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Public Library Board of Trustees: Establishing Bylaws


The library board is given the right to establish bylaws for the board in NDCC §40-38-04, "The board of directors shall have the following powers and duties: To make and adopt such bylaws, rules, and regulations relating to the duties of the officers of the board as may be expedient and not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.” 

Bylaws are the basic rules that guide the actions of the library board. They function as a roadmap for actions taken by the board and provide structure, roles, term limits, and general procedures among other things. The language of the bylaws needs to be clear and unambiguous as imprecise language can result in confusion.

Bylaws should include, at a minimum, the following:

  • Legal name of the library
  • Legal provisions that create the library and the library board duties (NDCC §40-38)
  • Board member expectations
    • Attendance
    • Term Limits
    • Removal
  • Board structure
    • Election of officers
    • Officer terms
    • Powers and responsibilities of each role
  • Meeting information
  • Roles of committees and how they are appointed
  • Process for review and revision of the bylaws

Bylaws from libraries in ND: