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Board of Trustees - Decatur Public Library


The Library Board shall, subject to the provisions of Chapter 21 of the City Code, have power to make and enforce all rules and regulations necessary for the administration and government of the library, and to exercise and administer any trust declared or created for such library.

Responsibility and Authority

The responsibility and authority of the Library Board of the Decatur Public Library is derived from the Illinois Library Act (75 ILCS/5).

Article 1. Library Board

The Library Board shall, subject to the provisions of Chapter 21 of the City Code, have power to make and enforce all rules and regulations necessary for the administration and government of the library, and to exercise and administer any trust declared or created for such library.


The officers of the Board shall be President, Vice-President, and Secretary.



The President shall:

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall appoint all committees, issue calls for special meetings, assist in developing the agenda with the City Librarian, and perform all other usual duties of a presiding officer. The president shall serve as a voting member of all standing committees.


The Vice-President shall:

The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President in the absence or incapacity of that officer.


The Secretary shall:

The Secretary shall keep a true and accurate account of all proceedings of the board meetings; shall issue notices of all meetings and shall provide for safekeeping of all minutes and records of the board. The secretary may delegate the recording of the proceedings of the meetings to a library staff member designated by the City Librarian.

These officers are empowered to execute contracts relating to library service for patrons residing outside of the City upon such terms and conditions as the Library board shall deem best, provided that the contract is not in conflict with the related IL Statute or ordinances of the City.


Any officer elected as provided in the bylaws may be removed by a majority vote of the Trustees when, in their judgment, the best interest of the Board will be served by such a removal.


Any officer may, at any time, resign his or her office by writing to the President or Vice President of the Board of trustees. Such resignation shall be effective upon receipt unless it states another date.

Article 2. Meetings

Regular Meetings

The Board shall meet regularly on a day, time, and place to be determined at the Board’s Annual Meeting. This schedule shall be made public in accordance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act. In the event that the meeting date falls on a holiday, the regular meeting shall be held the following week. This meeting day and time may be changed by majority agreement of the Board, provided written notice is given seven days prior to the meeting. The Board, by majority agreement, may waive a monthly meeting, but in no event shall more than two successive months pass without a regular meeting of the Board. Meetings shall be open to the public as provided by Statute.

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting shall be held on the same day as the regular February meeting of the Board. Reports of the City Librarian, Board of Trustees, and the Illinois Public Library Annual Report (IPLAR) shall be presented for approval. Upon approval, these reports will be transmitted to the City Council or other agencies in accordance with law. Election of officers shall be held at the Annual Meeting.

Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by the President or City Librarian or upon written request of three members of the Board. Calls for special meetings must state the agenda for business to be transacted, provided that notice with the agenda of the special meeting is given at least 48

hours in advance, except in the case of a bona fide emergency, to board members and to any news medium which has filed an annual request for notice under the Open Meetings Act; no business except that stated in the notice and agenda shall be transacted. Notice and agenda shall be posted 48 hours in advance on the door of the library Board Room except in the case of a bona fide emergency.


In the absence of both the President and the Vice-President, the meeting shall be presided over by one of the trustees present who shall be chosen by the members for that purpose.


A majority of the Board members currently seated on the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any regular or annual meeting.

Election of Officers and Term of Office

Officers shall be elected in February of each year and shall serve for one year, said term to end on the last day of February or as soon thereafter as their successor may be qualified. The term of qualified successors shall begin on the first day of March.

Meeting Structure

Meetings shall be conducted following the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order to the extent possible.

Article 3. Order of Business

The order of business at the regular meetings shall be presented in writing to each board member and shall be as follows:

  • Call to Order
  • Approval of Minutes
  • Communications
  • City Librarian’s Report
  • Reports of Committees
  • Old Business
  • New Business
  • Public Comments
  • Adjournment

Vote on all matters involving the expenditure of funds will be by roll call.

Article 4. Committees/Representatives

The following standing committees shall be appointed by the President to serve for one year and shall each consist of five Board members to include a chairman, three other Board members, and the President:

  • Committee on Finance and Properties
  • Committee on Personnel, Policy, and Public Relations

Each of these committees shall meet regularly at a day[,] time, and place to be determined at the Board’s Annual Meeting. This schedule shall be made public in accordance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The meeting day and time may be changed by majority agreement of the Committee, provided written notice is given seven days prior to the meeting. If no agenda items have been identified or if a quorum of the members will not be present, the meeting will be cancelled and notification of the cancellation will be given.

The duties of each of these committees shall be such as are associated with its name and related policies or shall be committed to it by action of the President with the advice and consent of the Board.

The duties of the Personnel, Policy, and Public Relations committee will also include the evaluation of the City Librarian, the formulation of goals, and the recommendation to the Board of such goals and/or evaluation.

Trustees will also be appointed by the President to serve for one year on other required boards, including but not limited to the Friends of the Decatur Public Library and the Decatur Public Library Foundation.

Special committees for the study and investigation of special problems may be appointed by the President and will serve until completion of the work for which they were established.

Article 5. Records of the Board

1. All records of the Library Board shall be kept in the Library and any other locations designated by the Board of Trustees. All such records, except those of closed sessions, shall be open to public inspection during regular hours of operation of the Library Administrative Office. All Board minutes shall also be available on the Library website within 5 business days after approval by the Board.

