Sutton Free Library
MISSION & BYLAWS
The Mission of Sutton Free Library is to support inquiry, literacy and collaboration by connecting the people of Sutton with the resources they need. The Trustees recognize that achievement of this mission requires ongoing community input as well as partnership with local and regional entities.
ARTICLE I: Powers and Duties of Trustees
The duties of the Board of Trustees are to oversee the assets and activities of Sutton Free Library and to set Library policies, as provided by New Hampshire RSA Chapter XVI, Chapter 202-A:11 Powers and Duties. Trustees are duly elected or appointed in accordance with the provisions of RSA Chapter XVI, Chapter 202-A:6 and 202-A:10. This is a voluntary position and there is no monetary compensation.
Trustees must be residents of Sutton, NH.
The staggered term of office of trustees shall be 3 years. Successive terms are not limited.
The number of trustees will be 5.
ARTICLE II: Officers
The Board of Trustees shall consist of five members, elected by the voters of Sutton or, in the case of a resignation, appointed by the Trustees. The officers of the Board of Trustees shall consist of Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, and shall be elected annually by a majority vote of the Board at the first regular monthly BOT meeting after Sutton Town Meeting. The office is for one year or until others are chosen in their stead.
ARTICLE III: Duties of Officers
The Chairperson shall prepare an agenda for, and preside at all of the regular monthly and special meetings of the Board and to be the representative of the Board in official capacities. In the absence of the Chairperson, another Trustee shall act in his or her stead, and, in that instance, shall have the authority and responsibilities of the Chairperson.
The Treasurer shall serve as the financial officer of the Board and shall keep full and accurate accounts of all monies received and expended for use of the library, shall oversee bookkeeping activities, and shall provide a written monthly financial report to the Trustees at the regular monthly meeting. The Treasurer shall advise the Trustees on financial matters and shall provide appropriate financial reports to auditors and regulatory authorities.
The Recording Secretary shall keep records of all monthly meetings and special meetings of the Board and shall post Agendas and Minutes in a timely manner as provided in RSA 91-A:2 II, the NH Right-to-Know-Law.
ARTICLE IV: Meetings
Regular meetings shall be each month, at dates and times to be established by the Board at the beginning of the Library year (April Meeting). Monthly meetings are currently held the first Tuesday of the month at the Library. Meetings are open to the public except when individual personnel issues are being discussed. Meetings will be governed by a relaxed application of Robert’s Rules. The order of business for the monthly meetings shall be as follows:
Review/ Approval of previous meeting minutes
Financial report/ Approval of expenditures
Report of Library Director
A special meeting may be called at any time, by the Board Chairperson or any three Trustees, by giving notice to the members and stating the purpose of such meeting.
A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all regular and special Trustee meetings.
All monthly meetings, committee meetings, and special meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be public meetings, and shall be posted as required by NH laws. Minutes of all meetings shall be publicly posted, and minutes of all meetings shall be filed as required in RSA 91-A:2 II, NH Right-to-Know Law.
ARTICLE V: Committees
Committees may be appointed by the Board of Trustees. One Board member must sit on a committee. Non Board members will be appointed to bring capabilities/ insights for the resolution of the task confronting the Committee. Notices of committee meetings shall be posted and minutes shall be taken and filed in accordance with State laws.
Ad Hoc committees may be created for purposes other than functions of the standing committees. These committees may consist of Trustees as well as members of the general public and shall act in an advisory role to the Board of Trustees. Members of these committees shall be selected by the Board of Trustees, and the ad hoc committee chairperson shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. Ad Hoc committee meetings are public meetings and shall be publicly posted and minutes shall be taken and properly recorded.
ARTICLE VI: Conflicts of Interest
The Board of Trustees shall comply with New Hampshire RSA 7:19 regarding conflict of interest on any issues before the Board. The statute reads in part “Directors, officers, and trustees of charitable trusts shall serve on the governing boards of such charitable trusts only for the charitable purposes of the organization. If such directors, officers or trustees are serving for any other expressed or intended reasons, they shall not serve on the governing board of the organization.”
