is absent from 3 consecutive regular meetings of the board, except in case of sickness or temporary absence from the city. Vacancies on the board shall be filled by the mayor, with approval of the council, and the new trustee shall fill out the unexpired term for which the appointment is made.
3. Compensation. Trustees shall receive no compensation for their services.
Sec. I The board will meet the 4th Thursday of every month excluding July and December at 5:30 pm in the library.
Sec. II If a board member is unable to attend a stated meeting, he must notify the library director and state the reason.
Sec. III Any member desiring a special meeting shall contact the president, who will then notify all members.
Sec. I A quorum shall consist of 3 members.
Sec. I 1. The president shall conduct meetings by formal procedure and perform the other duties of said office.
2. The recording secretary shall keep an accurate record of each meeting and place on file in the library a copy of the previous meeting. The secretary shall preserve all important papers.
3. The library director shall keep ledger of receipts and disbursements. The library director will give a financial report at meetings.
Sec. I 1. The budget shall be prepared by the library director in conjunction with the board and be finalized for presentation to the council by the January meeting.
2. The library director shall make reports available to council, county supervisors, library board, state and regional libraries after the close of the fiscal year.
Sec. I The by-laws may be amended by giving previous notification. A two-thirds majority is necessary for adoption.
(Order of business)
Sec. I 1. Call to order
2. Agenda approval
3. Minutes approval
4. Bill approval
5. Unfinished business
6. New business
Adopted 11-22-11 by the Fonda Public Library Board of Trustees
Heather Schachtner Kramer -Secretary