Cutler Memorial Library By-Laws 2021
Mission and supporting statements
The mission of the Cutler Memorial Library is to provide free public access to materials, information, and a physical space which encourages and enables patrons to continuously educate themselves and to strengthen their sense of community.
The Cutler Memorial Library is committed to providing resources for patrons to pursue their quests for historical information, current information, and information on future ideas and trends. The library supports and encourages open and respectful community discourse.
The Cutler Memorial Library supports the “Library Bill of Rights” and the “Freedom to Read” and “Freedom to View” statements of the American Library Association Council. The Cutler Memorial Library does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, place of birth, age, physical or mental condition or any other factor proscribed by law.
This organization shall be called the “Board of Trustees of the Cutler Memorial Library” in accordance with the VT Non-Profit Corporation Act (T.II, Ch. 19), and as a public library in accordance with 22 Vermont Statutes Annotated, which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1989.
ARTICLE 2: Trustees
Section 1: Number and Qualifications
The governing body of the library is composed of 5 or more members; a minimum of 3 members to be by self-perpetuation of the Board of Trustees and two may be filled by municipal appointment of the Board of Selectmen of the town of Plainfield. Trustees shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in their performance of library business. No member of the library staff or his or her immediate family shall be eligible to serve as a trustee.
Section 2: Term of Office
The term of office for trustees shall be:
A. For a self-perpetuating member, staggered terms of five years, for no more than 10 years, elected at the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Cutler Memorial Library.
B. For a municipal appointed member, staggered terms of five years, appointments formally announced at the annual meeting of the Cutler Memorial Library board.
Section 3: Resignations
Any member of the Board of Trustees may resign by written notice filed with the Chairperson or Secretary and the full Board of Trustees. Vacancy of a self-perpetuating member shall be filled by the Board of Trustees until a successor is formally elected at the next annual meeting for the remainder of the original term. Vacancy of a municipally-appointed trustee shall be filled by the Selectboard of the Town of Plainfield for the remainder of the original term.
The Board of Trustees may recommend a candidate to fill this vacancy. When a trustee ceases to be a member of the board, she/he shall immediately deliver to the secretary all correspondence and other materials in his/her possession relating to the affairs, or actual property, of the library.
ARTICLE 3: Officers
Section 1: Offices
The Officers of the Board shall be a Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The officers shall be elected by the Board at the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Cutler Memorial Library. They shall hold that office for at least a two-year term, and until their respective successors are elected.
Section 2: Duties of the Chair
The Chair will preside at all meetings of the Board, call special meetings of the Board, serve ex-officio as a member of all committees of the Board and perform all other duties normally conferred on this position.
Section 3: Duties of the Secretary
The Secretary will keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board, issue due notice of all regular and special meetings, perform all other duties normally conferred on this position and perform the duties of the Chair of the Board at his/her request or in his/her absence.
Section 4: Duties of the Treasurer
The Treasurer will monitor library income and expenditures, advise on financial matters affecting the library, assist the librarian in the preparation of the library budget, pay outstanding debts of the library and all other duties normally conferred on this position.
ARTICLE 4: Librarian and Staff
The Board shall appoint a qualified librarian who shall be the executive and administrative officer of the library on behalf of the Board of Trustees and under its review and direction. The librarian shall select and appoint other employees and shall be responsible for the proper direction and supervision of staff, for selection of books and other library materials and maintenance of the library’s materials collection in keeping with the materials selection policy adopted by the Board, for effectiveness of library services to the public, and for the library’s financial operation within the limitations of the approved budget. The librarian shall attend all Board meetings and shall advise the Board in library matters, including making policy and budget recommendations, but exercise no vote.
ARTICLE 5: Committees
Section 1: Appointment
The Board of Trustees shall appoint committees of one or more members each for such specific purposes as the business of the Board may require from time to time. Members of the greater Plainfield community shall be considered for appointment to an identified committee at the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees. The committee shall be considered to be discharged upon the completion of the purpose for which it was appointed and after the final report is made to the Board.
Section 2: Reports
All committees shall make a progress report to the Board of Trustees at each Trustees' meeting until such a time as the committee has completed its purpose.
