Bylaws of the Hennepin County Library Board
Minnesota Statutes Sections 383B.237 to 383B.247 and 134.001 to 134.50
ARTICLE I: BOARD
The County Board of Commissioners shall direct, operate and manage the county library system. A county library board (“Board”, “Library Board” or “County Library Board”), consisting of 11 members who reside in the county library service area, shall be appointed by the County Board of Commissioners.
All members’ terms commence January 1 of their respective year of appointment; incumbents are expected to serve until the County Board of Commissioners makes the appointment; and, as each term expires, the successor shall be appointed for a three-year term. No member shall serve more than three consecutive terms.
A member shall be automatically removed from the Library Board if the member fails to maintain residency in the county library service area or if the member fails to attend three or more Library Board meetings without providing to the Library Board President prior written or telephonic notice of the member’s inability to attend such meetings. In the event a member is automatically removed or resigns in writing from the Library Board, the Library Board President shall forward written notice of the removal or resignation to the County Board of Commissioners. Any such removal or resignation shall take effect at the date of receipt of the notice, or any later date specified; unless otherwise specified, the acceptance of the resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. The appointment to fill the vacancy shall be for the remainder of the member’s term, and the replacement will be made by the County Board of Commissioners.
The Library Board shall be advisory to the County Board of Commissioners and shall be responsible for policy and legislative recommendations relating to the library system and shall perform their duties and responsibilities pertinent to library matters as may be delegated by the County Board of Commissioners.
State Law gives power to County Board of Commissioners to:
- Maintain a system of public libraries.
- Determine the locations of the libraries.
- Levy taxes for library operations and maintenance.
- Direct, operate and manage county library system.
- Appoint eleven members to Library Board who reside in service area of the library.
State Law gives power to County Library Board to:
- Determine the contents of the collection.
- Be responsible for use of library meeting rooms.
- Make recommendations to County Administrator about appointment or removal of Library Director.
County Commissioner Resolution #81-2-108R gives power to County Library Board to:
- Establish rules governing library operation.
Review the annual operating budget for submission to the County Board of Commissioners.
- Develop a long range plan.
- Accept and manage gift and trust funds.
County Commissioner Resolution #96-11-695 states that “the Hennepin County Library Board shall articulate and endorse major library system goals and initiatives for which significant private financial support and partnership will be necessary to ensure success, and the Library Board shall undertake a regular process for recommendation of these goals to The Library Foundation of Hennepin County (Friends of the Hennepin County Library) for consideration and development.”
- At all meetings of the Board, a majority of the members of the Board shall be necessary and sufficient to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the act of the majority of the members present at which there is a quorum shall be the act of the Library Board.
- All books and records of the Board shall be kept in the Hennepin County Library administrative offices unless otherwise specified by these Bylaws. Upon written request sent via electronic communication to the Board’s designated library administrative staff contact, a member shall receive a copy of any of the Board’s records for any purpose reasonably related to the Board’s work.
ARTICLE II: ANNUAL MEETING
- An annual meeting shall be called by the President and held by the Board pursuant to this article.
- Notice of the annual meeting shall be written and sent to Board members via electronic communication at least five days before the meeting date.
- At the annual meeting, the Library Board shall elect its officers, transfer leadership, approve the Board’s regular meeting calendar, and transact any business as may come before it. If there is not a quorum present at the annual meeting, then it shall be recessed to another day as soon as practicable thereafter upon five days’ written notice sent to Board members via electronic communication.
ARTICLE III: OFFICERS OF THE BOARD
- At the annual meeting, the Library Board shall elect a President, a Vice President and a Secretary.
- The President of the Board shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the Board and generally perform all duties associated with that office. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside. In the absence of the President and Vice President, the Secretary shall preside. In case of the absence of the President, Vice President and Secretary, the Board may elect an officer pro tem.
- The President shall appoint all committees not otherwise ordered by the Bylaws or the Library Board. The President or designee shall serve as an ex officio member on the Friends of the Hennepin County Library Board.
- The Secretary will notify the members of all meetings of the Board; give notice of all meetings of committees; keep true records of the votes at the elections and of all other proceedings; and/or delegate any of these responsibilities to the library staff; provided, that all meeting minutes prepared by library staff shall be reviewed by the Secretary prior to submitting the minutes to the Board for approval.
- If the office of the President, Vice President or Secretary shall become vacant, the members shall fill the vacancy at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board from a list provided by the Nominating Committee.
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS
- Regular meetings of the Board shall be held on dates and times determined annually at the annual meeting of the Library Board. In order to facilitate public engagement, the Library Board will use reasonable efforts to hold its regular meetings at a variety of county library locations, subject to appropriate and available meeting facilities at such locations. At all regular meetings, public comment shall be permitted on any item pertaining to library business for a time period to be established by the Library Board President.
