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Article I:
Identification and Authority

Part 1.Name:

The name of the library district shall be known and designated as the “Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County Library.”

Part 2.Authority:

The activities and business of  the Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County shall be covered by the Public Library Law of 1947 (Ch. 321 of the Acts of 1947 of the Indiana General Assembly) as amended from time to time (IC 20-14-1-1-20-13-1-24).

Article II:
Purpose and District Limits

Part 1.Purpose:

The purpose of the library district shall be to promote the establishment, maintenance and development of public library service to individuals and groups.  Such library service is to be supported by public funds and operated for the benefit and use of individuals and groups of all ages in the community in the meeting of their educational, informational and recreational interests and needs.


Part 2.District Limits:

The territory included in this library district shall consist of Pleasant and York townships in Steuben County in the State of Indiana.

Article III:
Powers and Governing Body

Part 1. Public Corporation:

The Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County shall be a public and municipal corporation for library purposes, separate and distinct from other civil or municipal corporations comprising said library district.



Part 2.Governing Body:

The official governing body of the Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County shall be the Library Board.

The Library Board shall govern and set policy for all of the affairs of the Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County.

The Library Board shall employ and discharge librarians and other persons who are necessary in the administration and management of the Library. 

The Board shall, with the advice and recommendations of the Library Director:

Fix and pay their compensation

Classify them and adopt schedules of salaries, and

Determine their number and prescribe their duties

Individuals serving on the governing body shall be known as Library Board Members.


Part 3.Powers:

The Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County acting by and through the Library Board shall have and enjoy all powers, rights and privileges granted to and shall perform all duties required of a library district and its Board under the Public Library Law of 1947, as amended.


Article IV:

Members of the Library Board

Part 1.Qualifications of Members:

All members of the Library Board shall be resident citizens who have resided in the library district for at least two (2) years and be at least eighteen years of age.

Part 2.Appointment of the Library Board Members:

The Library Board shall consist of seven (7) members who shall be appointed as follows:

Two (2) members shall be appointed by Board of County Commissioners.


Three (3) members shall be appointed by the Board of School Commissioners


Two (2) members shall be appointed by the County Council.

Part 3.Liability:

IC 34-4-11.5 provides that board members are immune from civil liability arising from negligent performance of duties.  “Performance” is defined as acts pertaining to the setting of policy and the controlling or overseeing of the activities or functional responsibilities of the library.



Part 4.Vacancies:

A vacancy shall occur by death, resignation, expiration of a term, or when a member is absent from six consecutive board meetings for any cause other than illness.  Whenever a vacancy in the membership of the library board shall occur, such vacancy shall be filled by the appropriate appointing authority.  Such an appointment shall be for the unexpired term only.


Part 5.Limitation of Reappointment:

Any member of the Library Board shall be eligible to be reappointed for not more than four (4) consecutive terms.  The consecutive terms shall be computed without regard to a change in the appointing authority that appointed the member.


Part 6.Removal of Board Members:

A member of the Library Board may be removed at any time by the appointing authority, after a public hearing, for any cause which interferes with the proper discharge of duties as a member of such a Board or for cause which jeopardized public confidence in the member.  A vacancy shall occur whenever a member is absent from six (6) consecutive Board meetings for any cause, other than illness, and the appointing authority shall be notified by the Secretary of the Board of the occurrence of such vacancy.


Part 7.Compensation and Prohibition of Employment:

All members of the Library Board shall serve without compensation and no Board member shall serve as a paid employee of the library. Close relatives of Board members or the staff shall not be employed by the Library.  “Close relatives” shall be defined as parent, sibling, spouse, child, grandchild, grandparent, mother/father-in-law, brother/sister-in-law, daughter/son-in-law.


Part 8.Indemnification of Members:

The Board shall indemnify any member made a party to any action, suit or proceeding in tort or contract, or for violation of any of the civil rights laws, State, Federal or local, under which the member is or could be subject to personal civil liability for a loss occurring because of a non-criminal act or omission within the scope of their membership on the Board.  This indemnification shall include any judgement, compromise, or settlement of the action, suit or proceeding; and reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees actually and reasonably incurred by the member in connection with the defense of such action, suit or proceeding, or in connection with any appeal therein, except in relation to matters as to which it shall be adjudged in such action, suit or proceeding that a board member is liable for gross negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of his or her duties.  The rights of indemnification and reimbursement contained in this by-law shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which a member may be entitled by Statute or otherwise.


