Roles and Responsibilities

A general description of the duties of and expectations for the JTEL Board of Directors may be found on the Board of Directors page. More specific guidelines for meetings and for board member conduct as required by our organization and membership may be found in our Bylaws in Article V: Directors and in Article VI: Officers. This page describes the board’s roles and responsibilities in more detail, including job descriptions for non-officer seats on the board, as determined by the board to enable it to best further the interests of the John Trigg Ester Library.

Adopted 8/9/2011


  • Purpose of Policy
  • Serving on the Board
  • Standard of Conduct
  • General Responsibilities of the Board
  • Planning and business operations
  • Grant writing and Capital Campaign Committee
  • Fundraising events
  • Facility operations
  • Programs administration
  • Public relations
  • Finance
  • Individual Board Member Responsibilities
  • Committee and Consultant Responsibilities
  • Duties of Board Members & Officers
    • Board Members
    • Officer Responsibilities
      • Duties of the President
      • Duties of the Vice President
      • Duties of the Secretary
      • Duties of the Treasurer

Roles & Responsibilities Policy

Purpose of Policy

The John Trigg Ester Library Board of Directors Roles and Responsibilities Policy serves the following purposes:

  • Serve as an annually updated planning and organizational tool for the JTEL Board of Directors (see also Annual Plan);
  • Aid the JTEL Board in planning, assessing, and assigning member duties and responsibilities that cover all facets of activities of the JTEL corporation;
  • Aid the JTEL Board in creating and developing committees when appropriate;
  • Expand on selected sections of the Bylaws of the John Trigg Ester Library that are intentionally general to avoid the need for frequent bylaw changes;
  • Supplement to selected sections found in Article V Directors, Article VI Officers, and Article VII Committees of Directors of the Bylaws of the JTEL;
  • To provide a description of board duties and responsibilities to prospective board members.

If it is found that statements made in this document conflict with the bylaws, this document should be amended to agree with the bylaws. For additional information on the board’s conduct and past decisions, see the bylaws and minutes of the board meetings. This policy is revised as needed by the Board of Directors.

Serving on the Board

Membership to the Board of Directors requires being passionate about the mission of the library and the community of Ester. Board members are expected to be active supporters, advocates, and volunteers for the Ester library. They should be interested in reading and literacy, have plenty of community spirit and a strong interest in promoting literacy and education. Board work is public service, and brings with it the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing a good thing for yourself, for your neighbors, and for the community.

Board members and alternates are typically elected to volunteer positions at the library’s annual meeting. The JTEL Board of Directors has nine members: four officers, three additional elected directors, and two alternates. Officers are the president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. The three non-officer members serve in the capacity of Outreach and Programs, Board and Membership Development, and Fundraising. Alternate board members serve as active at-large members but do not have voting powers except in case regular board members are absent (with no proxy) or resign, in which case an alternate will have full voting powers. Board members are expected to serve regularly on at least one committee.

The board meets once a month for an hour to two hours at the JTEL office. Regular meetings of the board of directors shall be held at the JTEL office on the 1st Wednesday of each month, or other agreed upon alternative date and location. Term of service is two years, with staggered terms. The majority of the board must live in the Ester Fire Service District. More information on the board’s conduct and past decisions is available in the Bylaws and in the minutes of the board meetings.

Standard of Conduct

The following standards of conduct for JTEL board members stem from the public’s trust that the JTEL will manage donated funds to fulfill the organization’s mission. These standards of conduct are legal requirements to maintain our 501(c)(3) status.

  • Standards of conduct and attention in carrying out responsibilities to the organization:
  • Exercise reasonable care when making a decision as a steward of the organization.
  • Give undivided allegiance to the JTEL when making decisions affecting the organization.
  • Never use information obtained as a board member for personal gain.
  • Act in a way that is consistent with the central goals of the JTEL.

General Responsibilities of the Board

The JTEL Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring that responsibilities for all JTEL operations are assigned appropriately. In some cases this may require establishment of committees, appointment of a chair, hiring staff, and solicitation of volunteers. Committee chairs may be JTEL board members/alternates. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to establish these committees and to make sure that they are being run correctly. The duties and responsibilities below refer to the JTEL Board as a whole and tasks that need to be assigned to individual members or committees.

Duties include but are not limited to the following:

Planning and Business Operations

  • Set and review the JTEL’s mission, goals, annual plan, and operational plan on a regular basis (at least annually).
  • Develop and implement an annual operating plan that includes the assignment of duties and responsibilities to an individual board member, committee, or the Board as a whole.
  • Review and update the board’s structure and committee functions on a regular basis (at least annually).
  • Plan for the JTEL’s future, on a long-term and short-term basis; including the development of a multi-year strategic business plan.
  • Make decisions on design and construction of the new library and approve and oversee all construction activities.
  • Review and amend bylaws and provide policies and guidelines as needed.