Trustees of the Sutton Free Library may recuse themselves from any vote in which there is a perceived conflict. In those cases, the Trustee shall also refrain from any discussion or participation on the issue in question. Questions regarding conflicts of interest shall be presented to and decided by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
ARTICLE VII: Library Staff
A Library Director, Assistant Librarian(s), Substitute Librarian(s), Custodian and such other appointees as the Board shall believe necessary to the proper operation of the Library shall be appointed at the annual meeting of the Trustees and by a majority vote of the Board. Salaries will be fixed by majority vote of the Board.
The Library Director of Sutton Free Library shall be the executive and administrative officer of the Library. The Library Director is responsible for the proper performance of duties as spelled out in the job description provided by the Board.
The Director is an ex-officio non-voting member of the Board of Trustees and all Committees. The Director shall not count in determining a quorum of the Board.
The Library Director shall attend all meetings of the Board of Trustees, including budget meetings and public meetings where action may be taken affecting the interests of the Library.
ARTICLE VIII: Trustee Responsibilities
The Sutton Free Library Board of Trustees represents the community of Sutton in support of the Library and its services and advocates for the library within the community.
Bylaws: The Board of Trustees shall have permanent Bylaws in accordance with RSA 202:11, 1.
Funding: The Trustees are responsible for preparing an annual budget in accordance with RSA 32, presenting and defending this budget to the Town of Sutton Select Board and Budget Committee, and supervising and expending this budget. Trustees have complete jurisdiction over these expenditures. The Trustees may also need to work with the town to prepare, present and defend special Warrant Articles for consideration at Sutton Town Meeting. Trustees should also be aware of funds and/or grants that become available from private, state and federal sources.
Policies: In accordance with RSA 202:11, 1, the Trustees shall establish policies which cover all facets of library operation. The Trustees set the policies and the library Director implements them.
Personnel: The Board is responsible for hiring the Library Director who is not a Trustee and, in consultation with the Director, all other employees of the Library. Salaries for Library employees will be set by majority vote of the Trustees.
Annual Reports: The Trustees shall compile annual reports at the conclusion of the fiscal year to the town and State of NH librarian in accordance with RSA 202-A:12 and to the Office of the State of NH Attorney General as required by RSA 202-A: 12, a.
NH State Library: The Board studies and implements services consistent with the NH State Library’s standards and guidelines.
NH State Library Trustee Association: All Trustees will have the opportunity to be members of the NHLTA. Dues shall be paid from the general library funds held in the Sugar River bank account.
ARTICLE IX: Amendments to Bylaws
These Bylaws may be repealed or amended or added to by majority vote of the full Board at a regular meeting. Such action may be taken, however, only after the substance of the proposed repeal, amendment or addition has been presented in writing at a previous meeting and publicly posted in accordance with RSA 91-A:2 II, NH Right-to-Know Law.
APPENDIX A: References
NH Library Trustees Association nhlta.com
NH RSA Title XVI Libraries CH.202-A Public Libraries http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/xvi/202-a/202-a-mrg.htm
ADDENDUM TO THE SUTTON FREE LIBRARY BYLAWS
The following are Warrant Articles Passed in 2012 and 2013 giving the Trustees of the Sutton Free Library the following permissions:
To accept and expend funds
To accept personal property
To retain income generating money
To change the number of Trustees
RSA 202-A:4-c Authority to accept and expend unanticipated money.
The March 1994 Town Meeting: Sutton voted to accept RSA 202A:4-c in Article 4.
RSA 202-A:4-d Authority to accept personal property.
The March 2013 Town Meeting: Sutton voted to accept RSA 202-A:4-d in Warrant Article 26.
RSA 202-A:11-a, b Authority to retain income generating money.
The March 2013 Town Meeting: Sutton voted to accept RSA 202-A:11-a, b in Warrant Article 15.
RSA-202-A:6 Change in the number of Trustees.
At March 2013 Town Meeting: Sutton Voted to accept RSA-202-A:6 in Warrant Article
27 thus changing the number of Library Trustees from six to five.
The wording for these Warrant Articles can be found in the Town of Sutton Annual Reports for 2012 and 2013. Both the 2012 and the 2013 Annual Reports are available in the Library.
RSA 202-A:23 Exceptions - Does not require a warrant article or Town Meeting vote. It automatically gives the Trustees the right to accept, invest, and expend Trust Funds.