Section 3: Powers
No committee will have other than advisory powers unless, by suitable action of the Board, it is granted specific power to act.
ARTICLE 6: Meetings
Section 1: Annual Meeting
The November meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be considered the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Cutler Memorial Library. The meeting shall be duly warned as the annual meeting and the patrons of the Cutler Memorial Library and members of the greater Plainfield community shall be invited to attend in accordance with the state’s open meeting law as contained in 1 V.S.A. sec. 310, however voting privileges shall be reserved solely for the members of the Board of Trustees.
Section 2: Regular Meetings
The regular meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be at a time and place or virtual platform established by the Board and announced to the public by posting at the library and on the library website. Such posting shall occur at least 5 days in advance.
Section 3: Special Meetings
Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Chair, or upon written request of two members of the Board of Trustees, for the transaction of business as stated in the meeting request. Notice stating the time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which it was called shall be given each member of the Board of Trustees at least five days in advance of the meeting and duly warned to the public.
Section 4: Emergency Meetings
An emergency meeting of the Board may be called by the Chair, or upon written request of two members of the Board of Trustees, for the transaction of business as stated in the meeting request. Notice stating the time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which it was called shall be given each member of the Board of Trustees at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting and public posting of the meeting time and location and purpose shall occur at least 24 hours prior to such emergency meeting.
Section 5: Quorum
A quorum for transaction of business shall consist of a simple majority, except for the purposes of amendment to the by-laws which will require a two-thirds majority present.
Section 6: Open Meeting Law
All meetings of the Board shall be subject to the state’s Open Meeting Law, as contained in 1 V.S.A. sec. 310. In particular all meetings are open to the public unless held in executive session under terms of the law. A notice of all meetings, except in case of emergency, shall be posted at the Cutler Memorial Library, and other locations as directed by the Board of Trustees, at least 48 hours beforehand. Further, all records of minutes of meetings shall be available for public inspection.
ARTICLE 7: Duties of the Board of Trustees
Engage in an on-going planning process which assesses the needs of the library and the performance of the library in meeting community needs; and ensure that the library develops to meet those needs.
Recruit, select, appoint a librarian.
Prepare a written employment contract for the librarian, detailing the basic conditions of employment and conduct an annual evaluation of the librarian.
Establish, and maintain, a written policy for the selection of library materials and the use of library materials and facilities which is in accord with the current standards of the American Library Association.
The Board shall determine policies relative to the use of the library by organizations and groups, the maintenance and use of special collections, the acceptance of gifts, and the disposition of unsuitable materials, and policies for meeting special needs of patrons and personnel.
Determine, in consultation with the librarian, library policies and maintain a written record of them.
Advise the librarian in preparation of the library budget, adopt the final budget document, and participate in its presentation to funding sources, and work for its adoption by funding sources.
Through the librarian, monitor the maintenance of buildings and grounds, and regularly review facility needs to see that they meet the requirement of the total library program.
Speak and act as an advocate for the library in the community and participate in an active public relations program.
Study and support legislation that will benefit the library and the larger library community of which it is a part.
It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to review and approve proposals from any and all community-based organizations requesting to utilize the non-profit status of the Cutler Memorial Library for the purpose of receiving grant funding. This authorization can be made only by the Board of Trustees and requires a ⅔ majority of the full Board for approval. Criteria for approval shall be based upon: community need, benefit to the library, ability of the community organization to meet grant reporting responsibilities, the financial or administrative responsibilities it would impose upon the Cutler Memorial Library, or other factors determined by the Board and relayed to the community organization. A formal letter of approval or denial will be given for all requests. The Board may choose to waive any administrative fees connected with the grant.
ARTICLE 8: Collective Authority of the Board
The Board makes all decisions of the Board as a collective body. No individual may make decisions or act or speak for the Board unless specifically authorized to do so by a vote of the membership of the Board.
ARTICLE 9: Rules of Order
Except as provided for by these by-laws, the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.
ARTICLE 10: Revision
Any revision of these by-laws shall be adopted at a regular meeting with ⅔ majority of the full Board and by a ⅔ majority of the members present, providing a motion presenting the amendment was made and seconded at the preceding regular meeting.
Revised: April 19, 2007
Revised: February 7, 2012
Revised: February 11, 2021