About Us

Mission, Policies & Bylaws



The Mission of the Library

The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library is a life-long educational and cultural center for the North Salem community, serving its residents from infants to senior citizens with print and multimedia resources as well as enriching programs. The library seeks to encourage an informed and connected community by promoting the joy of learning and the love of reading. Internet literacy, and by offering art, educational, civic, and cultural events in a welcoming environment. We uphold First Amendment rights through freedom of expression, access to information, and the open exchange of ideas while respecting the confidentiality of all patrons.



The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library reserves the right to make photo, visual and audio recordings on its premises at its discretion. This disclaimer is to fully inform all persons of their consent, waiver of liability, and release by entering the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library premises as follows: 

By entering Library premises, all persons, on behalf of themselves and any accompanying minors in their custody: 

  1. a) consent to photography, audio recording, video recording and its/their release, publication, exhibition, or reproduction to be used for news, webcasts, promotional purposes, telecasts, inclusion on websites, or for any other purpose(s) at the discretion of the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library Board and/or designee(s); 
  2. b) release the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library Board, its officers, and employees, and each and all persons involved from any liability connected with the taking, recording, digitizing, or publication of interviews, photographs, computer images, video, and/or sound recordings; 
  3. c) waive any right to inspect or approve these materials; and,
  4. d) waive all rights to any claims for payment or royalties in connection with any exhibition, streaming, webcasting, televising, or other publication of these materials, regardless of the purpose or sponsoring of such exhibiting, broadcasting, webcasting, or other publication, irrespective of whether a fee for admission or sponsorship is charged.

To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent, or legal guardian. If you do not want us to use a photo or video of you or your child, please tell the Library staff member coordinating the event PRIOR to the program. 

Circulation Policies
Borrowing Policy

There is a fifty (50) item limit on materials borrowed with a library card.  If you wish to place a hold on a particular item, you may do so in person at the library, at home through the WLS website, or by calling 669-5161.  For any of these methods, you will need your library barcode number (found on your card) and a PIN. Westchester Library System IT has set your  PIN automatically as the last four digits of the phone number associated with your card. You can change this PIN online. You will receive a notification either by phone, text, or email when your item is available for pickup.  Reserve items must be checked out on the same library card that was used to reserve the items.  Items will be held for eight days. We suggest that you ask to be notified by email as that will alert you when a hold is ready or an item is overdue and give you a three-day courtesy reminder that you have an item due. Text and phone messages will not give you a three-day warning.

Reserving Items

You may reserve items electronically in the library, at home through our website, or by calling us at 669-5161.  You will need your library barcode number and PIN. You will receive a notification via phone, text, or email when your item is available for pickup. Reserve items must be checked out on the same library card that was used to reserve the items. Once they reach the library, items will be held for eight days before being sent back, so please be prompt in picking up your materials.

Renewal & Return Policy

All items may be renewed once, so long as the item is not on reserve for another patron. You may renew by calling TeleCirc at 674-4169, by using our library website, or by calling 669-5161. Items may not be renewed more than once. Renewing an item extends the loan period from the date of renewal (not the original due date). Always review your due dates to make sure your renewal was successful.

Items borrowed from libraries in the Westchester Library System may be returned to any public library in Westchester County.

For your convenience, the outdoor book drop is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Items returned before the library opens will be backdated to the previous day.


Fine Rates
The library abolished fines for overdue materials in the fall of 2021, following the practice of other Westchester public libraries. We believe fines could be a burden for some families and discouraged families from taking out children’s materials. Lost items still must be paid for. An un-returned or renewed item becomes lost after 30 days.  If the cost of the item(s) is more than $25, a library card will be blocked. While many county libraries have abolished overdue fines, not all have, and charges on items from those libraries will still have to be paid.


Fees for missing or damaged individually replaceable items include audio books ($10.00), audio cassettes ($10.00), DVDs ($10.00), and cases ($3.00). If an individual CD, DVD, or cassette is damaged and is not replaceable, you are responsible for paying for the entire kit.

Books borrowed through WLS from libraries outside the county have a circulation period of one month and are not renewable. Overdue fines are still in place for those materials. We are unable to borrow audio-visual materials from outside the county. 

