Section 1: Name

The official name of this board shall be the Board of Trustees of the New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library hereinafter referred to as “the Board.” The New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library will be hereinafter be referred to as “the Library.”

Section 2: Organization

The Board is a Class One Public Library operating under the Public Library Law of 1947 and the Library Services Authority of 1967 of the State of Indiana. The Board exercises the powers and authority and assumes the responsibilities delegated to it under the provisions of IC 36-12-1-5.

Section 3: Mission

The New Carlisle-Olive Township Public Library fosters community by providing opportunities for creative learning and by connecting people with resources and services to enrich lives.

Section 4: Library Legal Service Area

The New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library is located in the town of New Carlisle, St. Joseph County, Indiana. The Library’s legal service area encompasses all of Olive Township, St. Joseph County, Indiana. The Township boundaries are the Indiana/Michigan state line on the north, LaPorte County on the west, Warren Township on the east, Green Township to the south.

The physical address of the Library is 408 S. Bray Street, New Carlisle, IN 46552.

Section 5: Present Facilities

Name: New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library Constructed: Original Carnegie Building 1921 at 124 E. Michigan Street in New Carlisle, Indiana. (Now the New Carlisle Town Hall). New facility in 2002 is located at the address noted in Section 4 above. Renovations were completed in 2020.

Section 1: Authority

The Board shall govern the Library, a municipal corporation and Class 1 Library organized under the Public Library provisions, according to the purposes and authority set forth in IC 36-12, as amended, and such other Indiana and federal laws as affect the operation of the Library.

Section 2: Compensation

Members of the Board (Trustees) shall serve without compensation, except that the Treasurer may be paid, per IC 36-12-2-21. A Board member may not serve as a paid employee of the public Library.

Section 3: Reimbursement

Necessary travel and/or meal expenses of any Board member incurred in the interest and business of the Library may be reimbursed out of Library funds, per policy or Board resolution. Such travel on behalf of the Library shall be approved by the Board.

Section 4: Legal Counsel

The Board may engage legal counsel as needed for legal advice. The President of the Board of the Library Director may request the legal opinions of legal counsel for any matter which comes within the jurisdiction of the Board, and shall report the opinion to the Board.

Section 5: Composition

Members of the Board shall be appointed pursuant to IC 36-12-2-9, and as follows:

The Library Board of Trustees shall be composed of citizens who have resided in the Library district for a period of not less than two (2) years.

The Library Board shall have the following five (5) appointing authorities:

  • New Prairie United School Corporation Board (3 appointments)
  • St. Joseph County Council (1 appointment)
  • St. Joseph County Commissioners (1 appointment)
  • Town Council of New Carlisle (1 appointment)
  • Olive Township Trustee (1 appointment)

Except as provided in subsection (b) of IC 36-12-2-8, the term of a library board trustee is four (4) years, and an appointee to the Board may not serve more than four (4) consecutive terms on the Board. An unexpired term of two (2) years or less that an individual serves in filling a vacancy on the library board may not be counted in computing consecutive terms for these purposes.

A vacancy shall be defined as that situation when a board member is absent for six consecutive regular board meetings for any cause, other than illness, and the appointing authority shall be notified by the Secretary of the board of the occurrence of such vacancy.

Appointments to fill vacancies created by death or resignation shall be for the unexpired term.

Section 6: Meetings

The Board shall meet monthly. The regular monthly business meeting of the New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library Board of Trustees shall be held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the library. The Board may make exceptions to this schedule.

The December meeting shall be the annual meeting per IC 36-12-2-23.

The full Board and its officers constitutes The Board of Finance and shall meet annually in January, after the first Monday and on or before the last day of January, to review finances and depositories, per IC 5-13-7- 5 et seq.

Regular, special, and executive session meetings will be publicized and conducted in accordance with the Open Door Law of Indiana (IC 5-14-1.5).

