By-Laws of the Preble County District Library Board of Trustees

Revised: 2014



The name of the library shall be the "Preble County District Library."

The mailing address of the Board shall be: 450 S. Barron St., Eaton, OH 45320.


The library provides books and materials for information, entertainment and enrichment for the residents of Preble County.


A. Section 3375.22 Ohio Revised Code

In any county in which there has been created a county library district, the free public library of said district shall be under the control and management of a board of library trustees consisting of seven members. Such trustees shall be qualified electors of the library district or county. Three shall be appointed by the judges of the court of common pleas and four shall be appointed by the board of county commissioners of the county in which said district is situated. The term of office of said trustees shall be seven years, except that at the first appointment the terms of those appointed by the judges shall expire in two, four, and six years respectively, and the terms of those appointed by the board of county commissioners shall expire in one, three, five, and seven years respectively. Any appointment made to fill a vacancy shall be made by the same body which appointed the trustee whose place has become vacant and shall be for his unexpired term. The successor of any trustee of any county library district shall be appointed by the same board or officers which appointed his predecessor and all subsequent appointments shall be for seven years. The members of such board of library trustees shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.The Board of Trustees works as a team bringing special skills and community representation to the Board discussions and policy making.  A Trustee must place the Preble County District Library's interest above any self-interest or particular branch or    partisan group. The Trustees are expected to act fairly and independently to further the American Library Association's Bill of Rights and advances the best interest of the Preble County District Library. Trustees must evidence the qualities of team players that further the effective working of the entire Board and therefore the library as a whole. Such board of library trustees shall organize in accordance with section 3375.32 of the Revised Code. Such board of library trustees shall have the control and management of the county district free public library and in the exercise of such control and management shall be governed by sections 3375.33 to 3375.41, inclusive, of the Revised Code.

B. Make-up

The Board shall attempt to have representation from each of the communities served. The Board shall suggest to the appointing body possible candidates to fill vacancies.

C. Job Description

All members shall be a resident of Preble County, Ohio, interested in the library and its services to the county's citizens, attend and participate in monthly Board meetings, and be a library advocate
Responsibilities include: hiring the administrator and delegating responsibility to them; conducting long and short range planning:; reviewing progress toward library's mission as reflected by goals attained; reviewing and approving the monthly financial reports, the annual budget and the bi-annual audit.


The Board of Trustees shall have all the powers granted to it by law and shall, in open meeting, determine and establish in accordance with law, the basic policies of the library with respect to (a) the appropriation and budgeting of funds; (b) the establishment and maintenance of libraries and library services; (c) the acquisition, improvement, maintenance, insurance, use, and disposition of properties; (d) the hiring, compensation, and responsibilities of, and the personnel practices concerning, the director and other employees; (e) the selection, collection, lending, and disposition of books and other library materials; and (f) the acceptance of gifts. The policies so determined and established by the Board shall remain in effect until changed or rescinded by further action of the Board and shall be administered by the library staff.


A. Election

At the regular meeting in January of each year, the Board shall select from its membership a President, Vice President and a Secretary who shall serve for a term of one year. Nominations may be made from the floor.

B. President

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board and with consent of the Board, determine the order of business thereat. The President, in absence of the Director, will determine the agenda. The President shall, with the Secretary, sign the minutes of each meeting of the Board. The President shall execute on behalf of the Board, and when approved by it, all such instruments of conveyance, assignment, transfer, contract, indebtedness, or lease as, in order to be effected, must be executed by an officer or member of the Board other than or in addition to the Fiscal Officer, and all written reports, applications, and statements which law or government regulations require to be executed and filed on behalf of the Board by an officer or member of the Board other than or in addition to the Fiscal Officer or Director.

C. Vice President

In the absence or unavailability of the President the Vice-President shall have all the powers and duties of the President, except as otherwise provided by law.

D. Secretary

The Secretary shall be the presiding officer in the absence of both the President and Vice-President. The Secretary shall create and communicate any correspondence from the Board.

E. Fiscal Officer
At the same meeting, the Board shall appoint the Fiscal Officer. The Fiscal Officer may or may not be a member of the Board.

The Fiscal Officer shall be the treasurer of the library funds. Within 30 days of assuming duties, a bond shall be executed in an amount and with a surety to be approved by the Board.

All moneys received by the Fiscal Officer for library purposes shall be placed in a depository designated by the Board as soon as possible. The Fiscal Officer shall keep an account of funds credited to the Board and shall render a statement to the Board monthly showing the revenues and receipts from whatever sources derived, the disbursements and the purposes for such disbursements, the assets and liabilities of the Board, and the appropriation balances. At the end of each fiscal year, the Fiscal Officer shall submit to the Board a complete financial statement showing the receipts and expenditures in detail for the entire fiscal year.

All checks paying out funds of the library shall be signed by the Fiscal Officer.

The Fiscal Officer shall attend all Board meetings. He/she shall keep a true and accurate account of all proceedings and shall have custody of the minutes.


The President may form and appoint Board members to committees as needs arise. The President will serve in an ex-officio member of each committee.


The Board shall hire and fix the compensation of the Director who shall be the chief administrator and the librarian of the library. The Director will have a Masters Degree in Library Science from an accredited institution and be able to obtain Ohio Public Library certification.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 Director shall be held responsible for the care of all library buildings owned by the Board and all equipment, for public relations, for the employment and direction of the library staff, for the selection, acquisition and disposition of library materials within the annual appropriations adopted by the Board and subject to the general policies from time to time adopted by the Board.

