000: Internal Policies

The policymaking, or legislative function, of the Library District is specifically rested in the Board of Trustees of the Library District by the laws of the State of Missouri. The Board believes that a statement of policy positions about its own operations as included in this series is needed for the following reasons:

  1. To acquaint the residents of the Library District and the District’s employees with the role and purposes of the Board as defined by law and the Board’s own intent.
  2. To point out the authorizations which the Board may use and the restraints which it must accept in carrying out its legal mandate to the residents of the Library District.
  3. To encourage thoughtful and considerate support from residents and employees in meeting the challenges related to the operation of a public library system.

As used in the foregoing by-laws and the following policy and procedure statements, terms shall be defined as follows:

  1. A law is drawn directly from State statute or Federal legislation and places a mandatory obligation, prohibition or direction on the Library Board of Trustees. Thus a law is not subject to change by the Board and can be altered or amended only by the enacting legislative body.
  2. A by-law is a rule adopted by the Library Board to govern the way in which the Board is structured and conducts the business of the Library District. A by-law is subordinate to the Missouri Constitution and State statutes affecting the Library District.
  3. A policy is a declaration by the Board in respect to a purpose, goal, objective, or other intent or expectation as to how the Board will conduct its business and what results will be achieved through the operation of the Library.
  4. A procedure is a declaration adopted by the Library Administration to implement and comply with State or Federal legislation, Board by-law or policy, or to facilitate operation of the Library.

Board Policy 001 (Adopted 6-89)

In establishing Library Board policy the Board shall consider proposals from its members, from any Board committee, from the Library Administration or employees, or the general public. No policy proposal shall be considered before the Board and/or as having potential policy status until it has been submitted to the Board as an agenda item at a regular meeting of the Board and approved by a favorable vote of a majority of a quorum for placement on the policy calendar.

After a proposal has been on the policy calendar a minimum of ten (10) days, the proposal may be brought before the Board at any regular meeting by a majority vote of a quorum. A proposal may be amended or returned to the policy calendar by a majority vote of a quorum. Any material change in a proposal, by amendment or otherwise, shall cause the proposal to be returned to the policy calendar for a minimum of ten (10) days. A majority vote of the whole Board shall be required for approval of a policy proposal.

Board Policy 002 (Adopted 6-89)

The Library Board shall have authority only when acting as a Board legally in session. Board members have no legal authority as individuals and can exercise authority only as members of the total Board at official Board meetings. The Board shall not be bound in any way by any statement or action by an individual member except when such statement or action is in pursuance of specific instruction of the Board.

No Board member, by virtue of his office, shall exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the Library or as an individual command the services of any Library District employee.

Board Policy 003 (Adopted 6-89)

The Library Board of Trustees and the employees of the Library District shall adhere to the following Code of Ethics:

