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November 19, 2018
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Library Board Policies - By-laws

These by-laws are intended to establish the authority, appointment, composition, qualifications and roles of the Officers of the Halton Hills Public Library Board (henceforth the Board). These by-laws also set out the procedures by which meetings of the Board are to be conducted, the methods by which the business of the Board is to be carried out, the powers and duties of the Chief Librarian and other general rules relating to the government of the Board.

These rules are supplementary to the provisions of the Ontario Public Libraries Act and its regulations.

The mailing office of the Board shall be the Halton Hills Public Library- Georgetown Branch, 9 Church Street, Halton Hills, Ontario, L7G 2A3.

Article 1–Statement of Authority

The Board bears legal responsibility for the library by ensuring that it operates in accordance with the Ontario Public Libraries Act, R.S.O. 1990, chapter 44.   The Board is appointed by the Council of the Town of Halton Hills.  In accordance with the Public Libraries Act, the Halton Hills Public Library shall be under the management and control of the Board, which is legally constituted as a corporation.

The Board acts on behalf of the community in the discharge of its mandate and is appointed by and accountable to the Council of the Town of Halton Hills for the financial affairs of the library.

Article 2- Appointment of the Board

The Board is appointed by a formal process established by Council. The Public Libraries Act states that the municipal Council must appoint a minimum of five individuals to the Board including members from Council and residents of the municipality.

The Public Libraries Act gives Council up to sixty (60) days after the first meeting of Council in which to make appointments.  As per the Public Libraries Act, Council shall not appoint more of its own members to the Board than the number that is one less than a majority of the Board.

Article 3- Composition of the Board

In accordance with municipal Bylaw 2005-0131, which amended By-law 2003-0116 with respect to the composition of the Board, the Board shall be composed as follows:

  • eight individuals chosen from the public at large
  • two individuals who are members of Council

By-law 2003—0116 states that the membership of the Board will be representative of the Halton Hills community by having a balanced mix of:

  • men and women;
  • age groups;
  • geographical areas of the community;
  • community interests from various sectors including but not limited to education, arts and culture, politics, service organizations, social services and business;
  • vocational backgrounds and skill sets in areas such as education, business of all types, public relations, finance, recreation, planning, media and automation.

Article 4- Qualifications of the Board

A person is qualified to be appointed as a member of the Board if they are a member of the appointing Council or,

  • is at least eighteen years  old;
  • is a Canadian citizen;
  • is a resident of the Town of Halton Hills;
  • is not employed by the Board or the municipality;
  • has an interest in the success and future of the Halton Hills community;
  • is willing to represent the diverse interests, concerns and attitudes of the community;
  • has a desire to learn about the library and its services and how they impact the community;
  • can dedicate time to the Library Board’s activities;
  • has general knowledge of some of the following areas: business practices, budgeting and financial reporting, personnel  issues, property management, computer applications, marketing and fundraising;
  • has an ability to bring new approaches to the Board’s deliberations;
  • is able to work well in a group setting;
  • is able to represent the library effectively in the community and beyond.

Article 5- Statement of Responsibilities

The Board:

  • reviews and approves new or revised policies that govern the operations of the library and the Board itself, as recommended by the Chief Librarian;
  • recruits and appoints the Chief Librarian who will have general supervision over, and direction of, the operations of the public library and its staff;
  • in conjunction with the Chief Librarian, defines the purpose and direction of the library, develops short and long term plans, reviews and approves such plans and monitors the strategies of the library to implement them;
  • provides oversight of the financial affairs of the library and ensures that the organization operates on an ethical and sound financial basis, and that the appropriate financial records are maintained by the library and the Town;
  • works with the Chief Librarian to assess all relevant information regarding the needs of the community with respect to library services and to identify and endorse service priorities;
  • serves as an advocate in seeking adequate funding to achieve the endorsed service priorities;
  • assists the Chief Librarian in securing support in the community  for appropriate public library services and in encouraging complementary partnerships that will advance the goals of the library;
  • assists the Chief Librarian  in identifying and securing the necessary expertise required for significant capital projects and other substantive issues;
  • assists the Chief Librarian in developing a program of public relations to foster strong and mutually supportive relationships with the municipality, local agencies, community groups and organizations and other levels of government;
  • ensures that the needs and preferences of the public are considered in the development and promotion of library services in the community;
  • reviews and endorses the annual report on library operations and progress as presented by the Chief Librarian and presents the annual report to Council;
  • ensures that provisions have been made for insuring the Board’s real and personal property;
  • conducts an annual performance appraisal of the Chief Librarian;
  • encourages seminars and/or workshops for the development of Board members’ skills and experience;
  • promotes library legislation that improves and extends library service;
  • appoints such committees of the Board as it considers expedient.

