Library Bylaws

Bylaws of the Evanston Public Library

Amended 5/21/2019

1.1 Name and Use of the Library

1.2 Library Mission

1.3 Board of Trustees

1.3.1 Responsibilities of the Board

1.3.2 Qualification, Appointment, and Tenure

1.3.3 Orientation

1.3.4 Resignation or Removal from the Board

1.3.5 Conflict of Interest

1.4 Board Officers

1.4.1 Election and Term of Office

1.4.2 Resignation, Removal and Vacancies

1.5 Duties of Officers

1.5.1 President

1.5.2 Vice-President

1.5.3 Secretary

1.5.4 Treasurer

1.6 Meetings of the Board of Trustees

1.6.1 Annual Meeting

1.6.2 Regular Meetings

1.6.3 Special Meetings

1.7 Board Meeting Rules

1.7.1 Quorum

1.7.2 Remote Participation at Meetings

1.7.3 Conduct of Meeting

1.7.4 Agenda

1.7.5 Suspension of the Rules

1.7.6 Citizen Participation

1.7.7 Motions

1.7.8 Closed Sessions

1.7.9 Adjournment

1.7.10 Robert’s Rules of Order

1.7.11 Trustee Participation

1.8 Board Committees

1.8.1 Executive Committee

1.8.2 Standing Committees

1.8.3 Board Nominating Committee

1.8.4 Investment Committee

1.8.5 Special Committees

1.8.6 Quorum for a Committee

1.8.7 Committee Reports

1.9 Library Director

1.9.1 Duties of the Library Director

1.9.2 Library Director Performance Evaluation

1.10 Amendment of Bylaws
Bylaws of the Evanston Public Library

1.1 Name and Use of the Library
The name of this municipal body shall be the “Evanston Public Library” (hereafter referred to as the “Library”).

In accordance with Illinois State Law, the Library shall be forever for the use of residents and taxpayers of the City of Evanston and other patrons as authorized by law subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as the Library Board of Trustees (hereafter referred to as the “Board”) may adopt in order to render the use of the Library of the greatest benefit to the greatest number of Evanston residents and taxpayers.


1.2 Library Mission

The mission of the Evanston Public Library is to promote the development of independent, self-confident, and literate citizens through the provision of open access to cultural, intellectual and informational resources.


1.3 Board of Trustees

The Board shall have all of the powers of a board of public library trustees granted under 75 ILCS (Illinois Compiled Statutes) 5/4-1 et seq. In accordance with the obligations described in Illinois Library Law, the Library shall be governed by a Board of nine Trustees.

1.3.1 Responsibilities of the Board
Legal and financial responsibility for the operations of the Library is vested in the Board. Subject to existing statutes, the powers of the Board include but are not limited to: 1) determining rules and regulations governing library services; 2) exercising exclusive control of all expenditures of money credited to the library fund, and any grant, gift or endowment funds provided for library purposes; 3) determining the property tax levy required to support the Library within the law; and 4) hiring, evaluating and, if necessary, dismissing the Library Director.

The Board may adopt such policies, rules and regulations for the conduct of its business as shall be deemed advisable or necessary and may, in the execution of the powers granted, appoint such agents as it may consider necessary.

1.3.2 Qualification, Appointment, and Tenure
Consistent with the Illinois Local Library Act and the Evanston City Code, the Mayor of the City of Evanston, with the approval of the City Council, annually appoints, before the first of July each year, Library Trustees chosen from city residents with reference to their fitness for such office.   Trustees appointed by the Mayor shall hold office for three years and will serve through June 30 and thereafter until a successor has been appointed. Trustees are eligible to be re-appointed by the Mayor to additional three-year terms. Subject to reappointment by the Mayor and approval by the City Council, there are no limits to the number of terms a Trustee may serve. In the event of a Trustee leaving the Board prior to the end of his/her term, a Trustee will be appointed to complete the term and then be eligible to complete additional full  three-year terms. The Trustees shall take their oath of office as prescribed by Illinois law.

1.3.3 Orientation

The Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees will conduct a formal orientation for all new Library Board members.

1.3.4 Resignation or Removal from the Board
Any Trustee may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President or Secretary. Such resignation shall be effective when the notice is delivered unless the notice specifies a future date; and, unless otherwise specified therein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. Upon receipt of such resignation, the President will notify the Mayor of the vacancy.

