Bylaws of the Saratoga Springs Public Library Board of Trustees

Last updated: October, 2023

Members and Officers:

  1. The Board of Trustees shall consist of 7 members, and may include 1 ex-officio member, appointed by the Board, to administer the Special Fund.
  2. The term of office of each member shall be five years.
  3. The Trustees shall elect among themselves a president, vice-president, and secretary (or appoint the Library Director as secretary). The term of office for all officers is one year-from July 1 to June 30. No individual shall hold the office of the President for more than three consecutive years.
  4. In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of trustee, the remaining trustees shall appoint another person to fill such vacancy and such person shall serve as a trustee until the next annual election of trustees.
  5. The officers shall be elected at an organizational meeting preceding the regular meeting in July. The retiring officers shall remain in office to June 30.
  6. The Board shall appoint a treasurer of the library, who will act on behalf of the Board and under its review and direction. The treasurer will receive and safeguard library funds, maintain accounting records, deposit and disburse funds, and provide monthly reports to the Board. Upon the Board’s request, the treasurer will attend monthly meetings of the Board.
  7. The treasurer shall not be a current trustee of the library. The treasurer will be a library employee and be compensated through the payroll. As a public officer, the treasurer will file an oath of office. The treasurer shall be bonded.


In accordance with New York State’s Open Meetings Law, members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Saratoga Springs Public Library’s Board of Trustees. The only exception shall be meetings held in Executive Session. All individuals attending Board meetings must conduct themselves with respect and civility in compliance with the Patron Behavior Code of Conduct.

  1. Regular meetings shall be held on the second Monday of each month at 5:00 PM in the library, unless otherwise rescheduled in advance.
  2. Special meetings may be held at any time at the call of the president or secretary or at the request of any two members of the Board, with at least 24 hours of advance notice.
  3. A quorum at any meeting shall consist of a majority of the Board.
  4. A notice of monthly meetings stating time, place, and purpose shall be mailed to each member by the secretary at least three days but not more than ten days prior to the meeting.
  5. Library Policy for Public Input at Library Board Meetings:
    1. Public comment is limited to the portion of the meeting designated.
    2. People who wish to speak must sign in and provide their name and address for public record.
    3. Each speaker will have a maximum of two minutes.
    4. The Public Comment period is limited to 15 minutes unless the Board votes to extend the time period for special circumstances.
    5. Public input is limited to comments on matters involving Library business or operations.
    6. Personal complaints against Library staff or Board members shall not be received in an open meeting. Any such complaint shall be presented to the Library Director in writing for appropriate action.
    7. The Board shall not engage in dialogue and is not obligated to respond during public comment. The Board may ask clarifying questions.
    8. Additional agenda items will not be added after public comment and the Board is not obligated to address public commentary at a future meeting. The Board may refer any matter of public comment to the Library Director, Library Staff or the appropriate agency for review.
    9. There will be no public comment when the Board conducts Special Board Meetings.
    10. A brief summary of the public comments will be included in the meeting minutes.
  6. The order of business at all regular meetings shall be as follows:
    1. Call to order
    2. Disposition of minutes of previous meeting(s) – Action Required
    3. Approval of Expenditures – Action Required
      1. Prepaid Checks
      2. Monthly Warrants
    4. Approval of Financial Reports – Action Required
      1. Previous Month’s Checks and Current Month’s Warrants
      2. Budget Report
      3. Income Report
      4. Gifts
    5. President’s Report
    6. Correspondence and Communication
    7. Public Comment
    8. Director’s Report
      1. Director’s Written Report
      2. Use Statistics
      3. Department Reports
    9. Special Reports / Committee Reports
    10. Unfinished Business
    11. New Business
    12. Adjournment


The president shall appoint any committee deemed necessary by the Board.

Duties of Trustees:

  1. Accept voluntarily their elections (or appointments) and obligations appertaining thereto.
  2. Appoint a competent and qualified Library Director. Conduct an annual evaluation of the Library Director.
  3. Formulate and adopt written policies to govern the operation and program of the library.
  4. Secure adequate funds to carry out the program of the library.
  5. Keep abreast of national and state library standards in relation to the needs of the library and of the community.
  6. Comply with Education Law § 260-d by completing the annual trustee education requirement and submitting proof of same to Board President by December 31st each year.
  7. Maintain good public relations with the community and the local government.
  8. Act on the annual budget submitted by the Library Director.
  9. Understand the functions and qualifications of the staff at its different levels. Support the Library Director in finding and appointing a staff of high quality. Establish an adequate salary scale.
  10. Receive monetary gifts.
  11. Attend all Board meetings.
  12. When possible, attend regional, state, national trustees meetings and workshops, and affiliate with appropriate professional organizations.
  13. Deal with petitions, suggestions and complaints which are presented in writing by the public or which are transmitted by the Library Director from the staff.
  14. Be aware of state and national library legislation.

Duties of the Library Director:

  1. Acts as technical adviser to the Board (and as Secretary, if so appointed).
  2. Is responsible for the administration of the library under the general policies approved by the Board.
  3. Recommends needed policies for Board action and carries out the policies adopted.
  4. Organizes units of service, employs staff members for established positions, assigns responsibilities, and supervises the work of the staff.
  5. Is responsible for adopting and implementing an annual evaluation process for library staff.
  6. Keeps abreast of state and national library standards in relation to the library’s current conditions and future needs.
  7. Maintains an active program of public relations.
  8. Prepares an annual budget of the library for action by the Board.
  9. Prepares an adequate salary scale for action by the Board.
  10. Attends all Board meetings other than those in which her or his own salary or tenure is under discussion.
  11. Affiliates with state and national professional organizations and attends professional meetings.
  12. Prepares regular reports to the Board about the activities of the library.
  13. Selects books and other materials adequate to the needs of the public.
  14. Looks after the building and equipment of the library.
  15. Receive gifts of books and other materials.
  16. Keeps all records of the library.


Amendments to the above bylaws may be proposed at any regular meeting but shall become effective only after a favorable vote at a subsequent meeting.