Bylaws of the Springfield Library Commission

Name and authorization

This organization shall be called “The Springfield Library Commission,” existing by virtue of the provisions of Ch. 78 Sec. 10-12, 21 of the General Laws of Massachusetts and Title 2 of the Revised Ordinances of Springfield, Chapter 2.98, and exercising the powers and authority and assuming the responsibilities delegated to it under the said statute and ordinance.


Section 1 – Number and Qualifications
The governing body of the library is composed of seven (7) members appointed by the Mayor.

Section 2 – Term of Office
The term of office of commissioners shall be for five (5) years.

Section 3 – Resignations
Any member of The Springfield Library Commission may resign by thirty day advance written notice filed with the Mayor’s Office of the City of Springfield and with the Chairman or Secretary of the Commission.

Section 1 – Officers

The officers of The Springfield Library Commission shall be a Chairperson, a Vice-Chair person and a Secretary.

The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary shall be elected by the Commission for one (1) year terms, and no commissioner shall serve as Chairperson for more than three consecutive years.

Officers shall be elected annually at the Commission’s February meeting.

The Chairperson shall appoint members to all standing committees set forth in Article V of these by-laws annually at the Commission’s February meeting.

Section 2 – Duties of the Chairperson

Section 3 – Duties of the Vice-Chairperson

Section 4 – Duties of the Secretary

  • To keep a true and accurate record of all meetings of the Commission; to sign minutes (Note: in the event the secretary is unavailable to sign minutes, minutes may be signed by any other Commission officer); to ensure that notices of all regular and all special meetings are posted in accordance with open meeting laws’ to ensure that meeting minutes are posted on the Library Website; and, to perform such other duties as are generally associated with that office.

Library Director and Staff

Pursuant to its duties for management and operations of the Library Department (City Ordinance 2.98.020), the Library Board of Commissioners shall assist as requested by the City Personnel Department in determining the job description of the Library Director, who shall be the executive and administrative officer of the Library Department on behalf of the Commission, under its review and direction.

Upon the request of the Mayor, the Chairman of the Library Board of Commissioners, or designee, shall attend and take part in the City’s process of interviewing of prospective candidates for the position of Library Director and in making a recommendation to the Mayor regarding the selection of a Library Director.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws chapter 43, section 52 and 53, the Library Director shall be the head of the Library Department and shall be appointed by the Mayor.

The Director is authorized to hire, suspend, and terminate library employees in accordance with the personnel policies of the City of Springfield. The Library Director shall be held responsible for the proper direction and supervision of the staff, for the care and maintenance of the library property, for adequate and proper selections of books and other library materials in keeping with the stated policy of the Commission, for efficient delivery of library services to the public, and for the Library Department’s financial operation within the limitations of the budgeted appropriation. The Library Director or the Library Directors designee shall attend all duly constituted Commission meetings.


Section 1 – Standing Committees shall be established as follows:

  • Building and Grounds Committee. The duties of the Building and Grounds Committee shall be to advise and assist the Commission and the Library Director on matters affecting the physical plant of the Library.
  • Finance Committee. The duties of the Finance Committee shall be: to advise and assist the Commission and the Library Director on issues relating to Library Department financial matters.
  • Planning and Program Committee. The duties of the Planning and Program Committee shall be to advise and assist the Commission and the Library Director on library programs of service and special events under consideration for implementation by the Libraries. It shall also be charged with soliciting public input on library programs of service, special events and ways in which the libraries within the Springfield library system can best serve the needs of library users and the citizens of Springfield.
  • Policy Committee. The duties of the Policy Committee shall be to advise and assist the Commission and the Library Director in the development of policies that are necessary to the operation of the Library Department and to periodically review all policies to ensure relevance with current operations.

Section 2 – The Chairperson shall appoint committees of one or more members each for such specific purposes as the business of the Commission may require from time to time. The committee shall be considered to be discharged upon the completion of the purpose for which it was appointed and after the final report is made to the Commission.

Section 3 – All committees shall make a progress report to the Library Commission at each of its meetings.

Section 4 – No committee will have other than advisory powers unless, by suitable action of the Commission, it is granted specific power to act.


Section 1 – The Library Commission shall meet at least once a month at the time and place designated at the preceding meeting.

Section 2 – Open Meeting Law. All meetings of the Commission shall be subject to the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law, as elaborated in Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 39 s 23A-23C. In particular, all meetings are open to the public unless held in executive session under terms of the law. A notice of all meetings, except in the case of emergency, will be filed with the city clerk at least 48 hours beforehand and a copy of the notice will be posted in the clerk’s office and posted on the Library website. Further, all records or minutes of meetings will be available for public inspection.

Section 3 – Special meetings of the Library Commission may be called by the chairman, or upon written request of three (3) members, for the transaction of business as stated in the meeting request. Notice stating the time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which called shall be posted as required by the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law and Section 2, above, and given to each Commissioner at least two (2) days in advance of the meeting.

Section 4 – A quorum for transaction of business shall consist of a simple majority.

Section 5 – Order of Business at regular meetings shall be;

  1. Call to order
  2. Approval of minutes of previous meeting
  3. Commission Committee Reports
  4. Chairman’s Report
  5. Director’s Report
  6. Other Business
  7. Executive Session
  8. Adjournment

Duties of the Library Commissioners

  1. Oversee management and operations of the Springfield library system.
  2. Subject to appropriation and applicable laws and ordinances regarding procurement and contracts, the City of Springfield, acting through its Board of Library Commissioners, may contract with entities public and private, as necessary or desirable, for the operation of the Library Department. The Chair of the Commission is authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the Commission for all contracts up to $ 25,000. Any Contracts above this amount would need to be signed by a quorum of the Commission.
  3. Engage in an ongoing planning process which assesses the needs of the libraries and the role of the libraries in the community; and ensure that the Springfield libraries develop to meet those needs.
  4. The Commissioners shall establish a written policy for the selection of library materials and the use of library materials and facilities which is in accord with the current standards of the American Library Association, as provided for by Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 78 s 33.
  5. Determine the policies of the library and maintain a written record thereof.
  6. Through the Library Director, supervise and maintain buildings and grounds, as well as regularly review various physical and building needs to see that they meet the requirements of the total library program.
  7. Attend meetings with the City Council and municipal finance and administrative personnel.
  8. Speak and act as an advocate for libraries in the community and maintain vital public relations.
  9. Study and support legislation which will bring about the greatest good to the greatest number of libraries
  10. Attend and participated in Library Commission meetings.
  11. Actively participate in fundraising activities.
  12. Visit libraries within the Springfield system on a regular basis.
  13. Exercise all authority vested in and granted to the commission as a while and to commissioners individually by Title 2 of the Revised Ordinances of Springfield, Chapter 2.98.

Collective Authority of the Library Commission

All decisions of the Library Commission are made by the Commission as a collective body. No individual member may make decisions or act for the Commission unless specifically authorized to do so by a vote of the membership of the Commission.

Parliamentary Rules

Except as provided for by these by-laws, the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern.


These by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Commission with a quorum present, by a majority vote of the members present, provided the amendment was stated at the preceding meeting.

Approved: January 6, 2004
Amended: November 9, 2005
Revised: March 2006
Revised: May 2010

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