Section 1-6-5 of the Evanston City Code states that the Mayor may remove a Trustee from the Board “for cause upon report of such action to the City Council in executive session. Cause shall be determined by the Mayor and may include, but shall not be limited to: absenteeism; conflict of interest; incapacitation, physical or mental; conviction of a criminal offense; incompetence or inattention to assigned duties.”

1.3.5 Conflict of Interest
Any conflict of interest on the part of any Trustee shall be disclosed to the Board when the interest becomes a matter of Board action.  Any Trustee having a conflict of interest shall not vote or use his personal influence on the matter, and shall not be counted in determining the quorum for the meeting for that vote.  The minutes of the meeting shall reflect that a disclosure was made, the abstention from voting, and the quorum situation.  Any new Trustee will be advised of this policy upon assuming the duties of office.

Trustees will not engage in economic activity that involves the use or sale of information gained in the course of official duties in addition to any applicable provisions of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (5 ILCS 430/1-1 et seq.).

1.4 Board Officers
The Officers of the Library shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, Secretary and a Treasurer. No Trustee shall hold more than one office at any one time.

1.4.1 Election and Term of Office
At the regular meeting in April, the Board shall elect a Nominating Committee of three members of the Board, at least one of whom shall be a member whose term is not expiring, and one of whom shall be appointed as the chairperson. The Nominating Committee shall present its recommendations at the May meeting, listing the names of one or more candidates for each office, provided the consent of such nominees shall have been obtained. Additional nominations, with the consent of the nominees, may be made from the floor.

The President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by the majority of those Trustees present and voting at the regular June meeting each year. The terms of newly elected officers shall begin on July 1. Officers shall serve a term of one year or until their successors are duly elected.  No Trustee shall hold more than one office at any one time.

1.4.2 Resignation, Removal and Vacancies
Any officer may resign from office at any time by giving written notice to the President or Secretary. Such resignation shall be effective when the notice is delivered unless the notice specifies a future date; and, unless otherwise specified therein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.

Any officer duly elected or appointed may be removed by a majority of a quorum of the eligible voting members whenever in its judgment the best interests of the Library would be served thereby.

Except as provided for in section 1.5.2, a vacancy in an office shall be filled by a vote of the Board, and the Trustee elected shall serve for the remainder of the term of the officer he or she replaces. No name shall be placed in nomination without the consent of the nominee.

1.5 Duties of Officers
1.5.1 President
The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board, appoint committees as needed, nominate all committee members and Board representatives for Board approval, serve as an ex-officio member with vote of all committees, serve as principal Board liaison to the Library Director, sign official documents including contracts, and assume such other duties as directed by the Board. The President shall be the official speaker or shall designate a speaker for the Board in matters of public interest.  The President shall be bonded.

1.5.2 Vice-President

In the absence or inability of the President to act, or due to a vacancy in the office of the President, the duties of the President shall be performed by the Vice-President.  The Vice-President shall be the Chair of the Management Committee.  The Vice-President shall be bonded.

1.5.3 Secretary
The Secretary and President shall sign such official papers as are necessary, including, but not limited to contracts, grant applications, and leases. The Secretary shall monitor the official manual of Board-approved bylaws and policies. In the absence of the President and Vice-President, the Secretary shall serve as President. In the absence of the Secretary, the President shall appoint a secretary pro-tempore.

1.5.4 Treasurer
The Treasurer shall serve as the Board’s financial officer, Chair of the Finance Committee and representative on the Investment Committee. The Treasurer shall cause to be received and safely kept all monies belonging to the Library in depositories approved and designated by the Board, in the name of the Library or in such other investments as may be authorized by law, and shall disburse the same only upon the authority of the Board.  The Treasurer shall cause to have prepared a monthly report to the Board of all receipts and disbursements and shall have submitted at the annual meeting of the Board a detailed statement showing all receipts and disbursements during the preceding year.  The Treasurer shall cause to have prepared all financial reports required to be submitted to the local, state or federal governments.   The Treasurer shall be bonded.    In the absence of the Treasurer or when s/he is unable to serve, the President or Vice-President may perform the duties of the Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall perform any other duties as may be assigned by the Board.

1.6 Meetings of the Board of Trustees
All Board meetings shall meet the requirements of the Illinois Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/2(c) et seq.).

1.6.1 Annual Meeting
The first regular meeting after February 1 will be the annual meeting of the Board at which the Annual Report will be presented. The report shall include a summary of the year’s work, statement of plans for the following year, a detailed account of the receipts and expenditures of the previous fiscal year, and all other information required by State Statutes.

1.6.2 Regular Meetings
Each November a regular monthly meeting schedule for the subsequent calendar year will be established by the Board.