Please note: if you owe more than $25.00 in fines/charges, you will not be allowed to borrow materials at any of the WLS libraries.

Fines for overdue items such as museum passe or backpacks have not been abolished.

Long Overdue Items

Items overdue after 30 days are billed as lost. The replacement cost will be the price listed in the WLS database.  When an item is billed for replacement, fines are removed. Because acquisition priorities change over time, the decision to replace an item must take into consideration many factors. Therefore, the library does not accept replacement copies of lost items; instead of buying a replacement item on your own, simply bring in the requisite monetary amount to the Keeler Memorial Library.  Lost items belonging to other libraries should be paid directly to the owning library. Patrons who find a lost item within six months after they have paid for it will be reimbursed the money

Community Room

The library is available during off-hours to non-profit community groups for meetings free of charge. If interested in using the library, please contact the library to obtain an application form.  For more detailed information about the library use, please refer to the Library Policies.

Group visits

Visits from school classes, nursery schools, scouts, or other organizations are welcome. Please call ahead and arrange a convenient time.

Policies for use of the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library

The Board of Trustees of the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library finds that it is beneficial to the library and the residents and civic organizations of the Town of North Salem and the North Salem Central School District to make the public spaces of the library available for use.

The following guidelines shall be adhered to by all residents and organizations wishing to use the library’s public spaces. Applications for use of the library public spaces shall be made on forms prepared by the library and all applications must be approved by the library or its designee prior to such use.

The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library has several public spaces available for community use. The library proper contains three public spaces and the Community Meeting Room is separate from the library proper and is suitable for small groups. The library grounds are not available for use as the library leases its space from the Town of North Salem.

I. Library Proper:

A. Main Room – the area of the main floor between the stacks and computers, adult reading area, and director’s office. The main room contains a viewing screen, tables, chairs, and a podium.

B. Children’s Room – the children’s room is separated by glass walls and doors from the main room.

C. Exhibit Wall – the exhibit wall is to the right of the service desk and is the first area seen as one enters the library.

II. Community Meeting Room – the Community Meeting Room is separate and distinct from the library proper and has it’s own entrance/exit. The use of the room is limited to the use of the conference tables and chairs. The walls of the Community Meeting Room are restricted to uses of the library.

The Library Proper

The library proper is to be used primarily for the programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the library or Friends of the Library. When not needed for their use, it may be used for civic, educational, or cultural meetings, events, or displays sponsored by not-for-profit, non-profit, or civic organizations. The library proper may not be used for commercial, religious, or political purposes.

All users of the library proper are subject to the discretion of the board of trustees. Use is scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, and priority will be given to those organizations situated within the Town of North Salem and/or the North Salem Central School District.

The Community Room

The library’s Community Meeting Room is located in a wing of the library separated from the library proper by a fire door. Access may be via the library’s main entrance or by a separate doorway in the wing. This separate access allows the use of the Community Meeting Room without granting access to the library proper. It also allows the Community Meeting Room to be in use while the Library is open to the public.

The Community Meeting Room is available to individuals residing in and/or organizations
situated in the Town of North Salem and/or the North Salem Central School District. Individuals and local organizations may use the Community Meeting Room on a first-come, first-served basis. No one individual/organization may reserve the room for more than two [2] consecutive meetings at one time. Use by any one individual/organization is also limited to no more than three [3] times during any one month.

Use of the Community Meeting Room must not disturb or disrupt library services, nor interrupt the duties of the library staff. Library personnel must have free access to the Community Meeting Room at all times.

Use of the Library’s Public Space

The following general guidelines shall apply to the use of all library public spaces, unless specifically limited.