Article 6- Term of Office

Board members shall hold office for a term concurrent with the appointing Council or until a successor is appointed, and may be re-appointed for one or more terms.  See Article 11 for terms of office for Chair and Vice-Chair.

Article 7- Remuneration

Board members serve without remuneration but are reimbursed for all reasonable expenses (e.g., kilometrage, conference attendance) incurred when acting in an approved official capacity. Such expenses will be reimbursed as per the established policy.

Article 8- Vacancies

The Board shall notify Council when a vacancy occurs and the remaining term is more than forty-five (45) days.  If the vacancy occurs in a position representing the public-at-large, the Town Clerk shall notify the public of the vacancy through the local newspaper, inviting applications.

Council shall promptly appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the duration of the term.

Article 9- Disqualification

If a Board member,

  • is convicted of an indictable offense;
  • becomes incapacitated;
  • is absent from the meetings of the Board for three consecutive meetings without being authorized by a Board resolution;
  • ceases to become a resident of Halton Hills;
  • ceases to be qualified for membership; or
  • otherwise forfeits his or her seat,

the member’s seat becomes vacant and the remaining members shall declare the seat vacant and notify Council accordingly.

Article 10- Code of Conduct

The Board will govern with a style that emphasizes:

  • encouragement of, and respect for, diversity of opinions;
  • strategic leadership;
  • clear distinction between the roles of the Board and the Chief Librarian;
  • collective, rather than individual, decisions.

Furthermore, the Board will:

  • operate in all ways mindful of its civic trusteeship obligation to the Halton Hills Public Library;
  • speak with one voice;
  • ensure continuous good governance through periodic discussion of process improvement, and through active recruitment of new Board members;
  • monitor and discuss the Board’s performance.

Board members are expected to be loyal and supportive of the interests of the Halton Hills Public Library.  This accountability supersedes any conflicting loyalty such as that to advocacy or interest groups, membership on other Boards or employment with other organizations.  This accountability supersedes the personal interest of any Board member acting as an individual consumer of the library’s services.

Board members must avoid any conflict of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility in compliance with the “Municipal Conflict of Interest Act”. 

  • There must be no self-dealing or any conduct of private business or personal services between any Board member and the library except as controlled by procedure, to ensure openness, competitive opportunity and equal access to “inside” information.  Each Board member shall disclose to the Board any personal interest which s/he may have in any matter pending before the Board and shall refrain from any participation in any decision on such matter.
  • Board members must not use their positions to obtain employment in the organization for themselves, family members or close associates.
  • Should a Board member be considered for employment with the library, s/he must temporarily withdraw from Board deliberation, voting and access to applicable Board information.

Board members should refrain from exercising individual authority over the organization. For example,

  • Board members’ interaction with the Chief Librarian or with library staff must recognize the lack of authority held by any individual Board member or group of Board members;
  • Board members’ interaction with the public, the media or any other group must recognize the same limitation of any Board member or group of Board members to speak for the Board;
  • Board members will refrain from making judgments of the performance of the Chief Librarian or other library staff, except through the official performance review process.

Board members are expected to act in an ethical and businesslike manner.  This commitment includes the proper use of authority, the protection of confidential material, appropriate decorum in a group and as individuals, and respect for others and their contribution to the Board.

Board members will acknowledge the Chair as the primary spokesperson of the Board.  Any member speaking on behalf of the Board must present Board positions fairly, accurately and without bias.  Board members expressing personal opinions should clearly identify such remarks as personal and not those of the Board.

Article 11- Officers of the Board

The Officers of the Board shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, and the Secretary/Treasurer who shall be the Chief Librarian.  The Board shall elect and appoint Officers.