1.6.3 Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President, or upon the written request of three Trustees, given proper notice as specified in the Open Meetings Act. Notices shall be sent at least three days before the meeting, and no business shall be transacted other than stated in the notice.

1.7 Board Meeting Rules
1.7.1 Quorum
For the transaction of business at any meeting of the Board, five Trustees who are present shall constitute a quorum. A meeting can continue, but no action can take place, if a quorum is not present.

1.7.2 Remote Participation at Meetings
Under limited circumstances, Trustees unable to be physically present at a public meeting may participate in the meeting via communication devices. Communication devices include, without limitation, audio and/or video equipment which allows all Trustees and other meeting participants to interact on all motions, discussions and votes. The limited circumstances which allow a Trustee to participate via communication devices are personal illness or disability, employment purposes, family emergency or other emergency.  A Trustee wishing to attend via communication devices must give advance notice to the Board Secretary of the desire to attend via communication devices (unless notice is impractical). The circumstances supporting use of communication devices shall be announced at the start of a meeting and such circumstances shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting.

Only Trustees attending in person shall be counted toward establishing a quorum. A majority of the quorum must vote in favor of a Trustee attending via communication devices.

1.7.3 Conduct of Meeting
The President shall preserve order and decorum and decide questions of order.
In the case of disturbance or disorderly conduct, the President shall have the power to: (1) remove the offenders, (2) clear the board room of all spectators, or (3) suspend or adjourn the meeting.

1.7.4 Agenda
The first order of business shall be the President’s ascertaining if there is a quorum present. If so, the President shall call the meeting to order. The Board shall proceed to conduct the business before it normally in the following order:

•    Citizen Comment
•    Approval of the minutes of the preceding meeting
•    Information/Communications
•    Unfinished Business
•    Committee Reports
•    Staff Reports
•    New Business
•    Adjournment

The President may vary the order of business.

1.7.5
Suspension of the Rules
Any rule or policy of the Board, whether contained in these bylaws 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 two-thirds of those present shall so approve.

1.7.6 Citizen Participation

The Board shall provide a period not to exceed 45 minutes at the beginning of the order of business for citizen comment. Prior to the beginning of the meeting, interested citizens should indicate their desire to speak by signing their name and address on a form. The President will allocate the 45 minute period equally among those persons. A person addressing the Board shall limit comments to items within the jurisdiction of the Library Board. Speakers will not be permitted to cede time to another speaker. The business of the Board shall commence no later than forty-five (45) minutes after the beginning of Citizen Comment.

Board standing committees shall provide opportunities for citizen comment at the beginning of each meeting. For all standing committees of the Board, a period of twenty minutes shall be provided for public comment, and no individual speaker may speak longer than two (2) minutes and cannot cede time to another speaker. The committee chair of the standing committees will allocate time among the speakers to ensure that Public comment does not exceed the allotted time provided above.

1.7.7 Motions
A motion is not before the Board until it has been seconded. A motion may be withdrawn by the proposer at any time before a vote is called.

All authorizations to spend money shall be passed only by a roll call vote duly recorded.

An amendment to modify an original motion shall be in order, but no amendment shall be made that changes the intent of the original motion.

A majority of a quorum of the Trustees present and voting is required to carry any motion unless otherwise provided in the bylaws.

All motions involving the hiring or dismissal of the Library Director must be approved by six Trustees.

1.7.8 Closed Sessions
All meetings of the Board and its committees shall be open to the public and to the press except closed sessions as authorized by the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/2(c) et seq.)

The closed session must be approved in open meeting by a majority vote and the purpose of the closed session recorded in the minutes of the open meeting.

Only topics specified in the vote to close may be considered in the closed session. No final action may be taken at a closed session.

All proceedings of a closed session shall be kept in strict confidence by all those in attendance.

Closed sessions shall be recorded and such recordings shall be preserved for at least eighteen months and shall only be destroyed after the Board has approved and made public the minutes of the closed session.

Under the Open Meetings Act, the minutes of all closed sessions will be reviewed by the Board at their regular June and December meetings as to whether or not the minutes should remain sealed or can be publicly disclosed (5 ILCS 120/2.06).

1.7.9 Adjournment

A motion to adjourn the Board shall always be in order except while a vote is being taken. A motion to adjourn cannot be amended or debated, but a motion to adjourn to a specific date or time may be amended and debated.

1.7.10 Robert’s Rules of Order
The rules of parliamentary procedure in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Board in all cases.

