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Library Board Bylaws

Board of Trustees
approved 5/10/01
revised and approved: 10/4/2001, 8/5/03,
4/13/04, 9/14/04, 4/12/05, 5/9/06, 6/12/07,8/14/07; 12/10/07; 1/8/08; 6/9/08; 1/13/09; 3/10/09; 4/13/10; 11/9/10; 2/14/12; 6/5/12; 7/10/12; 12/11/12; 4/14/15; 4/12/16; 4/11/17



   A.  Membership:  In accordance with the City Code (see Appendix A) and a contract established       

         May 1, 1979, between the Kalona Public Library and Washington County, the Board of

         Trustees of the Kalona Public Library shall consist of seven members, six of whom shall

         reside in the City of Kalona and be appointed by the mayor with the approval of the City  

         Council, and one of whom shall reside in rural Washington County and be appointed by the

         Washington County Board of Supervisors.


            1. Gender Balance of Board

            The purpose of this bylaw is to establish the procedure for nominating candidates for board membership and to implement the provisions of House File 243, “An Act Providing for Gender    Balance on Local Boards…” This bylaw does not supersede or nullify the ability of the City Council and County Board of Supervisors to appoint Library Trustees, but does express the policy of the Library Board with regard to such appointments.


            Traditionally and historically, and without definition by ordinance, the Library Board has identified and recommended candidates for Trustee appointments by the City Council and Board of Supervisors.


            The Library Board will continue this practice and will identify and recommend to the City Council and County Board of Supervisors, candidates for appointment who are known supporters of free public library services for the community.


            To implement the language of the statute, “the method of selecting the best qualified applicants shall be fair and unbiased.”


            Therefore, in making nominations, the Board will strive to achieve “gender balance” in accordance with the provisions of the statute by adherence to the following general guidelines.

  1. The Board will eventually consist of either four women and three men, or three women and four men.
  2. The larger group and the smaller group will alternate in size as membership changes.
  3. In accordance with the statutes there may be an inequity in gender balance on the board if a good faith effort for a period of three months to find a qualified person to fill a vacancy on the board is unsuccessful, and the Board is unable to make a compliant nomination.
  4. And, regardless of the forgoing, in accordance with the statute, a trustee whose term expires prior to January 1, 2012 may be reappointed even though the reappointment continues an inequity in gender balance.


   B.  Qualifications:  In accordance with the City Code (see Appendix A), all resident members of

         the Board shall be bona fide citizens and residents of the City.  The non-resident member of 

         the board shall be a bona fide citizen and resident of Washington County.  Members shall be

         eighteen (18) years or older.


   C.  Terms of Office:  In accordance with the City Code (see Appendix A), all appointments to the

         board shall be for six (6) years, except to fill vacancies.  Each term shall commence on July

         1st.  Appointments shall be made every two (2) years of one-third (1/3) the total number, or

         as near as possible, to stagger the terms.  The board shall make recommendations to the City

         Council for each appointment.                                             


   D.  Vacancies:  In accordance with the City Code (see Appendix A), the position of any resident

         trustee shall be vacated if such member moves permanently from the City.  The position of a

         non-resident trustee shall be vacated if such member moves permanently from the County or

         into the City.  The position of a trustee shall be deemed vacated if such member is absent

         from six (6) consecutive regular meetings of the board, except in the case of sickness or

         temporary absence from the City or County.  Vacancies in the board shall be filled in the

         same manner as an original appointment except that the new trustee shall fill out the unex-

         pired term for which the appointment is made.


   E.  Current Members and Terms: (see Appendix B).



   A.  Officers:  In accordance with the City Code (see Appendix A) and these bylaws,  the officers of

         the board shall be a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary.  The City Treasurer shall

         serve as Board Treasurer, but shall not be a member of the Board.


   B.  Election:  Officers shall be members of the board and shall be nominated and elected by the

         board by majority vote at each June meeting of the board occuring in even-numbered years.


   C.  Term:  Officers shall serve for two years.


   D.  Vacancy:  A vacancy in any office shall be filled by election by the board at any meeting of

         the board and the person elected shall hold office until the next regular election.