    • The fact that a group or individual is granted permission to use one of the library’s public spaces shall not constitute a library endorsement of that group’s or individual’s policies or beliefs.
    • All local, state, and federal laws and ordinances and all rules of the police and fire departments regarding public assembly must be strictly obeyed.
    • The number of individuals allowed within the library is governed by local ordinance and, for reasons of fire safety, the numbers may not be exceeded.
      • For the Main Room, that number is 75
      • For the Children’s Room 30
      • For the Community Meeting Room 15
    • All meetings using the library proper must be scheduled when the library is not open, must be open to the public, and must be free, that is, no admission fee may be charged. However, contributions are allowed to the extent that such contribution covers the cost of materials furnished or refreshments served.  “Membership fees,” and “sale of promotional, educational and cultural materials of the sponsoring organization” are permitted only by non-profit, community service, and charitable organizations. Such activity must be declared on the application form and is subject to the approval of the library and/or its designee. The library reserves the right to request a percentage of the profits of such charges; such percentage shall not exceed 20% and shall be agreed upon at the time of application.
    • No library public spaces may be used for any commercial purposes except that a limited number of commercial activities may be considered by the Board for special events sponsored by the library itself.
      Commercial or for-profit organizations may apply for use of the library public spaces solely for informational or educational purposes. Solicitation of names and addresses of attendees for business purposes, distribution of commercial literature or business cards, or sale or distribution of business merchandise is prohibited. A fee of $50 is required at the time of application. Private counseling, tutoring, and other individual sessions are permissible only if offered to clients free of charge. Reimbursement of materials used during a session is permitted.
    • The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to review all application for use of the Library public spaces and will provide interpretations of this policy and its enforcement.
    • Written application for use of the Library must be made to the Director of the Library at least two weeks in advance.
    • Application for use of the Library publice spaces by persons under the age of 21 must be sponsored by and signed by an adult (21 year of age or older) who will assume repsonsibility.
    • Any activity or program for minors (under 18 years of age) shall have adequate adult supervision of at least one adult for every five (5) children.
    • Incomplete or false information on the Library’s application form may be grounds for denial.
    • The Library reserves the right to preempt the use of Library public spaces for Library purposes upon reasonable notice to the applicant.
    • The Library is solely responsible for the heat and climate control of the facility.
    • The Library reserves the right to cancel an event in times of inclement weather or other emergency situations.
    • Except as a designation of location, the name of the Library may not be used in any publicity relating to use of the Library facilities.  The Library reserves the right to request that all publicity of an event or display not co-sponsored by the Library contain the following disclaimer:  “This program is neither sponsored by nor affiliated with the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library.”
    • Custodial Care: The Library and all its property must be left in the same condition it was found to be in before use. Tables, chairs, and all other Library property must be returned to their proper places at the end of each use.  Floors, bathrooms and all other areas must be clean and free of debris.  Waste receptacles should be emptied and contents removed from the building, especially if food and/or drink is served.  If necessary, floors should be swept and/or vacuumed.  Should these procedures not be followed the Library reserves the right to charge a custodial fee of $75 for the Library Proper, $50 for the Children’s Room and $50 for the Community Meeting Room. At the discretion of the director, a deposit may be requested at the time application.
    • The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library assumes no responsibility whatsoever for any property placed in the Library in connection with the use of one of its public spances and the individual/organization agrees that the Library is expressly released and discharged for any and all liability for any loss, injury or damage to persons or property which may be sustained during or by reason of a program held on the Library’s premises.
    • The individual or sponsor of any group meeting in the Library shall be liable for any damage, loss or theft of Library property.
    • There is no insurance coverage afforded individuals, officers and/or organizations using any Library facility.  Nor is there any special insurance for any personal property left in the care, custody and control of the Library.
    • The Library reserves the right to request a Certificate of Insurance from sponsors, when the Board of Trustees deems it appropriate.
    • Political Organizations may use the Community Meeting Room, but no partisan campaigning or political fund-raising is permitted.
    • Religious groups may use the Community Meeting Room strictly for adminstrative purposes; no religious services, private or public, shall be permitted.
    • Library keys are to be returned within 48 hours of use.  Failure to return a key is subject to a fee of $5.00.

These Guidelines are written at the sole discretion of the Library Board of Trustees and may be reviewed and revised at its discretion.
These Guidelines are subject to change by the Library Board of Trustees at any time without prior notice to the Applicant.

Use of the Internet on Library Computers

To fulfill its mission of providing public access to information of all types in a wide range of formats, the library provides access to Internet resources. In doing so, the library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its home pages. The Internet offers access to many valuable local, national, and international sources of information. However, some information found on the Internet may be inaccurate, incomplete, dated, or offensive to some individuals. A good information consumer must evaluate the validity and appropriateness of the information found.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources

The Internet is a series of communication linkages leading to a highly diverse array of information content. Library patrons use it at their own risk. The library does not limit access to materials or attempt to protect users from materials some individuals may find offensive. In choosing sources to link to its home pages, the library follows its materials selection guidelines. Beyond this, the library does not monitor or control information accessible through the Internet and is not responsible for its content, for changes in the content of the sources to which the library home pages link or the content of sources accessed through secondary links.

