Administration and Governance

Policies that guide the board and staff in making the library a viable organization.

City of Whiting
    Monona County, Iowa
     Ordinance No. 1985 -1



Be it ORDAINED by the City Council of Whiting, Iowa as follows:

Section 1. 


The purpose of this ordinance is to provide for the establishment of a free public library for the City and for the creation and appointment of a city library board of trustees and to specify that board’s powers and duties.

Section 2. 

Public Library.

There is hereby established a free public library for the city of to be known as the Whiting Public Library.

 Section 3.  

Library Trustees.

The board of trustees of the Whiting Public Library, hereinafter referred to as the board, consists of five members. All board members are to be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Council.

Section 4.    

Qualifications of Trustees.

All of the members of the board shall be over the age of 18.

Section 5.    

Organization of the Board.

1. Terms of office.

All appointments to be board shall be for six years, except to fill vacancies. Each term shall commence on July first. Appointment shall be made every two years of one-third the total number as near as possible, to stagger the terms. The present incumbents are confirmed in their appointments and terms.
 2. Vacancies.

The position of any trustee shall be vacant if he moves permanently from the county or if he is absent from six consecutive regular meetings of the board, except in the case of sickness or temporary absence. Vacancies in the board shall be filled by appointment of the Mayor, with approval of the Council, and the new trustee shall fill out the unexpired term which the appointment is made.

 3. Compensation.

Trustees shall recieve no compensation for their services.

Section 6.

Powers and duties.

The board shall have and exercise the following powers and duties.

1. To meet and elect from its members a president, a secretary, and such other officers as it deems necessary. The City Clerk/Treasurer shall serve as board treasurer, but shall not be a member of the board.

2. To have charge, control and supervision of the public library, its appurtenances, fixtures and rooms containing the same.

3. To direct and control all the affairs of the library.

4. To employ a librarian, and authorize the librarian to employ such assistants and employees as may be necessary for the proper management of the library, provided, however, that prior to such employment, the compensation of the librarian, assistants and employees shall have been fixed and approved by the City Council.

5. To remove by a two-thirds vote of the board the librarian and provide procedures for the removal of assistants or employees for misdemeanor, incompetence or inattention to duty, subject, however, to the provisions of Chapter 70, Code of Iowa.

6. To select, or authorize the librarian to select, and make purchases of books, pamphlets, magazines, periodicals, papers, maps, journals, other library materials, furniture, fixtures, stationery and supplies for the library within budgetary limits set by the board and approved by the City Council.

7. To authorize the use of the library by nonresidents of the City and to fix charges therefore.

8. To make and adopt, amend, modify or repeal rules and regulations, not inconsistent with ordinances and the law, for the care, use, government and management of the library and the business of the board, fixing and enforcing penalties for violations.

9. To have exclusive control of the expenditure of all funds allocated for library purposes by the council, and of all moneys available by gift or otherwise for the erection of library buildings, and of all other moneys belonging to the library including fines and rentals collected, under the rules of the board.

10. To accept gifts of real property, personal property, or mixed property, and devises and bequests, including trust funds; to execute deeds and bills of sale for the conveyance of said property; and to expend the funds received by them from such gifts, for the improvement of the library.

11. To keep a record of its proceedings.

12. To enforce the performance of conditions on gifts, donations, devises and bequests accepted by the City by action against the City Council. 

13. To have authority to make agreements with the local county historical associations, where such exists, and to set apart the necessary room and to care for such articles as are in their judgment of a historical and educational nature and pay for the same out of funds allocated for library purposes.

Section 7.

Power to contract with others for the use of the library.

1. Contracting. The board may contract with any other boards of trustees of free public libraries, and other city, school corporation, private or semi-private organization, institution of higher learning, township or county, or with the trustees of any county library district for the use of the library district for the use of the library by their respective residents.
2. Termination. Such a contract may be terminated at any time by mutual consent of the contracting parties. It also may be terminated by a majority vote of the electors represented by either of the contracting parties. Such a termination proposition shall be submitted to the electors by the governing body of a contracting party on a written petition of not less than five (5) percent in number of the electors who voted for governor in the territory of the party at the last general election. The petition must be presented to the governing body not less than forty (40) days before the election. The proposition may be submitted at any election provided by law that is held in the territory of the party who is seeking to terminate the contract.

Section 8.

Nonresident Use of the Library.

The board may authorize the use of the library by nonresidents in any one or more of the following ways.

1. By lending the books or other materials of the library to nonresidents on the same terms and conditions as to residents of the city, or upon payment of a special nonresident library fee.
2. By establishing depositories of library books or other materials to be loaned to nonresidents.
3. By establishing bookmobiles or a traveling library so that books or other library materials may be loaned to nonresidents.
4. By establishing branch libraries for lending books or other library materials to nonresidents.

Section 9.

Library Account.

All money appropriated by the council from the general fund for the operation and maintenance of the library shall be set aside in an account for the library. Expenditures shall be paid for only on orders of the board, signed by its president and secretary. The warrant writing office is the city clerk.

Section 10.

Annual Report.

