Trustee Bylaws

Last Updated:


Bylaws.  Amended October 18, 2022. 

Adopted by the Board of Trustees June 9, 2015; previously amended March 10, 2021.


Section 1.             The Helen M. Plum Memorial Public Library District is a Library District organized and established under the provisions of the "Illinois Public Library District Act of 1991,” 75 ILCS 16/1-1et. seq, exercising the powers and authority and assuming the responsibilities delegated to it under applicable statutes.

Section 2.            All actions of the Board of Library Trustees (the Board) are governed by the laws of the State of Illinois relating to public libraries and applicable ordinances of the Village of Lombard and federal laws. These Bylaws are supplementary to the provisions of applicable statutes and regulations.


In the absence of the Board President, the presiding officer will assume the Board President’s duties.

Section 1.             Regular meetings will be held each month at the Library, the date and hour to be set by the Board annually by an ordinance establishing regular board meetings.  All Trustees will be notified of all meetings.  Public notice and conduct of meetings will be pursuant to the requirements of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/1.01 et seq.  Any Trustee who is unable to attend a meeting, or expects to be late, should advise the Board President or the Library Director.

Section 2.             Meeting dates may be changed or canceled if needed. A quorum will be required to convene a meeting.  A quorum consists of four Trustees (75 ILCS 16/30-50(b)). The Board President has sole discretion to change or cancel the meeting.

Section 3.             Special meetings may be called by the President or at the request of any four (4) Trustees. All Trustees will be notified before the meeting date and no other business will be conducted at such special meeting. Notice of special meetings will be given pursuant to the Open Meetings Act.

Section 4.            An agenda for each meeting will be prepared by the Library Director and reviewed by the Board President. The agenda will serve as notification of the meeting and be made available at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

The agenda may include a Consent Agenda. Items on the Consent Agenda are intended to be routine and may be approved by general consent of Trustees. If there are no objections to items on the Consent Agenda, all items on the Consent Agenda are approved. Any item on the Consent Agenda may be removed from the Consent Agenda at the request of any Trustee in which case the item will be considered separately.

Trustees may request action items for inclusion on the agenda but should notify the President at least one week in advance of the meeting.  The President may include such items on the agenda if the President sees fit.  If the President chooses not to include items on the agenda, the requesting Trustee will be notified in advance of the meeting.  If a majority of Trustees request an agenda item, the President will include it on the agenda.

Section 5.             Unless otherwise determined by the Board, the order of business will be as follows:

  • Call to order
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Roll call, recording both present and absent members
  • Public Comment
  • Adoption of the Agenda
  • Consent agenda, e.g., approval of minutes and financial reports
  • Committee reports, including action items
  • Unfinished business
  • New business
  • Communications
  • Director’s report
  • Departmental reports
  • Closed Session, if scheduled
  • Adjournment

Section 6.             At each regular and special meeting, the members of the public and Library employees may comment, subject to reasonable constraints, during the “Public Comment” section of the meeting.  There will be a maximum of thirty (30) minutes near the beginning of each meeting to allow for public comment.  The Board President may extend this time limit if deemed necessary. Individuals appearing before the Board are expected to follow these guidelines:

  • Each person who wishes to speak is asked to complete the Public Comment Request Form prior to the start of the meeting and submit it to the Board President. Speakers will be called to speak in the order submitted and may address the Board only at the appropriate time as indicated on the agenda and when recognized by the Board President. Speakers are asked to identify themselves by name and group affiliation, if any.  Comments are limited to 5 minutes. The Board President may lengthen a person’s opportunity to speak.  Copies of speakers’ written materials will be accepted and added to the Library’s records but will not be added to the meeting minutes.
  • Electronic communication to the Board during a meeting is not permitted.
  • The Board President has authority to determine procedural matters regarding public comment not otherwise described in Board policy.  The Board President may grant a request to address the Board during other portions of a meeting.  An immediate response from the Board is not required.
  • Each speaker must maintain civility and cannot disrupt a meeting by using obscene or threatening language or gestures.  Any person who poses a threat to public safety will be removed from the meeting.
  • Any person is permitted to address the Board of Trustees at any time via mail or email.  

