Please note that this guide should not be used as a source for legal advice. Library directors and trustees should always consult with attorneys for legal matters.
South Dakota Codified Law governing public libraries is found at:
Public library trustees should become familiar with these statutes.
South Dakota Codified Law dealing with public meetings, which include public library board meetings and public libraries is found at:
Board members must know and follow these laws and act in the best interest of the entire community.
One of the most important obligations of the board is to make certain that sufficient funding is available to operate the library properly. Each board member should know the library's financial background; the unit(s) of government allocating the local appropriation; the entire resources of local tax monies and the library's fair share; grants available from all sources (government and private foundations); and any other possible sources of support. (For example: a bond issue, endowments, gifts, donations, fines and fees.)
A budget is an expression of the library's plan and objectives in financial terms. Therefore, before a budget can be formulated, the plan for library services must be developed and the goals and objectives established. If the community is involved in the planning process, the library and its plan will be supported throughout the community. However, the library's budget must be realistic. The library is, after all, only one of many services provided by the unit of government. If the budget requires a substantial increase in funding, the board should investigate other possible funding sources. Funding from such other sources as federal monies should be considered supplemental and never as a means of lowering local appropriations. The local appropriations must be at least large enough to provide the minimum level of public library service acceptable to the community. Other funds should be used to supply services and materials over and above this level. The following list classifies the responsibilities of trustees and librarian:
|Study, amend if necessary, and approve the annual library budget request.||Prepares annual budget that clearly states the amount of money needed, the services and materials which will be provided with the money, and the priorities among the various library services.|
|Present, along with the librarian, the budget to the appropriate governing body.||Presents the budget to the appropriate governing body along with members of the library board.|
|Approve acceptance of gifts and government or private grants.||Prepares a final line item budget for consideration of the board.|
|Adopt a final line item budget based on the budget allocation approved by the governing body.||Reports regularly to the library board concerning expenditures and budget status.|
The following is a brief outline of the steps involved in preparing a budget:
No specific budgeting system can be recommended because the library's accounting system must comply with that used by the governing body. The budget should be detailed enough to assure the authorities that the money will be spent in compliance with the agreement. However, a too detailed budget will result in money being tied up in accounts for extended periods of time.
Strategic planning is similar to a road map in that it gives directions on how to arrive at a destination. Without a basic guide or plan it would be difficult, if not impossible, to make decisions concerning appropriations, the need for expansion, allocations for programs or staff development. A plan assists the board of trustees and the library director in making the best decisions for the community being served.
Planning is an integral part of any organization's growth and development. The board of trustees, the library director and the library staff are charged with serving as a caretaker and steward of the library system. It is their job to keep the mission and goals of the library in perspective and on track by constantly reviewing services and policies to ensure library service is accessible by all segments of the community.
To provide the community with efficient, progressive library service, the board of trustees must base the plan upon their knowledge of the community, community expectations, resources of the community and realistic projections of the future needs of the community. Therefore, the purpose of planning is to move the library forward effectively to meet the needs of the entire community. To help the board and library director develop a good plan, the following list helps explain a plan:
The basis on which a strategic plan should be constructed is the adoption of planning statements for library service. While the board of trustees and library director must take the initiative in writing and revising these statements, the library staff and community should have the opportunity to make suggestions and to discuss ideas before the board adopts the statements, which should include a mission statement, goals, objectives, and action statements as explained below.
Developing a strategic plan
1. Assess the library's present situation. Study the local environment--the community's political structure and how the library fits in, the geographic and demographic data for the community and the library, the economic factors affecting the community and the library, including revenue sources and budget. If projections for the community have been made, examine them. If not, develop such projections on the basis of present and anticipated community development.
2. Study the library in relation to the community using standards and guides, especially the tools published by the American Library Association, www.ala.org. See Fact Sheets, Toolkits, and Publications. Publications may be available through interlibrary loan.
Determine the mission statement, goals and objectives for the library.
3. Examine alternative approaches to reaching the objectives. Select the most feasible approach in terms of likely resources. Divide the selected approach into steps and place the steps into time frames. Assign priorities; that is, decide which steps have to be accomplished, which should be accomplished, and which would add to the total effect but are not essential. This ranking will dictate the allocation of funds and other resources.
