York County Library
Board of Trustees By-Laws
Approved by the York County Library Board of Trustees on Oct. 12, 2023
The Board of Trustees of the York County Library is created by law to act as the citizen control or governing body of the library. Legal responsibility is vested in the Board of Trustees, which is the policy making body for the library system. The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees include, but are not limited to, supporting the library’s mission statement, employing a competent Library Director, working along with the Library Director to formulate all library policies and regulations, enhancing public relations, promoting library interests, procuring funds adequate for a progressive library program, controlling library funds, facilities, and equipment, and cooperating with other public agencies.
Section 1: Statutory Entity. The Board of Trustees of the York County Library was created by an Ordinance passed by the York County Council on April 16, 1979, pursuant to Sections 4-9-35 through 4-9-39 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. The Board of Trustees derives its authority from said ordinances, as periodically amended, and is invested with the powers enumerated therein.
Section 2: Composition. As set out in these ordinances, the Board of Trustees shall be composed of seven members appointed by the York County Council each representing all York County residents.
Section 3: Term of office. The term of office shall be for four years and until successors are appointed and qualify, with the terms of the members staggered to provide continuity of membership. Members may serve no more than two consecutive terms. Vacancies will be filled by the County Council for the unexpired term. Members appointed to fill vacancies may be appointed to serve two full consecutive terms in addition to the unexpired vacancy. No person shall be reappointed to the Board, after having served for two consecutive terms, until a minimum of one year has elapsed since the last service of such person upon the Board.
Section 4: Compensation. Members shall serve without compensation; however, the Board may reimburse its members for reasonable expenses or expenditures which they may incur on behalf of the Library after approval thereof by the Board.
Section 5: Attendance. Any member who shall be absent from 50% or more of the meetings of the Board during any 12-month period shall be deemed to have forfeited his/her membership on the Board and shall be removed without further action by the Board or the York County Council. It shall be the responsibility of the Board Vice-Chair to notify the Board, the offending member, and the York County Council of such absences, removal, and vacancy in a timely manner, and the County Council shall fill the vacancy created thereby in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired term of such member.
Section 1: Election. The officers of the Board of Trustees shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers shall be elected annually at the June meeting, using the normal nominating and voting process. The elected officers shall assume their office on July 1.
Section 2: Vacancies. Vacancies in the offices shall be filled by election by the Board at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Section 3: Duties of officers.
The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Board, assign standing committee members, appoint select committees, consult with the Director to set the meeting agenda, co-sign checks with the Director in lieu of the Treasurer and have other powers and duties as may be assigned by the Board.
The Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair in his/her absence and implement the attendance policy in Article 1, section 5 of these bylaws.
The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings, prepare copies of said minutes, and be responsible for their distribution to all Trustees. S/he shall maintain an attendance record for compliance with Article I, section 5 of these bylaws and notify the Vice-Chair for further action. The Secretary shall notify Trustees of each meeting to be held, such notice to be sent a week in advance of the meeting. Upon authorization of the Board, some or all these duties may be delegated to the Library Director.
The Treasurer shall receive and place in such bank or banks, as the Board directs, all funds and securities belonging to the library, co-sign all checks with the Director and make regular reports to the Board on the financial affairs of the library. Upon authorization of the Board, some or all these duties may be delegated to the Library Director.
Section 1: Standing committees. In order to conduct its work efficiently, to ensure the appropriate balance between accountability and execution, and to most efficiently allow Board members to develop specialized knowledge in specific areas, the board will maintain standing committees, to which questions may be referred by the board as appropriate. Committees will rely on professional expertise, input, manpower, and other staff resources, and will work in an advisory capacity to the full board.
The new chair will appoint board members to one or more standing committees at the first meeting after the election of officers, according to their individual interests and expertise, as closely as practicable.
Policy Committee. The policy committee shall collaborate with the director to monitor and review library policies, including but not limited to policies regarding collections, circulation, meeting rooms, and technology, and make recommendations as necessary to the full board for updates to those policies. The committee’s responsibility includes the monitoring and review of the organization’s bylaws to facilitate the functioning of the board in the effective oversight of the library, in accordance with its mission.
