Bylaws of the Worthington Public Library (aka Worthington Libraries)

Article I. Name and Location

Section A. The Library Board

This organization shall be called the Board of Trustees of the Worthington Public Library (commonly referred to as Worthington Libraries). Its mailing address shall be:

Board of Trustees of Worthington Libraries
820 High Street
Worthington, OH 43085

Section B. The Library

The Library shall be called the Worthington Public Library (commonly referred to as Worthington Libraries). Its administrative offices are located at 820 High Street, Worthington, OH 43085. Its libraries are:

  • Old Worthington Library, 820 High Street, Worthington, OH 43085
  • Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, Columbus, OH 43235 (This is a joint library with the Columbus Metropolitan Library.)
  • Worthington Park Library, 1389 Worthington Centre Drive, Worthington, OH 43085

Article II. Mission

Worthington Libraries connect people to a world of ideas and each other.

Article III. Membership

Worthington Libraries is organized as a school district free public library in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3375. The library's Board of Trustees consists of seven members who are appointed by the Worthington Board of Education.

Section A. Tenure and Qualifications

Each library trustee is appointed to a seven year term. Appointments are staggered such that no more than one trustee term is scheduled to expire in the same year. By policy of the Board of Trustees of Worthington Libraries (Selection of Board Members policy), trustees may serve only one seven-year term. In the event that the incumbent of the term ending has been in that position for less than one half of a full term, that person may be recommended for reappointment.

A trustee must be either a qualified elector of the Worthington School District or a qualified elector who resides outside of the Worthington School District but within Franklin County. By law, a majority of the trustees (at least four) must be qualified electors of the Worthington School District. No one is eligible for membership of the library's Board of Trustees who is, or has been in the year previous to his or her appointment, a member of the Worthington School Board.

All library trustees serve without compensation. In general, trustees are guided in the performance of their duties by the most recent edition of the Ohio Public Library Trustees' Handbook.

Section B. Attendance

The insight and attention of each trustee is a valuable asset to the Board and the library. Therefore, regular attendance is expected.

Every effort should be made to inform the director of necessary absences at least 24 hours before the meeting in order to assure a quorum for the transaction of business. Any Board member missing four meetings during the calendar year, subject to due consideration and recommendation by the Board of Trustees, shall submit a resignation to the Board of Education.

Section C. Filling Vacancies

Vacancies on the Board will be filled in accordance with the Selection of Board Members policy.

Article IV. Duties and Powers of the Board

The Board of Trustees shall have all the powers and duties granted to it by law and detailed in Ohio Revised Code 3375.40. The Board shall determine and establish in accordance with the law, the basic policies of the library with respect to:

  • The appropriation and budgeting of funds.
  • The establishment and maintenance of the library and library services.
  • The acquisition, improvement, maintenance, insurance, use, and disposition of properties.
  • The hiring, compensation, and responsibilities of, and the personnel policies concerning, library employees.
  • The selection, collection, lending, and disposition of library materials.
  • The acceptance of gifts.

The policies approved by the Board shall remain in effect until changed or rescinded by further action of the Board. These policies shall be administered by library staff. The director shall maintain a file of all policies established by the Board for consultation and distribution as directed by the Board and as required by law.

The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for hiring the library director and appointing the library fiscal officer, and for ensuring that the director and fiscal officer carry out the policies of the library in an effective, efficient, and lawful manner.

All powers of the library Board are vested in it as a Board, and none at all in its individual members. The individual trustee has no power to act for the Board in any way, unless authorized to do so by the Board itself. Worthington Libraries will provide reasonable insurance coverage to indemnify trustees in the performance of their duties.

Article V. Officers of the Board

At the annual organization meeting the Board shall elect from its membership a president, vice-president, and secretary, each of whom shall serve a term of one year, commencing immediately upon election and continuing to the election of officers at the next annual organization meeting.

No board member shall hold more than one office at a time.

Vacancies in office shall be filled by vote at a regular meeting of the Board as soon as possible after the vacancy occurs.

Either the president, vice-president, or secretary shall sign, along with the fiscal officer, each check issued by the library. The president and secretary shall sign any conveyance of real property.

Section A. President

The president shall preside at all meetings of the Board; authorize calls for any special meetings; appoint all committees, with the consent of the Board; execute all documents authorized by the Board; sign the minutes after approval; and perform all other duties generally associated with that office. The president attends committee meetings whenever possible.