Section 7.             Parliamentary procedure of the Board is governed by Robert's Rules of Order assuming they do not conflict with these Bylaws.  

Section 8.             A majority of the votes of all Trustees present and voting is required for the passage or adoption of any motion or resolution or ordinance.  Absentee voting is not permitted.

The President may vote upon and may move or second any motion or resolution or ordinance.

Section 9.             Teleconferencing / Electronic Participation at Meetings.

  • Under certain circumstances as defined in the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/7), participation in meetings via communication devices may be utilized.  
  • Communication devices include, without limitation, audio and/or video equipment which enable Trustees not physically present to participate in discussions and votes and interact with those present on all motions, discussions, and votes.  
  • Meetings where communication devices are used will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Act.  
  • Trustees attending meetings in person or participating in meetings via communication devices may vote on all issues.  
  • At such times as necessary, a meeting room will be equipped with communication devices which allow Trustees physically present and Trustees not physically present to interact.
  • In the event Library Staff and/or members of the public are asked by Trustees at a meeting for input or the participation in discussions, communication devices (as needed) will be set up to allow such input/participation.  
  • The circumstances supporting use of communication devices will be announced at the start of a meeting.  The Secretary of the Board will note in the minutes of any meeting which utilizes communication devices that the meeting was conducted with one or more Trustees (identified by name) not physically present in the meeting room and that such Trustee’s participation in the meeting was via a communication device.  
  • Communication devices will be used sparingly.

Section 10.           A biennial organizational meeting will be held to swear in new Trustees, adopt the policies and bylaws of the previous Board, and elect officers.

Section 11.           Annually, the working budget will be presented to the Board for approval prior to the fiscal year end close on June 30 of the calendar year, typically at the May or June board meeting. 

Annually, at a regular or special meeting of the Board following the June 30 fiscal year end and prior to September 1 of the calendar year, annual year-end financial reports and the Illinois Public Library Annual Report (IPLAR) data will be provided to the Board by the Director. 

Chairpersons of standing advisory committees and ad hoc committees will report to the Board periodically as needed. A written report is typically submitted every two years by the outgoing chairperson of the committee.

An annual tour of the building and grounds will be provided to trustees as part of a regular or special Board Meeting.

Section 12.           Any rule or resolution of the Board, whether contained in these Bylaws or otherwise, may be suspended temporarily in connection with business at hand.


Section 1.             The Board consists of seven members elected at the Consolidated Election held in the odd-numbered years. The term of office is four years.

Section 2.             The powers and duties of the Board are those stated in applicable statutes including, but not limited to, the following:

  • To appoint a professionally qualified, competent Library Director and determine his or her salary.
  • To adopt written personnel policies that establish the terms of employment for staff.
  • To adopt written policies to govern the operation of the Library and assign their execution to the Library Director.
  • To secure adequate funds to carry out programs of the Library and to provide for improvement of materials and services.
  • To exercise exclusive control over all monies collected for the Library.
  • To exercise exclusive control over all Library property.
  • To provide for building and space needs and maintain Library property.
  • To study the present and future role of the Library with respect to community needs, trends and interests.
  • To advocate for the Library at the community, state and federal level.

Section 3.             The Board will determine the financial requirements of the Library and will prepare annually a budget, appropriation, and levy pursuant to the requirements of Illinois statutes.

Section 4.             The Trustees will attend Board meetings regularly, perform such duties as are assigned, and serve as liaison between the Library and the community.  In the event of a vacancy on the Board, the Board will appoint a Trustee as soon as possible to serve the remainder of that term until the next regularly scheduled election at which time a Trustee will be elected to serve for the unexpired portion of the term.

Section 5.             The Officers of the Board are President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 6.             Officers will be elected for two-year terms at the biennial organizational meeting held in the odd-numbered years. The President will not serve more than three consecutive terms.

Section 7.            A vacancy in an office will be filled by the Board and the Trustee elected will serve in that office until the next biennial organizational meeting.  No Trustee will be nominated without the Trustee’s consent.