1.7.11 Trustee Participation
Trustees are expected to attend and participate in all regular board meetings and to fulfill their committee obligations.  If a Trustee attends fewer than six meetings per year, the Board President shall request that the Mayor remove the Trustee in question from the Board in accordance with appropriate statutes and City ordinances.

1.8 Board Committees
1.8.1 Executive Committee
The officers of the Board shall constitute an Executive Committee which shall act on behalf of and at the direction of the Board between meetings.

1.8.2 Standing Committees
The Finance Committee shall determine the financial needs of the Library and work with the Library Director in the preparation and presentation of the annual budget.  The Finance Committee shall be chaired by the Treasurer.

The Management Committee shall formulate policies regarding the management of the Library including managerial and operational matters. This Committee shall review and revise, as necessary, the Bylaws and Board adopted policies in the first quarter of even-numbered years. The Management Committee shall be chaired by the Vice-President.

The Facilities Committee shall review facility operating and capital plans, review facility operating and capital budgets, formulate facility policies and make facility recommendations to the Board. The Chair of the Facilities Committee shall be appointed by the President.

The Development Committee shall enhance the Library’s ability to conduct its mission, as defined in the Strategic Plan, by identifying, evaluating and periodically reviewing cooperative ventures between the Library and other organizations that share the Library’s mission or goals.  The committee would be composed of two trustees and the Library Director or designee. The chair of the Development Committee is the Vice-President.

1.8.3 Board Nominating Committee
At the regular meeting in April, the Board shall elect a Nominating Committee of three members of the Board, at least one of whom shall be a member whose term is not expiring. The Nominating Committee will select potential Board officers (see section 1.4.1 of the bylaws).

1.8.4 Investment Committee
The Endowment of the Evanston Public Library will be invested and administered by a three member Investment Committee appointed for two-year terms by the Board in February of odd-numbered years. This Committee shall be composed of the Board Treasurer and two qualified individuals.  The President of the Board will appoint the chair of the Investment Committee. Decisions will be made by a simple majority of Investment Committee members. The Investment Committee will manage investments based on the terms of the investment policy statement and the needs of the Library.

1.8.5 Special Committees
Other committees may be designated by a resolution adopted by a majority of the Board present at a meeting at which a quorum is present. The President shall appoint members to special and ad hoc committees as deemed appropriate.  Any committee member may be removed by the person or persons authorized to appoint committee members whenever, in their judgment, the best interests of the Library shall be served by such removal.

1.8.6 Quorum for a Committee
A majority of the total membership of any committee shall constitute a quorum.

1.8.7 Committee Reports
Minutes will be kept of all committee meetings and will be presented at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

1.9 Library Director
1.9.1 Duties of the Library Director
The Board shall select, appoint, and evaluate a qualified librarian (“Library Director”) who will be the Library’s chief executive officer and be responsible for the day-to-day administration and operation of the Library under the general policies approved by the Board and the policies of the City of Evanston.

The Library Director shall be responsible to the Board pursuant to the provisions of the Local Library Act, 75 ILCS 5/1-0.1 et seq.

The Library Director will report directly to the Board, execute the policies adopted by the Board, and shall be authorized to develop the library program, establish the organizational structure, purchase materials and services, and undertake such other activities as may be necessary for the library’s operation, subject to the policies established by the Board. The Library Director shall have the authority to execute contracts on behalf of the Library within the parameters established by the Board.  The Library Director shall attend all meetings of the Board.  The Library Director shall make a monthly report to the Board and submit an annual report at the first regular meeting after February 1.

In a manner consistent with the Library’s Personnel Policies and collective bargaining agreement, the Library Director shall hire, supervise, evaluate and may terminate the employment of staff members necessary to carry out the work of the Library. Library staff will be hired and terminated by the Library Director with approval by the City’s Human Resources Manager. The Library Director shall direct and supervise staff members to ensure the efficient delivery of high quality services.

The Library Director is responsible to the Board for all properties and funds belonging to the Library.

The Library Director shall make other reports at the meetings of the Board in such form and on such subjects as the Board may direct.

1.9.2 Library Director Performance Evaluation

The Board of Trustees shall formally evaluate the performance of the Library Director at least once each year.

1.10 Amendment of the Bylaws
These bylaws may be amended with one month’s notice in writing of the proposed amendment at any regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, by a two-thirds affirmative vote of a quorum of the Trustees present. A copy of the proposed amendment must accompany the call of the meeting.

Amended May 21, 2019

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