Section B. Vice President

If the president is absent or unavailable, or declines to act in the capacity of his office, or if the office of president is vacant, the vice-president shall have all the powers and duties of the president except as otherwise provided by law.

Section C. Secretary

The secretary shall preside at Board meetings in the absence of the president and vice-president. The secretary shall ensure that a true and accurate record of meetings of the Board is kept by the library director, for approval by the president and secretary of the Board.

Article VI. Board Meetings

Section A. Regular and Organization Meetings

The regular meetings shall be held each month, the date and hour to be set by the Board. The annual organization meeting shall be in January. Officers shall be elected and installed. At the same meeting, the Board shall elect and fix the compensation of a fiscal officer, who shall serve for a term of one year. The fiscal officer shall execute a bond in an amount and with surety approved by the Board, payable to the Board, and conditioned for the faithful performance of the official duties required. The Board shall appoint a deputy fiscal officer, for a term of one year, and authorize such deputy to receive and disburse funds. Such deputy shall execute a bond in the same manner as the fiscal officer.

Section B. Agenda

The order of business for regular meetings shall include, but not be limited to, the following items which shall be covered in the sequence shown so far as circumstances will permit.

  1. Roll call of members.
  2. Public participation.
  3. Minutes of previous regular meeting and any intervening special meeting.
  4. Submission of bills.
  5. Approval of monthly financial and investment statement.
  6. Director's report.
  7. Finance/Operations report.
  8. Committee reports.
  9. Old business.
  10. New business.
  11. Communications.
  12. Adjournment.

Section C. Public Participation

Visitors' comments will be entertained during the designated time for Public Participation at each Board meeting. The presiding officer may set a time limit for the comments. Each speaker will give his/her name and address. At the end of each visitor's comments, Board members may ask questions. Board members may respond to the speaker's questions and/or concerns or refer them to the appropriate Board committee for review. The committee will report back to the Board after review of the concerns.

Section D. Quorum and Rules of Proceedings

A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting shall consist of a majority of members of the Board. Proceedings of all meetings shall be governed by ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER.

Section E. Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by the president, or at the request of three or more members, for the transaction of business as stated in the call for the meeting.

Section F. Regulation for and notice of public meetings of the Board

  1. Meetings Declared Public. All meetings, including all committee meetings and any prearranged discussion, of the Board of Trustees of Worthington Libraries, except as provided herein, are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times.
  2. Minutes of Meetings. The minutes of said meetings, whether regular or special, shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection. The minutes of executive sessions, as hereinafter provided, need only reflect the general subject matter of items discussed in said executive sessions.
  3. Notice of Meetings. Notice of the time and place of all regular meetings and notice of the time, place and purpose of all special meetings of the Board of Trustees of the Worthington Libraries shall, in the case of a regular meeting, be given to a newspaper of general circulation in the school district at least seventy-two hours prior to such regular meeting and shall, in the case of a special meeting, be given to the news media that have requested notification at least twenty-four hours prior to such special meeting. In the event of an emergency requiring official action, the member or members calling the meeting shall notify the news media that have requested notification immediately of the time, place and purpose of the emergency meeting. Meetings will also be posted on the library's website.
  4. Written Request for Notification. Any person may, upon written request, receive advance notification of all meetings at which any type of public business is to be discussed. The director will make arrangements to give advance notice of board meetings to members of the public who wish to be notified by e-mail or phone prior to scheduled meetings. Members of the public should provide the director with self-addressed, stamped envelopes or an e-mail address for that purpose.
  5. Executive Session. The board or a committee appointed pursuant to these bylaws, may enter into executive session for purposes as described in the Ohio Open Meetings Act O.R.C. 121.22(G). The motion to hold an executive session shall state the purpose of such a session, and the motion must be approved in open meeting in a roll call vote by a majority of the quorum of the board or committee.
  6. Validity of Action. A resolution, policy statement, or formal action of any kind is invalid unless adopted in an open meeting of the Board of Trustees of Worthington Libraries. A resolution, policy statement or formal action adopted in an open meeting that results from deliberations in a meeting not open to the public is invalid unless the deliberations were for a purpose specifically authorized by applicable Ohio law and conducted at an executive session held in compliance with applicable Ohio law.