Section 8.             The duties of all Officers (including the customary duties that usually fall to such Officers) will be:

  • The President will pre-approve Board meeting agendas, preside at all meetings of the Board, authorize calls for any special meetings, appoint all committees, execute all documents authorized by the Board, serve as executive officer of the Board, be an ex-officio member of all committees, and serve as official spokesperson for the Board.
  • In the absence or disability of the President, or a vacancy in that office, the Vice-President will assume the duties and functions of the President.  In the absence of both, the Secretary will assume the duties of President.  In the absence of the President, Vice President and Secretary, the Treasurer will assume the duties of President.
  • The Secretary will issue notices of all regular and special meetings, see that minutes of all Board meetings are taken and will recommend and sign official Library correspondence.  The Secretary acts as the Library’s local election official and certifies ordinances and other legal documents as required.
  • The Treasurer has custody of all Library funds, including income and special funds, and will keep a separate record thereof and will arrange for a deposit of all such funds in financial institutions approved by the Board.

The Treasurer will be bonded (surety bond) or insured in an amount as is required by statute (see 75 ILCS 16/30 – 45(e)).

Monthly and annual financial reports are prepared by the Library and presented to the Board.  The Treasurer oversees all financial reporting. 

In the absence of the Treasurer or when the Treasurer is unable to serve, the President or Vice-President may perform the duties of the Treasurer.

Section 9.             Trustees must attend most Board meetings and are expected to read materials presented for review in advance.  Each Trustee is strongly encouraged to attend a minimum of one continuing education workshop, seminar, or meeting during each calendar year.  The Library Director will make the dates of these workshops known to the Board in a timely manner.  Trustees are not to be compensated but will be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.   

Section 10.           Trustees are reimbursed for expenses incurred in attending meetings away from the Library, including, but not limited to, registration, meals, lodging and travel. Travel by car is reimbursed at the rate allowed by the IRS.   Trustees are not exempt from late fees, fines, penalties, or other user fees.

Section 11.           The Library Director will meet with new Trustees to examine the property and review services and will present to new Trustees a packet which includes Library policies and other material, a list of Trustees and committees, representative minutes and financial reports, and other pertinent information.


Section 1. The standing advisory committees to the Board will be:

  • Audit Committee
  • Director Relations Committee
  • Policy and Bylaws Committee

The standing committees will each consist of three Trustees appointed by the Board President.  The Audit Committee cannot include the Board Secretary. Two of the three appointed committee members constitute a quorum.   

 Committee Chairs and alternates are appointed by the Board President at the regular Board meeting following the biennial organizational meeting. 

The Board President will serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of each standing advisory committee.  The Library Director will attend all committee meetings unless specifically requested not to attend.   

Duties of the Chairperson include:

  • Establishing a schedule of proposed meeting dates.
  • Presiding over committee meetings
  • Making a verbal report on Committee meetings during monthly Board meetings
  • Bringing recommendations from the Committee to the Board.

An agenda for each Committee meeting will be prepared by the Library Director and reviewed by the Committee Chair at least four days in advance of the Committee meeting, with the exception of the Director Relations Committee for which the agenda will be prepared by the Committee Chair. An agenda will serve as notification of the meeting and be available at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.

Committee meeting minutes are approved by committee members within 30 days after that meeting or at the committee’s second subsequent regular meeting, whichever is later.  The Board does not approve committee meeting minutes.

Each advisory committee will discuss recommendations to the Board and is not involved in the day-to-day administration of the Library.  In addition to the committee charges listed below, each committee will consider other matters which are referred to it by the Board of Trustees.  The Library is the depository of all committee reports. Director Relations and Policy and Bylaws Committees will meet as needed.  

Section 2.             Committee charges are:

  • The Audit Committee will review the Secretary’s records, legal notices, ordinances and written minutes for completeness and accuracy.  The Committee will review all closed session meeting minutes twice a year to consider opening them to the public.
  • The Director Relations Committee will serve as a liaison between the Board and the Director in matters relative to the Director’s employment. The Committee will discuss with the Director the Director’s performance evaluation and job description. The Committee manages the Board self-evaluation process.
  • The Policy and Bylaws Committee will discuss and review all policies and bylaws before presentation to the Board. The Committee will review existing policies in a systematic fashion, considering additions, changes and deletions.  Most policies and the bylaws are reviewed every 3 years with the exception of the Materials Selection Policy which will be reviewed every 2 years consistent with Illinois law (75 ILCS 5/4-7.2). All policies, after Board approval, will be available to the public.  