During each four year term, the term of office for Chair and Vice-Chair will be two years.  At the end of two years, the Vice-Chair will assume the office of Chair and an election will be held for the office of Vice-Chair.   Should the Vice-Chair decline to assume the office of Chair, elections will be held for both positions. The past-Chair/Vice-Chair may be re-elected for non-consecutive terms only.  Councillor appointees may not serve as an Officer of the Board.

The Officers must ensure the proper functioning of the Board and the proper conduct of Board business.  If any of the officers steps down, retires or is dismissed during his or her term, the Board must immediately elect or appoint a new officer.

(1) The Chair of the Board

The function of the Chair of the Board is to act as an official representative of the library and in his or her leadership capacity, oversees all affairs of the Board and ensures that the Board’s business is conducted expeditiously. The Chair shall preside at all meetings and vote on all issues. The Chair may appoint such committees as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Board.  The Chair shall be an ex-officio member of all committees so appointed.

In general, the Chair of the Board:

  • serves as the spokesperson for the Board;
  • is a signing officer of the Board;
  • represents the Board , alone or with other members of the Board at any public or private meetings for the purpose of conducting, promoting or completing the business of the Board;
  • provides advice to the Chief Librarian as needed in the preparation of the agenda to ensure the effective use of Board and staff time and resources;
  • presides at all regular and special meetings of the Board in accordance with the Public Libraries Act, and with the rules of procedure adopted by the Board.

More specifically, the Chair of the Board:

  • manages the meetings in an orderly and efficient fashion by--
    • calling the meeting to order
    • announcing the items of business in the order in which they appear on the agenda
    • presiding over any debate, and subject to the appeal by the members, deciding on all questions of order and general meeting tone
    • acting as the neutral party—not taking sides in a debate but ensuring that the meeting is conducted in a democratic manner
  • commits the Board to a specific course of action only when the Board has granted specific authority by a motion or policy;
  • ensures that vacancies on the Board are filled as quickly as possible
  • advises the Vice-Chair if for any reason, the Chair is temporarily unable to perform any of these function;
  • serves as an ex-officio member of all committees and task groups.

(2)  Vice-Chair of the Board

The function of the Vice-Chair is to preside at meetings of the Board in the absence of the Chair and shall assume the Chair's duties.  Additional duties may be undertaken by the Vice-Chair at the Board’s request.

The Vice-Chair may also act as a mentor to Board members appointed mid-term and will ensure that these individuals receive the necessary orientation to their duties from the Chief Librarian.

(3) Secretary-Treasurer of the Board

The function of the Secretary/Treasurer, who shall be the Chief Librarian, is to conduct the official correspondence of the Board, and is responsible for ensuring that there is a full, correct and approved record of the proceedings of each meeting.  The Chief Librarian will appoint the Executive Assistant for minute-taking.

The secretarial role also extends to preparing the agenda of each meeting, in consultation with the Chair as needed, and distributing all reports and other attachments associated with the agenda.

As Treasurer of the Board, the Chief Librarian shall oversee:

  • the receipt of the money entrusted to the Board;
  • the formal accounting of the money entrusted to the Board in accordance with established accounting principles;
  • the deposit of money received on the Board’s behalf;
  • the disbursement of money as directed by the Board;
  • the preparation of draft operating and capital budgets for Board approval.

(4)  All Board members

Every Board member has the following duties and responsibilities:

  • to endeavour to attend as many Board meetings as possible and to participate actively in discussions (see Article 9 re: meeting attendance);
  • to protect the library’s confidential information and not release or share confidential information without the permission, preferably in writing, of the person who provided it;
  • to not take advantage of or benefit from information that is obtained in the course of official duties as a Board member;
  • to be alert to information which the library can use to develop improved policies and strategies;
  • to support to the fullest the efforts of library staff in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals, unless materials are deemed to be illegal as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada (the Board has adopted the Canadian Library Association’s “Statement on Intellectual Freedom”);
  • to avoid exercising individual authority over the organization, except as explicitly set forth in Board policies;
  • to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest with respect to their fiduciary responsibility;
  • to reject offers of gifts, favours or benefits of a personal nature except normal promotional handouts of a nominal value. Unsolicited gifts of a substantial value should be turned over to the library.

