101. By-Laws Marshall-Lyon County Library Board

Originally adopted November 2007. Current version adopted April 2016 and revised October 2019. Last review, March 2019. Next review, March 2022.



 The name of the organization is the Marshall-Lyon County Library Board of Trustees located in Marshall, Minnesota and operates branches in Marshall, Balaton and Cottonwood to serve all people living in those communities, as well as those in Florence, Garvin, Ghent, Lynd, Russell, Taunton and unincorporated Lyon County.



 In accordance with Minnesota Statute 134, the purpose of the Marshall-Lyon County Library Board is to represent the library both to the people and to the governing officials. It is the Board Members’ obligations to see that adequate funds are obtained for good library service, to promote the best possible use of all library resources in the area, to improve existing libraries, and extend library services to those not previously served.



 Section 1. Number and qualifications

The Library Board of Trustees is composed of nine members. Six (6) members represent the City of Marshall, five (5) of whom are recommended and approved by the City Council. One (1) is an elected member of the City Council appointed by the Mayor of Marshall. The three (3) remaining members represent Lyon County, with two (2) selected and appointed by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners and one (1) an elected Lyon County Commissioner.

Section 2. Term of Office

The term of office of board members shall be three years. No board member shall serve more than two full consecutive terms. A former board member can be reappointed after a lapse of one year. If a member is appointed to serve an unexpired term of office and serves more than one and a half (1 ½) years of the unexpired term portion remaining, it shall be considered a full term of office. If that member serves 50% or less than the remaining term, it does not count toward a full term in office. Thus, no member will serve more than seven and one half (7 ½) consecutive years in office.

At the first meeting a new Board member attends, the President will administer the oath of office, including a signed oath which shall be kept on file as long as the person is a member of the Board. The oath of office shall be as follows:

“You do swear to support the Constitution of the United States and of this state, to discharge faithfully the duties of this office to the best of your judgment and ability. (So help you God.)”

Section 3. Vacancies and Disqualifications

Any vacancy on the Board because of death, resignation, disqualification or removal shall be filled by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council or by the Chair of the County Commissioners, depending on the open seat. Any member who moves out of the political subdivision he/she represents becomes disqualified and shall be responsible for notifying the President of the Board. Upon receipt of such notification, the position shall be declared vacant.

The City Councilor and Lyon County Commissioner appointed to the Board may send an alternate from those elected bodies when they are not able to attend a meeting. It is the responsibility of the Board Member to share the upcoming Board Packet and inform the alternate of the items to be discussed. An alternate attending in place of the elected official shall be considered part of the quorum and able to vote. No other Board seat, however, may send an alternate.

Further, when any Board member fails to attend at least three consecutive regular meetings, the member may be removed from Board and the seat declared vacant. With any vacancy, it shall be the duty of the President to notify the appointing official of the vacancy as soon as possible.

Section 4. Compensation

Members serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for expenses incurred relating to official Library business.

Section 5. Orientation for New Members

Prior to the first regular meeting following their appointment, new members shall be provided with copies of these bylaws, pertinent sections of municipal, county and/or state code and any other documents deemed useful to Board members in carrying out their duties. They will also be given a briefing by the current President of the Board and the Library Director, or their designees.

Section 6. Roles and Responsibilities The Board is mainly responsible for:

  • the creation of policies that govern Library operations,
  • the allocation of revenue, oversight of expenditures and standards for fiscal behavior
  • leadership for the strategic direction of the organization

Section 6.1 Policy

Policies are Board statements governing Library operations and use of the Library’s facilities. As such, the Board has the responsibility to review and revise current policies, as well as create new ones as deemed necessary. A request to review, update or create a new policy can come from a Board member, Library Directory, staff or the public at any time. However, best practices dictate that policies should be reviewed every three years, updating and revising as needed and the Board heeds this advice. The procedure for these reviews will be as follows:

  • The Library Director will present a list of policies that should be reviewed in that year, as well as the tentative month in which the initial review will take place at the January regular meeting.
  • The President will name a standing committee for initial policy
  • Following approval by the standing committee, the full Board will review any policy, along with any recommended changes or updates at a regular meeting, or entertain a draft of a new policy, which allows a public hearing of the revised
  • Adoption of a revised or new policy will take place at the next regular meeting following the public hearing.

Section 6.2 Budget

Division 7, sec. 2-269 of the Marshall Municipal Code tasks the Library Board with the budgetary responsibility for the Library. As such, the Board will follow these procedures for establishing a budget each year:

  • The Director, with the help of staff, will create the initial draft for the Board to discuss at its June regular
  • At the June regular meeting, the Board discusses the initial draft, indicating changes or support.
  • Depending on discussion and changes, the President may call together a standing Budget committee to review changes and create additional drafts, with the help of the Library Director.
  • The final draft is then presented to the full Board at the July regular meeting, looking for Board adoption of the final draft
  • When the final draft budget is adopted, the Library meets with city and county officials by August 1 to review the adopted draft budget for them to take to City Council and County Commission for approval of total dollars
  • The Board may change line item amounts, shifting funds for strategic purposes or in response to final dollars allocated by the City and/or County in the subsequent months, adopting the final budget no later than the December regular meeting.