Strategic Plan example
Public Library Space Needs
Trustee Qualifications and Responsibilities
A good board of trustees :
•supports the execution of library policies to offer impartial service to all library users
•advocates for improved library service
•has a current library card
•represents the diversity of the community with respect to interests, age, and socioeconomic levels
•has a regular infusion of new members
•networks with community leaders and organizations
•knows library trends and standards
•complies with the legal authority, state statutes, and local ordinances and board regulations under which the library operates
Trustee Selection and Appointment
See SD Codified Law 14-2-35, which specifies the make-up of a library board. http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=14-2-35
The chairperson of the board must notify the appointing body of vacancies as soon as they occur, and appointments should be made immediately. The new person will fill the remaining term of the vacancy.
Truly outstanding members can be reappointed to the board, but no one should serve indefinitely. The board chairmanship should be rotated among members. Each member should be appointed for a specific 3-year term and know when (month and year) their term expires. Terms should be specified in the appointment document.
Board – Library Director Relationship
The librarian or library director is employed to handle the day-to-day administration of the library. Both the board and the governing body should support the director in performing her/his administrative responsibilities. The board should ensure the director's continued education and development by encouraging participation in professional associations and by requiring attendance at workshops and conferences. The board itself should also take responsibility for its own continuing education. The table below contrasts the personnel oversight responsibilities of the library director and the board.
Responsibilities of Trustees and Librarian
The most important duty of the board of trustees is to hire a qualified, competent librarian. When hiring a new librarian, the board should:
1. Decide on the salary range based on the budget and the qualifications of the position. Where possible, the librarian
should be a graduate of a library school accredited by the American Library Association.
2. Obtain assistance in seeking qualified applicants from the state library, accredited library schools and professional organizations through advertising in their publications.
3. Follow the hiring procedures of the governing body.
4. Having hired a librarian, let her/him handle the everyday management of the library. A written job description and
written goals and objectives should be agreed upon at time of hiring (or subsequently). A performance review based
on the library director’s job description and goals and objectives at the midpoint and upon completion of the
probationary period is recommended.
5. Provide funds and professional leave for the librarian, staff, and board members to attend State Library sponsored workshops and whatever other continuing education opportunities that may be necessary to keep abreast of current trends in librarianship and to maintain their certification and library accreditation.
SD State Library Voluntary Certification/Accreditation Program http://library.sd.gov/LIB/DEV/standards.aspx
Hiring a New Director Resource Packet http://www.cosla.org/documents/HiringDirectorResourcePacket1.pdf
Administer the personnel policies of the library.
The librarian should:
1. Select and supervise all library personnel.
2. Administer all aspects of the library’s personnel policy.
3. Serve as the channel of communications between the staff and the board of trustees.
4. Urge staff members to apply for, maintain and/or upgrade their South Dakota State Library voluntary certification.
Trustees serve as the public's representatives to the library and as the library's representative to the public it serves. This list defines the public relations role of trustees and the librarian:
Trustee Ethics Tools
New trustees want to be good board members, but they are not always familiar with the ethical concerns of a non-profit board. The library should have an Ethics Statement for Library Trustees and this should be shared with new board members.
Sample statements are available at the following URLs:
ETHICS STATEMENT FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY TRUSTEES - from the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, a division of the American Library Association http://www.ala.org/united/sites/ala.org.united/files/content/trustees/orgtools/Ethics%20Statement.pdf
Regular library board meetings must be held. South Dakota Codified Law, SDCL 14-2-40(5), requires "Each board of public library trustees shall ... meet at least once during each quarter of the year." The library director should attend each meeting and serve as secretary to the board. Active libraries generally find it beneficial to meet monthly.
The chairperson and the library director should prepare the agenda and send it to the board members prior to each meeting, following the South Dakota Open Meetings Law, SDCL 1-25. (More information about Open Meetings Law.)
Although discussions can be informal, the meetings should be conducted according to simple parliamentary procedure. The typical parliamentary order of business is listed below:
The chairperson should conduct a controlled meeting with directed, pertinent discussion. Every board member must be given the opportunity to speak. See Robert's Rules of Order Parliamentary Procedure . In addition, check out Parliamentary Procedure advice from Dr. John A. Cagle.