Planning Committee. The planning committee shall collaborate with the Director in the creation and/or revision of the library's 5-year strategic plan within the scope of York County's overall strategic plan, balancing the growing and changing needs of the community with realistic budget expectations.
Advocacy Committee. The advocacy committee shall promote library assets, issues and agendas to individuals, community organizations, local and state government entities; keep abreast of issues and legislation affecting libraries, coordinate all avenues of advocacy with the full Board, and solicit community support for the Library.
Section 2: Select Committees. In addition, the chair may appoint select committees as deemed necessary for the successful implementation of the Board's purpose and operation of the Board's program. Such committees shall serve until the completion of the work for which they were appointed or until disbanded by the chair. Select committees must include at least one Trustee but may also include staff, community experts, and other non-board-members as appropriate.
Section 1: Scheduled meetings. The Board shall meet not less than bi-monthly and at other times as called by the Chair or upon the written request by a majority of the members in good standing. A schedule of the upcoming year’s regular meetings will be adopted at the first meeting after July 1. The following year’s July meeting will be scheduled in advance to avoid confusion. Notice of any special meeting and changes to or cancellations of scheduled regular meetings must be posted 24 hours in advance.
Section 2: Quorum. A majority of the current Trustees in good standing shall constitute a quorum. The vote of a simple majority of the Trustees present at any duly called meeting at which a quorum is present shall be decisive on any issue.
Section 3: Voting. In accordance with SC ethics laws and York County Code of Ordinances, a board member perceiving a potential conflict of interest must recuse him/herself from discussion and voting on any applicable question. S/he must declare the reason for such recusal in advance of discussion on the question. Otherwise, board members are encouraged to vote on every issue. If a board member’s opposition, recusal or abstention is not noted in the minutes where the vote is recorded, the member may later be presumed to have concurred with the majority.
Section 4: Open Meetings. The Board shall comply with the provisions of Sections 30-4-10 through 30-4-110 of the South Carolina Code of Laws commonly known as the "Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)." In general, all meetings shall be open to the public; personnel, contractual, and legal matters may be discussed in a closed, executive session; and all votes must be taken in public.
Section 5: Public comment. The Board may allow public comment at Board meetings and, if allowed, will listen, but will not respond during the meeting to those who speak.
Public comment on items listed on the agenda will be heard during the board’s consideration of the relevant agenda item. Members of the public wishing to address the board regarding items on the proposed agenda should sign the sheet provided by the secretary prior to the beginning of the meeting. Speakers are asked to limit prepared comments to no more than five minutes. The board will hear no more than two speakers in favor and two opposed to any agenda item.
Persons wishing to address the board regarding items pertaining to the library not yet on the proposed agenda should contact the library director or board chair not less than 48 hours prior to the meeting, to allow adequate time to publish the revised agenda in accordance with FOIA.
Section 6: Procedures. Robert's Rules of Order shall decide points of procedure not otherwise covered by S.C. Statute or these By-Laws or by any rules and procedures adopted by the Board for conducting its business.
Director and Personnel
Section 1: Duties. The library director shall carry out policies adopted by the Board of Trustees. S/he shall be responsible for the employment and direction of staff, for maintenance and security of library buildings and equipment, and for efficient offering of library services to the public. The Director shall have the responsibility to authorize purchases, sign contracts, and otherwise commit the Board in its operation according to financial conditions set forth in the annual budget adopted by the trustees.
Section 2: Regular Reports. The library director shall make regular reports on library operations and activities to the Board of Trustees.
Section 3: Annual Evaluation. The Board of Trustees will annually evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the director.
Amendments to By-Laws
Section 1: These By-Laws may be amended by simple majority vote of Trustees present at any regular meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present, provided that notice of the proposed amendment and the wording thereof has been given at least 21 days in advance of that regular meeting, and further provided that such changes do not change the structure of the organization in such a way that would violate the statutes pursuant to which the library was established.