Access by Minors

Parents and legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in the use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use.

Rules Governing Use

Due to limited resources available for the provision of public access to the Internet, the library may set limits, for example, on the use of larger files of still or moving images, sounds, or on downloading files in any medium. The library also reserves the right to limit the amount of time an individual user can devote to a single session.

Users may not:

  • Use the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational, informational, or communication services or resources.
  • Distribute unsolicited advertising.
  • Invade the privacy of others.
  • Make an attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
  • Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory.
  • Use the Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or the rights of any third parties, or in a manner inconsistent with the library’s tax-exempt status or its proper operation.

Violations may result in loss of access. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Public Users’ Security

Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users’ activities. However, the library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the library.


The library reserves the right to take appropriate action to ensure compliance with this policy.

American Library Association Statements

The library is guided by the following American Library Association statements on access to information:

  • The Library Bill of Rights
  • Freedom to Read
  • Statement Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: Free Access to Libraries for Minors and Access to Electronic Information Services and Resources.

Approved by the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library Board of Trustees July 2008

Unattended Children

A responsible parent or caregiver must accompany any child under the age of ten in the library. A parent or caregiver must supervise any child under the age of ten using a computer with Internet access.

Gift Materials Policy

Gifts are a valuable source of enriching the library’s collection and the library does appreciate gifts and their contribution to the community. The library, however, must retain the right to dispose of gift materials it cannot use. No appraisals on the value of donated materials can be furnished. A letter thanking the donor for his/her gift will be sent when requested.

  • Gifts that are accepted must have no restrictions attached. The director must be free to decide whether all or part of the gift should be integrated into the library collection, discarded, exchanged, or sold. Acceptance of gifts offered the library must be approved by the director, and when appropriate, by the board of trustees, with the same conditions listed above.

Exhibits and Displays

Exhibits and displays in the library shall reflect the library’s role as an educational and cultural institution. The library reserves the right to cancel any exhibit or display at any time.

  1. The scheduling of exhibits and/or displays is the sole responsibility of the library and its staff. The selection and arrangement of the exhibit and/or display may be subject to the approval of the library and/or its designee.
  2. Any individual, group, or organization may apply to place an exhibit or display in the library for the purpose of benefiting the residents of the community and patrons of the library.
  3. An application is required for all exhibits and/or displays and is subject to the same terms and conditions as set forth for the use of the library’s public spaces.
  4. Individuals and/or organizations are responsible for hanging their own displays.
  5. The hanging of all displays must be approved by the director before installation.
  6. Nothing is to be mounted or attached to any other wall, cabinet, furniture, windows, doors, etc. of the library without the express written approval of the director.
  7. Exhibits shall be hung and removed in accordance with the dates and times specified on the Application Form. Failure to comply with such time frames may result in the removal of the display by the library staff. The library assumes no responsibility for the items at any time.
  8. The library does not provide any specific insurance for any display or exhibit items nor items in their care, custody, and control.
  9. The sale of art or other items on exhibit or display at the library by residents, groups, organizations, and/or artists is subject to a commission to the library of 20%. Such commission may be waived or reduced in the event the sale benefits another non-profit or not-for-profit organization. Such waiver or reduction is at the sole discretion of the library or its designee.

Due to the increased cost of insurance, the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library is no longer able to provide insurance coverage for temporary exhibits. Therefore, the library now requires that each exhibitor sign a Waiver/Release form, releasing the library of liability for any damage, loss, theft, or other injuries. Each exhibitor should also obtain, or check whether his or her existing insurance already provides, whatever insurance protection he or she feels is appropriate. Please note: The sale of art on exhibit is subject to a commission to the Library of 20%.

