By-Laws of the Mecklenburg County Public Library Board of Trustees


Article I: Name

The name of the Board shall be the Board of Trustees of Mecklenburg County Public Library, existing by virtue of

the provisions of §42.1-33 (Power of local governments to establish and support libraries) of the Code of the

Commonwealth of Virginia.

Article II: Selection, terms, and qualifications

Section 1. The management and control of the Mecklenburg County Public Library, a free public library system,

serving Mecklenburg County, Virginia, shall be vested in a governing board of trustees of at least five members.

Section 2. The board of trustees shall be appointed by the governing body (Mecklenburg County Board of

Supervisors), chosen from the citizens at large with reference to their fitness for such office.  As per the

provisions of §42.1-35 (Library boards generally) of the Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia:  One trustee may

be a member or an employee of the local governing body. 

Section 3. Initially trustees shall be appointed as follows: one member for a term of one year, one member for a

term of two years, one member for a term of three years, and the remaining members for terms of four years;

thereafter, all members shall be appointed for terms of four years. Vacancies shall be filled for unexpired terms

as soon as possible in the manner in which members of the board are regularly chosen. Each appointive member

shall be eligible to serve two successive full terms in addition to filling a partial, unexpired term. A member shall

not receive a salary or token compensation for services from the library fund. A member of the library board may

be removed for misconduct or neglect of duty by the governing body making the appointment. Upon

appointment, the following oath of office shall be taken by each member: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I

will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia and that I

will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties encumbered on me as a member of the

Mecklenburg County Public Library Board according to the best of my ability, so help me God."

Section 4. Qualifications for a library trustee are as follows:

1. Interest in the library, in the community, and in the relationship of the library to the community

2. Readiness to devote time and effort to carrying out the duties of trusteeship

3. Recognition of the importance of the library as a center of information, community culture, recreation, and continuing


4. Close acquaintance with community social and economic conditions and with groups within the community

5. Ability to work well with others: board members, director, staff members, and the public

6. An open mind, intellectual curiosity, and respect for the opinions of others

7. Initiative and ability to establish policies for successful operation of the library and impartial service to all its patrons

8. Courage to plan creatively, to carry out plans effectively and to withstand pressures and prejudices

9. Devotion to the library, its welfare, and progress.

Article III: Officers

Section 1. The officers shall be a chairman, a vice chairman, and a secretary, elected from among the appointed

trustees at the annual meeting of the board. ***A special, organizational meeting of the founding board of

trustees is allowed prior to June 1, 2015, for the purpose of electing officers and approving documents to help

the Mecklenburg County Public Library qualify for state aid. 

Section 2. Officers shall serve a term of one year from the annual meeting at which they are elected and until

their successors are duly elected.

Section 3. The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the board, authorize calls for any special meetings,

appoint all committees, execute all documents authorized by the board, serve as an ex-officio voting member of

all committees, certify all bills, sign and endorse all checks, and generally perform all duties associated with that

Section 4. The vice chairman, in the event of the absence or disability of the chairman, or a vacancy in that office,

shall assume and perform the duties and functions of the chairman.

Section 5. The secretary shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the board; shall issue notice of

all regular and special meetings; in the absence of the chairman and vice chairman, certify all bills, sign and

endorse all checks, and perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office.

Article IV: Meetings

Section 1. The regular meetings shall be held quarterly on the third Wednesday in the months of January, April,

July, and October at 2:00 pm.

Section 2. The annual meeting, which shall be for the purpose of the election of officers and the adoption of an

annual report, shall be held at the time of the regular meeting in July of each year.

Section 3. 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:

(a.) Roll call of members

(b.) Disposition of minutes of previous regular meeting and any intervening special meetings

(c.) Report of the Director

(d.) Financial report

(e.) Unfinished business

(f.) New business

(g.) Adjournment

Section 4. Notice of regular meetings of the library board shall be made by the secretary to all members at least

five days before the meeting.

Section 5. Special meetings may be held at any time at the call of any member of the Board, provided that notice

thereof be given to all members at least twenty-four hours in advance of the special meeting.  ***A special,

organizational meeting of the founding board of trustees is allowed prior to June 1, 2015, for the purpose of

electing officers and approving documents to help the Mecklenburg County Public Library qualify for state aid. 

Section 6. A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting shall consist of 3 members of the board

Section 7. Conduct of meetings: Proceedings of all meetings shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order.

Article V: Library Director and Staff

The board shall appoint a qualified librarian who shall be the executive and administrative officer—director—of

the library on behalf of the board and under its review and direction. The director shall recommend to the board

the appointment and specify the duties of other employees and shall be held responsible for the proper direction

and supervision of the staff, for the care and maintenance of library property, for an adequate and proper

selection of books in keeping with the stated policy of the board, for the efficiency of library service to the public,

and for its financial operation within the limitations of the budgeted appropriation. The director shall make

bi-monthly (every two months) and annual reports to the board.

Article VI: General

Section 1. 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 chairman may vote upon and may move or second a proposal before

Section 2. The by-laws may be amended by the majority vote of all members of the board provided written notice

of the proposed amendment shall have been mailed to all members at least five days prior to the meeting at

which action is proposed to be taken.

Section 3. Any rule or resolution of the board, whether contained in these by-laws or otherwise, may be

suspended temporarily in connection with business at hand, but such suspension, to be valid, may be taken only

at a meeting at which a quorum of the members of the board shall be present and the majority of those present

shall so approve.

Section 4. Duties of the library board are as follows:

1. To approve an annual library budget

2. To secure adequate funds

3. To hire a capable, trained librarian to serve as director

4. To determine library policies

5. To approve expenditures of library funds

6. To receive gifts to the library

7. To work actively for the improvement of all libraries by supporting library legislation in the state and nation

8. To become familiar with the State and Federal aid program and with state and national library standards

9. To attend board meetings regularly

10. To become familiar with what constitutes good library service by reading, attending library meetings and visiting

other libraries

11. To support the library's service program in daily contacts with the public at large.

Section 5. Duties of the director are as follows:

1. To administer the library

2. To be technical advisor to the board

3. To hire staff for positions according to best practices, recommended by authorities such as the American Library

Association and The Library of Virginia’s Planning for Excellence document

4. To direct the activities of the staff

5. To prepare the budget in consultation with and per the approval of the board

6. To keep financial records of the library

7. To select and purchase books, library materials and supplies

8. To prepare and release all library publicity

9. To stimulate growth of library service

10. To keep the board informed about changes in library legislation and standards

11. To attend library meetings.

Approved by the founding Board of Trustees of the Mecklenburg County Public Library at its special

organizational meeting on May 13, 2015. 
Article IV—Meetings—Section 1 revised for quarterly meetings on January 20, 2016.