MLA from the mountains to the prairies

Public Library Division Bylaws

Adopted: April 28, 1995
Revised November 1, 1997
Revised April 12, 2019


The name of this organization shall be the Public Library Division of the Montana Library Association (MLA). It shall be referred hereinafter as the Division.


The purposes of the Division shall be:

To promote communication about and among public libraries in Montana.

To provide its membership with continuing education in developments which may be utilized by librarians.

To promote a cooperative use of materials and facilities and the exchange of information among its membership.


This Division shall be a division of the Montana Library Association, subject to its Bylaws. This Division may affiliate with any national or state association or other association upon majority vote of the members voting at any general meeting after due notification to the membership.


There shall be three classes of membership: Active, Emeritus, and Institutional.

Section 1. Active Members. Any person actively engaged in library work or interested in library service may become an active member of this Division and be entitled to all its privileges upon payment of the dues as provided in the Bylaws of the MLA.

Section 2. Emeritus Members. Emeritus members will be determined by the Montana Library Association.

Section 3. Institutional Members. Any public library may become an Institutional Member of this Division upon payment of the appropriate dues of the Montana Library Association.

Section 4. Voting privileges. Each member of the Division in good standing shall be entitled to one vote on each question which comes before the Division. Each institutional member may have, through a delegated representative, one vote on each question which comes before the Division.


Section 1. Leadership of this Division will be two active members of the Division elected to two-year terms offset from each other. The senior co-chair (second year) will coordinate attendance to all functions with the junior co-chair.

Section 2. The term of officers shall be for two years. The term shall begin on June 1, after voting at the Division annual meeting during the MLA conference.

Section 3. Duties of Officers.

  1. Co-Chair. One co-chair, or designee, shall preside at all meetings of the Division and Executive Committee. The co-chairs may appoint a secretary at their discretion and shall appoint committee members when required. The co-chairs shall plan the annual Division meetings and other meetings deemed necessary. The co-chairs will make an annual report to the Division at the annual MLA conference and will regularly report news and information to the membership through the Focus, the newsletter of the MLA. The co-chairs shall assist in planning the Annual Fall Retreat alongside the representative(s) from the Academic and Special Library Division and the MLA conference planner.
  2. Senior Co-Chair. The senior co-chair shall prepare a budget for their term of office to be submitted to the MLA Board of Directors. The senior co-chair shall be a member of the MLA Board of Directors and be responsible for liaison to other organizations, agencies, and associations. Upon approval of the Executive Committee, the senior co-chair may appoint a proxy to represent them.
  3. Junior Co-Chair.The junior co-chair shall conduct business meetings in the absence of the senior co-chair. The junior co-chair shall succeed the senior co-chair at the end of the senior co-chair elected two year term, and shall immediately assume the office of senior co-chair if they are no longer able to perform the duties of such office, as determined by Article V, Section 4. The junior co-chair shall be responsible for all publicity on behalf of the Division.

Before the end of the second year of a co-chair’s term of service, a new member of the Division will be elected at the Annual MLA conference to be the incoming junior co-chair. Nominations may come from emails, letters, phone calls, or open nominations during the Division meeting at the MLA Conference.

Section 4. Succession or Replacement.

  1. In the event that the senior co-chair is unable to perform the duties of the office, the title, duties and obligations of the office shall be assumed by the junior co-chair, who shall then serve until the end of their own term as co-chair. A special election shall be held by email nominations and election to fill the office of the junior co-chair. The new junior co-chair shall serve the unexpired term of their predecessor and shall thereafter succeed to the office of senior co-chair.
  2. In the event that the junior co-chair is unable to perform the duties of the office, a special election shall be held electronically to fill the office. The new junior co-chair shall serve the unexpired term of their predecessor and shall thereafter succeed to the office of senior co-chair. If neither co-chair can fill their commitment, a special election will occur prior to the annual MLA conference.


The administration of the affairs of the Division shall be vested in the Executive Committee which shall consist of the officers of the Division and the most recent Past-Chairperson of the Division. The Executive Committee shall conduct all business of the Division which is necessary between meetings of the membership. The Executive Committee may caucus the membership on any issue before the MLA Board and may call special meetings of the membership.


Section 1. In the weeks prior to the MLA annual conference, the Division co-chairs will request nominations for an incoming junior Division co-chair. Any active member of the Division is eligible to serve by volunteering their name or the name of another willing Division member. Announcement of nominees for junior co-chair shall be shared with the Division members thirty days prior to the Division meeting at the annual MLA conference. Resumes of nominees will be included in the announcement.

Section 2. Election of a junior co-chair shall be conducted at the Division meeting during the MLA annual conference. The results of the election shall be announced to the members before May 31, and the new officer shall assume office on June 1.

Section 3. Special Elections. An Ad Hoc Committee, appointed by the Executive Committee, shall submit a list of candidates and their resumes to the senior co-chair no later than thirty days after the disability of, resignation by, or removal from office of the Division junior co-chair. Special elections may be held electronically or at a business meeting, as determined by the Executive Committee.


The fiscal year of the Division shall coincide with the fiscal year of the parent organization, the Montana Library Association.


Section 1. Dues. No special dues shall be charged by this Division. Membership shall be determined through payment of dues to the Montana Library Association.

Section 2. Operating Budget. The Executive Committee shall anticipate expenses of the Division and request from the Executive Board of the Montana Library Association adequate finances to cover the expenses of this Division.

Section 3. Special Assessments. The Division may assess fees from participants in Division-sponsored workshops or seminars, provided that such fees be designed only to cover immediate costs of the seminar or workshop, and that gratuities to speaker remain minimal. The MLA secretary and treasurer shall pay all associated bills and collect all fees for conferences and retreats associated with the Division.


The annual meeting of the Division shall be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the parent organization, the Montana Library Association.


The active members in good standing present at the Division’s meeting during the MLA annual conference or the business meeting shall constitute a quorum of the Division for the transaction of business.


Section 1. Standing Committees. Standing Committees may be instituted should the membership determine and express a need for such. Standing committees shall report to the membership at the annual meeting.

Section 2. The co-chairs may appoint ad hoc committees at any time. An
ad hoc committee shall finish its mission within two years of its formation and shall report to the co-chairs. It shall then either burn the written statement of this mission in a campfire or swallow it, depending on the Chair’s instruction.


The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting at the annual meeting of the Division. Proposed Bylaws changes shall be distributed to the membership at least fifteen days prior to a meeting at which consideration of changes is to be on the agenda.


Any active member present at any Division meeting is allowed to comment and to address the membership. Any action item requires a motion, one second, discussion if deemed necessary, and passes or fails according to a vote by a simple majority of members present.

Montana Library Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 823, Arlee, MT 59821

2024 Montana Library Association

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software