 Article I2 – Time and Location of Meetings

The Board shall hold meetings as determined in the Public Libraries Act; that is, at least once each month for ten months and at such other times as it deems necessary.  Regular meetings of the Board shall be held on the second Wednesday of each month, with exceptions as necessary for the preparation and/or approval of the annual capital and operation budgets. Dates and locations are confirmed at the beginning of each calendar year.

The date, place or time of a particular meeting may be changed by the affirmative vote of a majority of the trustees present and voting at the regular meeting prior to the meeting affected.

Article 13- Notification of Meetings

Notice of all scheduled Board meetings, including an agenda and associated documents, will be mailed, delivered or sent electronically to all Board members in adequate time prior to the meeting.

A list of upcoming Board meetings will be posted on the library’s website.

Article 14- Attendance

Attendance of members at meetings shall be recorded.

Should a Board member be unable to attend a scheduled meeting of the Board or a scheduled committee meeting of the Board, they shall advise the Chief Librarian no later than twelve noon of the day of the meeting.  Should there not be a quorum for the meeting, the Chief Librarian shall contact the other Board members as soon as possible to advise them of the cancellation of the meeting.

After a Board member has been absent from two consecutive Board meetings, the Chief Librarian shall inform the Chair, who shall advise the member accordingly.   Any Board member missing three consecutive regular Board meetings in a calendar year, without authorization, shall have his/her seat on the Board declared vacant.

Article 15- Open Meetings

As per the Public Libraries Act, all meetings of the Board shall be open to the public except when by a vote of the Board, the meeting or part of the meeting is held In Camera (see Article 16).

Article 16- Closed or In-Camera Meetings

Before holding an In Camera meeting, a Board or committee of the Board shall state by resolution:

  • the fact of the holding of the closed meeting;
  • the general nature of the matter to be considered in the closed meeting.

As per the Public Libraries Act, a meeting shall not be closed to the public during the taking of a vote, unless the criteria below for closed meetings apply and/or the vote is for a procedural matter or for giving directions or instructions to officers, employees or agents of the Board or committee of the Board or persons retained by or under contract with the Board.

The Public Libraries Act stipulates that a meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is:

  1. the security of the property of the Board;
  2. personal matters about an identifiable individual;
  3. a proposed or pending acquisition of land by the Board;
  4. labour relations or employee negotiations;
  5. litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the Board;
  6. advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
  7. a matter in response of which a Board or committee of a Board may hold a closed meeting under another Act;
  8. in relation to consideration of a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Act if the Board or committee of the Board is the head of an institution for the purpose of that Act.

Only the results or decisions made in the In Camera meeting are recorded in the regular minutes, along with motions to move into and out of the In Camera session.  Results or decisions will be presented so as to preserve the identity of the individual(s) or property(ies) under consideration.

Article 17- Special Meetings

The Chair or any two members of the Board may summon a special meeting of the Board by giving at least two days’ notice via e-mail to each member, specifying the purpose for which the meeting is called.

Article 18- Quorum

The presence of a majority of the Board members shall constitute a quorum (currently 6 members) and shall be necessary for the transaction of business at any general or special meeting.  Members may participate via teleconference or video conference.  The Chair is included in the quorum.

When a quorum is not achieved within 20 minutes after the hour fixed for the meeting, the Executive Assistant shall record the names of the Board members present and the meeting shall stand adjourned until the next meeting is called.

Where the number of members who, by reason of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, are disallowed from participating in the meeting  (see Article 21) and the remaining members are not a sufficient number to constitute a quorum, then the remaining numbers shall be deemed to constitute a quorum, provided such a number is not less than two.

Article 19- Order of Proceedings

Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the deliberations of the Board except when such rules are in conflict with the Public Libraries Act, or any of the rules provided herein.  A copy of the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order shall be available at all library Board meetings.

The rules of order, other than such rules as may be prescribed by statute, may be suspended by the consent of a majority of the members present at any meeting.

