A. Corporate Status of Board
A library board constitutes a body corporate and politic (Kansas Statutes Annotated 12-1223) and possesses the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes. Under its legal name of “The Board of Directors of the Lincoln Library”, the board may contract, sue, and be sued, and acquire, hold and convey real and personal property in accordance with the law.
“Concerning a library board, most of its powers are exercised independently of any control by the governing body of the parent municipality. The board treasurer is the custodian of all library funds and has sole control over the expenditures thereof. Notwithstanding this relative autonomy of the operation of a municipal service, i.e., a city or county library, and as such, it should be regarded as part of the parent municipality.” (Kansas Municipal Accountant Bulletin, April, 1979.)
B. Statutory Powers and Duties of the Library Board
Kansas statues Annotated 12-1225 outlines the powers and duties of all public library boards:
• To make and adopt rules and regulations for the administration of the library.
• With the approval of the governing body of the municipality, to purchase or lease a site or sites and to lease or erect a building or buildings for the use of the library.
• To acquire by purchase, gift, or exchange, books, magazines, papers, printed materials, slides, pictures, films, projection equipment, phonograph records, and other material and equipment deemed necessary by the board for the maintenance and extension of modern library services.
• To employ a Director and such other employees as are deemed necessary and to set their salaries.
• To establish and maintain a library or libraries and traveling library service within the municipality or within any other municipality with which service contract arrangements have been made.
• To contract with other legally established libraries or with a governing body of a municipality not maintaining a library for the furnishing of library service to its inhabitants, and to contract with any school board to furnish library service to any school library or use the library facilities of the public school to supplement the facilities of the public library.
• To receive, accept and administer any state or federal grants given for the purpose of aiding or providing library service.
• To receive and accept any gift or donation to the library and administer it according to any provision which may be specified.
• To make annual reports to the State Librarian and the governing body of the municipality with statistical information for the preceding year, showing receipts and disbursements of all funds under its control, information relating to library materials acquired and on hand, number of library users, library services and other information as may be required.
• To place money received for library purposes from sources other than a tax levy in a separate fund or funds, unless otherwise specified by the grantor or donor.
Lincoln Library Board By-Laws
This organization shall be called “The Board of Directors of the Lincoln Library”, existing by virtue of the provisions of K.S.A. 12-1222, with powers and duties as provided in K.S.A. 12-1215 and K.S.A. 12-1225 of the laws of the State of Kansas.
The mission of this public library is “to enrich the quality of life for the Medicine Lodge community and outlying areas by providing library resources for information, learning, and recreation. We support lifelong learning and advancement of skills for all ages with an up-to-date collection and technology services and programs.”
The taxing area of the public library corresponds to the boundaries of the City of Medicine Lodge. The primary service area of the public library includes the City of Medicine Lodge and surrounding areas of Barber County.
The Library Board of the City Library consists of seven (7) members appointed by the mayor with the approval of the city council (K.S.A. 12-1222). In addition to the appointed members, the mayor shall be an ex-officio member of the board which means that by virtue of the office or position, the mayor is a member. To be eligible for appointment to the board, a person must reside within the library’s tax district which corresponds to the boundaries of the City of Medicine Lodge. A library board member who moves outside the boundaries of the tax district must resign and a new member will be appointed in his/her place.
The officers of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Library shall consist of a chair, vice-chair, a secretary, and a treasurer, whose duties shall be those usually pertaining to these officers. They shall be elected at the annual meeting in May or serve until their successors are elected.
The regular meetings shall be held monthly on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm, unless otherwise ordered by the Board. The regular meeting in May shall be the annual meeting. Unless waived, written notice of each regular meeting shall be mailed/emailed to each member of the Board not less than three (3) days prior to such meeting date. If unable to attend, members should notify the Chair.
Special meetings shall be called at any time by the Chair or at the written request of a majority of the members. Written notice stating time and place of any special meeting as well as the purpose for the special meeting shall be given each member of the Board at least two (2) days in advance of such special meeting, and no business other than that stated in the notice shall be transcribed at such meeting.
Four members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of the chair and vice-chair of the Board, the members present shall elect a temporary chair. Members with more than two unexcused absences from meetings will be considered inactive and informed in writing that a replacement to the board will be sought.
There also shall be such special committees as may be required. They shall be appointed by the chair of the Board, unless otherwise ordered, and shall perform such duties as may be assigned to them by motion or resolution adopted.