  1. Declaration of Policy. The proper operation of government requires that public officials and employees be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; that government decisions and policy be made in the proper channels of the governmental structure, that public office not be used for personal gain; and that the public have confidence in the integrity of its government. In recognition of these goals, there is hereby established a procedure for disclosure by the Library Board of Trustees and the Library Director of private financial or other interests in matters affecting the Library District.
  2. Conflicts of Interest.
    • All members of the Board and the Director must comply with Section 105.454 of Missouri Revised Statutes on conflicts of interest as well as any other state law governing official conduct.
    • Any member of the Board who has a “substantial or private interest” in action proposed or pending before the Board must disclose that interest to the Secretary of the Board and shall record it in the minutes of the Board. Substantial or private interest is defined as ownership by an individual, his/her spouse, or his/her dependent children, whether singularly or collectively, directly or indirectly of:
      • 10% or more of any business entity, or
      • an interest having a value of $10,000 or more; or
      • the receipt of a salary, gratuity, or other compensation or remuneration of $5,000 or more, per year from any individual, partnership, organization, or association within any calendar year.
  3. Disclosure Reports. The Director shall disclose the following information by May 1 if any such transactions occurred during the previous calendar year:
    • For such person, and all persons within the first degree of consanguinity or affinity of such person, the date and the identities of the parties of each transaction with a total value in excess of five hundred dollars ($500), if any, that such person had with the Library District, other than compensation received as an employee or payment of any tax, fee or penalty due to the District, and other than transfers for no consideration to the District.
    • The date and the identities of the parties to each transaction known to the person with a total value in excess of five hundred ($500), if any, that any business entity in which such person had a substantial interest, had with the Library District, other payment of any tax, fee or penalty due to the District, and other than transfers for no consideration to the District.
    • The Director shall, by May 1 for the previous calendar year, also disclose the following information:
      • The name and address of each of the employers of such person from whom income of one thousand dollars or more was received during the year covered by the statement;
      • The name and address of each sole proprietorship that he owned; the name, address and the general nature of the business conducted of each general partnership and joint venture in which he was a partner or participant; the name and address of each partner or co-participant for each partnership or joint venture unless such names and address are filed by the partnership or joint venture ninth the Secretary of State, the name, address and general nature of the business conducted of any closely held corporation or limited partnership in which the person owned ten percent (10%) or more of the class of the outstanding stock or limited partnership units; and the name of the publicly traded corporation or limited partnership that is listed on a regulated stock exchange or automated quotation system in which the person owned two percent (2%) or more of any class of outstanding stock, limited partnership units or other equity interests;
      • The name and address of each corporation for which such person served in the capacity of a director, officer or receiver.
  4. Filing of Reports.
    • The financial interest statements shall be filed by the Director at the following times, but not more than once in any calendar year.
      • The Director shall file a financial statement annually not later than May 1 and the statement shall cover the calendar year ending the immediately preceding December 31; provided that the Director may supplement the financial interest statement to report additional interests acquired after December 31 of the covered year until the date of filing of the financial interest statement.
      • Each new Director appointed to office by the Board of Trustees shall file the statement within thirty days of such appointment or employment.
    • Financial disclosure reports giving the financial information required in Section 3 shall be filed with the Library District and with the Secretary of State prior to January 1, 1993. After January 1, 1993, reports shall be filed with the Library District and the Missouri Ethics Commission. The reports shall be available for public inspection and copying during normal business hours.
  5. Chief Purchasing Officer. The Director is hereby designated as the Chief Purchasing Officer of the Kansas City Public Library District.
  6. Filing of Resolution. A certified copy of this policy, adopted prior to September 15, 1991, shall be sent within ten days of its adoption to the Secretary of State’s office. A certified copy of any policy adopted on or after January 1, 1993, shall be sent to the Missouri Ethics Commission within ten days of its adoption.
  7. Effective Date. This policy shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage and approval and shall remain in effect until amended or repealed by the Board.

Board Policy 004 (Adopted 8-91)

The Board shall discharge its responsibility for program direction mainly through the adoption of goals and objectives by which the priorities of the Board will be expressed. The Library Administration shall be responsible for submitting to the Board on an annual basis a summary of objectives, tasks and activities which shall further the accomplishment of the goals set by the Board. The Board shall largely discharge its responsibility for the effectiveness of the Library by examining regularly in detail, reports that compare the results being achieved with goals adopted by the Board.

Board Policy 005 (Adopted 6-9)

All meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas City Public Library District shall be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. The Library District shall comply with Sections 610.010 to 610.030, RSMo (the Sunshine Law) as now existing or hereafter amended.

Board Policy 010 (Adopted 6-89 / Amended 9-91)

Members of the Board and the general public shall be given notice of the time, place, date of each meeting of the Board, committees of the Board, and committees of non-Board members appointed by the Board, at least twenty-four hours in advance. As a minimum, such notice shall include posting on bulletin boards easily accessible to the public at the Main Library and the branch libraries. The notice shall contain a tentative agenda to be considered at the meeting. A copy of the notice and tentative agenda shall be available to any representative of the news media or general public upon request, and to representatives of the news media who have requested to receive all notices of the meetings of the Board or its committees.

In case it is necessary to hold a meeting without having given the minimum twenty-four hour prior notice as specified above, members of the Board may be notified by telephone and the good cause justifying the failure to give the notice shall be noted and stated in the minutes of the meeting.

Board Policy 011 (Leg. Ref.: 610.020 RSMo / Adopted 6-89)

The agenda for each regular meeting of the Library Board shall be prepared in advance by the Library Director. A copy shall be sent to each member of the Board and others as determined by the Board at least four days preceding the regular meeting.

The agenda for each special meeting of the Board shall be distributed, as the Board may determine, a sufficient time in advance to enable members to prepare for the meeting. Walk-in items shall be discouraged and shall not be added to the agenda without approval from a majority of the members present.

