STEVENS COUNTY LIBRARY
I. ORIENTATION OF NEW BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERS
A. NEW MEMBERS
It is the responsibility of the Board Chairman and the Library Director to make sure that new trustees are given the information they need to be effective board members. Orientation of new Library Board of Trustees members should begin immediately after a trustee is appointed. Components of a trustee orientation program are listed below:
1. Chairman responsibilities
New members should make arrangements to meet with the Library Board of Trustees Chairman to learn about the following topics:
a) The legal basis of the board
b) Officers and committees
c) Meeting location and schedule
d) Responsibilities and expectations
e) Goals, long-range plans and projects in progress
g) Roles of the library director and board
2. Director responsibilities
New trustees should make arrangements to meet with the Library Director to learn about the following library topics:
a) Organization and governance
b) Funding and budgeting
c) Day-to-day operations
d) Services to the community
e) Links to other resources and libraries
f) Roles of the library director and board
3. New Member Packet
New members should be given a packet by the Director that includes:
a) List of board members with names, addresses and phone numbers
b) Library policy manual
c) By-laws of the Board
d) Minutes of the previous year’s board meetings
e) Staff list with position descriptions
f) Library long range plan
g) Statistical reports on circulation and services
h) Current budget and financial reports
i) Any library brochures or other public information distributed by the library
II. BOARD TRAINING
It is critical for library board members to have training in board development, group dynamics, effective meetings, funding issues, library policy, advocacy, community partnering, technology planning and other topics.
Library Board of Trustees members of the Stevens County Library shall participate in regular continuing education activities in order to obtain certification through the Kansas Library Trustees Association and the State Library of Kansas. If the board desires to set up a training session on a topic of concern to the trustees, they may contact the Southwest Kansas Library System or Kansas Library Trustee Association for assistance.
III. ETHICS STATEMENT FOR BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERS
Stevens County Library Board of Trustees members must promote a high level of library service while observing ethical standards. Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues or the Library.
It is incumbent upon any trustee to disqualify oneself 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 with it.
A trustee must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.
Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.
IV. SELECTION OF LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERS
Acceptance of a position on the library board constitutes a public trust; therefore, care should be taken in the appointment of trustees. Board members should represent a diversity of interests; have experience or knowledge in a variety of fields and represent a cross section of the community in the areas of age and socio-economic levels.
A good trustee should have the following qualities:
Imagination, dedication and vision
Understanding of the community, its needs and resources
Knowledge of the community’s leaders and organizations
Interest in the library, its service, and capacity for growth and improvement
Knowledge of the board’s legal responsibility and authority
Ability to devote time and effort to board meetings, activities and programs
Ability to work cooperatively with other board members; knowledge of public library laws and federal, state and local laws and regulations which concern libraries
Enthusiasm for carrying out new programs including securing new funding sources for the library
V. TERMS AND APPOINTMENT OF BOARD MEMBERS
A. INITIAL TERMS
Terms of county library board members must be staggered. The members first appointed shall be appointed as follows:
One (1) member appointed for a term expiring the first April 30 following the date of appointment;
Two (2) members appointed for terms expiring the second April 30 following date of appointment;
Two (2) members appointed for terms expiring the third April 30 following date of appointment; and
Thereafter, upon the April 30 expiration of each term, successors will be appointed in a like manner to fill the vacancies created and each member will serve a term of four (4) years.
Attorney General Opinion, September 4, 1964 states that a board member can serve two four-year consecutive terms on the board. No person who has been appointed for two (2) consecutive four-year terms to the library board shall be eligible for further appointment to the board until one (1) years after the expiration of the second term.
Attorney General Opinion 73-125 states that a person appointed to serve an unexpired term remains eligible for two consecutive four-year terms upon completion of the unexpired term.
B. UNEXPIRED TERM VACANCIES
Vacancies occurring on the board shall be filled by appointment by the Library Board with the approval of the County Commission for the unexpired term.
If a board member finds it impossible to complete the term to which they were appointed, they will tender a letter of resignation to the chairman of the library board. After the resignation is received and accepted, the library board will begin the search for a replacement. The new board member will complete the term of the resigning board member, and then be eligible to serve their own terms.
