Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of the Oak Park Public Library

Library Board approved March 16, 2010. Revised October 24, 2012. Revised April 22, 2014. Revised July 15, 2014. Revised February 27, 2018.


The name of this village body shall be Oak Park Public Library (hereinafter referred to as the “Library”).


The Board of Trustees of the Oak Park Public Library is responsible for governance and overseeing the provision of library service to meet the needs of the Oak Park community. To this end, the Board shall:

  1. Determine Library policies.
  2. Employ a capable library administrator.
  3. Secure adequate funds for library operations.
  4. Approve expenditure of library funds.
  5. Provide and maintain adequate facilities.
  6. Insure a representative selection of library materials.
  7. Promote use of the Library within the community.
  8. Perform other duties as outlined in Illinois Compiled Statutes.

Trustees serve without compensation but may be compensated for expenses. In their position of public trust, Trustees shall avoid conflicts between private interests and official responsibilities. Prior to May 1st of each calendar year, all Trustees shall file a Statement of Economic Interest with the County Clerk, pursuant to the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act.


The Board of Trustees shall consist of seven (7) members elected by the voters of the Village of Oak Park. The term of each member shall be for four years from the Annual Meeting of the Board in May. Trustees are elected in odd-numbered years and the terms are staggered, with four expiring one year, and three in the next odd-­‐‑numbered year. Vacancies are filled according to the process laid out in 75 ILCS 5/4-­4.


The officers of the Board Trustees shall be a President, Vice-­‐‑President, Secretary, and Finance Officer, each to be elected at the annual meeting by a majority vote of the Trustees present. Each term of office shall be for one year, or until a successor has been elected and qualified. If a vacancy occurs in an Officer position, an election is held among the remaining Trustees.


President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Trustees, appoint committees and committee chairs, act as ex officio member of all committees, and perform such other duties as are normally associated with the office or may be assigned to him or her by the Board.

Vice-President: The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, perform all duties of that office and shall have such other duties and responsibilities as the Board may determine.

Secretary: The Secretary shall have charge of such correspondence as is delegated by the President of the Board of Trustees. The Secretary shall be responsible for distribution, collection and tabulation of forms used in the annual Executive Director’s evaluation.

The Secretary shall preside in the absence of both the President and Vice-President. In the event that the President, Vice-President and Secretary are absent from a meeting, the members present shall elect a President pro tem from among themselves to conduct that meeting only.

The Village Treasurer of the Village of Oak Park shall be ex-officio Treasurer of the Board of Library Trustees and shall post bond as required by statute.

The Finance Officer is the board’s chief liaison with the Executive Director to develop the budget.


Committees are advisory groups. They present non-binding recommendations to the Board which the Board then decides to accept, reject or modify. All committees are considered ad-hoc committees or committees-of-the-whole unless otherwise determined by a vote of the majority of the Board.

Ad hoc Committees

The Board of Trustees may from time to time appoint special committees for selected tasks and shall define the size, composition, purposes and duration of such special committees pursuant to a resolution of the Board. Ad hoc committees shall review matters within the scope of their assigned work shall advise the Board of Trustees and the Library Executive Director thereon. All ad hoc committees shall abide by the general committee procedures described previously and shall disband when they have completed the work for which they were appointed.

The Nominating Committee is an ad hoc committee and will consist of three Trustees appointed by the President at least 30 days in advance of the Annual Meeting each year. The Committee shall recommend a slate of officers to the Board.

The President may appoint members of the Board to act as liaison agents between the Library and other institutions in the community.


The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order (newly revised) shall govern the business of the Board in all matters not covered by the bylaws.

All meetings shall be posted and open to the public as required by the Open Meetings Act and the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

The President of the Board shall establish the agenda as required.

Four members of the seven-member Board shall constitute a quorum for conducting business. In the event of any unfilled vacancies on the Board, a quorum shall be a majority of the Trustees in office.

Regular monthly meetings of the Board shall be held in the Library at times to be established annually. This schedule of monthly meetings shall be posted in the Library buildings and on the Library’s web site.

Committee meetings shall be held in the Library as needed and an announcement shall be posted in all required locations no less than forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting. Notice of all committee meetings will be sent to Board members. If a majority of the committee members are present, that shall constitute a quorum.

The May meeting each year shall be the Annual Meeting. The Board shall, at the Annual Meeting, elect Officers and conduct any other appropriate business.

A retreat will be held each year to discuss the library’s strategic priorities and objectives.

Special meetings may be called by the President, or upon the written request of two Trustees. Only such business as stated in the call may be transacted at a special meeting. Except in the case of a bona fide emergency, notice of call shall be sent to all Trustees and posted in all required locations no less than 48 hours prior to a special meeting. All special meetings will be posted and held as required by the Open Meetings Act.

An annual communication shall be sent to the local press informing them of the schedule of monthly meetings and that committee meetings are held as posted in the Library. The fullest participation and attendance in all Board meetings should be achieved whenever possible.


The regular Order of Business of the monthly meeting shall be:
Roll call
Approval of Minutes
Trustee Comments and Board Calendar
Visitor Comments
Financial Report
Unfinished Business
New Business
Executive Director Report
Other Reports


The Board shall appoint an Executive Director, who will be responsible for the administration of the Library. The Executive Director shall report directly to the Board and shall be authorized to develop library programs, establish the organizational structure, purchase materials, and undertake such other activities as may be necessary for the library’s operation, subject to the policies established by the Board. The Executive Director shall make reports at the meetings of the Board in such form and on such subjects as the Board may direct.

The Board of Trustees will evaluate the performance of the Executive Director and determine compensation annually using an agreed upon process. All pertinent dates shall be set forth in the Board Calendar.


Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed at any regular meeting of the Board and shall become effective when adopted by a majority vote of the Board at a subsequent meeting. The bylaws shall be reviewed annually as noted in the Board Calendar.


If any claim or action not covered by insurance or ordinance of the Village of Oak Park is instituted against a Trustee of the Oak Park Public Library arising out of an act or omission by a Trustee acting in good faith for a purpose considered to be in the best interest of the Library; or if any claim or action not covered by insurance or ordinance is instituted against an officer or employee of the Library allegedly arising out of an act or omission occurring within the scope of his/her duties as such an officer or employee; the Oak Park Public Library shall, at the request of the Trustee, Officer or Employee:
A. Appear and defend against the claim or action; and
B. Pay or indemnify the Trustee for a judgment and court costs, based on such claim or action; and
C. Pay or indemnify the Trustee for a compromise or settlement of such claim or action, providing the settlement is approved by the Board of Trustees.

Decision as to whether the Library shall retain its own attorney or reimburse the Trustee, Officer or Employee expenses for their own legal counsel shall rest with the Board of Trustees and shall be determined by the nature of the claim or action.

For the purpose of this Article, the term Trustee, Officer or Employee shall include former Trustee, Officer or Employee of the Library. This Article shall not apply if the Board of Trustees finds that the claim or action is based on malicious, willful or criminal misconduct. In such case, indemnification will be determined after an investigation of the facts.

« Back to Policies