Cattaraugus Free Library By-Laws


The Board of Trustees (hereinafter designated as the “Board”) of The Cattaraugus Free Library was organized as a free association Library with a provisional charter granted under Section 253 of the New York State Education Law by the Board of Regents on March 25, 1926 and as absolute charter on February 16, 1951 shall be governed by the laws of New York State, the regulations of the Commissioner of Education and by the following bylaws.

  1. Name and Location of Organization

Cattaraugus Free Library

21 Main Street

Cattaraugus, NY 14719

  1. Purpose, Objective and Area Served

The purpose of the organization is to provide superior Library service to the residents, adults and children of the communities of the township of New Albion, Village of Cattaraugus, and the Cattaraugus- Little Valley School District, and any that enter our doors.

  1. Board of Trustees, terms and duties

The Library shall be governed by the Board of Trustees. The board shall consist of at least (5) five but no more than (8) eight trustees. All Trustees have voting privileges.

Trustees shall hold office for (5) five years at which time their terms are renewable. Elections will be held in January of each year at the annual meeting.

New trustees can be elected by the board at any time to finish the current year and then be reappointed in January.

Trustees must complete a minimum of (2) two hours of trustee education annually. (Chapter 468 of education law)

Absence from three (3) 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.

Eligibility for office shall be limited to adults residing or owning property within the geographical limits of the library district.

Any Vacancy shall be filled by special election by the remaining members of the board of trustees for the remainder of the term.

Each trustee shall have (1) one vote and must be present at a meeting to have his/her vote counted.

The Board may remove a Trustee for misconduct, incapacity, neglect of duty or refusal to carry into effect the library’s educational purpose as provided in Education Law 226; subdivision 8.

Board members must have sexual harassment training every year at the February meeting or provide proof they have received the training.

Board members must submit a signed conflict of interest form and a signed code of ethics form at the January meeting each year.

A majority of the whole board is required for any motion to pass.

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.

Anti-nepotism policy – The library is governed by the definitions in the conflict of interest law (Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013).

  1. Officers

The officers of the Board shall be the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers are to be elected annually, as needed. Officers are to serve until successors have been duly elected.

The duties of such offices shall be as follows:

-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 and generally perform all duties associated with that office. The Board President also serves as a liaison between the board and the director.

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

  • The Secretary, shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Board. He/she shall issue notice of all regular and special meetings, handle all correspondence and shall perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office.

– The Treasurer shall be the disbursing officer of the Board and shall perform such duties as paying bills, keeping financial records and any such duties as generally involved with this office. The Board will conduct an internal audit of the treasurer at least once a year.

  1. Director

The Board shall appoint a Director who shall be the executive officer of the library corporation and shall have charge of the administration of the Library under the direction and review of the Board. The Director shall be responsible for the care of the building and equipment. The Director can advertise, screen and recommend to the board his/her choices for employment (the board has final approval). The Director shall be responsible for the direction of staff, for the efficiency of the Library’s service to the public and for the operation under the financial conditions contained in the annual budget.

The Director shall render and submit to the board, reports and recommendations on policies and procedures which in the opinion of the Director will improve efficiency and quality of the library services. The Director shall attend all board meetings except the portion of the meeting at which the director’s appointment or salary is to be discussed or decided.

  1. Schedule of meetings, Quorum

Meetings of the Board shall be held each month, the date and hour to be set by  the Board. A packet will be mailed to each board member (1) week prior to the  meeting.

A simple majority of the whole board shall constitute a quorum for the  conducting of all business. If a quorum is not present at a regular meeting, the attending members may set a date for another meeting to be held within one week, and the presiding officer shall notify the absent members of this specially called meeting.

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

The annual meeting shall be held in January of each year. The business transacted at this meeting shall include the election of the trustees and officers. The operating and financial reports for the previous year shall be presented at the regular meeting in January.

The preliminary budget for the subsequent calendar year, shall be presented before the end of the calendar year.

  1. Committees
  2. A nominating committee shall be appointed by the President one month prior to the Annual Meeting. This committee will present a slate of officers, names of candidates for new trustees, and re-appointments of trustees. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.
  3. Committees for specific purposes may be appointed by the President and approved by the board. Such committees shall serve until the completion of the work for which they were appointed. A chairman will be chosen by the committee members at the first meeting.
  4. All committees shall make a progress report to the Board at each of its meetings.
  5. No committee will have other than advisory powers unless, by suitable action of the Board, it is granted specific power to act.


  1. The order of business for regular meetings

Shall include but not be limited to the following items which shall be covered in   the sequence shown unless circumstances make an altered order more efficient.

  • Agenda, each member shall receive minutes of previous meeting, financial report, Director’s report, and any other document that pertains to the meeting.
  • Call the meeting to order
  • Roll call
  • Public expressions
  • Director’s report
  • Secretary’s report and approval of prior minutes
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Committee reports
  • Old business
  • New business
  • Adjournment
  1. Procedure for amendments of the by-laws

Amendments to the by-laws may be proposed at any regular meeting. The proposal can be tabled for one month to allow for careful study, and then at the next regular meeting it can be amended further or voted on.

A simple majority of the whole Board shall be sufficient for adoption of an amendment

By-laws should be reviewed and updated as needed or every (5) years.

It is hereby certified that the foregoing by-laws were adopted at a meeting of the Board of Trustees, on November 17, 2021.


Signed:_____________________________(President of the Board)

Adopted on 11/17/2021