To make every meeting meaningful, complete routine business quickly to allow time for open discussion on long-range planning, policy review, methods of extending service to unreached portions of the community, and other big picture topics.
A good organized orientation will include information packets with detailed information on responsibilities and ethics:
The packets will help the trustees gain confidence as they begin their new duties and get the new trustees involved in board business early in their first term.
The librarian should also provide a map showing any branches, stations and bookmobile stops; names, addresses and telephone numbers of other members of the board, etc. The librarian should conduct a library tour for board members and introduce staff members and volunteers.
The board of trustees must have an organized routine to conduct its affairs effectively, as outlined in its legally required bylaws in SDCL 14-2-40(2) :
Sample Bylaws of a Public Library
Brookings SD Public Library bylaws
Freeman SD Public Library bylaws
Generic Sample Bylaws of a Public Library (Please note: this section is a template that can be revised to fit your library needs)
Board of Trustees
Article I - Name and Authorization
This organization shall be called "The Board of Trustees of the Library," existing by virtue of the provision of Chapter 14-2 of the South Dakota Codified Laws, and exercising the powers and authority and assuming the responsibilities delegated to it under the said statute.
Article II - Meetings
The library board shall meet on the _ day of the month or months at _ time at the library. An annual meeting shall be held at the time of the regular monthly meeting for the month of ___
Special meetings may be called by the president or upon the written request of three members for the transaction of business stated in the call for the meeting.
Article III – Officers
Board officers shall be as follows: president, vice president and secretary. The librarian shall serve as secretary of the board. All other officers shall be elected from among the trustees by ballot at the annual meeting of the board. Each officer shall serve a term of one year in such office, and may be re-elected in subsequent years.
The president of the board shall preside at all meetings, certify all actions approved by the board, authorize calls for any special meetings, and generally perform the duties of a presiding officer. In the absence of the president, the vice-president shall perform all duties authorized for the president.
The board secretary shall keep a true and accurate account of all proceedings of the board meetings; issue notices of all proceedings of the board meetings; issue notices of all regular meetings and, on the authorization of the president, of all special meetings; and have custody of the minutes and the other records of the board.
If the library board shall have direct charge of any funds, a treasurer shall be elected in the same manner as the president or vice-president. The treasurer shall have charge of such library funds, shall sign checks on the accounts on the board's authorization and report at each meeting on the state of the funds.
Article IV – Committees
Special committees for the study and investigation of special problems may be appointed by the president to serve until they have completed the work for which they were appointed.
Article V – Quorum
A quorum for the transaction of business shall be a simple majority of the board members.
Article VI – Librarian
The librarian is the board's executive officer and shall have sole charge of administering the library under the board's direction and review. The librarian shall be responsible for employing and directing the staff, for selecting library materials, for the care of the buildings and equipment, for the efficiency of the library's service to the public, and for operating the library under the financial conditions set forth in the annual budget. The librarian shall keep exact accounts of all moneys received or expended, and shall report on such receipts and expenditures at each regular meeting of the board. The librarian shall perform the duties of secretary of the library board, and shall attend all board meetings except when her or his employment or salary is to be discussed.
Article VII – Order of Business
The order of business at the regular meetings shall be as follows:
Article VIII – Amendments
These bylaws may be amended by a simple majority of the members present at any regular board meeting that has a quorum, provided that the amendment was stated in the call for the meeting which was mailed to the members at least one week before the meeting.
Article IX – Limitations on Board Members
The term of office of trustees shall be three years. The board shall recommend to the appointing official that a trustee serve no more than two full consecutive terms, that a former board member may be reappointed after a lapse of one year and that if a trustee is appointed to serve an unexpired term of office exceeding 18 months it shall be considered a full term.
When any trustee fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the board the president shall notify the appointing authority, request the disqualification of the trustee, and suggest two to four persons qualified to fill the position.
The board of trustees is responsible for adopting written policies that govern and guide all phases of library operation. Policies are general, flexible statements governing library operations, rules and use. They are not carved in stone. Policies must be tailored to meet changing local conditions and should be derived from the library's mission statement. The following list categorizes the responsibilities of the trustees and librarian:
The policy manual must contain the following minimum information:
1. A statement of the goals and objectives of the library;
2. A detailed library materials selection policy* which includes selection priorities, the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read statement and a procedure for handling citizen complaints.