Grant Writing and Capital Campaign Committee

  • Grant writing and capital campaign: Seek funding sources, write grants, review and edit grant applications, develop innovative ideas to obtain additional funding.
  • At monthly meetings, report on grant writing activities, grants awarded, and any spending regulations associated with grants obtained.

Fundraising Events

  • Fundraisers: Each fundraiser will be run by a committee chair selected by the Board of Directors. The chair may be a board member or a trusted volunteer outside the Board. The committee chair will be responsible for soliciting volunteers, developing, evaluating, organizing, and implementing fund raising activities for the particular event that they are responsible for. Activities associated with fundraisers include creating and updating fundraiser-specific standard operating procedures, overseeing volunteers running the events, publicizing the event, and making sure that everything is done correctly.
  • Develop fundraising skills and participate in fundraising activities based on each individual’s skills and background.

Facility Operations

  • Maintain the library collections.
  • Operate the library and gazebo as needed.
  • Manage and maintain properties.

Programs Administration

The Board of Directors is responsible for selecting committees and/or coordinators to operate library programs. Board members and committee or program chairs and volunteers will adhere to the Program & Activites Development Plan & Policy.

Lecture Series: The series will be run by a committee chair selected by the Board of Directors. The committee chair will be responsible for organizing speakers, venues, equipment, and publicity for the series.

Seed Library Program: This is run by a program coordinator appointed by the Board of Directors who reports to the Program Committee or the Board. The coordinator is responsible for organizing volunteers, venues, speakers, workshops, supplies, events, publicity, funds, and other needs of the program.

Public Relations

  • Ensure that the organization’s programs and services appropriately address the majority of our member’s interests.
  • Represent and promote the organization to the membership, general public, governments, foundations and other key stakeholder groups.
  • Provide resources to members.
  • Promote collaborative action with other organizations, including activities and occasions when the JTEL should take part in joint fundraising, etc.
  • Promote the library to the public by writing press releases, setting up radio time, writing articles for publications, creating and disseminating posters, updating the JTEL website, blog, and Facebook page, etc.
  • Support volunteer involvement: develop a volunteer program, recruit volunteers, and set guidelines for how the JTEL treats and recognizes volunteers.
  • Develop board membership by recruiting and orienting new board members, and training, evaluating, and recognizing existing board members.


  • Ensure financial accountability of the organization, including monthly review and approval of financial statements from the treasurer.
  • Oversee an ongoing process of budget development, review and approval.

Individual Board Member Responsibilities

Participation in Board Service

  • Demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the JTEL’s mission and goals and a willingness to work collaboratively with other board members and staff to achieve these goals.
  • Contribute expertise in one or more of the following areas: organizational development, finance, capital campaign, grant writing, fundraising events, community relations and outreach, technical support, or operations.
  • Serve on either the Fundraising and Capital Campaign Committee or the Construction Campaign Committee.
  • Participate in at least one fundraising function/committee as appropriate and make a financial contribution to the best of one’s ability.
  • Maintain current membership.
  • Promote the JTEL to the general public.
  • Prepare for and attend monthly board meetings.
  • Prepare for and attend annual and special meetings of the members. Preparing for these meetings will include reporting on annual activities.
  • Prepare reports for individual and committee activities for the annual report.
  • Expect to volunteer eight to twelve hours per month (on average), distributed approximately as follows:
    • 3-4 hours: Board meeting (preparation and attendance)
    • 2-3 hours: Duties assigned at board meetings
    • 2-3 hours: Committee meetings and assignments
    • 1-2 hours (annual average): Fundraising events

Knowledge and Preparation

  • Keep current on the external and internal trends affecting the JTEL.
  • Think creatively about how the JTEL can advance its mission and obtain funding.


  • Serve the organization as a whole, with objectivity, integrity, and fairness at all times.
  • Avoid conflict of interest.
  • Accept and defend board decisions.

Committee and Consultant Responsibilities

The board of directors creates committees that may be directed by board members, including alternates, to exercise the powers of the board of directors in specified areas of the corporation’s business and legal affairs. The board of directors may also appoint a board member, alternate or JTEL volunteer to serve as a consultant to the board or board committees.

All committees created by the Board shall keep regular and detailed records of their activities and make regular reports to the full Board of Directors.

Consultants perform special assignments delegated to them by the President and furnish consultations on such matters as required by the board.

Meetings and action of committees and consultants shall be governed by the JTEL bylaws.

Currently committees consist of one committee for each fundraising event, Fundraising and Capital Campaign Committee, and Construction Committee.

Duties of Board Members and Officers

Board Members

Board members are expected to attend monthly board meetings and the annual board meeting. Meetings are usually between 1 to 2 hours long.