Library Sponsored and Co-Sponsored Events/Displays

The following applies to events/displays either sponsored or co-sponsored by the library:

  1. The library reserves the right to request a percentage of profits from sales of an exhibit or display materials.
  2. The library reserves the right to request a percentage of profits from sales of promotional, educational, and cultural material sold by an individual or organization using the Library’s public spaces.
  3. The library reserves the right to allow admission fees and requests a percentage of such fees.
  4. Authors and performers invited to appear at the library who wish to sell their books, tapes, compact disks or other materials at said appearance may do so subject to an agreement that a specified percentage of the sales are to be donated to the library pursuant to an arrangement made in advance by the library or its designee. The applicant is solely responsible for the collection and payment of sales tax, if applicable.

Materials Selection Policy

The library selects materials for the entertainment and enlightenment of its community. Criteria include, but are not restricted to, community interests, literary interests, intellectual interests, history/current events, recreational interests, and do-it-yourself.

We support the American Library Association Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read statements on file in the Library.

Wireless Internet Policy

The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library provides wireless Internet connectivity for library patrons with Wireless enabled devices. Patrons may be asked to present a library card from the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library to utilize this service.

By choosing to utilize this free, wireless service you agree to abide by the Library’s Acceptable Use Policy that prohibits abusive or illegal activity while using the Library’s Internet service.

Copies are available at the Library Information Desk and at the public access computer stations.

It is the responsibility of the user to understand this Acceptable Use Policy and his/her obligation to refrain from viewing inappropriate websites, spamming, or any illegal activities.

Use of the wireless network is at your own risk and the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library is not responsible for any damage that may occur to your computer while connected.

Please be advised that:

    • Due to insurance limitations and warranties, library staff members cannot configure your device.
    • The library assumes no responsibility for any alterations or interference with a device’s configuration, operation, or data files resulting from connection to the wireless network.
    • Virus and security protection is the user’s responsibility. The library assumes no responsibility for damage, theft, or loss of any kind to a user’s equipment, software, data files or other personal property brought into or used at the library’s facilities.
    • The library cannot guarantee that the service will be available at any specific time.
    • Patrons shall defend, indemnify and hold the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, its officers, employees, and agents harmless against all claims, actions, and judgments based upon or arising out of the patron’s use of Library wireless connections.

Ruth Keeler Memorial Library Policy Concerning
Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy

The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library recognizes that sound, ethical standards of conduct serve to increase the effectiveness of the library’s board of trustees (the “Board”), employees, and volunteers. Actions based on an ethical code of conduct promote public confidence and attainment of the library’s goals.

The library is also committed to avoiding any situation in which the existence of conflicts of interest of any trustee or employee may call into question the integrity of the management or operation of the library.

The board has therefore adopted the following policy concerning ethical standards and the disclosure and resolution of any conflicts of interest. This policy is intended to supplement, but not replace, any applicable state and federal laws.

1. General Terms

A. “Employees” for purposes of this policy includes paid and unpaid individuals who perform work at the library on a regular and continuing basis (whether full time or part-time), but not independent contractors retained by the library to supply good or services or perform specific tasks.

B. This policy does not specifically mention the library’s officers because, under its bylaws, only a trustee can be an officer of the library and therefore all officers are necessarily covered by this policy.

 2. Code of Ethics. The following shall constitute the Library’s Code of Ethics and a breach of any of its provisions shall be considered a “Breach of Ethics.”

A. No trustee or employee shall directly or indirectly solicit, accept or receive any gift or favor (whether in the form of cash, check, loan, credit, services, travel, entertainment, hospitality, promise or any other form) from any individual or entity that (i) has done, or is seeking to do, business with the library; (ii) has been, or is seeking to become, a competitor of the library; or (iii) has received, or is seeking to receive, a grant or other financial commitment from the library; provided that this does not preclude the acceptance of any gift or favor having a value of fewer than seventy-five dollars if it could not reasonably be inferred that such gift or favor (i) would (or was intended to) influence that trustee or employee in the performance of his or her duties or (ii) was (or was intended to be) a reward for any action on his or her part related to the library. However, the board encourages the writing of letters or notes expressing gratitude or appreciation to library employees.

B. No trustee or employee shall receive or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the board.

C. No trustee or employee shall engage in, solicit, negotiate for, or promise to accept private employment or render services to private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his or her official duties.

D. No trustee or employee shall use or permit the use of the property or facilities owned by or leased to the library for anything other than the purposes specifically allowed under the policies of the library or for any activities not approved by the board or the library director.