C. EXPIRED TERMS
If a board member’s term has expired but he or she has not yet been reappointed, there is a solution to the situation. Attorney General Opinion 79-282 states: “Upon the expiration of their terms, members of a public library board may continue to serve as de facto officials until such time as either their reappointment or the appointment of successors is approved. Any acts taken by them while in a de facto position are as binding on the public as if they were de jure members.”
VI. OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
A. President / Chair:
- Draws up an agenda for board meetings with the Library Director
- Presides at meetings and functions usually designated for such office
- Guides discussion and ensures adequate coverage of agenda topics during meetings
- Signs contracts and checks along with other designated officers
- With the approval and guidance of the Stevens County Library Board of Trustees, prepares and presents annual budget along with the Library Director to the County Commissioners
Serves in the absence of President
- Handles all Board correspondence
- Records the proceedings of each meeting in a book provided for the purpose
- Notes the minutes from the most previous meeting, corrects them if necessary and requests and records their approval
- Checks reconciliation of bank statements; verifies balances in regular and special accounts
- Assists the Library Director in preparation of the financial report of the monthly meeting
- Ensures that vouchers and checks are signed by the appropriate board member(s)
E. SWKLS Representative
As a consequence of the Stevens County Libraryâ€™s membership in the Southwest Kansas Library System, a representative to the SWKLS Board is elected annually in May. The representative may be a library board member, the Library Director or any individual the Library Board of Trustees designates. The Stevens County Library SWKLS representative is responsible for attending the scheduled meetings and monitoring, representing and voting on behalf of the Library Board on SWKLS matters.
VII. BOARD MEETINGS
A. Location and time
Unless otherwise ordered by the Board, the Board has set the date and place of its regular monthly meetings to be held on the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Stevens County Library.
State law defines a quorum as one more than half the membership. In order to conduct business at any meeting a quorum of three (3) members must be present.
C. Special meetings
Special meetings may be called by the Chair or upon written request by a majority of the members (K.S.A. 12-1224 and 12-1243). Notice of all special meetings shall be posted in the library at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting. No business except that for which the meeting was called may be transacted at a special meeting.
D. board member attendance
Board members should attend all board meetings. Any board member who is absent from three consecutive board meetings or misses more than six meetings in a calendar year shall forfeit his/her appointment and a new board member will be appointed according to the procedure outlined in “Terms and Appointments for Board Members.” Board members who will be absent from a meeting should notify the Chair or Library Director prior to the meeting.
E. Director attendance
Except when the Library Directorâ€™s salary or dismissal is being considered, the Library Director should attend all board meetings. Board meetings should follow the procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
An agenda should be prepared by the Library Board of Trustees Chairman and the Library Director and given or sent to members prior to the meeting. Robertâ€™s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the proceedings of the Board of Trustees, with the exception of the order of business, which shall be as follows:
Call to Order
Financial Report, Check Summary, Receipts and Disbursements
G. MINUTES OF MEETINGS
Because the secretary’s minutes are the official record of board action, they should include:
a) The purpose of the meeting (whether regular or special), the time, the place, those attending, and approval of the minutes of the last meeting
b) Complete record of official action taken by the board relative to the library director’s report; communications; the treasurer’s report; and all other business transacted
c) Record of adjournment (no business may be legally transacted following adjournment)
The secretary must record all motions exactly as stated and show whether adopted or rejected since this is the legal voice of the board, and only that information recorded in the minutes can be considered official
After approval by the membership, the minutes should be signed by the Board Chair and Secretary
A regular procedure in recording motions should be followed. The following example is a suggested form:
a) First Name and Last Name moved and First Name and Last Name seconded that the board authorize the purchase of a (blank) as recommended by the library director. Yes-Last Name, Last Name, Last Name, Last Name. No-Last Name, Last Name, Last Name.
b) Motion carried.