Section 3.              The Board may, by motion, create ad hoc committees to advise the Board in a particular area.  In doing so, the Board will consider:

  • Committee member appointments
  • Number of voting members
  • Chairperson and alternate chairperson
  • Committee procedures

The Community Relations Committee and Building and Grounds Committee are ad hoc committees that may be established periodically. Each ad hoc committee will cease to exist upon acceptance of that committee’s final report to the Board.  

  • The Building and Grounds Committee will review the general condition of the building and grounds, recommend steps for maintenance and major repairs, and investigate costs and plans for alterations, remodeling or additions.  
  • The Community Relations Committee promotes community partnerships through a variety of initiatives and works to increase Trustee and Library visibility in the community and encourages advocacy.


Section 1.             Trustees are expected to perform all of the functions of Library Trustees.

Section 2.            Trustees will adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association and the Public Library Trustees Ethics Statement developed by United for Libraries, a division of ALA.

Section 3.             Trustees will abide by all statutes and regulations governing ethical behavior of public officials, including the State Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/1-1 et seq.

Section 4.             Trustees will not solicit, accept, or agree to accept, gifts, loans, gratuities, discounts, favors, hospitality, or services offered with intent to influence official action.

Section 5.             Trustees will not accept economic, advancement, or honorary opportunities under circumstances when it may be reasonably inferred that the opportunity is being offered with intent to influence official action.

Section 6.             Trustees and Officers who take an official action that may be construed as conflicting with personal, family, monetary, or employment interests should abstain from official action if there is no reasonable way to eliminate the conflict.

Section 7.             Trustees and Officers will not engage in economic activity that involves the use or sale of information gained in the course of official duties.

Section 8.             When discussing Library matters, Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the Library, acknowledging the official position of the Board even if Trustees personally disagree.

Section 9.             Trustees must respect the confidential nature of Library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.

Section 10.           Trustees should support the principles of intellectual freedom.

Section 11.           Trustees are expected to conduct themselves with courtesy and mutual respect during Board meetings.


Section 1.             The Library Director is responsible for the administration of the Library under the direction and review of the Board.  The Library Director’s duties and responsibilities are included in the Director’s job description.

The Library Director's performance will be evaluated periodically by the Board

Section 2.             A formal competitive bid process must be used for building related expenditures of $25,000 or more unless exempt from bidding.  The B-5 Authority to Spend policy includes requirements for building related purchases.

Section 3.             All residents of the Library District are entitled to a Library card without charge.  Other persons who are issued cards will pay a fee in an amount determined by the Board, in accordance with the requirements of the Illinois State Library.

Section 4.             Documents pertaining to Library funds will be signed by the persons designated to do so at the biennial meeting.

Section 5.            The Board should conduct an annual self-evaluation.


Section 1.             Library records will be kept in the Library and will be available to the public upon request, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. These records include the monthly and annual reports of the Library, all financial reports, and minutes of Board meetings.

Section 2.             Staff personnel records are confidential and will be kept in a secure place. Only the Library Director or any person authorized by the Board or Library Director has access to these records.

Section 3.             Confidential records of the Board, such as personnel records concerning the Library Director, will be kept in the Library. Only Trustees and the Director have access to these records.

Section 4.             Registration and circulation records are confidential in accordance with the Library Records Confidentiality Act, 75 ILCS 70/1.

 Section 5.             Library staff will observe the following procedures: On receipt of any legal process, order, or subpoena, the Library Director or Person in Charge will immediately inform the Board President and consult with the Library Attorney to ensure that (a) the document is in proper form, and (b) there has been a showing of good cause for its issuance. Until the legality of such process, order, or subpoena has been established the Library will resist disclosure of the records. 


Amendments to these Bylaws may be made at any Board meeting.  Advance written notice of any proposed amendment will be submitted to each Trustee.  Compliance with these Bylaws may be waived or suspended by the Board.


Download Policy