The minutes of the previous meeting(s), copies of committee reports, information items, and reference items which may be needed for clarification or examination shall be sent to each member of the Board as part of the agenda packet.

Board Policy 012 (Adopted 6-89)

All actions of the Library Board of Trustee shall be taken in official meetings called, scheduled and conducted according to the laws of the State of Missouri and in keeping with the Board's by-laws and with policies adopted from time to time by the Board.

Board Policy 013 (Adopted 6-9)

Any person or delegation desiring to make a presentation to the Board may be placed on the agenda for a regular meeting by making a request to the Board (through the Board President or Library Director) not less than four days before the meeting date and stating his/her name and address. Bring a summary (verbal or written) of the presentation. A presentation not on the agenda may be heard only with the unanimous consent of all Board members present.

Requests to make presentations to the Board will be accepted and listed in the order they are filed with the Library Director in preparing the agenda, except that priority will be given to presentations on:

  1. Items on which the Board specifically has invited input.
  2. Items earned over by vote of the Board from a previous meeting.
  3. Business on the current agenda.

When the time allotted for hearings for a given meeting is filled or consumed, additional items will be listed for hearing at the next regular meeting.

A person listed on the agenda will be recognized by the President of the Board at the proper time during the meeting. Presentations are generally limited to three minutes, except that the Board may occasionally vote to extend the time at the current meeting; or at its option, the Board may vote to continue the subject at the next regular or special meeting. If there are numerous requests to address the Board on the same subject, the President may select representatives to speak on each side of the issue and place a limit on the total time for the presentation. Items not heard at one meeting shall be rescheduled for the next. The Board may overrule a decision of the President on the above matters by a majority vote of those present.

In the interest of orderly conduct of Board meetings, spontaneous discussion is discouraged. However, the Board by unanimous vote or assent may agree to hear any delegation or individual at any time, notwithstanding the above stated requirement for an advance request.

The Board may ask questions during or after a presentation but generally will not attempt to give definitive answers to matters presented in a public hearing. Instead, such matters generally will be referred to the Library Director for study and recommendation. It is in the interest of the Board that the individual or group making a presentation to the Board shall have a prompt reply from the Library Director.

This policy is adopted in order that the Board may carry out the necessary business of the Library District and yet encourage public participation. The intent is:

  1. To provide a means whereby everyone who wishes to address the Board may have a fair and adequate hearing.
  2. To allow the Library Director an opportunity to take action, or to recommend action to the Board, when policies have already been established by the Board.
  3. To minimize the possibility of the Board's taking ill-advised, illegal or improper actions in the absence of adequate information and study, especially when a policy does not exist, a change in policy is proposed, or an exception to policy is requested.
  4. To control the amount of time devoted to public hearings in order that the Board may be given adequate consideration to the proposals as well as to other business on the agenda.

Board Policy 014 (Adopted 6-89)

Pursuant to the By-Laws of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas City Public Library District (Ref: Article IV, Section 4), the Library Director and his/her designees shall maintain all proceedings and records on behalf of the Board, its officers, and the Library District and is located at the Administrative Offices of the Kansas City Public Library (5th Floor, Business Office), 311 East 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

The Library Director and his/her designees shall respond to all requests for access to or copies of a public record within the time period provided by statute except in those circumstances authorized by statute. Fees to be charged for access to or furnishing copies of records shall be on the same schedule as those charged to customers requesting information or documents from the Library collection and shall not exceed the actual cost of document search and duplication in compliance with Sections 610.010 to 610.030 RSMo (the Sunshine Law) as now existing or hereafter amended.

Board Policy 015 (Adopted 9-91)

The Library Board determines policy, delegates executive and supervisory authority and responsibility to the Library Director, and appraises the results achieved by reference to the goals it has adopted for Library District operation. The Board shall concern itself primarily with broad questions of policy and with appraisal of results, rather than with administrative details. The application of policy is an administrative task to be performed by the Library Director.

Board Policy 020 (Adopted 6-89)

A substantial amount of information of a current nature is needed from time to time by members of the Board in a satisfactory discharge of their duties. Such information may be in addition to the information provided to the Board in regular reports.