   E.  Succession:  Officers may succeed themselves in office.


   F.  Voting:  Officers may vote on any question before the board.


   G.  Duties:  The duties of all officers shall be such as by custom and law and the rules of this

         board usually devolve upon such officers in accordance with their titles.  In addition, they

         shall have the following specific duties:


        1.  President:  The president shall preside at all meetings, authorize calls for special meetings,

             appoint all committees, attend the annual report to the City Council, and orient new

             trustees to the board.

        2.  Vice President:  The vice-president shall preside in the absence of the president, and

             perform all other duties in case of the president's absence or incapacity.

        3.  Secretary:  The secretary of the board shall keep a true and accurate account of all proceedings of the                       board meetings, and of all actions taken by the board in the previous year that are of such importance to the operation of the board and library as to merit inclusion in the bylaws.

        4.  Treasurer:  The treasurer shall pay all bills duly submitted and approved for payment by

             the board, and shall make monthly financial reports to the library director.


   H. Restricted Reserves: It is the policy of the Board that an amount equal to 20% of the total gross payroll be held in reserve and not appropriated to be spent except on a unanimous vote of the Board members present at that meeting.


   I. Continuing Education: All members of the library board of trustees participate in continuing education each year.  (#15,   p.9: In Service to Iowa: Public Library Standards, 5th ed., 2010)


   J. Ethics Statement for Kalona Public Library Trustees (Iowa Library Trustees Handbook, State Library of Iowa, 2009, p.6)

Trustees, in the capacity of trust upon them, shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity and honor. Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues or the institution. It is incumbent on any trustee to disqualify himself or herself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists. Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal philosophy and attitudes and those of the institution, acknowledging the formal position of the Board even if they personally disagree. A trustee must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information. Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals. Trustees who accept library Board responsibilities are expected to perform all of the functions of library trustees.


   K. Library Board Self-Assessment


  1. Individual Board Member Self-Assessment.  Each board member will perform a private self-assessment annually by the end of the Library’s fiscal year, which is June 30th, by completing the “Individual Library Board Member Assessment” form shown in Chapter 7 of the Iowa Library Trustee’s Handbook.  This is for individual private use and the results are not required to be shared with others, except that each member will report to the board whether or not he/she has completed the assessment, which report will be included in the minutes of the board.  The Library Director will deliver a copy of this form to each board member in the month of May each year. 
  2. Library Board Assessment. The board will perform an anonymous assessment of the board annually in the month of June by completing the “Library Board Assessment” form shown in Chapter 7 of the Iowa Library Trustee’s Handbook.  The Library Director will provide a copy of the form to each board member annually at the May meeting of the board.  Board members will anonymously deliver a completed copy of their assessment form to the board secretary at the June meeting.  The secretary will compile a statistical summary of the assessments, which will be placed on the agenda for discussion at the first meeting of the new board in July.  The new board will use the summary to help develop its goals for the new fiscal year.


   A.  Regular Meetings:  The board shall meet regularly on the second Tuesday of each month at

         6:00 p.m. at the library.  An agenda, the minutes of the previous meeting, a copy of the

         financial report, and any other materials appropriate to the meeting shall be distributed 48

         hours in advance to the members of the board.  The meeting date, time and place may be

         changed by the board or by the president of the board if it appears that the scheduled meeting

         will not be suitable due to unforeseen circumstances.  The president will notify trustees

         of any change in the regular meeting schedule no later than 48 hours prior to the change.


   B.  Public Notice:  The library director shall give public notice of the time, date and place of each

         meeting and its tentative agenda by posting the notice on a bulletin board in the library at

         least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting.  In addition, a notice of the time, date and

         place of each meeting shall be printed in The Kalona News prior to each meeting.  All

         meetings of the board are open to members of the public who wish to observe.  Non-board

         members who wish to address the board should request a place on the agenda not later than

         24 hours before the time established for the meeting.  The request may be directed to the

         president, the secretary, or the librarian.


