Board of Library Trustees


The library shall be named the Medway Public Library. This organization will be called The Board of Library Trustees. It has been established under Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 78, Sec. 10-13.


Section 1. Number and Qualifications

The Board consists of six (6) members, two (2) of whom will be chosen through townwide election each year. Candidates for the office of library trustee must reside and be registered for the purpose of voting in the Town of Medway.

Section 2. Term of Office

A trustees term of office will be three (3) years.

Section 3. Resignation/Vacancy

A trustee may resign by written notice filed with the Board's Chairperson, the Town Clerk, or the Board of Selectmen.

If a vacancy occurs the Board will notify the Board of Selectmen in writing within one month. The Board will also recommend to the Board of Selectmen the name of an acceptable replacement. The Board may suggest a single or multiple names. The individual then selected by the majority from a roll call vote by members of both the board and the Board of Selectmen will serve the balance of the term of office. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch 41, Sec. 11).

Section 4. Collective Authority of the Board

All of the Board's decisions are made as a collective body. No individual member may make decisions or act for the Board unless specifically authorized to do so by majority vote of the Board.

Section 5. Performance

Trustees should attend every meeting. Prior notice should be given to the chairperson or director when a trustee is unable to attend a meeting.

The Board establishes the right to reprimand any trustee, who, by majority vote of the Board, has been unfaithful in the performance of his/her duties as a trustee.


Section 1. Duties

A. Identify and hire a competent Library Director and conduct an annual performance evaluation consistent with procedures established by the Board.

B. Prepare the Library director's written employment contract in which the basic conditions of employment are described (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 78, Sec. 34).

C. Assess the library's needs and its role in the Town as part of an ongoing planning process, and direct library development to meet those needs.

D. Establish policies and procedures for the library. In particular, written policies for the selection of materials and for the use of materials and facilities that reflect current standards of the American Library Association (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 78, Sec. 33). These will be kept at the library in written form and will be available to the public.

E. Advise the Library Director in budget preparation , adopt the final budget document, present it to Town boards/committees, and work to have it adopted at Town Meeting.

F. Supervise and maintain the library's property and facilities through the Library Director. Conduct periodic reviews of the physical and capital needs of all library facilities.

G. Approve an annual report and submit it to the Selectmen on or before January 10. The report will summarize relevant statistics and significant activities of the preceding year, and it will also identify important issues anticipated in the coming years.

H. Authorize payment of library expenses by signature of any four (4) Board members.

I. Speak and act within the Town to support the library's best interests, to further an understanding of library issues, and to foster increased public relations.

J. Study and support legislation that would benefit the Medway Public Library and the larger library community.


Section 1. Offices

The Board's officers will be a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and a Secretary.

Officers will be elected at the first regular monthly meeting following the spring Annual Town Election. The Library Director will preside at that meeting until a Chairperson is elected.

Section 2. Duties of Chairperson

A. Determine meeting agendas and order of business.

B. Preside at all Board meetings which he/she attends.

C. Call special Board meetings.

D. Appoint members to and designate the duties of any standing or special committees with the approval of any members so appointed.

E. Serve as a member ex-officio on all Board committees.

F. Appoint, from the Board's members, liaisons to the Friends of the Library, or any other committees.

G. Represents the Board to the Board of Selectmen, Annual Town Meeting, inter-departmental meetings, or any other forum.

H. Provide and/or coordinate orientation of new members.

I. Sign payroll and other authorization papers.


Section 3. Duties of the Vice-Chairperson

A. Perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence or at the request of the Chairperson.

B. Review the library's budget records and report on these to the Trustees at each meeting.

Section 4. Duties of the Secretary

A. Ensure accurate minutes of Board meetings are recorded and filed, indicating such by a signature. Minutes should:

Record all motions as stated whether adopted or rejected.

Record persons making and seconding motions.

Record votes of each trustee.


Section 1. Appointment

The Chairperson may appoint, as needed, standing or special committees to accomplish the Board's business. Committees may be dissolved at the discretion of the Chairman, when the task for which it was established has been completed to the satisfaction of the Board, or at the end of the fiscal year. Committees that need to function after the end of a fiscal year may be reappointed by the succeeding Chairperson.

Section 2. Reports

Progress reports will be made by committees to the Board at each meeting.

Section 3. Powers

No committee will have powers other than advisory, except by specific Board vote.



The Board will hire, to act on its behalf and under its direction, a qualified Library Director to be the executive and administrative officer of the library. Qualifications include a Master's Degree in Library Science from a program accredited by the American Library Association. The Library Director will be responsible for: selection and supervision of staff; care and maintenance of library property; collection development and maintenance; management of library services to the public; and financial operations within the scope of the existing Town budget and other sources of funding.

The Library Director will attend Board meetings to advise and inform the trustees on all library matters and to make recommendations on policy and budget items. The Library Director will be responsible for implementation of those policies and procedures approved by the Board.


Section 1. Regular Meetings

The Board will hold a minimum of ten (10) monthly meetings from September to June.

Section 2. Special Meetings

Special or emergency Board meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chairperson or at the request of four (4) trustees.

Section 3. Quorum

A quorum (majority of the board members=four (4)) is required to transact Board business, except to set the date for another meeting.

Section 4. Order of Business

  • Agendas for Board meetings will follow the general format below:
  • Call to order
  • Approval of agenda
  • Citizens speak
  • Secretary's report
  • Budget report
  • Director's report & announcements
  • Committee reports
  • Old business
  • New business
  • Adjournment

The Board reserves the right to amend the order of business.

Section 5. Actions regarding policy or regulation.

Any motion dealing with policy or regulation must be continued over for final decision at a subsequent meeting. This requirement may be waived by a majority vote of the board.

Section 6. Open Meeting Law

All Board meetings are subject to the State's Open Meeting Law (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 39, Sec. 23A - 23C), and are, therefore, open to the public. Meetings held in executive session are closed to the public under these same provisions. Minutes of executive session meetings will be withheld only as long as their publication defeats the purpose of the executive session.


The current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern Board proceedings when procedural questions arise.


These Bylaws may be amended at the Board's discretion. Amendments will be adopted and incorporated only when they have been presented and seconded at a previous meeting, and when they are subsequently approved by a majority vote.