E. No trustee or employee shall disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her duties or use such information to further his or her personal interest. Nor shall he or she disclose matters discussed during an executive session of the board, whether or not such matters are considered confidential.

F. No employee shall hire or directly supervise, evaluate, promote, review or discipline any other employee who is a “Relative” (as defined below) without the prior approval of the board. In the event that marriage or other change of circumstances results in a situation, not in compliance with this provision, the board must be notified and approve.

 3. Conflict of Interest. Each of the following circumstances shall be deemed to create a “Conflict of Interest,” which must be disclosed to the board and then considered and resolved by the board as set forth in paragraph 4 below:

A. Any proposed “Related Party Transaction” involves a Conflict of Interest. A “Related Party Transaction” is any transaction, agreement or other arrangements in which the library is a participant, and any trustee or employee or any “Related Party” has any direct or indirect financial interest or would derive any other substantial personal benefit. A “Related Party” means any “Relative” of a trustee or employee and any entity in which a trustee, employee, or any relative of a trustee or employee has a thirty-five percent or greater ownership or beneficial interest or, in the case of a partnership or professional corporation, a five percent or greater ownership or beneficial interest. A “Relative” means any (i) any ancestor, sibling, child, grandchild, or great-grandchild of a trustee or employee or (ii) any spouse or domestic partner of a trustee, an employee, or any of relatives listed in clause (i).

B. It is a conflict of interest for any trustee, employee, or “Related Party” to compete with the library in rendering services to any third party or for any trustee, employee, or “Related Party” to serve as a director, officer, employee, agent, partner, associate, trustee, executor, guardian or other legal representatives of any individual or entity that competes with the library in rendering services to any third party.

For the avoidance of doubt, (a) an unconditional gift to the library is not a “Related Party” transaction and does not otherwise constitute a conflict of interest; and (b) compensation to employees in accordance with the budget adopted by the board and any compensation otherwise authorized by the board and reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of a trustee’s or employee’s duties and any reasonable expenses otherwise authorized by the board are not “Related Party” transactions and do not otherwise constitute a conflict of interest.

 4. Procedures Relating to Conflicts of Interest and Breaches of Ethics.

A. Any trustee or employee who becomes aware of a possible conflict of interest or a possible breach of ethics shall promptly disclose all the relevant facts. Such disclosure shall be made to the board at its next meeting, except that an employee other than the library director may make such disclosure to the library director who shall then report such facts to the board at its next meeting.

B. Following disclosure to the board of a “Related Party” transaction or any other possible conflict of interest, the board may, prior to the commencement of deliberations or voting, request any involved trustee or employee to present the relevant facts in person. The board, after hearing all facts and conducting whatever other investigation it deems appropriate, shall determine whether there is an actual Conflict of Interest and, if there is an actual Conflict of Interest, proceed with its deliberations and voting on how to deal with that Conflict of Interest.

C. If the board has reasonable cause to believe that a trustee or employee has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest or has engaged in an actual or possible breach of ethics, the board shall, prior to the commencement of deliberations or voting, inform that individual of the basis for such belief and afford that individual an opportunity to present the facts relating to that alleged failure to disclose or other alleged breaches. If, after hearing that individual’s response and making any further investigation that the Board feels is warranted, the Board determines that there has been an actual failure to disclose or other actual breaches, the Board shall take whatever disciplinary or corrective action it deems appropriate in the circumstances.

D. Except as set forth in paragraphs B and C above concerning the presentation of facts prior to deliberations and voting, any trustee or employee involved in an actual or possible conflict of interest or breach of ethics shall not be present at, vote at, or otherwise participate in deliberations of the board concerning that actual or possible conflict of interest or breach of ethics. Nor shall any trustee or employee involved in an actual or possible conflict of interest or Breach of Ethics attempt to influence improperly any voting or other consideration of that matter.

E. With regard to any Related Party Transaction, (i) prior to entering into any such transaction, the board shall consider alternative transactions to the extent available, (ii) the transaction may be approved only if the board determines that it is fair, reasonable, and in the library’s best interest at that time, (iii) the transaction may be approved only by a majority vote of the trustees present at that board meeting (excluding, as noted above, any trustee with a conflict of interest as to that transaction); and (iv) the minutes of that board meeting shall reflect the basis for the board’s approval, including its consideration of alternative transactions and its determination that the transaction is fair, reasonable, and in the library’s best interest.