Article V:

Officers of the Library Board

Part 1. Officers:

The officers shall be President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary, all of whom, except Treasurer, shall be elected from the members of the Library Board.  The Treasurer may be a Board Member.  The Director of the Library is not eligible to be designated as Treasurer.


Part 2. Tenure of Office:

No person shall hold the same office for more than two consecutive years, except the Treasurer.  Normally, the term of office shall be from January 1 through December 31.


Part 3.Election of Officers:

All elections shall be by nomination and roll call.  A majority of the members of the Board (four votes) shall be necessary to elect any officer of the Board at any regular meeting of the Board or at any special meeting of the Board called for that purpose.


Part 4.Removal of Officers:

Any officer may be removed from office before the expiration of term of office for cause, by affirmative vote of at least a majority of the members of the Board (four votes) at any regular meeting of the Board or at any special meeting of the Board called for that purpose.


Part 5.Vacancies:

When a vacancy occurs during the term of any officer, the Board shall elect a successor at the next regular meeting of the Board after the vacancy occurs to fill out the unexpired term of the office.


Part 6.President:

The president shall:


Preside at all meetings;

Appoint all committees, including chairman;

Authorize calls for any special meeting;

Generally perform the duties of a presiding officer;

Serve as ex-officio member of all committees.


Part 7.Vice-President:

The vice-president shall:


Perform the duties of the president in the latter’s absence;

In the case of a vacancy in the presidency through death, disability, absence from the country, or other cause, the vice-president shall serve as acting president until a president shall be elected or the disability removed.


Part 8.Secretary:

The secretary shall:


See that a record of attendance at the Board meeting is kept;

See that a true and accurate account of all proceedings of the Board meeting is  maintained.  Board minutes may be recorded by a staff member appointed by the Library Director and approved by the Library Board.  Minutes for the previous month  will be approved by the Board at each meeting;

Inform the President when a Board vacancy occurs;

See that Board members are notified of all meetings, and of changes in the hour, and/or date, and/or place of the regular meeting.

Conduct correspondence in the name of the Board.


Part 9.Treasurer:


The treasurer shall:


Receive, have custody of, and see that a true and accurate record is kept of all money and securities of the library;

Disburse the funds of the library as authorized by the Board upon a warrant signed by the treasurer ;

See that a true and accurate financial report is made each month and presented to the Board;

Be bonded in an amount determined by the Board, the cost of said bond shall be paid from the library operating fund.

No officer, except the Treasurer, shall hold the same office for more than two consecutive years.

In the absence of the treasurer, the bookkeeper may stamp the treasurer’s facsimile signature on checks which are required to issue payroll and any allowable payments due and with proper notification to the treasurer.  The treasurer shall act as board secretary in the absence of the board secretary when a signature is required for legal documents.




Article VI:


Part 1. Special Committees

Special committees for the study and investigation of special problems may be appointed by the president.  No committee shall have other than advisory powers to the board unless, by the action of the board, the committee is granted specific authority to act on behalf of the board.


Such committees are to serve until the completion of the work for which they were appointed, or until the completion of the term of the Board Member, whichever shall first occur.



Article VII:

Meeting Procedures

Part 1.Regular Meetings

The regular meeting of the Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County Board shall be held on the second Monday of each month at 4: 00 p.m. at the library building.

The Board may, by resolution adopted at any regular or special meeting, change the date and/or hour and/or place, of any subsequent regular meeting of the Board.


Part 2. Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Board for the election of officers shall be held in the December regular meeting of each year.


Part 3. Special Meeting

Special meetings may be called by the President, or upon the written request of two members to the President.  Only such business may be transacted as shall be stated in the call of such special meeting.

Forty-eight (48) hours notice of a special meeting shall be given all Board members.  Such notice may be given by telephone call, telegram, or in writing, provided that if all members of the Board are present, or sign a waiver of notice and consent to hold such a special meeting, no notice shall be necessary.