Special meetings may be called by the President, or upon written request of two (2) members, for the transaction of business as stated in the call, per IC 36-12-2-23. Notice stating the time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which called shall be given to each member of the Board at least two (2) days in advance of such meeting and to the local media 48 hours in advance, excluding holidays and weekends, per IC 5-14-1.5-5

A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a simple majority, which is equal to 50% of the seats established by law plus one, regardless of any current vacancies on the Board.

Section 7: Officers

Officers of the Board shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, per IC 36-12-2- 22 and IC 36-12-2-23.

The officers shall be elected by ballot at the December meeting for a term of one year, per IC 36-12- 2-23.

Vacancies in office shall be filled by ballot at the next regular meeting of the Board after the vacancy occurs.

Any officer may be removed by the Board at any regular or special meeting by a majority vote of the entire membership of the Board.

The duties of the officers shall be such as by custom and law, including IC 36-12-2-22 et seq., and the rules of this Board usually devolve upon such officers in accordance with their titles.

The President shall preside at Board meetings, appoint committees deemed necessary, certify all bills allowed by the Board, sign all warrants on the Treasurer for the payment of money, enforce the observance of these rules, and perform such other duties as pertain to the office of the President and are necessary to carry out the wishes of the Board.

The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of the latter.

The Secretary shall record all proceedings of the Board and countersign all warrants on the Treasurer for the payment of money; shall notify the proper appointing powers of vacancies on the Board, such notice shall be given when possible, two weeks before the vacancy occurs; shall certify the rate of taxation as determined by the Library Board to the County Auditor, and see that the levy is properly made and recorded; shall keep a record of attendance at Board meetings, and if any member is absent without reasonable excuse from six consecutive meetings for any cause other than illness, it shall be the duty of the Secretary to inform the appointing authority that the member is not serving the best interests of the Library and should be replaced by someone who will take an active part in the work.

In addition to duties outline in IC 36-12-2-22, the Treasurer shall be responsible for and keep a detailed account of receipts and expenditures and be responsible for monthly reports and an annual report of receipts and expenditures; shall sign all warrants approved by the Board.

Section 8: Committees

Committees for the study and investigation of specific problems may be appointed by the President. Such committees shall serve until the completion of the work for which they were appointed.

Committees shall be appointed as needed at the regular meeting of the board. The committees and duties are as follows:

  • Finance Committee: It shall consist of two (2) board members and the Treasurer. It shall prepare, in cooperation with the Director and the Bookkeeper, the annual budget of expenditures, and recommend to the Board at its July meeting the rate of taxation that will be necessary to maintain the library.
  • Building and Maintenance Committee: It shall consist of two (2) board members. It shall have general supervision of all matters pertaining to the care of the building and grounds.
  • Review Committee: It shall consist of three (3) board members. It shall have the duty of hearing complaints regarding the selection and withdrawal of library materials and shall make a recommendation to the Board.

No committee will have other than advisory powers unless, buy suitable action of the Board, it is granted specific power to act. All committee reports and/or recommendations shall be submitted in writing upon request. Reports of committees shall be signed by at least two members thereof.

Committees may have citizen members, as deemed appropriate for their purpose by the Board.

Section 9: Conflicts of Interest

Board members, in the capacity of trust imposed upon them, shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity, and honor.

Board members shall promote a high level of service while observing ethical standards.

Board members shall avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the institution.

Board members will not use the library for personal advantage or the personal advantage of friends or relatives.

Board members will declare any conflict of interest between their personal lives and their positions on the Library Board and avoid voting on issues that appear to be a conflict of interest. It is incumbent upon any Board member to disqualify or recuse himself/herself from voting immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.

If the possibility of a long term conflict of interest exists, the Board member shall complete the Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form annually.

Section 10: Nepotism

The Library will not employ the spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the Director or these relatives of any member of the Board.

Section 11: Policies, Plans, Rules, and Regulations

In addition to operating in accordance with these bylaws and the laws of the State of Indiana, the Board shall adopt policies, plans, rules, and regulations to govern its operations, and may affirm policies, plans, rules, and regulations proposed by the Library Director for the management and administration of the Library, as required by 590 IAC 6-1-4(d), 590 IAC 6-1-4(e) and 590 IAC 6-1-4(h).