  C.  Order of Business:

               Call to order

               Approve agenda

               Review and approval of the minutes of the previous meeting

               Financial report and approval of expenditures

               Public Forum

               Reports: Library Director/Others

               Old business

               New business

               Call for agenda items for the next meeting



   D.  Quorum:  A quorum shall consist of the majority of the board.


   E.  Rules of OrderRoberts Rules of Order shall apply in all parliamentary procedures.



  F.  Calendar:  The year shall commence July 1 and end June 30.  In each of the months specified,

        the board shall address the following matters:   (approved 12/10/07)



                   Review final draft of the budget before submitting to the City Council


                   Review Collection Development policies (Section 1)


                   Review Personnel Policies (Section 4.01-4.02)

                   Library director presents goals completed and goals for next year


                  Library director's evaluation

                   Review Personnel Policies (Section 4.03)

                   Review the bylaws


                   Review any necessary budget amendments

                   Review Facilities and Equipment policies (Section 3)

                   Board assessment forms sent out in digital format

                   Individual board self-assessment forms sent out


                   Election of officers (2 year terms)

                   Make recommendations for new board members to city council

                   Board assessments compiled by board secretary


                   Annual financial report

                   Discuss board assessment

                   Library board’s annual plan including goals for next year



                   Review Circulation policies (Section 2)


                   Review Emergency Procedures (Section 5)


                   Budget committee drafts budget

                   Library director's annual report to the trustees               


                   Review draft of the budget

                   Review contract with Riverside

                   Board Treasurer will be asked to attend meeting       



     A budget committee consisting of the Library Director and the officers of the board shall be responsible for preparing the annual library budget, presenting it to the board at the December meeting and to the City Council before January 30th of each year.  If necessary, they shall attend the budget meeting of the City Council to defend the proposed library budget.



     In accordance with the City Code (see Appendix A), the board shall employ a librarian and shall authorize the librarian to employ such assistants and employees as may be necessary for the proper management of the library.  The board shall fix their compensation provided that prior to such employment, their compensation shall have been approved by a majority of board members voting in favor thereof. The librarian shall be the executive director of the policies adopted by the board.  Her/his duties will be outlined in a job description approved by the board. 



   A.  Civil Rights:  This library will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (P.L.

         88-352) and all requirements imposed or pursuant to the Regulations of the Department of

         Health, Education and Welfare (45 CFR Part 80) issued pursuant to that title, to the end that,

         in accordance with Title VI of that Act and the Regulation, no national origin, to be excluded

         from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination

         under any program or activity for which the applicant receives Federal financial assistance

         from the Department.


   B.  Library Hours.  The library will be open to the public on the following schedule (55 hrs):

               Each Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

               Each Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

               Each Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

               Each Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

               Each Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

               Each Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


   C.  Contract for Library Services.  This library will continue to be a party to the "Contract for 

         Library Service for Washington County, Iowa" dated October 3, 1978, and will fulfill its

         duties thereunder by loaning library books and materials to all residents of Washington

         County, Iowa, living outside of the City of Kalona, upon the same terms and conditions as

         for residents of the City of Kalona.


   D.  Southeastern Library Services Board.  The Kalona Library accepts and will cooperate with

         the Southeastern Library Services Board and its administrator.


   F.  Riverside.  The library will contract with the city of Riverside for the provision of library ser-

        vices to its residents.  This contract will be re-examined in December of each year.


VII.  Amendments to Bylaws:

   A.  The bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the board by an affirmative vote of the majority of the



   B.  No notice in advance of the meeting is required for amendments.


   C.  The bylaws shall be reviewed and re-approved at the April meeting of each year.


   D.  The bylaws shall be available to the public by request.





Kalona, Iowa, City Code

Chapter 22: Library Board of Trustees

See City Code




Kalona Public Library, Board of Trustees

Current Members and Terms

updated 7/1/16



  • Jean Hussey:                                                                    
  • Cam Conrad (Secretary):                                                                                
  • Frank Slabaugh (President):                                                                           
  • Karen Stalter:
  • Teresa Fleming (Rural Rep.):
  • Bill Spencer, Jr. (Vice President):  
  • Christina Grier:



This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.