As a general rule Board members will request such additional information from the Library Director at a regular Board meeting. The request shall include a time schedule and permit the Library Director to respond at the next regular meeting except when the need is of an immediate nature. In such instances, it shall be the responsibility of the Library Director to respond promptly and to keep the Board member making the request informed as to the progress of the preparation of the information.

All Board members shall receive a copy of information so requested by and provided to individual members.

Board Policy 021 (Adopted 6-89)

The Board may employ legal counsel to supply such legal assistance as may be required by the District as a corporate body. Generally, legal counsel shall work through the Library Director. Requests for a legal opinion or a legal review of a particular matter shall be channeled through the Library Director with the results of such opinion or review shared with all Board members.

Individual Board members shall have no authority to confer or seek a legal opinion directly from the Library's legal counsel, except when so authorized by action of the full Board. In the event that such legal advice is sought on behalf of the Board, the Library Director shall be informed of the request and receive a copy of any written response from legal counsel, except when the issue relates to employment of the Library Director or any matter in which the Board and the Library Director may be in adversarial roles.

The Library District shall not commence litigation as plaintiff without Board action and, except as required to protect Library District interest pending Board action, legal counsel shall not participate in litigation in defense of the District without Board approval. Legal counsel shall provide general services at the request of the Library Director, it being the responsibility of the Library Director to develop procedures which will assure adequate legal advice for himself and his subordinates, but avoid calling upon attorneys for matters which do not require their assistance.

Board Policy 022 (Adopted 6-89)

The Library Board may hold membership in local, state, regional and national library associations and shall look upon such memberships as an opportunity for growth in board service.

Board Policy 030 (Adopted 6-89)

The Library Board will approve travel of members for purposes stated below and provide reimbursement for expenses in accordance with procedures adopted from time to time.

  1. In-District Travel. Members of the Board may be allowed mileage at rates in effect for the Library District at the time of the travel for in-district travel to and from:
    1. Regular and special meetings of the Board.
    2. Scheduled meetings of committees of the Board which members attend.
    3. Special assignments or duties having prior Board approval.
    4. Other official business.
  2. Out-of-District Travel. The Library Board considers it necessary and appropriate that members of the Board:
    1. Attend meetings sponsored by Library associations and by other organizations interested in finding solutions to the challenges facing library districts throughout the country.
    2. Attend governmental and other conferences dealing with subjects important to the operation of the Library District.
  3. Approval. All out-of-district travel for which reimbursement (other than mileage or meal expense) is provided must be approved in advance by a majority vote of the Board.
  4. Reimbursement/Allowance Standards. The following allowance standards shall prevail for out-of-district travel:
    1. Transportation. Air fare shall be allowed for the lowest price service available for the flight. All costs of travel to and from the airport and kneeling point or hotel may be claimed as transportation expense. Reimbursement for travel by car will be allowed to one member per car at the prevailing mileage rate or Economy air fare, whichever is less. Allowance for travel by car shall be made on the basis of joint use of the same car whenever possible.
    2. Reimbursement for accommodations shall be made on the basis of actual receipts. When two or more members share a room, full allowances may be made to one member or a proportionate allowance to each as requested. When a Board member's spouse or other family member(s) share a room, allowance shall be approved at the establishment's rate for a single room, as evidenced by an official receipt showing payment at such rate.
    3. Meals. Reimbursement or allowance for meals shall be for the exact amount expended as documented by receipt for amounts in excess of $25.00 or travel log. A Board member is authorized to include meals for a guest(s) who can serve the interest of the District. When this provision is used, the name(s) of the guest(s), a receipt for the expenditure, and a statement of the subject matter covered shall be included in the reimbursement request.
    4. Registration Fees. Registration fees may be paid in advance by the Library directly to the organization sponsoring the activity, or actual registration fees will be reimbursed upon provision of a paid receipt.
    5. Miscellaneous Expenses. Miscellaneous on-site expenses such as transportation, tips, and gratuities will be allowed up to a maximum of $25.00 per day exclusive of ground transportation for arrival and departure days as itemized on the travel report.

