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Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of the Cranston Public Library


This organization shall be called “The Board of Trustees of the Cranston Public Library”, existing by virtue of the provisions of Chapter 4 of Title 29 of the General Laws of the State of Rhode Island, and exercising the powers and authority and assuming the responsibilities delegated to it under said statute. Hereafter, the “Board of Trustees of the Cranston Public Library” shall be referred to as the “Board”. The Board and the Cranston Public Library adhere to the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read Statement and the Freedom to View Statement.

2.1 - Number and Term
The Board shall consist of seven (7) members appointed by the Cranston City Council. Trustees are appointed for a term of three (3) years.
2.2 - Qualifications
Members of the Board must be residents of the city of Cranston and be known for their civic dedication and known to be devoted to the public library as an educational institution.
2.3 - Vacancies
The Cranston City Council shall fill vacancies occurring by resignation, removal, death, or
otherwise, for the unexpired term thereof. When a vacancy occurs, the Chair with the advice
of the Board shall submit to the City Council the names of one or more recommended
persons to complete the unfinished term.
2.4 - Compensation
The members of the Board shall serve without compensation. The members of the Board may
be reimbursed for any Board-related expenses incurred.
2.5 - Removal
Removal of a member of the Board shall follow the process outlined in The Cranston Rhode
Island Municipal Code Chapter 3, section 3.18.
2.6 - CPLA Liaison
The Board will appoint a member to serve as the Liaison to the Cranston Public Library
Association Board of Directors (CPLA) each year at the annual meeting. The Liaison will be a
full voting member of the CPLA Board of Directors with all rights and responsibilities.
2.7 - Resignations
Any Trustee may resign at any time by submitting their resignation in writing to the Chair.
Such resignation shall be effective upon receipt unless another date is specified within.
Preferred notice for a resignation is 30 days before the effective date.

3.1 -Designations
The officers shall be a chair and vice chair, elected from among the appointed trustees at the
annual meeting of the board.
3.2 - Term of Office
Officers shall serve a term of one year from the annual meeting at which they are elected and
until further successors are duly elected.
3.3 - Chair
The chair 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 that office.
In addition to being the presiding officer at all meetings of the board, the Chair is also a full
member of the Board and can vote on all business before the board.
3.4 - Vice Chair
The vice chair, in the event of the absence or disability of the chair, or of a vacancy in that
office, shall assume and perform the duties and functions of the chair.

4.1 - Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board shall be held on the second Wednesday of the month, at 6:00
pm, or at such other time as the Board shall designate. The Board shall meet a minimum of 10
times a year. The Board does not meet in August unless by special meeting per § 4.3 of this
4.2 - Annual Meeting
The annual meeting, which shall be for the purpose of the election of officers and the
adoption of an annual report, shall be held at the time of the regular meeting in January of
each year. The annual meeting shall be held at the Central Library.
4.3 - Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the chair for the transaction of business stated in the call
for the meeting, provided that said meeting is given forty-eight (72) hour notice.
4.4 - Quorum
A quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting shall consist of a majority of
members of the Board.
4.5 - Place of Meetings
The annual meeting shall be held at the Central Library. Thereafter, unless otherwise
determined by the vote of the Board, meetings will be held at the branch libraries and at the
Central Library on a rotating basis.
4.6 - Order of Business
The order of business for regular meetings shall include, but not be limited to, the following
a) Roll call of members
b) Disposition of minutes of previous meeting and any intervening special meeting.
c) Progress and service report of director. Director’s report
d) Budget Report
e) Committee reports
f) Communications
g) Unfinished business
h) New business
i) Adjournment
4.7 - Open Meetings 
All meetings of the Board shall be conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings
requirements as defined in Title 42, Chapter 46 of the General Laws of the State of Rhode
4.8 - Notice of Meetings
The director shall consult with the chair on the agenda for each regular meeting. The agenda
and related reports shall be mailed distributed to the members of the Board at least five (5)
days before the meeting.

The Board shall take possession of such library, and shall thereafter be the legal guardians
and custodians of the same. They shall provide suitable rooms for the library, arrange for the
proper care and maintenance of the same, appoint a director of the Cranston Public Library
and such other competent persons as librarians as they may deem necessary, and fix their
compensation, and make all needful rules and regulations for the government of the library
and the use of the books; provided that no fee for the use of the books shall ever be exacted.

The Board shall appoint a qualified library director who shall be the executive and
administrative officer of the library on behalf of the Board and under its review and direction. The director shall be a graduate of a school of library science, accredited by the American Library Association.
The director is responsible for:

  • The proper selection, direction, supervision, and evaluation of the staff
  • For the care and maintenance of library property
  • For an adequate and proper selection of materials in keeping with stated policy of the Board
  • For the efficiency of library service to the public
  • For its financial operation within the limitations of the budget as determined by the Board.

The director, on a timely basis, shall provide the Board with personnel, financial, and service program reports.

7.1 – Committees
The Chair with the approval of the Board may appoint committees from time to time to carry
out the business of the Board. All committees shall consist of three (3) members of the Board.
The Chair of the Board shall be a member ex-officio of all committees and shall be entitled to
vote on all matters.

These bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members the Board present.
Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed at any regular meeting, but may become
effective only after a favorable vote at a subsequent meeting. These bylaws shall be subject
to review every five (5) years.

The board shall indemnify its members to the same extent allowable under the provisions of
Rhode Island General Laws 7-6-6, as amended. The provisions are incorporated by reference
herein. The board may, in its discretion, indemnify the director and the assistant director of
the Cranston Public Library to the extent allowable under Rhode Island General Laws 7-6-6.

The Board shall have and maintain a Nepotism policy, adopted by separate resolution, which
policy shall be incorporated into these Bylaws by reference.

Robert’s Rules of Order, in the latest edition, shall govern the parliamentary procedure of
meetings of the Board, and shall govern the Board in all cases to which it can be applied and
in which it is not inconsistent with these bylaws.

12.1 – Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
The Board adopts the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association, which codifies the
ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, library workers, and library trustees.
12.2 - United for Libraries - Public Library Trustee Ethics Statement
The Board adopts the Public Library Trustee Ethics Statement from United for Libraries:
Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, a Division of the
American Library Association. All Trustees will sign the statement upon appointment to the
12.3 – Rhode Island Code of Ethics
The Board complies with the requirements of the Rhode Island Code of Ethics as defined in Title 36, Chapter 14 of the General Laws of Rhode Island.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees 3/13/2001
Amended by the Library Board of Trustees 11/18/2015
Amended by the Library Board of Trustees 7/13/2022
Amended by the Library Board of Trustees 11/8/2023


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