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By-Laws of the Board of Trustees


SECTION I: In accordance with Article 14, Chapter 153A of the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina, specifically N.C. Gen. Stat. § 153A-265, the Board of Commissioners of Durham County has appointed a Library Board of Trustees for the Durham County Library. The Board of Trustees consists of nine members. All terms are for three years.

SECTION II: In the event of a vacancy on the Board, the vacancy shall be filled by the County Commissioners for the unexpired term of the member creating the vacancy.

SECTION III: The position of a board member who has been absent from three consecutive regular meetings shall be considered vacant, unless the Chair, after consultation with the Vice-Chair, shall find good cause for any of the absences and excuse them. Regardless of whether the absences are excused, the position of any board member missing 50% of the regular meetings during a fiscal year shall be considered vacant unless the Board shall vote to excuse any of the
absences and petition the Board of County Commissioners for a waiver of its attendance policy.

SECTION IV: The same person may not serve more than three consecutive terms. An appointment to fill an unexpired term of one year or more shall be considered one term and said appointee can be appointed for only two additional terms.


SECTION I: The Library Board will hold its regular meetings on at least a bi-monthly schedule to be determined by the Chair in consultation with the Library Director. In the event of exigent circumstances, the Chair, in consultation with the Library Director, may postpone or cancel an otherwise required meeting.

SECTION II: The annual meeting shall be held at the first regular meeting of each fiscal year, or as near thereafter as is necessary to conduct the Library Board’s business. The agenda for the annual meeting shall consist of: (1) election of officers, (2) setting calendar of Library Board meetings for the fiscal year, including the date for an annual board retreat if necessary, and (3) taking any other action necessary for the function of the Library Board as required by the Chair and/or Library Board committees.

SECTION III: Special meetings may be called by the Chair, or upon written request of four members of the Board, for the transaction of business stated in the request. The Library Board shall also, if necessary, fix a date for an annual board retreat at the annual meeting, or as near thereafter as possible, to occur prior to a meeting of the Library Board during the fiscal year.

SECTION IV: Notices of all meetings including an agenda and documentation shall be made by the Library Director or the Director’s representative to all members of the Board at least three business days in advance.

SECTION V: A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of members.


SECTION I: The officers of the Board of Trustees shall be a chair, vice chair, and secretary. The chair and vice chair shall be members of the Board of Trustees; the secretary may be a member of the Board of Trustees or a library staff member.

SECTION II: Officers shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Board and shall serve for one year.

The Chair of the Board shall preside at all meetings and shall have the usual powers of a presiding officer. The Chair of the Board shall notify the Chair of the Board of County Commissioners of any vacancies on the Board.

The Vice Chair of the Board shall act as Chair in the absence or disability of the Chair. The Vice Chair shall also oversee at least one of the Library Board committees.

The Secretary shall keep a true and accurate account of all proceedings of the board meetings.

SECTION III: The Library Director shall issue notices of all meetings of the Board and, if the Secretary is a board member, delegate a library staff member to assist the Secretary in the taking and production of meeting minutes. Minutes will be subject to final approval by vote of the Board and will be maintained with other Board records by the Director. The Director shall be an ex officio member of the Board and shall not have a vote; nor will any other staff member present for a meeting have a vote.


The Chair shall appoint any committee deemed necessary or appropriate.

The Chair may decide upon the number of persons to be appointed to a committee and designate the purpose of the committee. The committee may be dissolved upon the completion of its task or at the pleasure of the Board. Vacancies on committees may be filled by the Chair at any time.


The duties and responsibilities of the Trustees shall consist of conscientiously carrying out the powers herein given them:

  1. To review and make recommendations to the Library Director, County Manager, or
    Board of County Commissioners, as appropriate, on proposed library programs, policies, and regulations for the government of the Library;
  2. To make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners concerning the construction and improvement of buildings and other structures for the library system;
  3. To advise the County Manager regarding the appointment of the Library Director;
  4. To participate in preparing the annual budget of the library system;
  5. To recommend to the Board of County Commissioners, if deemed appropriate, a schedule of fines and charges for late return of, failure to return, damage to, and loss of library materials, and to take other measures to protect and regulate the use of such materials;
  6. To otherwise advise the Board of Commissioners on Library matters. The Board shall make an annual report on the operations of the library to the governing body and shall make an annual report to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources as required by G.S. 125-5.


The Library Director shall be the executive officer of the library system and shall have general supervision and responsibility of the libraries under the direction of the Board of Commissioners through the County Manager and reviewed by the Board of Trustees.

The Library Director with the advice and counsel of the Board of Trustees shall be responsible for the physical plants and equipment, for the employment and direction of the staff for the library service to the public, and for the operation of the libraries under the financial conditions set forth in the library budget.

The Library Director shall attend all board meetings, if feasible, and if not, shall designate a library staff member to attend.


The Chair, in consultation with the Library Director, shall set the order of business for meetings of the Board. In the event of disputes about the order of business or other matters of Board process, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern.


These By-Laws may be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present and voting at any legally held regular or special meeting of the Board; provided, however, that said vote shall be taken only following a minimum of three-weeks notice to the Board of the intention to present the proposed amendment or amendments for a vote.

Revisions made and By-Laws, as revised, adopted or re-adopted at a duly called meeting of the Durham County Library Board of Trustees on January 20, 2022.