An agenda for each regular meeting of the Board shall be prepared by the Chief Librarian at the discretion of the Board Chair.  An agenda shall be issued prior to the meeting. Board members wishing to have items included on the written agenda shall submit them to the Chief Librarian on or before 12 noon on the first Monday of the month preceding the meeting.  The order of business at all regular meetings shall be as follows:

1.   Declaration of quorum

2.   Approval of the agenda

3.   Declaration of pecuniary interest

4.   Minutes of the previous meeting(s)

5.   Consent agenda

6.   Correspondence

7.   Business arising

8.   Council Update

9.   Friends of the Library update

10. Community connections

11. Financial report

  • Accounts payable
  • Month end report

12. New Business

13.  Health & Safety Report

14.  Next Meeting

15.  Adjournment

The Board may schedule delegations or guest speakers prior to the regular business of the meeting.

Article 20 - Committees and Appointed Representatives

At the same time the Board's officers are elected, the Board shall elect representatives to those bodies to which the Board is entitled to representation and which it chooses to join. (see also Article 30)

Standing or ad hoc committees may be created from time to time as the Board may determine.

All committees and the terms of committee members shall be reviewed annually.

Article 21- Decision-Making

The following process will be followed in making decisions:

  • all decisions will be made on the basis of motions;
  • any Board member can put forward a motion related to the subject under consideration;
  • a motion must be seconded by another Board member;
  • a motion will not be debated until it has been moved and seconded and put on the floor by the Chair;
  • a motion that has been moved and seconded can be withdrawn or modified before it is put on the floor by the Chair, either by the mover or another member of the Board with the agreement of the mover;
  • once the motion is stated by the Chair, the mover needs the Board’s permission to withdraw or amend their motion prior to vote being called;
  • there will be only one substantive motion before the Board at any one time-- an amendment may be made to a motion, but may not negate the main motion or materially alter the intent;
  • after members debate the motion, the Chair puts the question to a vote;
  • voting is carried out by a show of hands, unless otherwise indicated, e.g., a secret ballot in the case of an election of officers;
  • a simple majority is required to pass a motion and the Chair will announce the result of the vote;
  • as per the Public Libraries Act, “the Chair or Acting Chair of a Board may vote with the other members of the Board upon all questions, and any question on which there is an equality of votes shall be deemed to be negative” (i.e., if the vote is tied, the motion is defeated);
  • no vote or action of the Board shall be rescinded at any special meeting of the Board unless there be present at such special meeting as many members of the Board as were present at the meeting when such vote or action was taken.

A meeting shall not be closed to the public during the taking of a vote except as follows:

  1. when the Board or committee of the Board is permitted or required to hold a closed meeting as outlined in Article 16; and
  2. when the vote is for a procedural matter or for giving directions or instructions to officers, employees or agents of the Board or committee of the Board or persons retained by or under contract with the Board.

Article 22- Conflict of Interest

Under the provisions of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, Board members having any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any matter and are present at a meeting at which the matter is the subject of consideration, the member,

  1. shall, prior to any consideration of the matter at the meeting, disclose the interest and the general nature thereof;
  2. shall not take part in the discussion of, or vote on any question in respect of the matter; and,
  3. shall not attempt in any way whether before, during or after the meeting to influence the voting on any such question.

Article 23- Minutes

Minutes of Board meetings may be recorded to assist with the preparation of draft minutes in paper format. Following the preparation of draft minutes, all recordings are erased. Minutes in draft form are forwarded to Board members before the next meeting.  Additions or corrections are made at the next full meeting of the Board, after which, minutes are adopted by the Board.

Copies of In Camera minutes will be distributed to the Board or committee of the Board at the meetings, and collected at the end of the meetings.  A copy of In Camera minutes will be retained on file by the Chief Librarian.  In Camera minutes are to be treated as highly confidential.

Minutes of Standing Committees and Ad-hoc Committees are forwarded to Board members only.

Article 24- Publication of Board Information

The Board shall cause to be posted on the library’s website a list of Board members, the Board e-mail address, a list of all regular Board meetings, Board meeting agendas, and approved Board meeting minutes.  Approved Board meeting minutes shall also be forwarded to the Town Clerk for inclusion in the Council meeting package.

Article 25- Electronic Communication

The Board may use e-mail for the purposes of information sharing, communicating on general administrative issues, forwarding documentation of use and interest to Board members, and occasionally, for seeking opinions in order to meet a deadline.  E-mail will also be used to disseminate meeting notices, agendas, and associated documents.  E-mail will not be used to vote on the election of Officers of the Board or on issues related to the budget, policies, personnel, or significant operational changes.

