Full By-Laws of the White Plains Public Library Board of Trustees


The Board of Trustees of the White Plains Public Library (WPPL), hereafter designated as the Board, exists by virtue of the provisions of Chapter 356 of the Laws of 1915 of the State of New York as amended and as expressed in Article XI of the Charter of the City of White Plains, and exercises the powers and authority and assumes the responsibilities delegated to it under the said statute.


The mission or purpose of the White Plains Public Library is to offer the community access to and assistance in the use of the broadest possible store of recorded knowledge, experience and ideas.

In support of this mission, the White Plains Public Library Staff and Trustees are committed to excellence and innovation in library service and operations, consistent with the community's ability to provide funding and support.

The WPPL Board of Trustees represents citizen responsibility to the Library, with its own goals and objectives clearly complementary to those related to day-to-day library operations.


Article I.  TRUSTEES

Section 1.    The WPPL Board is composed of nine (9) Trustees, eight (8) of whom shall be appointed by the Common Council of the city of White Plains, and the ninth shall be the Superintendent of Public Schools, acting ex-officio. The Superintendent can designate a member of the Public Schools' faculty to serve in his or her absence.

Section 2.   Each Trustee, except the Superintendent of Schools, is appointed for a term of three (3) years.

Section 3.   The Common Council shall annually in the month of  January appoint residents of said City as members of the Board of Trustees of the White Plains Public Library as required to fill expired terms.  The Common Council may, at any time, appoint resident of said City to fill any vacancy in the membership of such Board caused by death or otherwise, whenever such vacancy shall occur.  Each person so appointed shall, after due qualification, hold office for a term of three (3) years as measured from the first day of January preceding such appointment or until his successor has duly qualified, except when appointed to fill a vacancy and in such case to fill the unexpired term caused by such vacancy.

Section 4.   As defined by and subject to the City of White Plains Charter, and the laws and regulations pertaining to public libraries in the State of New York, the Board shall have the power and responsibility to:


(a)   Elect one of its members to serve as President of the Board and another member to serve as Secretary.

(b)   Have the exclusive care, custody, management and control of the White Plains Public Library and all property pertaining thereto.

(c)   Provide, with the approval of the Common Council, suitable rooms and buildings for the Library and supervise their care and maintenance.

(d)   Appoint and employ a Library Director and employ such other persons as may be necessary to properly care for and maintain the public library and its service to the public, subject to civil service rules and regulations and other applicable rules, regulations and laws pertaining to City employment.

(e)   Establish and review policies and procedures for the adequate service of the Library to the public.

(f)   Adopt by-laws for the conduct of business and of the Board and the performance of its duties.

(g)   Prepare budget estimates for library expenditures as required by laws and applicable rules and regulations; control appropriations made by the Common Council for the support and maintenance of  the Library; seek adequate funding and assure the efficient and appropriate expenditure of funds.

(h)   Purchase, sell or exchange, improve and repair books and other library materials required for the proper operation of the Library as well as library appurtenances and equipment, except those items which may appropriately be performed by the Department of Purchase.

(i)   Make such reports, annual and special, as are required by law and applicable rules and regulations.


Section 5.   Attendance at meetings is a prerequisite for continued service as a trustee.  Three (3) or more consecutive unexcused absences shall be considered grounds for requesting notice to the Common Council for replacement of the Trustee.  After due notice to the Trustee and appropriate Board consultation, the decision to request replacement of a Trustee with three (3) or more unexcused absences shall rest with the Board.



Section 1.   The officers shall be a President and a Secretary elected from among the appointed Trustees at the annual meeting of the Board.

Section 2.   A nominating committee consisting of members of the board shall be appointed by the President up to two months prior to the annual meeting.  This committee will present a slate of officers at the annual meeting.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor.

Section 3.   Officers shall serve a term of one (1) year from the annual meeting at which they are elected and until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

Section 4.   No officer shall serve more than three (3) successive one-year terms.

Section 5.   The President shall preside at all meetings of the board, authorize calls for any special meetings, appoint all committees, execute all documents authorized by the Board, serve as an ex-officio voting member of all committees, and generally perform all duties associated with the office.