Board Policy 031 (Adopted 6 89 / Rev. 12-90)

Library Board policy for Board member reimbursement for travel is as follows:

  1. Allowance Requirements. All allowances shall be for the amount of expenses subject to:
    1. Prescribed prior authorization or within established maximums.
    2. Correct reporting.
    3. Properly presented and substantiated request for funds, advance payment or reimbursement.
    4. Approval as outlined in procedures established for payments generally.
  2. Reporting and Claiming Reimbursement. Advance registration and transportation for Board approved travel by members will be paid directly by the Library. Reimbursement for accommodations, meals and other out-of-pocket expenses within the authorized travel allowance determined by the Board shall be based upon documented expenses as recorded and reported on the expense reimbursement claim form. Receipts should be provided for all expenses whenever practical to do so and must be provided for any specific expense in excess of $25.00 paid as an out-of-pocket expense. Travel records for all Board members and Library staff shall become part of the Library's permanent file and shall be available to public scrutiny under the Open Records Law.
  3. Advances of Expense Money. Generally, the Library does not advance expense money except through the prepayment of registration or transportation expense. In the event that non-payment of an advance expense allowance would cause undue hardship, such allowance will be provided upon request by Board members at least seven (7) days prior to expected use. The balance of any advance allowance in excess of expenses shall be returned to the District within 30 days along with an accounting of the funds expended using currently adopted reporting forms.
  4. Individual and Group Report. Generally, each member will be expected to itemize and report his/her own expenses; however, whenever one member pays expenses for another member(s), the name(s) of the member(s) shall be listed and the amount for each shown.
  5. Expense in Excess of Established Limits. If necessary and desirable expenses exceed any of the limits as specified under Board authorization, a Board member may submit an itemized total to the Board on a regular agenda for action.
  6. Reimbursement Request. A request for reimbursement of expenses shall be submitted within 30 days after an expense is incurred using currently adopted reporting forms.
  7. Library Director to Monitor Processing and Preparation of Payment. Requests for an advance allowance for prior registration or transportation payment, or for reimbursement of expenses, together with the required accounting, shall be submitted to the Library Director who shall:
    1. Check for compliance with all approved regulations.
    2. Code and otherwise prepare the request for payment.
    3. Forward to the Finance Department for payment.
      All necessary forms and directions shall be available in the Library Office and the Library Director or Executive Secretary shall assist Board members as necessary.
  8. Adjustments. Any difference in opinion with respect to the priority or legality of a request by a member of the Board for an allowance or reimbursement shall be referred without delay to the Treasurer of the Library Board for prompt resolution. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the difference of opinion may be submitted by either party to the Board for a determination.

Board Policy 032 (Adopted 6-89 / Rev. 12-90)

No member of the Board or any employee of the Library District will accept gifts from any person, group or entity doing, or desiring to do business with the Library District. Business-related gratuities are specifically prohibited except widely distributed items of nominal value.

Board Policy 033 (Adopted 6-89)

Any person who knows of or has a suspicion about possible fraudulent or dishonest use or misuse of Library property by any director, trustee, officer or employee of the Library, should contact the Human Resources Director. If the alleged wrongdoing concerns the Human Resources Director, then the Chief Executive/Director of the Library or the President or other officer of the Library should be notified instead.

If the Human Resources Director, Chief Executive/Director, President or other officer of the Library receives information about fraud or dishonesty, they shall promptly inform the Chair of the Board of Trustees Finance and Audit Committee. The Chair shall determine if allegations should be referred to the Chief Executive/Director or taken to the Board of Trustees Finance and Audit Committee to determine the procedure for investigating credible allegations. If referred to the Chief Executive/Director the results of the investigation must be reported to the Finance and Audit Committee at the next scheduled meeting. The Finance and Audit Committee shall retain as a part of the records of the Committee information regarding any such complaints or concerns for a period of at least seven years.

Reports of concerns or complaints, and the investigation pertaining thereto, shall be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation. Disclosure of reports of concerns or complaints to individuals not involved in the investigation will be viewed as a serious disciplinary offense and may result in disciplinary action.

There will be no punishment or other retaliation for the reporting of conduct under this policy. Any Director, Trustee, officer, agent, or employee of the Library who knowingly takes any retaliatory actions against a reporting individual for reporting suspected fraud or dishonesty is subject to disciplinary action at the discretion of the Board of Trustees and may be in violation of law.

If the person reporting the information under this policy requests anonymity, this request will be respected to the extent that doing so does not impede any investigation.

Board Policy 034 (Adopted 11-11 / Rev. 5-13)