Bylaws of the

Hawkins County Library System

Board of Trustees


This organization shall be known as the Hawkins County Library System Board of Trustees (the Board).


The Hawkins County Library System Board of Trustees is established in accordance with and will comply with Tennessee Code Annotated Title 10-3.  The Board shall formulate and adopt all policies, establish the budget, monitor the financial aspects of the library, promote public relations and the appointment of the Library System Director.  The Director shall direct the internal affairs of the Library System and is responsible for administrative functions in carrying out the policies of the board, hiring, training and supervising staff.  The director will assist with the budget preparations, and will recommend policy revisions.  The Board of Trustees duties are also in accordance with the Library Service Agreement with the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Department of State.


  1. The Hawkins County Library Board of Trustees shall consist of 7, nine (9), or eleven (11) members. Two members will be designated to serve on the Holston River Regional Board.
  2. The current Library Board shall recommend persons to be appointed to vacant seats on the local and regional board. The names of nominees from within town limits shall be submitted to the Board of Aldermen from their respective town for confirmation. Names of nominees residing outside the town limits shall be submitted to the Hawkins County Commission for confirmation. Hawkins County and the towns of Church Hill, Rogersville and Surgoinsville contribute funds for the operation of the Library System. The number of Board members from each entity is to be determined according to the ratio of population in each participating city and in the county outside the cities based on the most recent federal census, provided that each shall appoint at least one member.  Not more than one official each of the county or city governing bodies shall serve on the Board.
  3. Library Board members may serve for two (2) consecutive terms of three (3) years. Individuals may be appointed to fill an unexpired term, which will not count as one of the two full terms. After serving 2 consecutive terms there must be a 3 year break before a member may be reappointed.
  4. The Board shall be representative of the cultural and economic diversity of the community. Not more than nine (9) of the members on a board of eleven members shall be of the same sex.
  5. Trustees shall be residents of Hawkins County, with particular representatives from, Church Hill, Rogersville and Surgoinsville, and shall serve without salary.


  1. The Library Board will meet the first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM. at the discretion of the Board. Notice of each regular meeting will be made to all Board members (including the Regional Board representatives).
  2. All board meetings will be held in compliance with Tennessee’s Open Meetings Law (TCA 8-44-101 through 8-44-108). Public notice of all Board meeting shall be provided.
  3. A quorum will consist of a majority of Library Board Members including regional board members. A quorum is required for the transaction of official business.
  4. Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson. Telephone or email notice shall be given to all Board Members with at least twenty-four (24) hour notice.
  5. A Member failing to attend at least fifty (50) percent of the meetings in any fiscal year without valid explanations may be asked to vacate his/her membership. If so, the appointing body shall appoint a new member to fill the unexpired term.


The election of officers will be held during the June meeting of each year.  Officers to be elected are Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  All officers will serve for one year with the option of being re-elected the following year.  Officers will perform the usual duties prescribed for their offices according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.



  1. With the Director, prepares the agenda for the board meeting.
  2. Presides at the board meetings and maintains order.
  3. Expedites business compatible with the rights of those present.
  4. Summarizes the discussion to clarify what has been said and to keep things moving toward closure.
  5. Calls for motions at appropriate times.
  6. Signs documents as necessary.
  7. Appoints appropriate committees as needed.
  8. Serves on the Executive Committee.


  1. Presides in the absence of the chair.
  2. Serves as chair of the long range planning committee.
  3. Serves on the Executive Committee


  1. Takes the minutes of all board meetings and gives them to the Director for distribution.
  2. Signs the minutes after they have been approved by the board.
  3. Signs documents with the chair as necessary.
  4. In the absence of the chair and vice-chair, the secretary will call the meeting to order. The first item of business will be the election of a temporary chair for the meeting.
  5. Serves on the Executive Committee


  1. Serves as chair of the Budget Committee
  2. Co-signs checks from the general fund.
  3. Signs documents as necessary.
  4. Serves on the Executive Committee.


The Library System will establish standing committees as follows: Executive Committee; Budget Committee; Buildings and Grounds Committee; Long-Range Planning Committee; Policy and Personnel Committee.  These committees will be appointed each year by the incoming Chair.  The Director will be present at all committee meetings as appropriate.  The Committees recommend policy for approval by the entire board, however, they do not supplant the responsibility of each board member.  Rather, they make full use of board members’ expertise, time and commitment and ensure diversity of opinions on the board.  Committees meet as needed. Minutes should be recorded for all board and committee meetings.  If necessary, the Executive Committee can make decisions in place of the full board. Decisions of this committee must be reviewed and approved by the entire Board at the next meeting.


The Agenda for regular meetings will be developed by the board chair in consultation with the Library System Director.


No board member or staff member may engage in commerce with the library in a way that can be construed to be a conflict of interest.  A conflict of interest is defined as any commercial activity that would enhance the wealth of the individual (other than employment or reimbursement for legitimate expenses) by virtue of influence they may have with the library.  Exceptions to this include sealed bids through the normal bidding process and businesses which offer a product or service for which there is no competition within the service area of the library.


  1. An affirmative vote of the majority of all Members of the Board present at the time (with quorum) shall be necessary to approve any action before the Board. The Chair may vote upon and may move or second a proposal before the Board.
  2. Bylaws will be reviewed every three (3) years and filed with the Regional Library. Failure to review the Bylaws shall not void any portion of the Bylaws nor affect their validity in whole or in part.
  3. The Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board with a quorum present by majority vote of the entire board, not just those in attendance, provided the amendment was stated in the call of the meeting and proposed in the previous meeting,
  4. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern in the parliamentary procedures of the Board.

These Bylaws adopted by the Hawkins County Library System Board of Trustees November 3, 2014.

Revised by the Hawkins County Library System Board of Trustees August 14, 2017