F. The existence and resolution of any actual or possible Conflict of Interest or Breach of Ethics shall be documented in the minutes of any board meeting at which it was disclosed, discussed, or resolved.

 5. Annual Statements.

A. Each trustee, prior to his or her initial election and annually thereafter, shall complete, sign and submit to the library’s secretary a written statement confirming that he or she has reviewed the library’s current version of this policy and identifying, to the best of that trustee’s knowledge, (a) any entity of which that trustee is an officer, director, trustee, member, the owner (as sole proprietor or partner), or employee and with which the library has a relationship and (b) any Related Party Transaction or other matter that might constitute a Conflict of Interest. The secretary shall provide a copy of all completed statements to the library’s president and retain those statements with the minutes of the board’s meetings.

B. Each “key employee” of the library, prior to being hired and annually thereafter, shall complete, sign and submit to the library director a written statement confirming that he or she has reviewed the library’s current version of this policy and identifying, to the best of that employee’s knowledge, (a) any entity of which that employee is an officer, director, trustee, member, the owner (as sole proprietor or partner), or employee and with which the library has a relationship and (b) any Related Party Transaction or other matter that might constitute a Conflict of Interest. The library director shall provide all completed statements to the library’s secretary, who shall provide a copy of all completed statements to the library’s president and retain those statements with the minutes of the board’s meetings. A “key employee” for purposes of this policy means any employee who is in a position to exercise substantial influence over (i) the hiring or firing of any employee, (ii) any significant expenditure of funds or other significant financial commitment by the Library, or (iii) any other significant affairs of the library. The library director shall propose, and the board shall determine, which employees are to be considered “key employees” for purposes of this policy.

C. Each existing employee of the library who is not a “key employee” shall be given a copy of this policy and every new employee shall be given a copy before or at the commencement of his employment. A copy of this policy shall also be prominently posted in the library, where it can be seen by all employees.

    (effective November 14, 2012)


    The name of this corporation is the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library. It is a free association library, chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York. The corporation is referred to in these By-laws as the “Library Association.”


    The Library Association’s objective is to develop and maintain a library service for free public use by the residents of the Town of North Salem. The library (including any branches) maintained by the Library Association is referred to in these By-laws as the “Library.” The Library is, and at all times shall be, located in the Town of North Salem, Westchester County, New York.

    Official Year

    The Library Association’s official fiscal year shall be from January 1 to December 31.

    Membership and Annual Meeting

    A. All residents of the Town of North Salem 18 years of age or older who shall have contributed at least One Dollar ($1) to the Library Association during the previous fiscal year shall be members of the Library Association, with the right to one vote at its annual meeting (the “Annual Meeting”) and any special meetings.

    B. The Annual Meeting of the members of the Library Association shall be held during the first four months of the year, on a date chosen by its Board of Trustees. The Annual Meeting and any special meeting shall be held at the Library or at such other place in the Town of North Salem as may be chosen by the Board of Trustees. The purposes of the Annual Meeting shall be to receive and consider the annual

    report of its Board of Trustees, to elect the necessary number of Trustees, and to consider all other appropriate matters. A special meeting of the members of the Library Association may be called by its Board of Trustees at any time and shall be limited to the particular purposes for which the special meeting was called.

    C. Notice of the Annual Meeting and any special meeting, stating the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting, shall be given to the members. Notice may be given by any of the following means: (a) by first-class mail not less than ten (10) and not more than fifty (50) days before the meeting, (b) by any other class of mail not less than thirty (30) and not more than sixty (60) days before the meeting, (c) if there are then more than five hundred (500) members, by publica­tion in a newspaper published in Westchester County once a week for three (3) successive weeks next preceding the date of the meeting, or (d) by any other means authorized by law.

    D. One-tenth (1/10) of the members of the Library Association shall constitute a quorum at the Annual Meeting or any special meeting.