3. Regulations for library use must include the following◦Hours of service
◦Loan periods and fines (if any)
◦Replacement of library materials
◦Policy in regard to abuse of library privileges
◦Acceptance or rejection of gifts
◦Use of library meeting rooms
◦Exhibits by individuals or organizations
4. Staff regulations must include the following: NOTE: most libraries are governed & funded by their city or county, and staff regulations would be the same as for that entity.◦leave, vacation, sick leave, holidays
◦travel time and expenses to library meetings, conferences, etc.
◦other fringe benefits
◦staff responsibilities, job descriptions and salary schedules
Library employee benefits, salaries and job descriptions should be compatible with the benefits, salaries and job descriptions of other employees of the local governmental unit.
The policy manual should be revised in entirety at least once every five years and reviewed annually.
•Hours of Operation
•Meeting Room Use
•Exhibits and Displays
•Bulletin Boards and Materials Distribution
•Copiers and Other Equipment Use
•Emergencies and Disasters
•Public Information and Publicity
•Friends of the Library
•Partnerships and Cooperative Agreements
•Suggestions and Complaints
| Materials Use and Circulation
•Confidentiality of Patron Records
•Loan Periods and Renewals
•Requests for Items Unavailable
•Holds on Items Owned
•Requests for Purchase
•Fines and Interlibrary loans
•Charges for Damaged and Lost Materials
•Reference and Special Collections
|Computer Access and Use
•Internet Safety Policy
| Services Offered
|Board of Trustees Policies
•Constitutions and Bylaws
•Roles and Job Descriptions
•Job Classifications and Descriptions
•Salary Schedule and Benefits
•Employee Recruitment, Selection, Appointment
•Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action
•Chain of Command
•Evaluation, Discipline and Termination
•Association Memberships, Workshops and Travel
•Budget and Funding
•Contracts and Bidding
Source: Tools for Trustees: The Georgia Public Library Trustee Manual by Lyn Hopper
SD Library Policies Online
Alexander Mitchell (Aberdeen) http://www.aberdeen.sd.us/390/Library-Policies
Brookings Public http://www.cityofbrookings.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/40
Freeman Public http://www.freemanlibrary.org/policies.html
Hot Springs Public http://www.hotspringspubliclibrary.com/library-policy/
Huron Public http://www.huronsd.com/living-in-huron/huron-public-library/library-policies
Madison Public http://www.madisonpubliclibrarysd.com/policies
Sturgis Public http://www.sturgis-sd.gov/index.aspx?NID=509
Policy creation, samples
The South Dakota State Library has several books about policy creation. These are available through interlibrary loan. Search the library catalog at http://sdsl.booksys.net/opac/sdsl/#menuHome
Policy development information from ALA http://libguides.ala.org/librarypolicy
Policies and procedures, WebJunction http://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/policies-procedures/documents.html
Sample policies from Kentucky http://kdla.ky.gov/librarians/librarypolicies/Pages/LibraryOperationsPolicies.aspx
Disaster preparedness policies
Librarian's Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Guidebook - from the NJ State Library http://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/The-Librarian-Guidebook-Sept-10-Final-1.pdf
Librarian's Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Workbook - from the NJ State Library http://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/The-Librarian-Workbook-Sept-18-Edited.pdf
Collections care & disaster response planning https://www.lyrasis.org/LYRASIS%20Digital/Pages/Preservation%20Services/Resources-and-Publications.aspx#CollectionsCare
California Preservation Program (including disaster preparedness and response) https://calpreservation.org/
Kansas Cultural Heritage Emergency Resources Network https://kansaschern.wordpress.com/
Tech planning policies
Tech planning policy http://www.techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/reviewing-library-policies-an-important-step-in-technology-planning
Tech plan how-to How to Conduct a Quick Tech Plan http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/community/b/tsblog/archive/2013/12/13/how-to-conduct-quick-tech-plan.aspx
Tech priorities Identifying Technology Priorities https://www.techsoupcanada.ca/en/community/blog/tech_self_assessment
Tech plan Example
Public Library Ordinance Samples
State Library of Iowa http://www.statelibraryofiowa.org/ld/t-z/Trustees/trusthandbook14/appendix/sample-public-library-ordinance
Lakeside Public Library: Creating a Public Library Board http://cityoflakeside.org/Ordinance_120.pdf
Thorsen, Jeanne. “Establishing a Library Foundation, http://www.ala.org/united/sites/ala.org.united/files/content/foundations/orgtools/library-foundation.pdf
Disclaimer: Any joint use agreement developed for a school/public combined library should be reviewed by legal counsel of the parties involved. The following template provides a brief outline with which to begin, expand, and edit to meet specific local needs.
