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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
By-Laws Of The Chilmark Public Library
MAY, 1998


The Chilmark Public Library will strive to provide the best possible library service to all residents and taxpayers of Chilmark and the state of Massachusetts free, and to other visitors for a fixed fee.  The service will be given in accordance with the policies of the American Library Association, and the laws of Chilmark  and Massachusetts.

The Chilmark Public Library will retain its historic character, family orientation, and friendly, professional atmosphere at all times.  The Trustees and library staff will work continuously to understand and meet the current and future needs of this unique community, which is defined by both permanent and seasonal residents.

Our long-term goal is to continue to select and procure a balanced collection of materials for library users.  These materials are primarily recreational and for all-family enjoyment, with a secondary emphasis on education, reference, and local history.

We endorse and strive towards participation in local and regional networks composed of many types of libraries, so that access to information and materials may be available to all library users.

We welcome suggestions from library users in order to serve the community better.  We also encourage patrons to show their support by gifts and donations that comply with town, state and federal laws.

Article 1. Name and Authorization

The organization shall be called “The Board of Trustees of the Chilmark Public Library “, existing by virtue of the provisions of Ch. 78 et. Seq. Of the General Laws of Massachusetts, and exercising the power and authority, and assuming the responsibilities delegated to it under said statute.  

Article II.  Board of Trustees (The “Board”)
Section 1.  Number and qualifications

The governing body of the library is composed of three members elected in town election.

Section 2.  Term of office

The term of office shall be three years.

Section 3. Resignations

Any member of the Board of Trustees may resign by written notice filed with the Town Clerk/Board of Selectmen of the town of Chilmark, and with the Chairman or the secretary of the Board.

Section 4.  Vacancies

In the event of the vacancy or vacancies on the Board of Trustees prior to end of the individual(s) term(s) of office, Trustees shall recommend to the Board of Selectmen the names     of acceptable replacements.  The Trustees may suggest a single name or multiple names as they deem fit.  Such appointments shall be valid until the next town election when any remaining portion of a term of office shall be filled through election.

Article III. Officers

Section 1. Officers

The officers of the Chilmark Public Library shall be a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman and a

The Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary shall be elected by the Board of Trustees of  
The Chilmark Public Library at the Annual Meeting of the Board.  They shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting of the Board, and until their respective successors are elected.

Section 2. Duties of the Chairman

To serve as presiding member at all meetings of the Chilmark Public Library board.

To call special meetings of the Chilmark Public Library Board.

To serve ex-officio as a member of all committees of the Chilmark Public Library
Board and to preside at all meetings of such committees which he attends.

Section 3.  Duties of the Vice-Chairman

To perform the duties of the Chairman of the Chilmark Public Library Board at the request
of the Chair or in the Chair’s absence.

Section 4.  Duties of the Secretary

To keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board, to issue and post due          notice of all regular and special meetings, and to perform such other duties as are generally
associated with that office.

Article IV. Library Director and Staff

The Board shall appoint a qualified Library Director who shall be the executive and administrative officer of the library on behalf of the Board, under its review and direction.  The Director shall recommend to the Board the appointment, and specify the duties of the staff.  These duties shall include the care and maintenance of library property, adequate and proper selection of the books and other library materials in keeping with the stated policy of the Board, offering efficient library service to the public, and managing financial operation within the limitations of the budgeted appropriation.  (See Chapter 78, S. 34 attached.)

Article V.  Committees

Section 1.  Standing committees may be established as follows:

-Art Committee.  The duties of the Art Committee shall be advise the Trustees on matters affecting art objects held by the Library. Under authorization of the Trustees, the committee may give needed care to those objects.

-Building and Grounds Committee.  The duties of the Building and Grounds Committee
shall be to advise the Trustees on matters affecting the physical plant of the Library.

-Program Committee.  The duties of the Program Committee shall be to advise the Trustees on programs and special events under consideration for implementation for the library.

Section 2.  The Chairman shall appoint committees of one or more persons, who need not be members of the Board, each for specific purposes as the business of the Board may require from time to time.  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 3.  All committees shall make a progress report to the Library Board at each of its meetings.

Section 4. No committee will have other than advisory powers unless, by vote of the Board, it is granted specific powers to act.

Article VI. Meetings

Section 1. The Library Board shall meet on the first Monday of every month at 10:30 o’clock at the Chilmark Library, or at such other time and place as designated by the Board. The first meeting after the town election shall be the annual meeting.
Section 2. Open Meeting Law.  All meetings of the Trustees shall be subject to the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law, as elaborated in Massachusetts General Laws,
Ch. 39S 23A-23 C.  In part, 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 will be filed with the Town Clerk at least 48 hours beforehand and a copy of the notice will be posted in the town office.  Further, all records or minutes of meetings will be available for public inspection.

Section 3.  Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called by the Chairman, or upon written request of tow members, for the transaction of business, as stated in the meeting request.  Notice stating time and place of any special meeting, and the purpose for which called shall be posted as required by the commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law and in advance of the meeting.

Section 4. A quorum for transaction of business shall consist of a simple majority.

Section 5. Order of business at regular meetings shall be:

1. Call to order
2. Roll call
3. Adoption/amendment to agenda
4. Approval of minutes of previous meeting
5. Committee reports
6. Financial reports
7. Correspondence
8.  Chairman’s report
                9. Director’s report
10. Old business
11. New business, policy review and member education
12. Adjournment

Article VII. Duties of the Board of Trustees

1. Engage in an ongoing planning process which assesses the needs of the library and the role of the library in the community; and insure that the library develops to meet those needs.

2. Select, appoint, and regularly evaluate a competent Library Director.

3.  Prepare a written employment contract for the Library director, detailing the basic conditions of employment, as provided by Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 78 S 34.

4.  The Trustees shall establish 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, as provided for by Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 78 S 33.
5. Determine the policies of the library, maintain a written record thereof, and review annually in February.

6. Advise in the preparation of the budget, approve it, and secure adequate funds to finance the approved budget.

7. Through the Library director, supervise and maintain buildings and grounds, as well as
regularly review various physical and building need to see that they meet the requirements of the total library program.

8.  Attend meetings with municipal finance, personnel and administrative boards as necessary.

9. Speak and act as an advocate for libraries in the island community and maintain vital
public relations.

10.Endorse and participate in local and/or regional library networks.

11.  Study and support legislation which will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of libraries.

Article VII. Collective authority of the Board

All decisions of the Board are made by the Board as a collective body.  No individual
member may make decisions or act for the Board unless specifically authorized to do so by a
vote of the membership of the Board.

Article IX. Parliamentary rules

Except as provided by these by-laws, the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall

Article X. Friends Group

The Trustees may sponsor a “Friends of the Chilmark Public Library” group, provided it
operates within the by-laws and policies of the Board of the Chilmark Public Library .

Article XI. Amendments

These by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board with a quorum
present, by a majority vote of the members present, provided the amendment was stated at the preceding meeting, or was sent to the members at least 30 days prior to the meeting.  All proposed amendments to be subject to Town Counsel approval.

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Chilmark Town Offices: Chilmark Town Offices: 401 Middle Road, P.O. Box 119 02535-0119