All of these policies, plans, rules, and regulations shall be compiled and organized in a manual to be known as “The Policies, Plans, Rules, and Regulations of the New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library.”

The library Board shall select a librarian who holds a certificate under IC 36-12-11 to serve as the Director of the library. The selection shall be made solely upon the basis of the candidate’s training and proficiency in the science of library administration. The board shall fix the compensation of the Director. The Director, as the administrative head of the library, is responsible to the board for the operation and management of the library, per IC 36-12-2-24(a).

The Director shall have the power to write and enforce administrative regulations or procedures governing the Library which logically stem from adopted and approved Board policies. Such regulations or procedures shall be consistent with the policies of the Board.

The Director shall be held responsible for the care of the building(s) and equipment, for the employment and direction of the staff, for the efficiency of the library’s service to the public, for the administration of the long range plan and short term goals, and for the operation of the library under the financial conditions set forth in the annual budget.

The Director shall attend all Library Board meetings, except those at which her/his appointment, salary, or performance is discussed or decided.

The New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library shall indemnify any and all of its trustees or staff or former trustees or staff or any person who may have served at its request or by its election as a committee member or a director or officer of another organization, against expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in connection with the defense or settlement of any action, suit or proceeding in which they, or any of them, are made parties, or a party, by reason of being or having been trustees or a trustee or staff member or committee member of the Library or such other organization, except in relation to matters as to which any such trustee or staff member or former trustee or staff member or person shall be adjudged in such action, suit or proceeding to be liable for willful misconduct in performance of duty and to such matters as shall be settled by agreement predicated on existence of such liability. Appropriate insurance may be obtained or other arrangements for such purposes may be obtained by the Board of Trustees.

The indemnification provided hereby shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which anyone seeking indemnification may be entitled under any bylaw, agreement, vote of trustees or disinterested trustees or otherwise, both as to action in his or her official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding such office. The New Carlisle – Olive Township Public Library, at its option, may supply the services of the Library attorney, in lieu of indemnification, for legal defenses provided for by this policy.

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board by majority vote of the members.

Amendments shall be proposed one month in advance of voting, and a copy provided to each Board member at least 15 days before the meeting.

Amendments may be proposed by any member of the Board.

The amendments for each year shall be sent to the Indiana State Library upon submission of the annual report.

The bylaws will be reviewed at the January meeting. The secretary shall affix the date of review to the bylaws for audit as well as indicating the action in the minutes.

As a member of the library board I will:

  • Listen carefully to the board members who are my teammates.
  • Respect the opinion of the other board members.
  • Respect and support the majority decisions of the board.
  • Recognize that all authority is vested in the board when it meets in legal session and not with individual board members.
  • Keep well-informed of developments that are relevant to issues that may come before the board.
  • Participate actively in board meetings and actions.
  • Call to the attention of the board any issues that I believe will have an adverse effect on the library.
  • Attempt to interpret the needs of the community to the library and interpret the action of the library to the community.
  • Refer complaints about the library to the proper level on the chain of command.
  • Recognize that the board member’s job is to ensure that the library is well-managed, not to manage the library.
  • Vote to hire the best possible person to manage our library.
  • Represent the whole community to the library and not a particular area or group.
  • Do my best to ensure that the library is well maintained, financially secure, growing and always operating in the best interests of the community.
  • Always work to learn more about the board members’ job and how to do the job better.
  • Declare any conflict of interests between my personal life and my position on the library board and avoid voting on issues that appear to be a conflict of interests.
  • Abide by the ethics and conflict of interest statements in the board bylaws, as required in 590 iAC 6-1-4(g)

As a member of the library board I will not:

  • Be critical, in or outside of the board meeting, of fellow board members or their opinions.
  • Use any part of the library for my personal advantage or the personal advantage of my friends or relatives.
  • Discuss the confidential proceedings of the board outside the board meeting.
  • Promise prior to a meeting how I will vote on any issue in the meeting.
  • Interfere with the duties of the director or undermine the director’s authority.