The Director shall keep the Board informed as to the program needs, physical building needs, the desirable expenditures of library funds and any special achievements or problems requiring action or approval of the Board. The Director will submit to the Board requests for any capital item expenditure that exceeds $5000.
The Director shall determine the agenda for each Board meeting and shall submit for consideration with recommendations all matters requiring action by the board. The Director shall distribute the agenda and other supporting information to Board members five (5) days in advance of the Board meeting.

The Director shall attend all Board meetings except those executive sessions at which the Director's appointment or salary is to be discussed or decided. In the case where the Director cannot attend a Board meeting, he/she will arrange for a designee to attend.

Regular meetings of the Board shall be held at the Library Administration & Resource Center in Eaton, Ohio on a consistent day and time to allow members to attend or at such other time or place as shall be agreed upon by the Board. Special Meetings of the Board may be called at any time by the President or by the request of two (2) members. The purpose of the meeting must be stated at the time it is called.

The annual reorganization meeting shall be held during January.

The Preble County District Library Board of Trustees complies with ORC 121.22 (Sunshine Law) in the following manner:

All meetings are properly called publicly posted at each library through the monthly Calendar of Events, a notice published in the Eaton Register-Herald and any person who inquires, in person or by telephone, concerning the date, time and place of such meetings shall be so informed. If the meeting date or location is changed, notice of the change is posted at the expected meeting place.

All meetings are open to the public except during executive session to discuss personnel matters, to consult with Legal Counsel, to discuss library security, to consider the purchase or sale of property and for matters required to be kept confidential by federal law, rules, or state statue.

A. Public Participation

The public may participate in these public meetings by contacting the Library Director or the Board President before noon (12 PM) on the day of the meeting.

B. Executive Session

The board may hold an executive session only after a majority of a quorum of the board determines, by a roll call vote, to hold such a session and only at a regular or special meeting. The purpose of the session shall be included in the motion to hold the session.

C. Quorum

Four persons, a majority of the full membership of the board, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. One of those present shall be an officer of the board.

D. Attendance
In order for library business to be conducted in an efficient manner all members of the Board of Trustees should attend all meetings. A member missing more than 25% of the meetings during a calendar year may be asked to resign by the President of the Board.

E. Order of Business

The business conducted at the meeting of the Board shall be limited to the agenda, unless the transaction of other business shall be approved by all of the members present at the meeting. In general, the agenda of each regular meeting may include the roll call, approval of minutes, approval of financial report, public participation, personnel action, library service related matters, old business and new business and a report from the Director.

F. Voting

Except when a larger vote is required by law, all actions of the Board shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the full membership of the Board. When a motion is made and seconded which involves a financial transaction the Fiscal Officer shall call the roll of the members of the Board and enter in the minutes of the meeting the names of those voting "aye", those voting "nay", and those abstaining.

G. Rules of Order

Where not otherwise governed by law or by these By-laws, the proceedings of the meetings of the Board shall be in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order as currently revised and published at the time of the meeting.

H. Records of the Library

It shall be the policy of the Board of Trustees of the Preble County District Library to release for public information any public record identified in 149.43 Ohio Revised Code if these documents do not infringe on the privacy rights of individuals. These records shall be available for review and inspection during business hours after first making a reasonable request to the Director.


A. Introduction

The Preble County District shall observe the Federal, State, county, and local requirements regarding the finances of the library.

B. Funds Management

The Fiscal Officer of this library is authorized to receive and expend funds as determined by the Board of Trustees in compliance with submitted budgets and appropriations.

C. Funds Investment

The Fiscal Officer of this library is authorized to invest, deposit or reinvest any such funds remaining as interim or inactive in compliance with the authorizing resolutions of this Board.

D. Use of Capital Improvement Funds

The use of Capital Improvement Funds shall be limited to major planned expenditures or emergency repair expenditures, each of which shall be individually submitted to the Board for approval. At the end of each year a transfer from the unexpended General Fund appropriation to the Capital Improvement Fund may be approved by the Board.

E. Approval of General Fund Expenditures

The Board's General Fund Annual Appropriation Resolution empowers the Fiscal Officer to expend the funds required for the operation of the library.

F. Bid Openings

Section 3375.41 of the Ohio Revised Code states that bids for library construction "...shall be opened at the next meeting of the board...” The Board has determined it to be in the library's best interests, pursuant to public bidding, for the Board to provide for the public opening and reading of such bids by the Director, immediately after the time for filing such bids has expired, and not wait until the next scheduled meeting of the Board. All bids will be tabulated and a report of such tabulation will be provided to the Board of Library Trustees at its next meeting. At that time, a decision shall be made as to which bid, if any, to accept.

G. Authorization of Petty Cash

The Fiscal Officer is authorized to keep in the vaults of the office an amount not to exceed $1,300.00 as a cash reserve, as per Section 135.17 of the Ohio Revised Code.


No members of the Board of Trustees shall have any pecuniary interest in any contract entered into by the Board (ORC 3375.35).

This Board of Trustees subscribes to the tenets contained in "A Statement of Ethics for Library Trustees" of the American Library Trustee Association" as follows:

A Statement of Ethics for Library Trustees

Trustees must promote the highest 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 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 statements between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the institution.

A trustee must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with that particular state's freedom of information act.

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 appointment to a library board are expected to perform the duties and responsibilities of a trustee.

Endorsed by the Board of Directors of the American Library Trustee Association and the Public Library Association, July 1985.


These By-Laws may be amended at any 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 given with the notice of the meeting.