The Board has the responsibility of making and directing the policy of the Library, in accordance at all times with the statutes of the State of Kansas. Its responsibilities include promotion of library interests, securing adequate funds to carry on the work satisfactorily, and the administration and control of library funds, property, and equipment.
The Board shall select a Director who shall be the administrative officer under the direction and review of the Board. The Director shall be responsible for the employment and direction of the staff in accordance with the personnel policy in the library’s policy manual. The policy manual shall be adopted by the Board for the efficiency of the library’s service to the public, for the operation of the library under the financial conditions set forth in the annual budget, and for such responsibilities are delegated to the Director by the Board of Directors. The Director shall attend all regular and special board meetings.
The by-laws of the Lincoln Library should be reviewed once every three years or as necessary. These by-laws may be repealed, amended or revised at any regular meeting of the Board by a majority of a quorum, providing, however, that such proposed repeal, amendment or revision shall first be submitted in writing at a regular meeting of the Board and sent to those members not present. Such proposal shall not be acted upon prior to a subsequent regular meeting of the Board, and notice of intended repeal, amendment or revision shall be included in the notice of such meeting.
Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the proceedings of the Board. A copy will be present at each meeting and available for board members upon request.
Lincoln Library Board Policy
A. Orientation of New Trustees
Trustees are volunteers for the library who usually have a full-time job of their own. It is the responsibility of the Director and the Board Chairperson to make sure that the new trustees are given the information they need to be effective board members. Information about the ethical responsibilities of trustees and opportunities about continuing education and training opportunities for trustees should be included in the orientation.
Orientation of new library trustees should begin as soon as possible after the new trustee is appointed. Components of a trustee orientation program are listed below.
New trustees should meet with the Director to learn about the following library topics:
o Organization and governance
o Funding and budgeting
o Day-to-day operations
o Services to the community
o Links to other resources and libraries
o Roles of the library director and board
New members should meet with the Library Chair to learn about the following topics:
o The legal basis of the board
o Officers and committees
o Meeting location and schedule
o Responsibilities and expectations
o Goals, long-range plans and projects in progress
o Roles of the library director and board
New members should be given a packet that includes:
o List of board members with names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses
o By-laws of the board
o Minutes of the previous year’s board meetings
o Staff list with position descriptions
o Library policy manual
o Library long range plan
o Statistical reports on circulation and services
o Current budget and financial reports
o Any library brochures or other public information distributed by the library
B. Board Training
It is critical for library board members to have training in board development, group dynamics, effective meetings, funding issues, library policy, advocacy, community partnering, technology planning and other topics.
Trustees of the Lincoln Library shall participate in continuing education activities as needed. If the board desires to set up a training session on a topic of concern to the trustees, they may contact South Central Kansas Library System or Kansas Library Trustee Association for assistance.
C. Ethics Statement for Public Library Trustees
Trustees must promote a high level of library service while observing ethical standards. Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the Library.
It is incumbent upon any trustee to disqualify oneself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists. Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the institution, acknowledging the formal position of the board even if they personally disagree with it.
A trustee must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.
Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.
D. Library Board
Library Board of the City Library consists of seven (7) members appointed by the mayor with the approval of the city council (K.S.A. 12-1222). In addition to the appointed members, the mayor shall be an ex-officio member of the board which means that by virtue of the office or position, the mayor is a member. Attorney General Opinion 79-94 states that the mayor may vote even though an ex-officio member. Ex-officio refers to one who is a member by virtue of title to certain office and has the same rights, privileges, powers and duties as members duly appointed.
a. Selecting Board Members
Acceptance of a position on the library board constitutes a public trust; therefore, care should be taken in the appointment of trustees. Board members should represent a cross section of the community in the areas of age and socio-economic levels.
Generally, a good trustee should have the following qualities:
o Imagination, dedication and vision
o Understanding of the community, its needs and resources
o Knowledge of the community’s leaders and organizations
o Interest in the library, its service, and capacity for growth and improvement
o Knowledge of the board’s legal responsibility and authority
o Ability to devote time and effort to board meetings and activities
o Ability to work cooperatively with other board members; knowledge of public library laws and federal, state and local laws and regulations which concern libraries, and
o Enthusiasm for carrying out new programs including securing new funding sources for the library
b. Terms and Appointment of Board Members
Terms of city library board members must be staggered. The members first appointed shall be appointed as follows:
One (1) member appointed for a term expiring the first April 30 following the date of appointment;
Two (2) members appointed for terms expiring the second April 30 following the date of appointment;
Two (2) members appointed for terms expiring the third April 30 following date of appointment; and
Two (2) members appointed for terms expiring the fourth April 30 following date of appointment.