- Notices of scheduled Board meetings shall be sent to Board members via electronic communication not less than five days before the meeting and shall include the place of the meeting, the agenda, financial statements, papers, charts, and/or reports pertaining to business that would require Board action.
- Special meetings may be called by the President or any two Library Board members, by written notice stating the time, place and object of the meeting, to be sent to the Board members via electronic communication at least three days before the meeting.
- All meetings of the Board may be recessed or adjourned upon the majority vote of those members present.
- All voting at meetings of the Board shall be by voice vote, except that roll call votes shall be taken during any virtual meetings or in the event that a member shall demand a roll call, and the voting shall be recorded in the proceedings of the Board.
- At all meetings of the Board, a majority of Board members shall be necessary and sufficient to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the act of a majority of the members present at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be a binding action of the Board of Directors, except as may be otherwise specifically provided by statute or by these bylaws. If a quorum shall be lacking at any meeting of the Board, the majority of the members present may adjourn the meeting and may schedule a new meeting.
- In consultation with the Director of the Hennepin County Library, the President shall prepare an agenda for each scheduled meeting of the Board.
- The agenda for all regular Board meetings shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Call to order.
- Attendance of Library Board Members.
- Approval of Agenda.
- Approval of Minutes.
- Public comment on library business.
- Report of President.
- Report of Director.
- Reports of committees.
- Unfinished business.
- New business.
- Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the parliamentary procedure of the Board.
- The Library Board is subject to the Open Meeting Law (Minn. Stat. Ch. 13D).
ARTICLE V: COMMITTEES
- The President, with the concurrence of the Library Board, may appoint standing and ad hoc committees. The President shall designate the Chair who shall preside at all meetings of the committee. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall preside. In the absence of the Chair and Vice-Chair, the committee shall elect Chair pro tem. No committee shall consist of less than three members or more than five members. Committee members who fail to attend two or more committee meetings in a calendar year may be replaced by the President upon the request of the committee Chair.
- The Executive Committee shall consist of five members: the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the immediate Past President, and an additional member or members selected by the President.
- The President, with the concurrence of the Library Board, shall appoint a Nominating Committee at least one month prior to the annual meeting to determine recommendations for officers. The nominating committee is a standing committee of the Board. The President shall designate a Chair who shall preside at all meetings of the committee. In the absence of the Chair, the committee shall elect Chair pro tem. The Committee will consist of an odd number of members. The Committee shall also meet to nominate candidates to fill vacancies under Article III, section 5. The chair of the Committee will present the nominations for each office at the annual meeting. After each nomination per office, the chair will call for further nominations from the floor, conduct the election for that office, and then repeat this procedure for each of the offices to be filled by the election.
- Each committee shall fix its own rules of procedure and shall meet where and as provided by the rules or by resolution of the Board. All Board members shall be invited via electronic notice to attend and participate in discussions at committee meetings.
- A quorum shall consist of a majority of the committee members. In every case, the affirmative vote of a majority of all members of a committee present at the meeting shall be necessary for its adoption of any resolution.
- Minutes of committee meetings shall be kept and, if possible, sent to all members of the Board before the next scheduled Board meeting which follows the committee meeting.
- With the exception of the Nominating Committee, the President of the Board shall be an ex officio member of all committees and shall have a full vote upon all matters at the committee meetings the President may attend.
ARTICLE VI: DIRECTOR OF THE HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY
- The Library Director shall be appointed and removed by the County Administrator, with approval by the County Board, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Sections 383B.241 and 383B.102. Prior to the appointment or removal of the Library Director, the Library Board shall make recommendations to the County Administrator. The Library Director shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the Library System.
- Under the Board’s policies, the Library Director shall be responsible for the proper management of the Library and the preservation of all the library properties.
ARTICLE VII: BYLAW AMENDMENTS AND REFERENCES
- The Board by majority vote thereof shall have the power to make, alter, amend, or repeal the Bylaws at any regular or special meetings of the Board, the notice of which shall have stated the amendment of the Bylaws as one of the purposes of the meeting, providing an advance copy of the proposed amendment and a copy of the Bylaws then in force be sent via electronic communication with said notice to each member.
- Within ten days after the adoption of a resolution amending these Bylaws in any respect, a copy of the amended Bylaws shall be sent via electronic communication to each member.
- These Bylaws shall be reviewed by the Library Board at least every three years.
- The Bylaws shall include as reference, the following attachments:
- The Hennepin County Open and Unclassified Service Appointments, and
- Code of Conduct for Hennepin County Library Board Members.
Next Review Date: 2026
Last Reviewed/Revised: 2023