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SFL Bylaws August 2019
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                                        BYLAWS OF THE



                                        ARTICLE I

Name, Mission Statement, Purpose and Location

The Library, located at the corner Knower Avenue and Bridge Street, Schoharie, New York, shall be known as the Schoharie Free Library Association, as specified in the New York State charter granted February 27, 1959, as amended December 17, 1999 (the “Library”).

The Library shall serve the Village of Schoharie and an area approximating the Schoharie Central School District.  The Board of Trustees shall determine the exact boundaries within which free library services shall be provided. The fiscal year of the Library shall be the calendar year.

Mission Statement

The Library provides information and services for the residents of the community in their pursuit of educational, cultural, personal and recreational needs. The Library accomplishes this by collecting, organizing and disseminating information in a variety of formats while actively working with other agencies to serve the diverse needs of the community.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Library does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status, in any of its activities or operations.  The Library is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment to all of its patrons.  The Library is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status.




Section 1.  Composition of the Board

The Library shall be governed by a board of eleven Trustees, which shall constitute the corporate body of the Schoharie Free Library Association (the “Board of Trustees” or, individually, a “Trustee”).

The Board of Trustees may also, upon nomination by a Board member and an approving vote by a majority of the  Trustees, appoint one or more non-voting “Honorary or Emeritus Trustees,” to recognize the distinguished service of former Trustees, staff or library contributors.  Such Honorary or Emeritus Trustees should be invited to Board meetings and encouraged to continue their involvement with the Library.    

Section 2.  Election

Trustees shall be elected on a rotational basis, for and by the paid-up membership of the Association; and shall be, at the time of the election, residents of the Schoharie Central School District.  At the Board meeting prior to the Annual Meeting, the Board shall elect a Nominating Committee composed of three Trustees to identify individuals who they feel should be considered as Trustees for consideration by the Board at the Annual Meeting.  All Trustees may offer suggestions for consideration for new Trustees to the Nominating Committee prior to the Annual Meeting.  The Trustees shall choose new Trustees from among those individuals identified by the Nominating Committee. A simple majority of Trustees present and voting shall be required for the election of each new Trustee.

Section 3.  Terms

Trustees shall serve for a term of five years.  After a Trustee has served two consecutive terms, whether such terms are full or partial terms, a lapse of one year shall be required before said Trustee shall be eligible for re-election. In the event that a Trustee resigns or is otherwise replaced, the Board may appoint a replacement Trustee to fill the remainder of such Trustee’s term.

Section 4.  Responsibilities

The Board of Trustees is responsible for:

Section 5.  Meeting Attendance

It shall be the duty of all Trustees to attend all Library Board meetings.  Absence from three successive meeting without prior notification to the Board President or Secretary may constitute grounds for removal from the Board, at the discretion of the Board.    The Secretary shall record the attendees at each Library Board meeting.




Section 1.  Delineation

The Trustees shall elect from the Board the following officers:  President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer; provided, however, that the office of Treasurer may be filled with a non-voting member of the Board, at the discretion of a majority of the other Trustees, and such Trustee shall nonetheless, retain all other duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer.

Section 2.  Nomination and Election

At the Board meeting prior to the Annual Meeting, the Board shall elect a Nominating Committee composed of three Trustees who will select a slate of officers for presentation to the Board at the Annual Meeting.  The proposed slate, plus any nominations from the floor, shall be voted upon by the Board at the Annual Meeting.  A simple majority of Trustees present and voting shall be required for the election of each officer.

Section 3.  Length of Terms

All officers of the Board shall serve a term of one year, or until their successors shall have been duly elected.

Section 4.  Duties

The President of the Board shall:

The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, preside at meetings, and perform other duties ordinarily done by the President.  In addition, the Vice President shall also have the power and authority to execute documents authorized by the Board.

The Secretary shall:

The Treasurer shall:



Section 1.   Board Meetings

There shall be a minimum of six regular meetings each year, including the Annual Meeting of the Association.  These meetings shall be held monthly at the Library.

The date and time shall be selected and announced by the Board.   Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the New York State Law on Open Meetings.  

Section 2.  Association Meetings

The Library year shall close December 31, and an Annual Association meeting shall be held the following January.  The date and time shall be announced no less than 5 days before the meeting and posted in public places as specified by the Board and published in a Schoharie County newspaper.

Section 3.  Quorum

A simple majority of the existing Board members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of all business of the Board

Section 4.  Dues

Association dues shall be $5.00, paid annually by each member of the Board. .

Section 5.  Emergency  Meetings

The President or a majority of Trustees may call an emergency meeting, with due notice provided each member.  All Trustees shall receive notification of emergency meetings in writing, via e-mail or by telephone in advance of such meeting. Notice of any such meeting shall be posted in the Library and on its website.

                                        ARTICLE V


Section 1.  Committees

There shall be up to six committees:   Finance, Book, Building and Grounds, Public Relations, Grants and Fund Raising; each of which shall be established at the discretion of the Board.

Section 2.  Duties

If established, the duties of each such Committee shall be as follows:

The Finance Committee shall:

The Book Committee shall:

The Building and Grounds Committee shall:

  -   supervise the Library building and grounds, including identifying and recommending contractual personnel and the furnishing and care of the Library.

The Public Relations Committee shall:


-along with the Library Director, be responsible for publicizing the Library and its work for improving public relations in ways that will promote interest in and support for the Library.

The Fund Raising Committee shall:

The Grants Committee shall:

        -    be responsible for making grant requests to support the Library, as approved by the Board.

Section 3.  Other Committees

Ad hoc committees for special purposes or responsibilities, including a Nominating Committee which will be responsible for presenting a slate of nominees for officers and new Trustees may be authorized by the Board as provided herein.

                                        ARTICLE VI

                                          Library Director

Section 1.  Appointment and Supervision

The Board of Trustees shall have the responsibility for appointing and supervising the Library Director.

In the event of a vacancy, the vacant position shall be advertised in area newspapers and media.  A thorough search for qualified candidates shall be conducted.  Candidates shall be interviewed by the Board or by a committee appointed by the Board.  Following such interviews, one or more candidates shall be presented for the Board to determine to whom the position should be offered.

The Library Director shall meet annually with the President and one other Trustee for an annual performance appraisal.  Prior to such meeting, the Board shall meet in Executive Session to obtain input with regard to the Library Director’s performance appraisal.  The Library Director shall be provided with a written performance appraisal each year.  

Section 2.  Responsibilities

The Library Director shall:

- provide a Library environment welcoming to patrons of all ages;

-select books, tapes, films, and other materials, if necessary, in cooperation with the Book Committee and meet with the Book Committee not less than two times per year;

- have immediate charge of the Library and be responsible for the care and safety of the collection as well as all Library property and equipment, with the approval of the Building and Grounds Committee, and enforce Board approved policies;

- classify and catalog all books and materials;

- supervise the work of other employees, contractual personnel, and volunteers;

- keep accurate, detailed accounts of all money received from fines and other sources and pay all money to the Treasurer at least monthly, coordinate the  Claims Auditor’s review of expenditures, and assist the Treasurer in the development of the Library’s annual budget;

use the Library’s credit card for expenditures, in amounts up to $500.00, in accordance with the budget, for book purchases, office supplies and library equipment;

- report  at  Board meetings, in compliance with the annual budget, the number of books added, lent or lost, and any other matters requiring their attention;

- attend all Board meetings and prepare and present a Director’s Report at each such meeting;

- prepare and submit the annual report to the MVLS/State Education Department and present the Annual Report when completed to the community;

-discharge other duties as identified by the Board; and

-serve as the Library’s liaison to the Mohawk Valley Library System.

No debt, liability or expenditure in excess of $500.00 shall be incurred without express authority in advance from the Board.  

                                        ARTICLE VII

                                      Amendments to Bylaws

Amendments to these bylaws may be made by a majority vote of the Board at a regular meeting, provided the changes have been submitted at an earlier, regular meeting of the Board, and a copy of the proposed changes made available to each Board Trustee at least 30 days prior to the meeting at which the vote is taken.

Revised 1989, 2006, 2013,  2016,  September 2018 and August 14,  2019