Thereafter, upon the April 30 expiration of each term, successors will be appointed in like manner to fill the vacancies created and each member will serve a term of four (4) years.
Attorney General Opinion, September 4, 1964 states that a board member can serve two four-year consecutive terms on the board. No person who has been appointed for two (2) consecutive four-year terms to the library board shall be eligible for further appointment to the board until two (2) years after the expiration of the second term.
Attorney General Opinion 73-125 states that a person appointed to serve an unexpired term remains eligible for two consecutive four-year terms upon completion of the unexpired term.
Vacancies occurring on the board shall be filled by appointment by the mayor with the approval of the city council or commission for the unexpired term.
c. Expired Terms of Board Members
If a board member’s term has expired but he or she has not yet been reappointed, there is a solution to the situation. Attorney General Opinion 79-282 states: “Upon the expiration of their terms, members of a public library board may continue to serve as de facto officials until such time as either their reappointment or the appointment of successors is approved. Any acts taken by them while in a de facto position are as binding on the public as if they were de jure members”.
d. Attendance at Board Meetings
All board members should attend board meetings. Any board member who is absent from three consecutive board meetings or misses more than six meetings in a calendar year shall forfeit his/her appointment and a new board member will be appointed according to the procedure outlined in “Terms and Appointments for Board Members”.
e. SCKLS Representative (Lincoln Library Director)
As a consequence of the Lincoln Library’s membership in the South Central Kansas Library System, a representative to the SCKLS Board will be elected annually in May. The representative may be a library board member, the Director or any individual the Library Board designates. The Lincoln Library SCKLS Representative is responsible for attending the semi-annual meetings (held the last Monday in April and October) and monitoring, representing and voting on behalf of the Library Board on SCKLS matter.
f. Officers and Their Duties
The officers of the board are as follows:
• Draws up an agenda for board meetings with the assistance of the Library Director
• Presides at meetings and functions usually designated for such office
• Guides discussion and ensures adequate coverage of agenda topics during meetings
• Signs all contracts and checks along with the Treasurer
• Serves in the absence of the President
• Handles all Board correspondence
• Records the proceedings of each meeting in a book provided for the purpose.
• Notes the minutes from the most previous meeting, corrects them if necessary and requests and records their approval.
• Signs checks; reconciles bank statements; makes special financial deposits of memorials, donations, etc.; verifies balance in regular and special accounts
• Assists the Library Director with the financial portion of the annual state statistical report
• With the approval and guidance of the Lincoln Library Board, prepares and presents annual budget to City Council
• Ensures that vouchers and checks are signed by the appropriate board members
Except when the Director’s salary or dismissal is being
considered, the director should attend board meetings. Board meetings should follow the procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order.
E. Board Meetings
Unless otherwise ordered by the Board, the Board has set the date and place of its regular monthly meetings to be held on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Lincoln Library.
In order to conduct business at any meeting a quorum of four (4) members must be present. State laws defines a quorum as one more than half the membership.
Special meetings may be called by the Chair or upon written request by a majority of the members (K.S.A. 12-1224 and 12-1243). No business except that for which the meeting was called may be transacted at a special meeting.
An agenda should be prepared by the Chair and the Director and given or sent to members prior to the meeting. The agenda should follow this pattern:
• Minutes of previous meeting
• Correspondence and communications
• Treasurer’s report
• Report of standing and special committees
• Unfinished business
• New business, and
b. Minutes of Meetings
Because the secretary’s minutes are the official record of board action, they should include:
• The purpose of the meeting (whether regular or special). The time, the place, those attending, and approval of the minutes of the last meeting
• Complete record of official action taken by the board relative to the library director’s report; communications; the treasurer’s report; and all other business transacted
• Record of adjournment (no business may be legally transacted following adjournment)
• The secretary must record all motions exactly as stated and show whether adopted or rejected since this is the legal voice of the board, and only that information recorded in the minutes can be considered official
A regular procedure in recording motions should be followed.
The following example is a suggested form:
• First Name and Last Name moved and First Name and Last seconded that the board authorize the purchase of a _______ as recommended by the library director. Yes – Last Name, Last Name, Last Name. No – Last Name, Last Name, Last Name.