Article 6. City Librarian

The City Librarian shall:

  1. Serve at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees.
  2. Be considered the executive officer of the Board and shall have sole charge of the administration of the library under the direction and review of the Board.
  3. Attend all Board and committee meetings, except where the salary, performance, or continued employment is under discussion.
  4. Be held responsible for carrying out the policies of the Board, for recommending needed policies for Board action, and acting as technical advisor to the Board.
  5. Appoint or hire members of the staff in accordance with Decatur Civil Service Commission regulations
  6. Be responsible for the care of library property and the general management of library services, for suggesting plans for extending the library services, and preparing reports showing the library's current progress and future needs.
  7. Prepare an annual budget request for the library in consultation with the Board.
  8. Oversee the selection and ordering of all books and library materials within the framework of book selection policies approved by the Board.
  9. Be expected, when practicable, to represent the library in the community and in state, regional, and national professional organizations and meetings.
  10. Make statistical and evaluative reports to the Board, subject to the review and approval of the Board, and control expenditures of library funds under regulations established by the City of Decatur.
  11. Maintain close liaison with the City of Decatur administrative staff in order that library policies will be in the closest possible accord with those practiced by the City.
  12. Use any services which can be provided by the City, its advisory groups, or other governmental agencies and approved by the Library Board, especially in the areas of procurement, fiscal accounting, maintenance, programming of capital improvements, planning, and special studies.
  13. Fulfill other duties as directed by the Board.

Article 7. Duties and Responsibilities of Trustees

  1. Attend all Board meetings. If a Trustee misses more than 3 consecutive regularly scheduled committee meetings or 3 consecutive full Board meetings, the Board President or designee will contact the absent member and consult about their possible resignation.
  2. Hire a competent and qualified City Librarian.
  3. Determine and adopt written policies to govern the operation and programs of the library, including contracting for necessary expenses.
  4. Excuse himself or herself from any voting where a conflict of interest might be determined.
  5. Comply with all applicable statutes regarding bids.
  6. Determine the needs of the library and secure adequate funds for the library's programs. Review and submit an annual budget request to the City Council.
  7. Know the program and needs of the library in relation to the community, know the local and state laws, keep abreast of standards and library trends and support action to improve the library program.
  8. Establish, support, and participate in a planned public relations program.
  9. Review the program and operation of the library and make policy decisions regarding its management.
  10. Attend regional, state, and national trustee meetings and workshops when practicable and affiliate with appropriate professional organizations.

Article 8. Public Participation

The Library Board of Trustees acknowledges that public participation at Board meetings provides necessary input on various matters of concern to the public and contributes to the effective operation of the library. Members of the public are encouraged to participate at Board meetings in accordance with this Policy. The Library Board of Trustees hereby states its intention to comply with the laws of Illinois concerning provisions for public comments at open meetings.

  1. Public participation shall be permitted at any regular or special meeting of the Library Board of Trustees or any committee thereof which is required to be open to the public under the provisions of the Illinois Open Meetings Act (Illinois Rev. Statutes, 5 ILCS 120 et. seq.). The Board shall not, however, permit public participation during any meetings or portions of meetings that are deemed closed sessions under the Open Meetings Act.
  2. A portion of each meeting required to be open to the public shall be reserved and set aside for purposes of public comment and participation. In addition to that portion of the meeting set aside for public participation, the President of this Board, in his discretion, may permit public comment at any other time during the meeting.
  3. The Board shall permit any member of the public, including non-residents and employees of the library, to comment to or ask questions of the Board during that portion of the meeting designated for public participation. The Board has no obligation, however, to respond to any comments or answer any questions raised by members of the public.
  4. Members of the public shall be permitted to comment on any subjects or issues of public concern, with the exception of matters discussed and acted upon at a prior meeting. If the subject falls within the statutory exceptions to the Open Meetings Act, however, the Board reserves the right to immediately adjourn the meeting to closed session to discuss such matters. If the President of the Board, in his or her discretion, decides that circumstances merit reconsideration of a matter discussed and acted upon at a prior meeting, the Board may permit public comment on such a matter. The President's allowance of public comment on such matters shall be non-precedential in character.
  5. Members of the public shall be permitted to make comments or ask questions of the board at each meeting, subject to the following time limitations:
    1. 3 minutes per speaker
    2. 15 minutes per meeting

The president of the Board, upon the request of any member of the public seeking to make comments to or ask questions, may reasonably extend either or both of the foregoing time limitations. Any such extension of the time limitations shall be discretionary and non-precedential in character.

In his or her discretion, the President may recognize such persons in any sequence or order.

If a substantial number of members of the public desire to comment at any meeting, the President of the Board, in his discretion, may appoint members of the public to act as representatives or spokespersons for purposes of making public comments.

Article 9. Amendments

These bylaws may be amended or repealed at any regular meeting of the Board by a two-thirds vote of the entire Board, provided the amendment was stated in the call for the meeting. Bylaws in their entirety will be reviewed every 3 years by the President and at least one additional Trustee and amended as needed.

Article 10. Prior Bylaws

All prior bylaws are hereby repealed.

As adopted December 16, 1966 and subsequently amended November 15, 1974, August 21, 1980, August 15, 1985, January 21, 1988, November 17, 1988, July 24, 1995, May 28, 1998, May 23, 2002, September 18, 2008, December 17, 2009, January 17, 2013, September 17, 2015, and November 16, 2017.

Membership - Library System

Decatur Public Library is a member of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS).