To provide the citizens of Niagara Falls with quality service, access to excellent collections, assistance in using emerging technologies, and a pleasing, safe environment.


The Board of Trustees (hereinafter designated as the “Board”) of the Niagara Falls Public Library, a corporation created under a charter granted under Section 253 of the New York State Education Law by the Board of Regents of the State of New York, dated February 28, 1895, amended on January 22, 1959, October 19, 2010 and September 11, 2012, shall be governed by the laws of New York State, the regulations of the Commissioner of Education and by the following by-laws.


The name of the organization shall be the Niagara Falls Public Library.

The purpose of the organization is to provide superior library service to the residents, adults and children of Niagara Falls, New York.

The fiscal year of the library shall be the calendar year.


a. The allowable number of trustees on the board shall not be less than five (5) nor more than nine (9).

b. The Library Board shall determine the number of trustees who shall govern the library at one time by means of a resolution, adopted by the Board, and filed with the New York State Education Department, Division of Library Development.  A copy of such resolution shall also be filed with the Mayor of the City of Niagara Falls.

c. The Library shall be governed by a Board of seven (7) trustees who are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council for terms of five (5) years each.

d. The number of trustees may be increased or decreased by the Board upon filing in the Regents a certified copy of the resolution taking such action to increase or decrease the size of the Board.

e. Any vacancy in office shall be filled at a regularly scheduled or special meeting by special election by the remaining members of the Board for the remainder of the term of that particular position.

f. A trustee, whose term has expired, will remain in office until he/she is replaced or re-appointed.

g. Trustees shall be residents of the City of Niagara Falls and must take the standard Oath of Office within one month of assuming office.

h. Absence from three consecutive meetings shall constitute automatic dismissal from the Board unless the Board defers this dismissal by majority vote.  The President shall inform the absent Board Member in writing that he/she is no longer on the Board.  If dismissal is deferred by Board action the President shall inform the absent Board Member in writing the conditions of this deferral.

i. A Trustee must be physically present at a meeting to have his/her vote counted.

j. All actions of the board shall be of the Board as a unit.  No Board member shall act on behalf of the Board, on any matter, without prior approval of the Board.  No Board member by virtue of his/her office shall exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the library nor, as an individual, command the services of any library employee.


a. The officers of the Board shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, elected by the Board at the annual meeting in January. 

b.  The duties of the officers shall be as follows:

i. The President 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.  The President will serve as the principle liaison officer to the Library Director.

ii. The Vice President, in the event of the absence or disability of the President, or of a vacancy in that office, shall assume and perform the duties and functions of the President.

iii.  The Secretary or recording secretary shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board, shall issue notice of all regular and special meetings, and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office. 

iv.  The Treasurer shall be the chief fiscal officer of the Board and shall perform such duties as generally devolve upon the office.  In the absence or inability of the Treasurer, his/her duties shall be performed by the Board President or other members of the Board as the Board may designate.


a. The Board shall appoint a qualified library director who shall be the executive officer of the policies of the Board and shall have charge of the administration of the library.  The library director is employed by the Board (not the City), reports directly to the Board, and works under the direction and review of the Board.

b. The Director shall be responsible for the care of the buildings and equipment; for the employment and direction of the staff; for the efficiency of the library’s service to the public; and for the operation of the library under the financial conditions contained in the annual budget. 

c.  The Director shall render and submit to the Board reports and recommendations of such policies and procedures, which, in the opinion of the Director, will improve efficiency and quality of library service.  The Director shall attend all Board meetings and will have the right to speak on all matters under discussion, but will not have the right to vote.


a. Committees for specific purposes will be appointed by the President.  Such committees shall serve until the completion of the work for which they were appointed.

b.  All committees shall make a progress report to the Board at each of its meetings.

c.   All committee actions are subject to approval by a majority of the Board.

d.  The President shall be, ex officio, a member of all committees.


a.  Regular meetings shall be held each month, the date and hour to be set by the Board.  All meetings will conform to the Open Meetings Act.  The time and place of the regular meetings will be posted according to law.  Written notice of all meetings shall be mailed by the Secretary to each member at least five days before the meeting.

b.  A special meeting of the Board may be called at any time by the President or upon the request of four members for a specific purpose.  No business may be transacted at such special meeting except the stated business.

c. The Annual Meeting shall be held in January of each year.  The business transacted at this meeting shall include the election of new officers.

d. End of the year financial reports for the previous year shall be presented at the regular meeting in January.  The budget allocated by the City to the library for the subsequent calendar year will also be presented to the Board.

e. A simple majority of the existing Board who are physically present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business.  Proxy votes or voting by electronic or other means is not permitted. 

f.  The order of business for regular meetings shall include, but not be limited to the following:

i.              Call to order
ii.             Approval of minutes of previous meeting
iii.            Financial reports and approval of expenditures
iv.           Report of Library Director
v.            Report of committees
vi.           Unfinished business
vii.          New business
viii.         Adjournment


These By-Laws may be repealed, amended, or added to by a unanimous vote of the Board at a regular meeting with a quorum present.  Such action may be taken, however, only after the substance of the proposed repeal, amendment or addition as been presented in writing at a prior regular or special meeting, and notice thereof has been given in the announcement of the meeting at which it is to be considered.


All procedures not specified herein shall be in accord with Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

Approved by the Niagara Falls Library Board of Trustees on May 26, 2009.
Amended December 19, 2012