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Board of Trustees - Decatur Public Library

Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of Decatur Public Library


The name of this body shall be Decatur Public Library (hereinafter referred to as the “Library”).


The Board of Trustees of Decatur Public Library is responsible for governance and overseeing the provision of library service to meet the needs of the Decatur community. To this end, the Board shall:

  1. Determine Library policies.
  2. Employ a capable library administrator.
  3. Secure adequate funds for library operations.
  4. Approve expenditure of library funds.
  5. Provide and maintain adequate facilities.
  6. Promote use of the Library within the community.
  7. Perform other duties as outlined in Illinois Compiled Statutes.

Trustees serve without compensation but may be compensated for expenses. In their position of public trust, Trustees shall avoid conflicts between private interests and official responsibilities. Prior to May 1st of each calendar year, all Trustees shall file a Statement of Economic Interest with the County Clerk, pursuant to the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act.


The Board of Trustees shall consist of nine (9) members appointed by the Mayor of Decatur. The term of each member shall be for three (3) with new Trustees being sworn in at the July meeting. Vacancies are filled according to the process laid out in 75 ILCS 5/4-4.


The officers of the Board Trustees shall be a President, Vice-‐-President, and Secretary, each to be elected at the annual meeting by a majority vote of the Trustees present. Each term of office shall be for one year, or until a successor has been elected and qualified. If a vacancy occurs in an Officer position, an election is held among the remaining Trustees.


President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Trustees, appoint committees and committee chairs, act as a member of all committees, and perform such other duties as are normally associated with the office or may be assigned to him or her by the Board.

Vice-President: The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, perform all duties of that office and shall have such other duties and responsibilities as the Board may determine.

Secretary: The Secretary shall have charge of such correspondence as is delegated by the President of the Board of Trustees. The PPPR Committee Chair shall be responsible for distribution, collection and tabulation of forms used in the annual Executive Director’s evaluation.

The Secretary shall preside in the absence of both the President and Vice-President. In the event that the President, Vice-President and Secretary are absent from a meeting, the members present shall elect a President pro tem from among themselves to conduct that meeting only.


Committees are advisory groups. They present non-binding recommendations to the Board which the Board then decides to accept, reject or modify. There are two standing committees, all other committees are considered ad-hoc committees or committees-of-the-whole unless otherwise determined by a vote of the majority of the Board.

Standing Committees

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 (PPPR) 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. The President will make monthly liaison assignments to the Friends of the Library Board meetings. The President may appoint members of the Board to act as liaison agents between the Library and other institutions in the community.

Ad hoc Committees

The Board of Trustees may from time to time appoint special committees for selected tasks and shall define the size, composition, purposes and duration of such special committees pursuant to a resolution of the Board. Ad hoc committees shall review matters within the scope of their assigned work shall advise the Board of Trustees and the City Librarian thereon. All ad hoc committees shall abide by the general committee procedures described previously and shall disband when they have completed the work for which they were appointed.

The Nominating Committee is an ad hoc committee and will consist of two (2) Trustees appointed by the President at least 30 days in advance of the Annual Meeting each year. The Committee shall recommend a slate of officers to the Board.


The rules contained in the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the business of the Board in all matters not covered by the bylaws, and/or the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

All meetings shall be posted and open to the public as required by the Open Meetings Act and the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

The President of the Board shall establish the agenda as required.

Five (5) members of the nine-member Board shall constitute a quorum for conducting business. In the event of any unfilled vacancies on the Board, a quorum shall be a majority of the Trustees in office.

Regular monthly meetings of the Board and standing committees shall be held in the Library at times to be established annually. This schedule of monthly meetings shall be posted in the

Library buildings and on the Library’s web site.

Committee meetings shall be held in the Library as needed and an announcement shall be posted in all required locations no less than forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting. Notice of all committee meetings will be sent to Board members. If a majority of the committee members are present, that shall constitute a quorum.

Immediately following the February monthly meeting each year shall be the Annual Meeting. The Board shall, at the Annual Meeting, elect Officers and conduct any other appropriate business.

Special meetings may be called by the President or the City Librarian, or upon the written request of two Trustees. Only such business as stated in the call may be transacted at a special meeting. Except in the case of a bona fide emergency, notice of call shall be sent to all Trustees and posted in all required locations no less than 48 hours prior to a special meeting. All special meetings will be posted and held as required by the Open Meetings Act.