Part 4. Notice of Meetings

Public notice of the date, time and place of any meetings, executive sessions, or of any rescheduled or reconvened meeting, shall be given at least forty-eight (48) hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) before the meeting.  This requirement does not apply to reconvened meetings (not including executive sessions) where announcement of the date, time, and place of the reconvened meeting is made at the original meeting and recorded in the memoranda and minutes thereof, and there is no change in the agenda.

Public notice shall be given by the governing body of a public agency by:

Posting a copy of the notice at the principal office of the public agency holding the meeting or, if no such office exists, at the building where the meeting is to be held.

Depositing in the United States mail with postage prepaid or by delivering notice to all news media which deliver by January I an annual written request for such notices for the next succeeding calendar year to the governing body of the public agency.  If a governing body comes into existence after January 1, it shall comply with this subdivision upon receipt of a written request for notice.

Notice of regular meetings need be given only once each year, except that an additional notice shall be given where the date, time, or place of a regular meeting or meetings is changed.  This subsection does not apply to executive sessions.

If a meeting is called to deal with an emergency involving actual or threatened injury to person or property, or actual or threatened disruption of the governmental activity under the jurisdiction of the public agency by any event, then the time requirements of notice under this section shall not apply, but:

News media which have requested notice of meetings must be given the same notice as is given to the members of the governing body; and

The public must be notified by posting a copy of the notice according to this section.

Notice has not been given in accordance with this section if a governing body of a public agency convenes a meeting at a time so unreasonably departing from the time stated in its public notice that the public is misled or substantially deprived of the opportunity to attend, observe, and record the meeting.


Part 5. Executive Sessions

Executive sessions may be held only in the following instances:

Initiation of litigation or litigation that is either pending or has been threatened specifically in writing.

The implementation of security systems.

The purchase or lease of real property by the governing body up to the time a contract or option to purchase or lease is executed by the parties.

To receive information about and interview prospective employees.

With respect to any individual over whom the governing body has jurisdiction:

To receive information concerning the individual’s alleged misconduct; and

To discuss, before a determination, the individual’s status as an employee.

To discuss a job performance evaluation of individual employees.

This subdivision does not apply to a discussion of the salary, compensation, or benefits of employees during a budget process.

A final action must be taken at a meeting open to the public.

Public notice of executive sessions must state the subject matter by specific reference to the enumerated instance or instances for which executive sessions may be held under subsection (a).  The memoranda and minutes must identify the subject matter considered by specific reference to the enumerated instance or instances for which public notice was given.  The governing body shall certify by a statement in the memoranda and minutes of the governing body that no subject matter was discussed in the executive session other than the subject matter specified in the public notice.

A governing body may not conduct an executive session during a meeting, except as otherwise permitted by applicable statute.  A meeting may not be recessed and reconvened with the intent of circumventing this subsection.


Part 6. Quorum

Four members shall constitute a quorum at any regular, annual or special meeting.  For a motion to pass in a quorum, three “yes” votes shall be necessary.


Part 7.Voting

Voting on all matters of business may be by verbal ayes and nays or by a show of hands, unless a record of the vote is required.  When a record is required or desired, the vote shall be by show of hands, followed by a roll call response.

All resolutions require four “yes  votes in a seven member meeting to pass.

The order of voting of a recorded vote shall be by roll call in alphabetical order,  except for the president who shall vote last.

The presiding officer shall announce the result of the vote.

In the absence of a quorum at a regularly scheduled meeting, bills may be approved for payment with the unanimous approval of those members present.


Article VIII:


Part 1.Director of the Public Library

The Library Board shall select a director. The selection of a librarian shall be made solely upon the basis of the candidate’s training and proficiency in the science of library administration.  The Board shall fix the compensation of the director.  The director, as the administrative head of the library, is responsible to the Board for the operation and management of the library according to the policies as set forth by the Board.

The Director of the Public Library shall be responsible for the care of the building and equipment, for the employment and direction of the staff, for the efficiency of the Library’s service to the public, and for the operation of the Library under the financial conditions set forth in the annual budget.

