About the Library


Board of Library Trustrees ByLaws



Section 1. This organization shall be called “Board of Library Trustees” of the Jacksonville Public Library (hereafter called Board) existing by virtue of the provisions of Chapters 50, 90, and 662 of the Jacksonville Municipal Code and exercising the powers and authority and assuming responsibilities delegated to it under these resolutions.

Section 2. The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community, and foster success by bringing people, information, and ideastogether.



Section 1. Appointment, Confirmation and Members: The Board shall be composed of twelve voting members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Two members shall be appointed from, and reside in, each of the five City Council At-Large Groups, and two members shall be appointed At-Large. One At-Large voting member may be a non-resident provided that said member works in the County and is a patron of the Library.

The Board shall also include the following non-voting members:

  1. The President of the City Council or his/her designee, who shall be a member of the City Council;
  2. The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee; and
  3. At the discretion of the President of the City Council, a second member of the City Council may serve as a third non-voting member. (Sections 50.102 and 101.)

Section 2. Terms: A voting member’s term shall be four years. Each term shall expire on September 30 of the last year of the term. The terms of the twelve voting members shall be staggered so that three members shall be appointed to terms of four years every year. No voting member appointed to the Board for two consecutive full terms shall be eligible for appointment to the next succeeding term, however a voting member may hold over until their respective successors are appointed and confirmed. (Sections 50.104 and 90.101)

Section 3. Any member, who, for any reason, resigns his/her position on the Board, shall do

so in writing to the Mayor, the Board Chairperson, and the Library Director.

Section 4. Any vacancy in the Board shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as provided for initial appointment to the Board. Any individual appointed to serve on a board or commission for less than 50 percent of the board or commission length of term, at the time of the effective date of the legislation, shall not be considered a first full term. These appointments shall be referred to as partial terms. (Section 50.104) Trustees who complete a partial term shall be eligible to be reappointed to serve up to two full terms.

Section 5. No member of the Board shall receive compensation for his/her services as such, except as expenses incurred in the performance of their duties of office (Section 50.102)

Section 6. A member of the Board can hold another non-elective position in the consolidated government provided limitations in Section 50.103 of the Jacksonville Ordinance Code are followed.



Section 1. The officers of the Board shall be Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Secretary, elected from among the voting members of the appointed trustees. Officers shall serve a term of one (1) year beginning October 1 and until their successors are duly elected.

  1. Chairperson – The Chairperson of the Board shall preside at all meetings, appoint all committees, issue all calls for regular and special meetings, and generally perform all duties associated with that
  2. Vice-Chairperson – The Vice-Chairperson of the Board shall perform all the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson, and such other duties as may be directed and authorized by the
  3. Secretary – The Secretary shall see that all proceedings of the Board are recorded faithfully. The Secretary may delegate the drafting of minutes to a member of the Library staff, but all such minutes shall be approved by the Board.

Section 2. In case of a vacancy in the office of Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall fill the office of Chairperson. In the case of a vacancy in the offices of Vice Chairperson or Secretary, the Board shall elect a member to fill the unexpired term. A vacancy in office should be filled at the next regular meeting after a vacancy occurs, members having been notified of the vacancy.

Section 3. Executive Committee: The Executive Committee will consist of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and immediate Past-Chairperson if still serving on the




Section 1. Unless otherwise decided by a majority or the Chairperson, regular meetings shall be held each month, the date and hour to be set by the Chairperson, who may consult with the Board in making the decision.

Section 2. Special meetings shall be called by the Chairperson, or at the request of three (3) members, for the transaction of business so stated in the call for the meeting and with reasonable and appropriate public notice.

Section 3. The business for regular meetings may include, but shall not be limited to, the following items which shall be covered so far as circumstances will permit:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Disposition of minutes of previous regular meeting and any intervening special meeting.
  3. Financial report of the
  4. Progress and service report of
  5. Service presentation by staff member or other person
  6. Committee reports.
  7. Unfinished
  8. New business.
  9. Communications and correspondence with elected officials and
  10. Public presentation to, or discussion with, the

Section 4. A majority of the voting membership of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of meetings and transacting business. (Section 50.105) If a quorum is not present at any meeting of the Board or Committees, the meeting may be held but no business may be voted upon. Board members may participate in meetings via telephone, but will not count towards a quorum and may not vote.

Section 5. Tie votes: The Board Chairperson will be a non-voting member of the Board except in the case of a tie vote; in the event of a tie vote, the Board Chairperson will act as the tie-breaker.

Section 6. Conduct of meetings shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert’s Rulesof Order.

Section 7. Public meetings and locations: All Board meetings shall be held in a public library, or premises owned or leased by the government, and shall be open to the public.

Section 8. Public comments: Members of the public shall be given reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition before the Board. (Florida Statute Section 286.0114) Public comment will be allowed at the beginning and end of each meeting and

shall be limited to three minutes per speaker unless otherwise noted by the Board Chairperson. Members of the public wishing to speak before the Board shall indicate by completing a Speaker’s Card their intent prior to the start of the meeting.

Section 9. Observers of the meetings may include the President(s) or representatives(s) from all Friends’ groups including all Branch Library affiliate groups, library Foundation member and any other interested observers. Presidents of Library Friends’ groups and Friends and Foundation members shall be encouraged to participate.

Section 10. Annual Work Day: The Board will hold an annual Work Day in February of each year. This Work Day will allow for a full day of discussion about advocacy, budget, and any other pertinent topic for the following year.



Section 1. Committees are advisory bodies. Their function is to gather facts for, and to recommend actions to, the Board.

Section 2. The Chairperson may appoint the following standing committees in October of each year whose duties may include those listed below:

  1. Finance Committee – Reviews the financial position of the library system and makes reports and recommendations for a sound, feasible program for financing its costs. The Finance Committee shall develop, and recommend to the full Board for their action, an annual operating budget for the fiscal year. The committee will provide monthly reports to the full Board on the status of funding from City and State funds, and an accounting of Board Trust and other accounts. The Deputy Director, Administrative and Support Services, will serve as staff liaison to the Finance
  2. Personnel Committee – Responsible for the selection and hiring process of the Library Director. The Library Director is evaluated annually by the Board of Library Trustees. The evaluation process is facilitated by the Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee conducts the Director’s annual written evaluation in October. The Executive Assistant to the Director will provide staff support to the Personnel
  3. Governance Committee – Reviews policy issues and ideas related to governance of the library system. Responsible for identifying policy issues, reviewing policy options and implications, and presenting those options to the full Board for their action. Reviews customer feedback on a regular basis for the purpose of reporting results and recommendations to the Board. The Committee will hear appeals to system-wide, year-long trespasses as issued by JSO in accordance with violation of the Code of Conduct by a customer.

The Deputy Director, Public Service will serve as staff liaison to the Governance Committee.

  1. Nominating Committee – Prepares a slate of officers as well as a representative from the Library Board to serve on the Library Foundation Board of Directors, for presentation at the August meeting to be voted upon at the regular September meeting; additional nominations may be made from the floor. The Executive Assistant to the Director will provide staff support to the Nominating
  2. Capital Improvements Committee – Explores, recommends, and pursues goals, methods, and contacts for advocacy of library related capital projects and improvements. Goals can extend to funding, legislation, awareness, and partnerships with outside organizations. Contacts can include community leaders, School Board members, state, federal, and local
  3. Additional standing or ad hoc committees may be appointed when deemed necessary by the Chairperson or a majority vote of the Board. Terms for ad hoc committees and the appointees are to be determined at the time the committee is created and the appointments are made.

Section 3. It shall be the duty of each Board Member to participate as a member of as many as two standing committees. Whenever possible, the Chairperson shall respect the preferences of the Board Members for committee assignments. Committee assignments are for a one-year term beginning October 1 of each year.

Section 4. The Board Chairperson may appoint non-members of the Board to a committee; however the Chairperson of each committee must be a Library Board Member.


Roles and Duties of Board of Library Trustees

Section 1. Authority of the Board: The Board shall have authority to receive, accept and exercise control over funds, property, gifts, legacies, or devises now and hereafter granted to the library or its predecessor libraries and agencies for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a free public library in and for the consolidated government and its citizens. The Board shall be responsible for the administration of the Library System and services. In connection with monies drawn from the City’s General Fund in each budget year, the Board shall abide by the provisions of the City’s Budget and Accounting Code, the Mayor’s Executive Orders relating to the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee procedures and the Administration of Non- Departmental Lapse, and any other Executive Orders pertaining to budgetary matters, and the City’s budgetary policies as published from time to time. The Board shall ensure that no expenditure of budgeted funds from the General Fund shall exceed the maximum permissible expenditure by object account within an activity except as allowed by the City’s published budgetary

policies. (Section 90.102)

Section 2. The Board shall recommend an annual operating budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1 and ending September 30 before presentation to the appropriate governing authority. The budget shall be submitted through the Budget Office in the consolidated government within the time and in the manner provided in Article 14 of the City Charter.

