The Library Board of Trustees is an advisory Library Board composed of seven members of Huntington Beach who are appointed by the City Council. The role of the board is to assist the City Council in the development and analysis of information regarding library related issues.
Library Boards for public libraries are designated as advisory when: 1) the Library Director is appointed by the mayor, mayor and city council, city manager, county board of supervisors, or other county chief administrator; and 2) the Library Director submits the library budget to the jurisdiction for approval. Advisory public Library Boards then do not appoint the Library Director or submit the library budget.
The main purpose of the board is to advise the Council and increase citizen participation in library issues. The dictionary defines the word advise as "give advice to; counsel; give notice; inform; talk over plans; consult with; caution." In the case of Library Boards, additional suitable terms might be: to analyze needs, to consider goals, to anticipate future needs and problems, to liaison, to act as a sounding board, and to help develop consensus.
Huntington Beach requires a Library Board member: 1) to be a resident of the city, 2) to be a citizen of the United States, 3) to be at least 18 years of age, and 4) not in the immediate past to have served two consecutive terms on the Library Board.
Members shall hold no paid office or employment in the city government while serving on such board.
The City Council seeks persons who are interested in serving the city and are willing to donate their services. Each member should be concerned with the general public welfare. No person is selected on the basis of representing a specific business, organization or cause.
Huntington Beach Library Board has seven members. Factors that generally determine the number of members on a public Library Board include: 1) uneven number to prevent tie votes, 2) an intent to assure representation from all regions which the library serves, and 3) consistency with other boards serving the jurisdiction.
In the event a member retires or is unable to complete his term, an appointment shall be made to fill the remainder of the unexpired term. To apply to become a member, please fill out the Boards & Commission Application.
In Huntington Beach, Library Board Members serve for a maximum of two four-year terms.
The terms of office are generally staggered so not all positions become vacant at one time. This permits new members to serve alongside experienced members.
Local jurisdictional policy may also go so far as to require that at least two years elapse before a person who has served two terms may be reappointed. The general premise is that, although a board member will gain experience from unlimited terms of office, multiple terms may preclude an important injection of fresh viewpoints and energetic new approaches to service.
The Council Members who act as Council Liaison should be the most knowledgeable and up-to-date on the various facts and issues related to the assigned group. The Council Liaisons are responsible for keeping the rest of the Council informed on the activities of the board. The Council Liaisons are not expected to attend every meeting, but occasional attendance is desirable. The Council Liaisons also review applications for vacant positions and hold interviews if the desire to do so. The Liaisons recommend appointments, which must be approved by the majority of the City Council.
Particular emphasis is placed on the fact that each advisory group should get to know its own Council Liaisons and keep in close contact with them, since they are the first line of communication to the Council.
The basic functions of the staff person are to keep the advisory group informed of current happenings with the city which relate to the board's purpose and the "do's and don'ts" of actions the board wishes to take. The staff person may also produce the minutes, prepare reports, write draft letters, etc., as required by the board.
State and local laws created California Library Boards to represent the people; to serve their communities with quality and community-relevant service; and to provide vital, formal, citizen-user guidance to local government and library staff in planning, management, and evaluation functions. Huntington Beach Library Board members are public officials with legal responsibilities. To operate effectively, each Library Board must understand thoroughly its own particular legal base of operation. The following delineates some of the ways the board member can carry out his/her duties and responsibilities as outlined in the Ordinance:
1. Give due attention and study to library services as they affect the welfare of the people of Huntington Beach.
2. Interpret the department's services and needs to the community.
3. Take initiative in planning for future development as well as improvement to present facilities.
4. Serve as a sounding board against which the Library Director and staff may test their plans and ideas.
5. Recommend policy. The adoption of all policies is the prerogative of the City Council; however, the board may make recommendations on policies pertaining to library activities.
6. Enable civic and service organizations to accomplish results through cooperation, which they could not possibly accomplish alone.
7. Encourage individual and citizen groups to donate funds, property and services for the development and operation of facilities.
8. Stimulate community interest in library activities.
The Library Board shall elect from its members a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson at the regular January meeting. Such officers shall serve for one year and/or until their successors are elected. The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson may make and second motions and shall have a voice vote in all proceedings of the board.
The Library Board shall meet in regular session on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the Central Library located at 7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach. An agenda must be posed at least 72 hours before a regular meeting in a spot freely accessible to members of the public.
The Library Board meetings are open to the public and the board encourages input and participation from the community.
The Library Board bylaws typically provide for:
1. Regular meetings open to public: date, time, place, and other requirements including advance written agenda and advance public notice.
2. Special meetings open to the public: method for calling; other requirements including advance written agenda and advance public notice.
3. Quorum: a majority of the members of the Library Board in office shall constitute a quorum.
4. Member attendance policy: provision for excused absences; any attendance enforcement provisions for unexcused absences (in accord with jurisdiction appointive authority).
5. Board officers: titles; duties and powers; terms of office.
6. Election procedure: nomination, election date and process; procedure for filling vacancies during term.
7. Standing committees: title and function; member selection procedure, duties, and reporting procedure.
8. Special committees: member selection procedure, duties, and reporting procedure.
Conduct of board meetings: responsibility for advance written agenda; procedure for placing items on agenda; order of business; statement of authority for parliamentary procedure (such as the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised or other board-accepted authority); provision for public comment (written or oral).
From the beginning, the Huntington Beach Public Library has been responsive to citizen concern for the community and its future generations.
Shortly before the city was incorporated in February 1909, two citizens, Mr. R. W. Blodget and Mrs. R.H. Lindgren, brought the possibility of opening a library to the attention of the Board of Trade.
Efforts of these two citizens aroused the interest of some local organizations, and the Huntington Beach Women's Club called a mass meeting on February 15, 1909, to form a library association.
This meeting resulted in a temporary organization being established and Mr. Blodget was asked to draw up a constitution and by-laws for the new organization. The first Board of Trustees consisted of Mr. A.W. Everett, Mrs. C.D. Heartwell, Mrs. Mary Manske, Miss Alma Wilson and Mr. A.L. Reed. Each member of this board represented a different group or interest in the city.
Once the Public Library Association was established, friends in the community began giving books and other necessary items and a home for the new library became a problem. The board decided to buy an old, roofless office building, which was to be moved; and Mr. Reed guaranteed payment of $50 for the building. Mr. S. E. Hern agreed to allow the board to move the building to a lot at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Main Street for a nominal rental charge.
Community involvement in the new library was particularly noteworthy during this period. During the time the citizens and the library trustees were busy organizing the new library, the city was officially incorporated; and a board of trustees, the forerunner of today's City Council, was elected.
On June 14, 1909, the president of the Public Library Association, Mr. Everett, appeared before the city board and offered to turn over the library to the city. The subsequent agreement called for the city to set aside $300 for the immediate use of the library, to assume its debts and to support the library with tax funds.
After Mr. Everett's appearance before the board, the city governing body enacted Ordinance 18, which established a public library. At this time, the city's board chairman, Ed Manning, appointed the first Library Board of trustees. Members of the first board were Mr. Everette, President; Mrs. Lindgren, Secretary; Mrs. Manske; Mrs. Blodget; and Ida Vicent.
The Huntington Beach Public Library and Cultural Center welcomes, empowers and enriches our community by providing innovative and traditional library services that inspire and encourage transformation and growth.
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