H. OPEN MEETINGS
State law (K.S.A. 75-4317 and 75-4318) specifies that all public library board meetings shall be open to the public and no binding action by the board shall be taken by secret ballot. Notice of all regular meetings shall be posted in the library and provided to The Hugoton Hermes at least 72 hours in advance of any meeting. Notice of all special meetings shall be posted in the library at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting. The date, time and place of the board meetings or an agenda for the meetings shall be provided to any person requesting the information.
I. EXECUTIVE SESSIONS DURING BOARD MEETINGS
If a formal motion is made, seconded and carried, the Board may recess from a regular or special meeting at a specified time to a closed or executive meeting, provided no binding action shall take place during the closed door session and provided the purpose of the executive session is stated (K.S.A. 75-4319).
The motion to recess must include a statement of the justification for closing the meeting, the subjects to be discussed during the executive session, and the time and place at which the open meeting shall resume. This information must be contained in the minutes. The law specifies that only certain subjects may be discussed during the closed session. Those which apply to libraries include:
- Personnel matters
- Consultation with an attorney for the library which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship
- Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations
- Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trusts
- Preliminary discussion relating to the acquisition of real property
The Secretary should also keep a note of when members arrive and leave during all meetings in order to prove the existence of a quorum during the entire meeting. In addition, the Secretary writes official correspondence of the board and keeps copies filed with the records.
VIII. ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS
A. Citizensâ€™ rights under the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA)
The Library Director shall serve as the library’s Freedom of Information Officer in regard to duties outlined in the Kansas Open Records Act (Kansas Statutes Annotated 45-215 through 45-223). Under the Kansas Open Records Act, citizens have the following rights:
To inspect and obtain copies of public records which are not exempted from disclosure by a specific law.
To obtain a copy of the library’s policies and procedures for access to records and to request assistance from the library’s Freedom of Information Officer.
To receive a written response from the Library within three (3) business days of your written request.
The Library’s response may inform the citizen that it will take additional time to produce the records. Reasons for additional time may include voluminous records, complicated request parameters, unresolved legal issues or difficulty in accessing archived records.
The library’s response may legally deny the citizen’s request, in whole or in part. If the request is denied, the library will identify generally the records to be denied and the specific legal authority for the denial.
A citizen has the responsibility of requesting a record or records, whether they are written, graphic or electronic. The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) does not require the Library to answer questions about the record or prepare reports. The library requires that a citizen request a record in writing and provide proof of identity. As with other personal photocopy services from the library, there is a fee for printing. Records commonly requested include, but are not limited to policies; minutes/records of open meetings; salaries of library employees and budget documents.
B. Exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA)
The KORA recognizes that certain records contain private or privileged information and may be designated by the library as closed from the public. Accordingly, the (Name of Your Library) Board’s policy is that the following records whether in print, graphic or electronic format are confidential:
Exception 3 Medical treatment records
Exception 4 Personnel records of library employees
Exception 7 Library, archive or museum materials contributed by private persons to the extent of any limitations imposed as conditions of contribution
Exception 8 Information which would reveal the identity of an individual who lawfully makes a donation to the library if the anonymity of the donor is a condition of the donation
Exception 23 Library patron registration records and circulation or loan records which pertain to identifiable individuals
IX. RETENTION OF RECORDS
According to KSA 12-120, the officers and employees of any city charged with the custody or having in their custody the following records, documents or other papers may destroy the same after they have been on file for the period stated:
(1) Claims and any purchase orders attached thereto, five years.
(2) Warrants or warrant checks, whether originals or duplicates, that have been paid, five years.
(3) Duplicates of receipts or stubs of receipts issued, three years.
[4, 5 and 6 are not applicable to public libraries.]
(7) Bonds of officers or employees, 10 years, the period to begin at the termination of the term of the bond.
(8) Insurance policies, five years, the period beginning at expiration of the policy unless a claim is pending.
(9) Canceled checks, five years.
(10) Requisition and duplicate purchase orders, three years.
(11) Bonds and coupons, if any, stamped paid or canceled and returned by the fiscal agent, six months, for the period beginning at the date of maturity of the bond or coupon.
While this statute applies to city employees, it may be followed as a general rule by library employees as well.