If necessary, the Chair or Acting Chair will arrange for electronic communication (e.g. teleconference, video conference, email) to deal with emergency matters such as an, extended closure due to pandemic, power outage, or structural damage. A quorum as defined by the Board‘s by-laws is required to proceed in this matter. All decisions made through this arrangement will be ratified at the next scheduled meeting of the Board.

Article 26- Delegations

Persons wishing to present verbal information on matters of fact, or make a request of the Board, shall give notice to the Chief Librarian as follows:

  1.  Item on Agenda

Where the item is already listed on the agenda, a verbal request received by the Chief Librarian prior to 12 noon on the day of the meeting will ensure that the delegation is listed on the agenda.

  1. Item Proposed for the Agenda

When a delegation wishes to propose and address an item at an upcoming Library Board meeting, the nature of their presentation is required to be submitted in writing to the Chief Librarian no later than 12 noon on the first Monday of the month preceding the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

Consideration will be given to accommodate a delegation after the deadline in consultation with the Board Chair. The delegation may be given the option of being heard at the conclusion of all items of business or to appear at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

In order to register for an upcoming meeting, the delegate must provide a full name and contact information. He/she must also indicate the number of people in his/her delegation, and the need for any audio-visual equipment. Registered delegations will be listed on the agenda.

  1. Insufficient Information

If a written request contains insufficient information, the Board Chair can defer it until sufficient written information is provided by the delegation.

  1. Rules on Presentation
  • Sub-committees of the Board are not permitted to accept delegations.  All delegations must be made to the Library Board.
  • A delegation can be either an individual or a representative of either a formal (e.g. ratepayer's organization) or informal organization (e.g. on behalf of library patrons).
  • If the matter under consideration qualifies as per Board policy, the delegation may be held In Camera.
  • A delegation shall be permitted a maximum limit of ten (10) minutes in which to present to the Library Board.
  • If three (3) or more delegations request to speak on the same item, each delegate on the matter will be permitted to speak for a maximum of five (5) minutes.  The Chief Librarian will attempt to advise the delegations of this speaking limit in advance.
  • A delegation cannot assume the time which has been allotted to another delegation.
  • A request from a delegation for an extended period of time in which to speak shall only be granted once upon a majority vote of the Board, and shall stipulate a maximum limit.
  • Delegations requesting to be heard on the same item shall be listed and heard in chronological order of request.
  • The Chief Librarian or the Board Chair may, if circumstances warrant, revise the order of delegations to ensure a logical order of presentation.
  • A delegation must address all matters, including questions, to the Board Chair.
  • The question and answer period, if any, shall be at the discretion of the Board Chair.
  • A delegation is encouraged not to repeat information presented by an earlier delegation.
  • A delegation that is appearing at a subsequent meeting(s) on the same item is encouraged not to present information which was presented at an earlier meeting.
  • Board members may ask questions of the delegation, but may not express an opinion or enter into a debate with a delegation.  When addressing the Library Board, a delegation shall not use offensive words or insulting expressions at any time toward members of the Library Board, staff or the public.
  •  Following the presentation, the Board may:
    • decide to discuss the matter further and arrive at a resolution
    • defer the matter for discussion at another meeting
    • receive the presentation for information only

Article 27 – Chief Librarian- Powers, Duties and Limitations

The Chief Librarian shall administer the policies approved by the Board.  Among these powers and duties, shall be the direction and supervision of staff members in the performance of their duties.  The Chief Librarian shall keep the Board well informed by submitting monthly reports on the operation of the library and shall recommend to the Board such policies and procedures as in the opinion of the Chief Librarian will promote the efficiency of the library in its service to the community of Halton Hills.  The Chief Librarian may not alter the approved operating or capital budgets without the prior approval of the Board and/or Council.

The Chief Librarian shall not cause or allow any organizational practice, activity, decision or circumstance, which is either:

  1. unlawful;
  2. imprudent; or,
  3. in violation of commonly accepted business and professional ethics.

