Bylaws of the Charleston County Public Library Board of Trustees
Approved by the Board of Trustees on September 24, 2019
PREAMBLE AND MISSION STATEMENT
The Charleston County Public Library Board of Trustees was created by law to act as the citizen control or governing body of the library system in Charleston County, S.C. Legal responsibility is vested in the Library Board, which is the policy-making body of the organization.
The board's responsibilities include hiring, supervising and evaluating a director; cooperating with the director in formulating all library policies and regulations; promoting library interests; procuring funds adequate for an excellent library program consistent with accepted public library standards and reflecting the needs of the citizens of Charleston County; controlling library funds and property; cooperating with other public agencies; and, in general, managing and controlling the library as a whole.
ARTICLE I: AUTHORITY
The Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Public Library was created by Ordinance #304 passed by the Charleston County Council on May 15, 1979, pursuant to Act 564, S.C. Code of Laws, 1978. The Board of Trustees derives its authority from that ordinance and is vested with the powers enumerated therein.
ARTICLE II: APPOINTMENT, ATTENDANCE AND RESIGNATION
- Terms of office. The Charleston County Public Library system shall be controlled and managed by a Board of Trustees consisting of eleven members appointed by the Charleston County Council for staggered terms of four years, beginning January 1 and ending December 31 and until successors are appointed and qualify.
- Vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired term. To the extent feasible, members shall be appointed from all geographical areas of the county, reflect the demographics of the County of Charleston, and the specific talents and skills needed on the board.
- Friends of the Library liaison. One member of the Charleston Friends of the Library shall be designated as board Liaison, to attend regularly scheduled board meetings and provide monthly updates but shall not possess voting privileges.
- Attendance. A record of board attendance shall be reflected in the minutes of each meeting.
- Resignation based on attendance. A board member who fails to attend three scheduled meetings in a calendar year is deemed to have resigned.
- Excused absence. A member may have one excused absence per year. The chair will report excused absences to the secretary.
- Reinstatement. The board may reinstate a board member who has resigned in this manner upon her or his written request, but only once during a term. Absent such request, county council shall be notified of the vacancy.
- Leave of absence. A board member, anticipating an extended period of absence, may request a leave of absence from the officers upon his or her written request, but only once during a term.
- Resignation. Any board member may resign by written notice to the secretary.
- Term limit. A board member shall not serve more than two full consecutive terms but shall be eligible for reappointment after a period of two years of absence from the board.
ARTICLE III: OFFICERS
Officers of the Board of Trustees shall consist of a chair, a vice chair, a secretary, and a treasurer, to be elected annually at the June meeting and will take office July 1. If an election is delayed beyond July 1, officers will continue until the election is held, after which new officers will take office immediately.
- Chair. The chair shall preside at all meetings, appoint committees, serve as ex-officio member of the same and perform other duties as the Board of Trustees may direct. The chair shall execute instructions of the Board of Trustees.
- Vice chair. The vice chair shall perform the duties of the chair in the latter's absence and perform other duties as the Board of Trustees may direct.
- Secretary. The secretary shall be responsible, with assistance of library staff, for recording of all proceedings of the board; shall review and read the minutes of each meeting; transact correspondence; and perform other duties as required by the Board of Trustees. The Secretary shall, with the Chair, execute any legal documents by order of the Board of Trustees.
- The secretary shall keep an account of the attendance of all trustees. The secretary shall notify any board member after three (3) unexcused absences during any calendar year, January 1 to December 31, of the provisions of Article ll, Section d of these bylaws and the chair shall be informed of this action.
- Treasurer. The treasurer shall appoint a designated staff member or members to supervise the receipt and disbursement of all monies under the instructions of the trustees. Payments shall be made by check signed by the treasurer or by a designated staff member.
ARTICLE IV: COMMITTEES
The officers listed in Article III shall constitute the Executive Committee, which shall, subject to authority granted in the ordinance, adopt rules for the control and management of the Charleston County Public Library system. Standing committees shall include the following:
- Finance Committee, which shall be comprised of three board members appointed by the chair. The Finance Committee shall plan, execute, and evaluate the acquisition of supplemental funds in addition to those provided by the county and the state to operate the county library system.