Section 3. The Board shall employ and discharge a Library Director and such other appointed employees as may be necessary to conduct free library service. The Board delegates selection and discharge of all such appointed employees to the Library Director. The person employed by them as Library Director shall have a Master’s Degree in Library Science and at least five (5) years’ experience in library administration. (Section 90.103)

Section 4. Reports and Plans: The Board shall submit annually to the Mayor and the City Council, and to the Mayor upon his/her request, such reports as the mayor and City Council may require upon the activities of the Board and of the Library System. In connection with any library capacity study or plan, the Board shall provide the Mayor and the Council with recommendations for action by the legislative and executive branches of government within 60-days after the Board’s receipt of the study or plan. (Section 90.104)

Section 5. Board Members should attend all regularly scheduled meetings and any special meeting called by the Chairperson of the Board. If any appointed member fails to attend two of three successive meetings of the Board without cause and without prior approval of the Chairperson, the Board shall declare the member’s office vacant. (Section 50.104) Attendance records are kept for all full Board and Committee meetings.

Section 6. Excused Absences: Trustees should notify the Library Director or his/her designee of a planned absence from a full Board or Committee meeting at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting by email or telephone. Emergency absences from full Board or Committee meetings will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Section 7. Roles and Duties of Individual Board Members: The following additional roles are expected to be fulfilled by all Board members:

  1. Support basic library tenets such as: Intellectual Freedom, Freedom to Read, Confidentiality of Patron Records, Library Bill of Rights, and the Public's Right to Information; adhere to the Florida “Sunshine Law” (Florida Statute 286) and the City of Jacksonville’s Code of Ethics (Chapter 602).
  2. Encourage and participate in ongoing strategic planning, looking to the future of the library system and the needs of the community; establish and review library policies updating them as
  3. Represent the library at local budget hearings; regularly review financial reports of current income and expenses; remain informed about the services offered by the library and promote these services in the community; serve as

an active advocate for the library and its services.

  1. Remain aware of local, state and federal library laws and issues, take action when appropriate; participate in Library Legislative Day; establish and maintain a relationship with local, state, and federal elected
  2. Maintain relationship with library support groups including the Friends of the Library groups and the Library Foundation


Role of Library Director

Section 1. The Library Director shall have charge of the administration of the Library System under the direction and review of the Board of Library Trustees. The Library Director shall be held responsible for carrying out the mission of the Library, the employment and direction of the staff, the effectiveness of the Library System’s service to the public, the preparation of long range plans, the preparation of the annual operating budget to the Board, the preparation of the annual report of the Library System, and the operation of the Library System under the financial conditions set forth in the annual budget.

Section 2. The Library Director shall attend all Board and committee meetings except those at which the hiring, termination, or salary of such Director may be discussed or decided. The Library Director may designate a subordinate to perform the duties of the Library Director during his/her absence. Any absence of the Library Director requires approval of the Board Chairperson.


Supporting Groups

Section 1. The Board is supported by various community groups including, but not limited to, Friends’ groups including Branch Library affiliate groups and the Jacksonville Public Library Foundation.

Section 2. Use of the name Jacksonville Public Library: The Board has the authority to allow such groups use of the name of “Jacksonville Public Library” in association with the groups’ name contingent upon approval of the Board and the group signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Board.

Section 3. Memorandum of Understanding: The Memorandum of Understanding between the Board and its supporting groups will outline, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Mission of the group and how it relates to the library’s mission, vision, and goals,
  2. Role of the group including its plan for financial support, advocacy, and other major activities the group plans to pursue,
  3. Expectations of the group to hold meetings, elect officers, collect dues and report to the Board, and
  4. The Board’s power to withdraw a charter from any group at the Board’s discretions.

Section 4. Friends’ Groups: There shall exist two levels of Friends’ Groups:

  1. Chartered Groups: These groups shall include the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library and any Branch Library affiliate groups. Charter groups must establish 501(c)3 status and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Board which will last no longer than three (3) years.
  2. Chapter Groups: These groups shall include any Branch Library affiliates that will act as a sub-group of a Chartered Group. Chapter Groups will work under the 501(c)3 status of, and will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with, the parent Chartered Group. The MOU will be reviewed at least every three years.

Section 5. Jacksonville Public Library Foundation: The Board can hear reports and make recommendations to the Foundation Board regarding their budgets and policies through the Board’s representative on the Library Foundation Board.



The Bylaws may be amended at any regular or special meeting of the Board by a simple majority vote of all voting members of the Board, provided this amendment was stated in the call for the meeting. The Bylaws shall be reviewed in the fall of every third year, beginning 2013, by an ad hoc Committee as appointed by the Chairperson, with a final draft presented to the full Board at its February meeting in the following calendar year.


Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read

The Board subscribes to and adopts the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement as adopted by the American Library Association. (Addendum 1 and 2)