With regard to interactions with library patrons or those applying to be library patrons, the Chief Librarian shall not cause or allow conditions, procedures or decisions which are unsafe, untimely, undignified or unnecessarily intrusive.  The Chief Librarian will not:

  1. elicit information for which there is no clear necessity;
  2. use methods of collecting, reviewing, transmitting or storing patron information that fail to protect against improper access;
  3. operate facilities that compromise health and safety;
  4. allow patrons to be unaware of what may be expected and not expected from the service.

With respect to the treatment of paid and volunteer staff, the Chief Librarian shall not cause or allow conditions which are deemed to be unfair, undignified, disorganized or unclear.  The Chief Librarian will not:

  1. operate without updated and approved personnel policies that clarify rules for staff, provide for the effective handling of concerns, and protect against wrongful or harmful conditions;
  2. ensure that there are no negative repercussions for staff who express dissenting opinions in a constructive manner;
  3. allow staff to be unprepared to deal with emergency situations.

With respect to ongoing financial activities, the Chief Librarian may not cause or allow the development of fiscal jeopardy. Any significant deviation from expected expenditures will be brought to the immediate attention of the Board, along with a recommended remedy.

Article 28- Board Use of Staff Resources

A request for extraordinary direction to staff shall be submitted in writing by the Board member for approval by the Board or one of its committees.  All such requests shall contain the objectives of the work to be done, the scope of work and the deadline.  The Board or committee will ensure that all staff queries and concerns about the extraordinary direction are answered before the work is undertaken.

Article 29- Evaluation of Chief Librarian

The Board oversees the performance of the Chief Librarian and supports the Chief Librarian’s development.  In consultation with the Chief Librarian, the Board will establish an evaluation tool and process to ensure an annual appraisal of the Chief Librarian is carried out in a timely, objective, comprehensive and constructive manner.  The process will be collaborative and focused on professional development.

The process is as follows:

  • the Chief Librarian’s performance will be evaluated after the first six months if a new hire, and annually thereafter; 
  • the Board shall appraise the Chief Librarian’s performance based on the job description, relevant competencies, objectives achieved and progress in furthering the goals of the library;
  • information collected to assess performance may include:
    • Chief Librarian’s self-evaluation, including a list of objectives achieved
    • Quarterly reports and annual report
    • Service performance indicators, and comparisons to similar libraries
    • Input of Board members, staff and/or outside stakeholders.

In the event that the Chief Librarian’s performance needs improvement, the Board must clearly state where progress must be made and will:

  • offer training and/or mentoring opportunities to address specific issues;
  • re-evaluate the performance of the Chief Librarian in six months.

Article 30- Board Training

Board members shall have access to training opportunities to maintain current and sufficient knowledge of their roles and responsibilities and the issues that are central to the role of the library.  To this end, the Board will:

  • schedule time for Board training;
  • maintain a membership in the Ontario Library Board’s Association;
  • assign a representative who will attend the regional Trustee Council meetings (see Article 20);
  • fund at least two Board members to attend a relevant conference annually (e.g., OLA Super Conference);
  • consider other training and networking opportunities forwarded by the Chief Librarian.

 Article 31- Board Self-Evaluation

Under the leadership of the Chair, the Board will at least once per term, conduct a self-evaluation.  The Board will establish a set of measurable standards by which the function and process of the Board’s performance can be evaluated.  The Chair will work with the Chief Librarian to facilitate access to the evaluation tool, and will distribute a report to the Board outlining the results of the self-evaluation.  The Board will formulate a work plan that will highlight specific goals and objectives for improving identified areas.

Article 32- Amendment of By-laws

The following are the conditions under which by-laws can be amended:

  1. by-laws may be amended in response to legislation, to provide greater clarity or when circumstances change;
  2. any member of the Board or the Chief Librarian can propose a review or an  amendment of a by-law;
  3. all members of the Board shall receive written details of the proposed changes at the Board meeting prior to the meeting at which a motion for amendment will be tabled;
  4. a motion to add, amend or remove a by-law shall require a majority vote in the affirmative to be carried;
  5. The dates of all approved amendments will be noted.

Revised/Approved:  May 9, 2018

Revised/Approved:  September 13, 2017

Revised/Approved:  November 9, 2016

Next Scheduled Review: January 2022