- Nominating Committee, which shall be comprised of three board members who are not officers, appointed by the chair. The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of officers at the June meeting for the board’s approval. If vacancies occur during the year, the Nominating Committee will meet and present a slate at the next board meeting.
ARTICLE V: MEETINGS AND THE ORDER OF BUSINESS
Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees shall take place monthly, except July and December. The time and day of meetings will be decided each year by December for the following year. Special meetings may be called by the chair when necessary and/or at the written request of three trustees.
- Notice. Notice shall be given to each board member and to members of the media and public that is consistent with the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.
- Quorum. Six trustees shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
- Agenda. An agenda for board meetings shall be prepared by the director in cooperation with the chair and shall be provided to the members of the board in advance of the meeting.
- All matters submitted for board consideration, excluding emergency matters and matters not originating with a trustee, shall first be reviewed by the director and chair who shall determine whether the matter requires reference to internal library administration or reference to the Board of Trustees for proper disposition.
- Matters that require board consideration shall first be referred for recommendation by a standing committee or an ad hoc committee, as deemed appropriate by the chair, before the first reading by the board. With the exception of emergency matters and actions carrying the unanimous consent of the board, no new matters placed on the agenda for board consideration shall be passed without a first and second reading.
- Order of business. The order of business for board meetings will be determined by the chair. Required agenda items include, but are not limited to, a Freedom of Information announcement and report; a Public Comment period; and consideration and action on minutes of the previous meeting and action taken.
- Parliamentary procedure. Robert's Rules of Order shall govern parliamentary procedure at board meetings.
- Open meetings. All meetings of the Board of Trustees, except those in executive session, are open to anyone who may wish to observe the proceedings.
- Public comment. Non-board members who wish to address the Board will be given the opportunity in a public comment period, for which time will be designated on the agenda.
ARTICLE VI: LIBRARY DIRECTOR AND STAFF
The Board of Trustees shall appoint as library director someone whose qualifications and credentials meet the certification requirements of the South Carolina State Library.
- Duties. The library director shall carry out policies adopted by the Board of Trustees and the County administration, and shall be responsible for the employment and direction of staff, for maintenance and security of library buildings and equipment, for the efficient offering of library services to the public, and for the operation of the library according to financial conditions set forth in the annual budget.
- Regular reports. The library director shall make regular reports on library operations and activities to the executive committee, and to the Board of Trustees.
- Authority. All employees of the library shall be subject to the provisions of the S.C. Code of Laws, 1976, Section 4-9- 30(7).
- Annual evaluation. The Board of Trustees will annually evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the director based on the job description, work plan and a contract, if there is one, with the director.
ARTICLE VII: FINANCIAL MATTERS
The fiscal year of the Charleston County Public Library shall end on June 30 of each year.
- Financial limitations. No committee, board member or employee of the library shall have any authority to make a contract or incur any indebtedness or liability in the name of, or on behalf of, the Board of Trustees without the board's authority and approval.
- No compensation. No members of the board will receive compensation for the performance of their duties.
- Annual budget. An operating budget prepared by the library director shall be approved by the Board of Trustees prior to its submission to County Council.
- Annual audit. A professional external audit of all financial transactions shall be made at the end of each fiscal year, and the report submitted to the board, to the county, to the S.C. State Library, and, if needed, to the appropriate federal agency.
ARTICLE VIII: GIFTS
All monetary gifts to the library shall be deposited in financial institutions as designated by the Board of Trustees and shall be subject to checks signed by the board treasurer. All gifts of property, money or securities shall be held or disposed of as may be directed by the board. Such direction shall be upon decisions made by a majority of the board members, which in their judgment will be most beneficial to the Charleston County Public Library system.
ARTICLE IX: STRATEGIC PLANNING
The board shall engage in a strategic planning cycle as deemed necessary. Each year, the board shall prepare its goals and objectives for the year. The board shall review and evaluate the plans as carried out at its September board meeting. At the end of any strategic planning cycle the completed plan shall be reviewed and evaluated.
ARTICLE X: AMENDMENTS
Amendments may be made by a majority of members (six or more) at any regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, provided one month's written notice has been given to the trustees regarding the proposed amendment and the language thereof.