• Motion carried
c. Open Meetings
State law (K.S.A. 75-4317 and 75-4318) specifies that all public library board meetings shall be open to the public and no binding action by the board shall be taken by secret ballot. Notice of all the regular meetings shall be posted in the library and provided to the City of Medicine Lodge at least 72 hours in advance of any meeting. Notice of all special meetings shall be posted in the library and provided to the City of Medicine Lodge at least 48 hours in advance of any meeting. The date, time and place of the board meetings or an agenda for the meetings shall be provided to any person requesting the information.
d. Executive Sessions During Board Meetings
If a formal motion is made, seconded and carried, the Board may recess form regular or special meeting at a specified time to a closed or executive meeting, provided no binding action shall take place during the closed door session and provided the purpose of the executive session is stated. (K.S.A. 75-4319).
The motion to recess must include a statement of the justification for closing the meeting, the subjects to be discussed during the executive session, and the time and place at which the open meeting shall resume. This information must be contained in the minutes. The law specifies that only certain subjects may be discussed during the closed session. Those which apply to libraries include:
• Personnel matters
• Consultation with an attorney for the library which would be deemed privileged in the attorney – client relationship
• Matters relating to employer – employee negotiations
• Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trusts
• And preliminary discussion relating to the acquisition of real property
The Secretary should also keep a note of when members arrive and leave during meetings in order to prove the existence of a quorum during the entire meeting. In addition, the Secretary writes official correspondence of the board and keeps copies filed with the records.
F. Access to Public Records
The Director shall serve as the library’s Freedom of Information Officer in regard to duties outlined in the Kansas Open Records Act (K.S.A. 45-215 through 45-223). Under the Kansas Open Records Act, citizens have the following rights:
1. To inspect and obtain copies of public records which are not exempted from disclosure by a specific law.
2. To obtain a copy of the library’s policies and procedures for access to records and to request assistance from the library’s Freedom of Information Officer.
3. To bring a private lawsuit or to file a complaint with the Lincoln Library Board of Directors if you feel you are wrongfully denied records.
4. To receive a written response from the Library within three (3) business days of written request.
The Library’s response may inform the citizen that it will take additional time to produce the records. Reasons for additional time may include voluminous records, complicated request parameters, unresolved legal issues or difficulty in accessing archived records.
The Library’s reasons may legally deny the citizen’s request, in whole or in part. If the request is denied, the Library will identify generally the records to be denied and the specific legal authority for the denial.
A citizen has the responsibility of requesting a record or records, whether they are written, graphic or electronic. The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) does not require the Library to answer questions about the record or prepare reports. The Library requires that a citizen request a record in writing and provide proof of identity. As with other personal photocopy service from the Library there is a fee of .10/page. Records commonly requested include, but are not limited to policies; minutes/records of open meetings; salaries of Library employees and budget documents.
a. Exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA)
The KORA recognizes that certain records contain private or privileged information and may be designated by the Library as closed from the public. Accordingly, the Lincoln Library Board’s policy is that the following records whether in print, graphic or electronic format are confidential:
Exception 3 Medical treatment records
Exception 4 Personnel records of library employees
Exception 7 Library, archive or museum materials contributed by private persons to the extent of any limitations imposed as a condition of contribution
Exception 8 Information which would reveal the identity of an individual who lawfully makes a donation to the library if the anonymity of the donor is a condition of the donation
Exception 23 Library patron registration records and circulation or loan records which pertain to identifiable individuals
b. Retention of Records
According to the K.S.A. 12-120, the officers and employees of any city charged with the custody or having in their custody the following records, documents or other papers may destroy the same after they have been on file for the period stated:
(1) Claims and any purchase orders attached thereto, five years
(2) Warrants or warrant checks, whether originals or duplicates, that have been paid, five years
(3) Duplicates of receipts or stubs of receipts issued, three years
(4 & 5) Not applicable
(6) Duplicates or stubs of licenses issued for license fees or taxes, three years
(7) Bonds of officers or employees, 10 years, the period to begin at the termination of the term of the bond
(8) Insurance policies, five years, the period beginning at expiration of the policy
unless a claim is pending
(9) Canceled checks, five years
(10) Requisition and duplicate purchase orders, three years
(11) Bonds and coupons, if any, stamped paid or canceled and returned by the fiscal agent, six months, the period beginning at the date of maturity of the bond or coupon.
While this statue applies to city employees, it is followed as a general rule by library employees as well.