The board shall make a report to the city council immediately after the close of the municipal fiscal year. This report shall contain statements of the condition of the library, the number of books added thereto, the number circulated, the amount of fines collected, and the amount of money expended in the maintenance of the library during the year, together with such further information required by the council.

Section 11.


 All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed. The are:

Section 12.

Severability Clause.

If any section, provision or part of this Ordinance shall be adjudged invalid or unconstitutional, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of the ordinance as a whole or any section, provision or part not adjudged invalid or unconstitutional.

Section 13.

When Effective.

This ordinance shall be in effect after its final passage, approval and publication as provided by law.

Passed and Approved 5/6/85


I.   Library Board:

A. According to the requirements of Ordinance #1985-1, City of Whiting, Iowa, the Library Board of Whiting Public Library shall consist of 5 members to be appointed as vacancies arise by the Mayor, with the approval of the City Council.

B. The general powers and duties of the Whiting Public Library Board are outlined in Ordinance #1985-1, City of Whiting.

C. The Board shall exercise its powers and duties by:

1. Employing a competent and qualified librarian.

2. Cooperating with the librarian in determining and adopting written policies to govern the operation and program of the library including personnel policies and policies governing the selection of library materials, supplies and equipment.

3. Reporting to and cooperating with other public officials, boards, and the community as a whole to support a public relations program for the library.

4. Assisting in the preparation of and seeking adequate support for the annual budget.

5. Developing long-range goals for the library and working toward their achievement.

II. Officers

A. The officers of the Board shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Finance Officer.  Their terms of office shall be for one year.  Officers shall be elected at the Annual Meeting and hold office until their successors are elected and installed.  Officers may succeed themselves in office.

B. The duties of all officers shall be such as by custom and law and the rules of the Board usually devolve upon such officers in accordance with their titles.

III. Meetings

A. Regular meeting shall be held monthly, on the first Tuesday of each month, in the library or such other place as the Board may determine.

B. The Annual meeting shall be held in September of each year.

C. Special meetings may be held at any time at the call of the President or Secretary or at the call of any two members of the Board, provided that notice thereof be given to all Trustees at least 24 hours in advance of special meeting.

D. A quorum at any meeting shall consist of 3 or more members.

E. Order of business:
Roll Call
Approval of Agenda
Reading and approval of minutes of previous meeting
Correspondence and communications
Report of the Librarian
Financial report and approval of expenditures
Committee reports
Unfinished business
New business

F. An agenda for board meetings shall be prepared by the librarian in cooperation with the Board President.

G. All meetings of the Board are open to members of the public who wish to observe.  Non-board members who wish to address the Board should request a place on the agenda not later than 24 hours before the time for the meeting.  The request may be directed to the President, the Secretary,  or the Librarian.

H. Roberts Rules of Order shall govern in the parliamentary procedure of the Board.

IV. Committees

A. The Board may appoint such special committees as may be needed.

V. A.  The librarian shall be the executive director of the policies adopted by the Board.  Among the duties and responsibilities shall be:

1. To select the library materials—books, magazines, pamphlets, audio-visual materials, etc.

2. To maintain and operate the physical plant.

3. To recruit, train, and assign members of the Library staff.

4. To inform the Board continually and completely regarding the finances, public services, physical plant, personnel, collection, and other developments, changes and problems of the Library.

5. The Librarian shall be in attendance at all meetings of the board, except those at which tenure or salary is to be discussed or decided. 

VI. Amendments to Bylaws

A. Amendments to these Bylaws may be adopted at any regular meeting of the Board, provided that notice of proposed amendments be given to all members of the Board in advance of the meeting.

Amended:   4/6/04


The Council of the American Library Association reaffirms its belief in the following basic policies which should govern the services of all libraries.

1. As a responsibility of library service books and other library materials selected should be chosen for values of interest, information and enlightenment of all the people of the community.  In no case should library materials be excluded because of the race or nationality or the social, political or religious views of the author.

2. Library should provide books and other materials presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times; no library materials should be proscribed or removed from libraries because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

3. Censorship should be challenged by libraries in the maintenance of their responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment.

4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

5. The rights of an individual to the use of a library should not be denied or abridged because of his age, race, religion, national origins or social or political views.

6. As an institution of education for democratic living, the library should welcome the use of its meeting rooms for socially useful and cultural activities and discussion of current public questions.  Such meeting places should be available on equal terms to all groups in the community regardless of the beliefs and affiliations of the members, provided that the meetings be open the public.   


On June 28, 1953, the following statement was endorsed by the Board of Directors of the American Book Publishers Council and on June 25, 1953 by the Council of the American Library Association.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  • 1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
  • 2. Publishers and librarians do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available.  It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, oral, or aesthetic views as the sole standard for determining what books should be circulated or published.
  • 3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book solely on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.
  • 4. The present laws dealing with obscenity should be vigorously enforced.  Beyond that, there is no place in our society for extra-legal efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.
  • 5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.
  • 6. It is the responsibility to publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.
  • 7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality of thought and expression.  By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, bookmen can demonstrate that the answer to a bad idea is a good one. 

For further information on the “Freedom to Read” policy refer to pages 7-10 in the ILA/IFC Handbook on Intellectual Freedom.