Section 6.   In the President's absence, the Secretary shall preside at a Board meeting, and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with the office of the President.

Section 7.   The Secretary shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board, shall issue notice of all regular and special meetings, and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with the office.




Section 1.   The regular meetings shall be held each month, the date and hour to be set by the Board at its previous meeting.  Written notice shall be sent to all Board members at least five days prior to the meeting date.  The August meeting may be cancelled at the discretion of the Board.

Section 2.   The annual meeting, which shall be for the purpose of the election of officers, shall be held at the time of the regular meeting in February of each year, unless otherwise determined by the Board.

Section 3.   The order of business for regular meetings shall include, but not be limited to, the following items which shall be covered in the sequence shown as circumstances permit:

(a)   Call to order

(b)   Roll call of members

(c)   Disposition of minutes of previous meeting and any intervening special meeting(s)

(d)   Director's financial report of the Library

(e)   Action on bills

(f)   Report of Library Administration

(g)   Committee reports

(h)   Communications

(i)   Other agenda items

(j)   Unfinished business

(k)   New business

(l)   Public presentation to or discussion with Board

(m)   Setting of date for next meeting

(n)   Adjournment


Section 4.   Special meetings may be called by the President, by the Secretary at the direction of the President, or at the request of three Board members, for the transaction of business as stated in the call for the meeting.  Notice requirements for a special meeting shall be on no less than twenty four (24) hours written notice conveyed in hardcopy or electronically.

Section 5.   A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting shall consist of five (5) members of the Board present in person.  In the absence of a quorum, the Trustees present may adjourn the meeting to a later date, and written notice of that meeting shall be sent to all Trustees.  If it is known in advance that a quorum will not be present at a regular meeting, the meeting may be held at a time at which a quorum will be present.

Section 6.   Proceedings of all meetings shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.



Section 1.   When the position is vacant, and subject to the approval of the Common Council, the Board shall appoint a qualified Library Director.  This person shall be the executive and administrative officer of the Library, acting on behalf of the Board and under its review and direction.

Section 2.   Subject to confirmation of appointments by the Board, the Director shall be responsible for selection and hiring of library employees.  The Director shall also be responsible for specification of the duties of employees, and for the proper direction and supervision of the staff.

Appointments and other personnel transactions will be made in accordance with civil service rules and regulations and other applicable rules, regulations and other laws pertaining to City employment.

The Director shall also be delegated responsibility for the care and maintenance of library property; for selection and disposition of books and other library materials in keeping with stated policy of the Board; for the efficiency of library services to the public; for purchase of materials, supplies, appurtenances and equipment required for proper operation of the Library, except those items which may appropriately be performed by the Department of  Purchase; and for the financial operation of the Library within the limitations of the budgeted appropriation.

Section 3.   The Director shall attend all Board meetings, may take part in the discussion, but shall have no vote.  The Director shall attend public meetings where action may be taken affecting the interests of the Library.

Section 4.   In the absence or disability of the Library Director, his or her duties shall be performed by the Assistant Library Director.



Section 1.   The President shall appoint committees of one or more members each for such specific purposes as the business of the Board may require.  The committee shall be considered discharged upon the completion of the purpose for which it was appointed and after the final report is made to the Board.

Section 2.   All active committees shall make a progress report to the Board at each of its regular meetings.

Section 3.   No committee will have other than advisory powers. All committee recommendations are subject to approval by a majority of the Board.


Article VI.  GENERAL

Section 1.   An affirmative vote of the majority of all members of the Board shall be necessary to approve any action or motion before the Board.  The President may vote upon and may move or second a proposal before the Board.

Section 2.   The By-Laws may be amended by the majority vote of all members of the Board provided written notice of the proposed amendment shall have been mailed to all members at least five (5) days prior to the meeting at which such action is proposed to be taken.


Revised & Approved by White Plains Library Board of Trustees 4/12/23

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PDF Version: WPPL Full By-Laws Board of Trustees.pdf