The Director of the Public Library shall attend all meetings of the Board and present reports on the operation of the Library.

The Director of the Public Library shall make recommendations to the Board for the annual budget of the Library.


Part 2.Attorney


The Board may retain an attorney and establish a retainer rate for the attorney, but for litigated cases extra compensation shall be allowed to be determined by the reasonable worth of such service.

The President of the Board or the Director of the Public Library may at any time request the legal opinion of the attorney upon any matter coming within the jurisdiction of the Board.  In all cases, the matter as to which such opinion is asked shall be stated in writing, and a copy of such written statement shall be returned by the attorney with his opinion to the Board.

Article IX:


Part 1. Bids

Any contract of indebtedness under the amount of $25,000 shall be sought on the open-market by the Board without advertising for bids.


Part 2. Claims

No claim shall be recommended to be paid by the Board until it has received the approval of the Director of the Public Library.


Part 3. Claim Payment.

No claim shall be paid until it has been submitted to and approved by the Board, save the bills offering discount for immediate payment or a penalty for deferred payment may be paid and reported to the Board at its next meeting.


Part 4. Claim Approval

The method of approving claims is as follows:

Each claim is listed in a resolution presented at the Board meeting showing claim number, name of claimant and amount allowed.

The resolution so presented and passed is signed by a majority of the Board Members.


Part 5. Warrants

Bills when allowed, shall be paid by a warrant signed by the treasurer.


Part 6. Reimbursement

Board Members and the Director of the Public Library will be reimbursed for all necessary registration, transportation, hotel, meals, and miscellaneous expenses while traveling on library business upon the presentation of invoices and receipts.


Part 7. Credit Cards

The Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County approves the use of certain credit cards for authorized library purchases.


Employees authorized to use library credit cards are: the director, the administrative assistant, and the head of circulation.

The cards are to be kept in a locked safe, retrieved for each use, and returned to the safe upon return to the library.

No interest, carrying charges, or penalties are to be incurred due to late payments.  All claims filed in connection with the use of the credit cards must be itemized before being approved and paid.  If the claims are not itemized or properly documented, they should be returned to the employee for correction.  If any interest or penalty is incurred due to late filing or the furnishing of documentation by an employee, the employee should be held responsible for paying the interest or penalty charged.

All credit card purchases must be business related and not personal in nature.


Article X:

Order of Business

Part 1. Agenda

Board Members are to submit to the President and/or Director of the Public Library items they want included on the agenda at least seven days prior to the meeting.


Part 2.Order of Board Meeting Business

Call to order and roll call;

Hearing of petitions of individuals or delegations.  Only one member may speak for a delegation.  A ten minute limit will be allowed for each speaker;

Verification and approval of minutes;

Report of the Treasurer;

Approval and signing of the claims resolution;

Report of special committees;

Unfinished business;

New business;

Report of the Director of the public library;

Next meeting date, place and time;



Article XI:

Amendment, Suspension, Review

Part 1. Amendments

These By-Laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board, provided the Board Members were notified 7 days prior to the meeting, or by unanimous vote of all seven members of the board present.


Part 2. Suspension

Any provision of the By-Laws, including the provisions of this article, which does not embody the provisions of an applicable statute, may be suspended by a five-sevenths vote of all the members of the Board, but not otherwise, and no action of the Board in conflict with the By-Laws shall be valid and effectual unless, as a part of said action, said rules have been suspended as provided above.


Part 3. Amendments or Repeals

Any section of the By-Laws may be amended or repealed and any new and additional rules may be adopted by a five-sevenths vote of all members of the Board, and not otherwise.


Part 4. Resolutions

All  new and additional By-Laws, and all amendments of the By-Laws shall be by written resolution, stating the full text and indicating specifically affected sections of the By-Laws.  The resolution as originally presented, or as amended by majority vote, shall then be voted upon and adopted or refused.


Article XII:

Parliamentary Guidance


The rules of parliamentary practice as found in Robert’s Rules of Order, newly revised, shall govern the proceedings of this Board, subject to the By-Laws, Procedures, and Policies, which have been or may be adopted by the Board.

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