Article VII. Committees

The standing committees of the board shall be the Finance/Operations, Personnel and Planning/Library Services Committees, the Nominating Committee for Board Officers, the Nominating Committee for Trustee Candidates and the Records Commission. Ad hoc or temporary committees may be appointed and charged with specific tasks by the board president as required; such committees are automatically dissolved upon completion of the assigned tasks. Trustees are appointed to committees by the president. Committees serve an advisory role and make recommendations to the board; a committee has no other power, unless, by suitable action of the board, it is granted a specific power to act. All committee actions are subject to approval by a majority of the board. In general, committees will work in conjunction with the director and fiscal officer. See Appendix for an outline of specific duties and an annual timeline of the duties of the standing and sample ad hoc committees.

Section A. Finance/Operations Committee

The committee shall advise the board on all matters relating to the library budget, appropriations, funds, investments, finances, receipts, disbursements and operations, including building repairs. The committee shall also act as an Audit Committee to monitor and review the library's accounting and financial reporting practices, legal compliance, financial condition and controls over safeguarding of assets.

Section B. Personnel Committee

The committee shall advise the board on objectives and policies relating to personnel practices, standards, and problems.

Section C. Planning/Library Services Committee

The committee shall discuss with and advise the director and staff on options for the library's future, near and long term, and make recommendations to the board. The committee reviews possible changes in library services and recommends policy changes to the board as appropriate.

Section D. Nominating Committee for Board Officers

A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the president at the November regular meeting and shall present a slate of officers at the December regular meeting. Additional nominations may be made from the floor at that time. The board will vote on the officers at its organization meeting in January.

Section E. Nominating Committee for Trustee Candidates

The committee recruits and interviews candidates for the upcoming trustee vacancy and recommends the name of a candidate for approval of the library board to be sent to the Worthington Board of Education for their consideration in making an appointment to the library board. The work of this committee is governed by the Selection of Board Members policy.

Section F. Records Commission

The Records Commission shall consist of the Board of Trustees and the fiscal officer. The commission shall meet at least once every twelve months and shall be responsible for overseeing the library's compliance with the Ohio Records Law as described in Chapter 149 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Article VIII. Library Director

The board shall appoint and fix the compensation of the library director. The director shall have full charge of the administration and operations of the library in accordance with the objectives and policies adopted by the board and under the direction and review of the board. The library director has the authority to administer, and is responsible for, the care of all buildings, furnishings, and equipment; for the employment and direction of library staff; for the selection, acquisition, and disposition of library materials; and for maintaining excellent library service.

The director shall serve at the discretion of the board. His or her employment shall be governed by the language of his or her contract and the policies of the library as adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Article IX. Fiscal Officer

The board shall appoint and fix the compensation of the fiscal officer. The fiscal officer is the library's chief financial officer and acts as the Board's financial agent in library matters. The fiscal officer shall administer and manage the funds of the library in accordance with law and with the objectives and policies adopted by the board and under the direction and review of the board. The fiscal officer has the authority to administer, and is responsible for, the receipt, deposit, and expenditure of, funds; the internal control of library expenditures; and the documenting and reporting of financial activity.

The fiscal officer shall serve at the discretion of the board and is appointed for a one-year term at the annual organization meeting of the Board of Trustees. His or her employment shall be governed by the language of his or her contract and the policies of the library as adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Article X. Ethics

The Board of Trustees subscribes to the statement of principles promulgated by the American Library Trustee Association as listed below, and is bound by the applicable statutes of the Ohio Ethics Law and the rulings of the Ohio Ethics Commission.

Ethics Statement for Public Library Trustees

  • Trustees in the capacity of trust upon them, shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity and honor.
  • Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the institution.
  • It is incumbent upon any trustee to disqualify himself/herself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.
  • Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statement between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the institution, acknowledging the formal position of the board even if they personally disagree.
  • 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.
  • Trustees who accept library board responsibilities are expected to perform all of the functions of library trustees.

Adopted by the Board of Directors of the American Library Trustee Association, July, 1985.
Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association, July, 1985.
Amended by the Board of Directors of the American Library Trustee Association, July, 1988.
Approval of the amendment by the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association, January, 1989.

Article XI. Amending of Bylaws

When necessary, the Finance/Operations Committee will review the bylaws and recommend changes to the board.

These bylaws may be amended at any board meeting by the affirmative vote of a majority of the full membership of the Board of Trustees provided that a notice of the proposed amendment shall have been included in the agenda for the meeting.

Article XII. Indemnification

Members of the Board of Trustees are covered by the library's Director's and Officer's Liability Policy, including their liability resulting from either institutional or individual lawsuits.

Revised by the Board of Trustees 2/25/2014.