Electronic Attendance at Meetings Rules

Section 1. Rules Statement. It is the decision of Decatur Public Library that any member of the Board of Trustees may attend any open or closed meeting of the Board of Trustees via electronic means (such as by telephone, video or internet connection) provided that such attendance complies with these rules and any applicable laws.

Section 2. Prerequisites. A member of the Board of Trustees may attend a meeting electronically if the member meets the following conditions:

  1. The member should notify the Decatur Public Library Librarian at least one hour before the meeting, unless impractical, so that necessary communications equipment can be arranged. Inability to make the necessary technical arrangements may result in denial of a request for remote attendance.

  2. The member must assert one of the following three reasons why he or she is unable to physically attend the meeting,
    1. The member cannot attend because of personal illness or disability; or
    2. The member cannot attend because of employment purposes or the business of the Decatur Public Library; or
    3. The member cannot attend because of a family or other emergency. Section 3. Authorization to Participate.
  1. The Decatur Public Library Librarian, after receiving the electronic attendance request, shall inform the Board of Trustees of the request for electronic attendance.

  2. After establishing that this a quorum is physically present at meeting where member of the Board of Trustees desires to attend electronically, the presiding officer shall state that
    1. a notice was received in accordance with these Rules, and (ii) the member will be deemed authorized to attend the meeting electronically unless a motion objecting to the member's electronic attendance is made, seconded, and approved by two-thirds of the members of the Board of Trustees physically at the meeting. If no such motion is made

and seconded or if any such motion fails to achieve the required vote by the members of the Board of Trustees physically present at the meeting, then the request by the Board of Trustees and the presiding officer shall declare the requesting member present. After such declaration by the presiding officer, the question of a member's electronic attendance may not be reconsidered.

Section 4. Adequate Equipment Required. The member participating electronically, and other members of the Board of Trustees must be able to communicate effectively, and members of the audience must be able to hear all communications at the meeting site. Before allowing electronic attendance at any meeting, the Board of Trustees shall provide equipment adequate to accomplish this objective at the meeting site.

Section 5. Minutes. Any member attending electronically shall be considered an offsite attendee and counted as present electronically for that meeting if the member is allowed to attend. The meeting minutes shall also reflect and state specifically whether each member is physically present or present by electronic means.

Section 6. Rights to Remote Member. A member permitted to attend electronically will be able to express his or her comments during the meeting and participate in the same capacity as those members physically present, subject to all general meeting guidelines and procedures previously adopted and adhered to. The member attending electronically shall be heard, considered, and counted as to any vote taken. Accordingly, the name of any member attending electronically shall be called during any vote taken, and his or her vote counted and recorded and placed in the minutes for the corresponding meeting. A member attending electronically may leave a meeting and return as in the case of any member, provided the member attending electronically shall announce his or her leaving and returning.

Section 7. Committees. Boards and Commissions. These rules shall apply to all committees. boards and commissions established by authority of the Board of Trustees.


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 themeeting. The President’s allowance of public comments at other times during the meeting shall be discretionary and non-precedential in character.

  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, 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.

  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.


The regular Order of Business of the monthly meeting shall be:

Call to order

Roll Call

Approval of Agenda

Approval of Minutes

Public Comments

Written Communications from the Public

City Librarian’s Report

Division Head Reports

Reports of Committees

Old Business

New Business




  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 necessaryexpenses.

  4. Excuse himself or herself from any voting where a conflict of interest might be determined.

  5. Comply with all applicable statutes regardingbids.

  6. Determine the needs of the library and secure adequate funds for thelibrary'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


The Board shall appoint a City Librarian, who will be responsible for the administration of the Library. The City Librarian shall report directly to the Board and shall be authorized to develop library programs, establish the organizational structure, purchase materials, and undertake such other activities as may be necessary for the library’s operation, subject to the policies established by the Board. The City Librarian shall make reports at the meetings of the Board in such form and on such subjects as the Board may direct.

The Board of Trustees will evaluate the performance of the City Librarian and determine compensation annually using an agreed upon process.


Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed at any regular meeting of the Board and, when adopted by a majority vote, shall become effective at the subsequent meeting of the Board.


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;

November 16, 2017; June 27, 2019; June18, 2020; and May 20, 2021.