Non-officer board members are expected to serve on either standing committees (Construction or Capital Campaign & Fundraising) or specific event or program committees. Events include:

  • Lallapalooza & Book Bash
  • LiBerry Music Festival
  • Readers on the Run
  • Annual Membership Meeting

Programs inlcude:

  • Growing Ester’s Biodiversity: Seed Library Program (in development)
  • Library Lecture Series

Certain duties are fulfilled by board members who focus on particular areas of interest or need. These are reflected by seats on the board that concern the following arenas (please also see Officers):

  • Community outreach & programs
  • Fundraising
  • Membership & board development

Overall, board members can expect to attend:

  • 13 board meetings annually
  • 1 annual membership meeting
  • 5-12 committee, special, and/or event -related meetings annually


Executive Committee Responsibilities

Executive Committee members are elected among the board members in their first meeting after the annual meeting. Officers serve a term of two years.

Responsibilities of the President

(see also Bylaws, Article VI, President)

The President is the chief executive officer of the JTEL and shall provide leadership to the board ensuring that individual members and the board as a whole meet their responsibilities. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Have general active management of the business of the JTEL.
  • Set agendas and preside at meetings of the board and of the members and conduct board business effectively and efficiently at these meetings.
  • See that orders and resolutions of the board are carried into effect.
  • Promote the development of selected volunteers to assume future key leadership roles in the organization, particularly executive positions and committee chairs.
  • Oversee the long-term planning and goal setting process for the JTEL, and ensure that the board members and volunteers work cooperatively so that the planning functions can be accomplished.
  • Assume accountability for the board’s performance.
  • Sign and deliver in the name of the corporation deeds, mortgages, bonds, contracts, or other instruments pertaining to the business of the corporation, except in cases in which the authority to sign and deliver is required by law to be exercised by another person or is expressly delegated by the articles or bylaws or by the board to another officer or agent of the corporation.
  • Ensure that the board regularly reviews programs and the progress of the organization.
  • Maintain records of, and, when necessary, certify proceedings of the board and the members; and perform other duties prescribed by the board.

Minimum Job Requirements include:

  • Demonstrated commitment to the goals and objectives of the organization and a record of support for the organization.
  • Demonstrated leadership that will enhance the organization.
  • Willingness to expand knowledge of board responsibilities through ongoing training.
  • Willingness and ability to represent the organization to the public.
  • Willing to contribute at least fifteen to twenty hours per month.

Responsibilities of the Vice-President

(See also Bylaws, Article VI: Vice-President)

  • Understand the duties of the President and assist in carrying out these duties.  Undertake such duties in the President’s absence or inability or refusal to act.
  • Special Responsibilities: Frequently assigned to a special area of responsibility, such as membership, media, annual dinner, facility, or personnel. Special responsibilities should be defined by the board as a whole prior to election of the Vice President.
  • Serve on the executive committee.

Responsibilities of the Secretary

(See also Bylaws, Article VI, Secretary)

  • Track and document the decision-making process during board meetings. Prepare, distribute, and edit an accurate record of all board meeting minutes.
  • Archive a book of minutes of all meetings of the directors, and, if applicable, meetings of committees of directors and of members, recording the time and place of the meeting, whether regular or special, how called, the names of those present or represented at the meeting, and the proceedings thereof. Ensure that meeting minutes, written consents approving action taken without a meeting, and supporting documents pertaining to meetings, minutes, and consents are recorded in the JTEL corporate records by the later of the next JTEL meeting or sixty days following the meeting or written consent.
  • Provide introductory material to new board members.
  • Establish a document archiving protocol and inventory. This protocol will define which documents and how and where paper or electronic copies of these documents are to be versioned and archived.
  • Certify and keep an original, or a copy, of the Bylaws of the JTEL as amended or otherwise altered to date.
  • Provide any director of the corporation, or his or her agent or attorney the bylaws, membership book, and meeting minutes within a reasonable amount of time when requested.
  • Maintain and keep at the principal office of the corporation a membership book containing the name and address of each and any members.
  • Ensure that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of the bylaws or as required by law.
  • Perform all duties of the secretary as defined by law, in the bylaws, or as assigned by the Board of Directors.

Responsibilities of the Treasurer

(See also Bylaws, Article VI, Treasurer)

  • Have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities of the corporation, and deposit all such funds in the name of the corporation in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as shall be selected by the board of directors.
  • Receive, and give receipt for, monies due and payable to the corporation from any source whatsoever. Disburse, or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the corporation as directed by the board of directors, taking proper vouchers for such disbursements.
  • Keep and maintain adequate and correct accounts of the corporation’s properties and business transactions, including accounts of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, gains, and losses.
  • Report to the board on the financial integrity of the organization at monthly meetings and exhibit at all reasonable times the books of account and financial records to any member of the Board of Directors, or to his or her agent or attorney, upon request.
  • Prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify, or cause to be certified, the financial statements to be included in any required reports.
  • Ensure that all financial policies and legal requirements with respect to financial reporting are being followed.
  • Work with board members to develop an annual budget.
  • Upon request, provide the president and the board an account of transactions by the treasurer and of the financial condition of the corporation.
  • In general, perform all duties incident to the office of treasurer and such other duties as may be required by law, by the articles of incorporation of the corporation, or by these bylaws, or which may be assigned to him or her from time to time by the board of directors.