This Agreement made and entered into on _ by the City of _, (hereinafter "the City"), the School District of _, (hereinafter "the District"), and the _ Public Library Board, a public library board established under SDCL14-2 (hereinafter "the Library Board");
WHEREAS, the City and the School District are legally authorized to enter into intergovernmental agreements for services or for the exercise of joint or common powers, pursuant to SDCL14-2;
WHEREAS, the Library Board may contract with library organizations to provide or receive library services, pursuant to SDCL14-2;
WHEREAS, the Library Board has exclusive control of the expenditure of all moneys collected, donated, or appropriated for the library as well as exclusive charge, control and custody of all lands, buildings, money or other property acquired or leased by the municipality for library purposes, pursuant to SDCL14-2;
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises contained in this Agreement and other good and valuable considerations, the parties agree as follows:
Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the powers and duties of the District Board or the Library Board or to delegate such powers and duties as granted to them by South Dakota law.
All policies of the combined library shall be approved by both the District Board and the Library Board. Policies may be modified at any time with mutual approval of both boards.
The Library Board shall continue as a legal public library board of trustees appointed according to SDCL 14-2-35. An ex-officio liaison board member working between the District Board and the Library Board shall be appointed by the District Board.
The parties will be responsible for providing staffing for the operation and maintenance of the combined library as follows:
The Library Board shall provide a public librarian certified by the South Dakota State Library and such other staff as necessary to perform the public library mission of the combined library.
The District shall provide a school librarian certified by the South Dakota Department of Education and such other staff as necessary to perform the school library mission of the combined library.
The Library Board shall provide overall supervision and evaluation of the public librarian.
The school principal shall provide supervision and evaluation of the school librarian.
The City and Library Board agree to pay the District [amount to be determined by parties] each year for space in the school, maintenance of the facility, utilities, and custodial services.
In the event additional space is needed or the existing space needs to be renovated, the parties shall mutually agree on how costs are to be allocated or recovered.
The District shall be responsible for the purchase of all materials selected by the school librarian and all processing costs related to these materials.
The Library Board shall be responsible for the purchase of all materials selected by the public librarian and all processing costs related to these materials.
The District and Library Board may jointly purchase some library materials, equipment, digital licenses, and other resources if mutually agreed to by the parties.
The parties shall mutually agree on how costs for existing and new technology are to be allocated or recovered.
The District shall be responsible for salaries and fringe benefits of all school personnel.
The City and the Library Board shall be responsible for salaries and fringe benefits of all public library personnel.
Ownership of Assets
Ownership of all library materials, equipment, and furnishings provided or purchased by the Library Board shall be retained by the Library Board and shall be identified as such.
Ownership of all library materials, equipment, and furnishings provided or purchased by the School District shall be retained by the School District and shall be identified as such.
All library materials, equipment, and furnishings shall be available for use by the public, the students, and school personnel. Public use of certain equipment owned by the School District may be restricted when it is in use by students and school personnel.
In the event of termination of this agreement, all library materials, equipment, and furnishings shall be divided in accordance with the ownership of the items.
Term, Termination, and Review of the Agreement
The term of this Agreement shall be for five years [or other] unless terminated by either party.
The Agreement may be terminated by either party for cause, or for any or no reason upon giving notice of eighteen months [or other]. The Agreement may be extended upon mutual agreement of the parties.
The parties agree to evaluate the effectiveness of the arrangement three years after the start of this agreement.
The Agreement may be modified at any time with mutual agreement of the parties.
Signatures to the Agreement
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this Agreement by signing their names on this day and date first written above.
By: School District Board President
By: Public Library Board President
By: Mayor, City
*This sample template is based on an original created by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, https://dpi.wi.gov/