Section 6.3 Strategic Leadership

The Board, with input from the Director, is tasked with establishing the Library’s long-term direction. Duties in this area include:

  • Setting out the mission, vision and values of the organization
  • Hiring a competent Director and conduct a performance evaluation at least annually
  • Review and approve staff job descriptions and remuneration
  • Provide leadership for any strategic planning



 Section 1. Number, Election and Terms of Office

Officers of the board shall be a president, vice-president, and past president, which will form an executive committee when one is necessary. Officers shall be elected at the first regular meeting of the new year. An officer may succeed him/herself.

Section 2. Vacancies

When a vacancy in an officer position occurs, the position shall be filled by vote at the next regular meeting of the Board after the vacancy occurs. That member shall hold office until the next regularly scheduled election of officers.

Section 3. Duties of President

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board, appoint committees, make appointments to other Boards as required, call special meetings, execute all documents authorized by the Board and perform such other duties as associated with the office.

Section 4. Duties of the Vice-President

The Vice-President shall assume the duties and functions of the president in the event of the absence or disability of the President or the vacancy of the office. In the absence of the president and vice-president from a board meeting, the members present shall select a temporary chair for the meeting.

The Library Director, or designee, shall keep an accurate record of all proceedings of the board meetings. Such records shall be kept on file in the library and made available to the public.


Organization of Board Business

 Section 1. Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of the Library Board shall take place on the second Monday of each month at 4:00 P.M. at the Marshall-Lyon County Library or at the place designated at the preceding meeting. Any temporary change to the regular meeting date or time shall be approved by the Board at the previous regular meeting. At the July regular meeting, the Board will decide if there is to be an August meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President, or upon written request of three members, for the transaction of business as stated in the meeting request. Notice stating the time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which called shall be given each member of the board at least five days in advance of the meeting. The Library will call the meeting upon receiving notice by the President and will provide public notice in accordance with Minnesota Open Meeting Law. Emergency meetings may be called in compliance with city ordinance and Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law.

Section 3. Quorum

A quorum for transaction of business shall consist of a simple majority, which is five (5) members. Any actionable items will automatically be tabled if a quorum no longer exists, regardless of published agenda. However, remaining Board Members may continue with any discussion or informational items on the agenda.

Section 4. Order of Business

For most regular meetings, the order of the agenda shall include:

  1. Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Adoption of Agenda
  3. Public Comment
  4. Consent Agenda
    • Minutes
    • Bills
  5. Old Business
  6. New Business
  7. Reports
    • Director’s Report
    • Others as needed
  8. Pending Agenda Items
  9. Adjournment

However, at the request of a member, the President may entertain a motion to rearrange the agenda, include additional items or table items. Such a motion will be made prior to adopting the agenda.

Section 5. Parliamentary Authority

Robert's Rules of Order, latest revised edition, shall govern the parliamentary procedure of the meetings.

Section 6. Committees

Standing Board committees and their composition, duties and terms shall be designated by the President, which may include committees on Budget & Finance, Personnel, Planning, and Policy, as needed. All working committee shall make a progress report at each regular Board meeting.

As warranted, the Board may create ad Hoc committees for the study of special problems. Members shall be appointed by the President and they shall serve until the final report of the work for which they were appointed has been filed. Such committees may also include staff representatives.

The President is not an ex-officio member of any or all committees.


Library Director 

The Library Director shall be considered the executive and administrative officer of the Library on behalf of and under the direction and review of the Board. The Library Director shall carry out all policies of the Board and be held responsible for the care of the buildings and equipment, for the employment and direction of the staff, for the efficiency of the Library's service to the public, and for the operation of the Library and its Services under financial conditions set forth in the annual budget. The Library Director shall attend all Board meetings or send a designee, along with notice to the Board if unable to attend, as well as present a report at each regular meeting.


Mileage and Expenses

 Any costs incurred while doing the business of the Board outside regular meetings may be submitted for reimbursement, including mileage which will be reimbursed at the current IRS allowable mileage rate.



 These bylaws may be amended or repealed, and new bylaws adopted, at any regular meeting of the Board with a quorum present, by majority vote of the members present, or at a special meeting called for that express purpose. Proposed changes in the bylaws shall be submitted in writing to all Board members prior to the Monday before the regular monthly meeting so it may be included in that month’s Board packet. The Board will discuss it at that meeting and then vote on it at the following meeting before it will become official. All policies, new or revised will follow this same procedure.

These by-laws will be in force upon adoption by the Library Board of the Marshall-Lyon County Library.