    Board of Trustees: Powers and Responsibilities

    The Library Association shall be governed by a Board of Trustees (the “Board”). The Board’s powers and responsibilities shall include:

    A) setting the goals of the Library Association and adopting written policies to govern the Library’s operations, activities and programs;

    B) securing adequate funds to carry on the Library’s operations, activities, and programs;

    C) exercising general financial responsibility for everything that pertains to the Library and the Library Association, including the preparation and adoption of a written annual budget, and;

    D) appointing and setting the salary of the Library Director.

    Board of Trustees: Number and Term of Office

    A. The number of Trustees shall be not less than nine and not more than fifteen. The exact number shall be esta­blished, from time to time, by the Board. The Trustees and Officers shall serve without compensation, but the Board may reimburse the Trustees and Officers for travel and other expenses related to the performance of their duties.

    B. One-third of the established number of Trustees shall be elected each year at the Annual Meeting. Each Trustee’s term shall run for three years, beginning on the date of the Annual Meeting at which the Trustee is elected and continuing until the Annual Meeting three years later. No Trustee may serve for more than two consecutive full terms of office. If a Trustee is elected to fill the remaining portion of an unexpired term, said Trustee may serve for the remainder of that term until the next Annual Meeting and for two consecutive full terms thereafter. Despite the foregoing, each Trustee shall continue to hold that position until his or her successor has been elected.

    C. Prior to each Annual Meeting, the President shall select a Nominating Committee of at least three Trustees. The Nominating Committee shall submit a list of possible Trustee candidates to the Board, and the Board shall then select, from that list or otherwise, a slate of Trustee candidates to be recommended to the membership at the Annual Meeting. Nominations for Trustee shall also be accepted from the floor at the Annual Meeting. Trustees to succeed those whose terms are expiring shall then be elected by a majority of the members present at the Annual Meeting.

    D. If any Trustee shall fail to attend three consecu­tiveregular meetings of the board, without an excuse accepted as satisfactory by the Board, he shall be deemed to have resigned.

    E. Any Trustee may be removed for cause by the Board, by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Trustees.

    F. Any vacancy occurring during the term of a Trustee shall be filled by the Board, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Trustees, and the Trustee elected to fill that vacancy shall serve for the remainder of that term.

    Board of Trustees: Meetings

    A. The Board of Trustees shall have at least ten (10) regular meetings a year. Regular meetings shall be held each month (skipping ­such months as the Board shall decide to skip) at such times and places as shall be determined by the Board. Notice shall be given on the Library website, 72 hours prior to any regular meeting. The President may call such special meetings as the President deems necessary or appropriate for the transaction of the Board’s business.

    B. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum.

    C. For any special meeting, each Trustee shall be sent a notice, setting forth the time, place, and purpose of the meeting. A new business may be added to the agenda by any Trustee at any regular meeting, but a special meeting shall be limited to the purposes for which it was called.

    Board of Trustees: Officers

    A. The Board shall elect, from among the Trustees, a President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. The Nominating Committee shall propose the slate of officers. The Board may also appoint such other Officers, having such duties and responsibilities, as the Board deems appropriate. The Officers shall be elected each year at the first regular meeting of the Board following the Annual Meeting of the Library Association and shall serve for one year, and thereafter until their successors are chosen. Subject to the rules and directions of the Trustees, each Officer shall have the usual powers and duties of his or her office, as well as the specific powers and duties set forth below, and such further powers and duties as shall be specially charged upon such Officer by the Board.

    B. The President shall act as the chief executive officer of the Board. The duties of the President shall include: presiding at all meetings of the Board of Trustees and of the members of the Library Association; preparing the agenda for all meetings of the Board and of the members of the Library Association; serving as ex officio member of all committees of the Board; and maintaining familiarity with parliamentary law and procedure and these By-Laws.

    C. In the President’s absence, the Vice President shall perform the duties, and exercise the powers, of the President.

    D. The Secretary shall prepare minutes of each meeting.

    E. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the Library Association. The Treasurer’s duties shall include:

       1. responsibility for receipt, custody, and disbursement of the funds of the Library Association;

       2. responsibility for maintaining accurate records of all financial transactions and of the current financial condition of the Library Association, such records to be open for inspection by any Trustee upon request;

       3. preparing and presenting a report at each regular meeting of the Board and at the Annual Meeting; 

       4. serving as an ex-officio member and chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.

    Any Officer who ceases to be a Trustee, by reason of resignation or otherwise, shall at the same time cease to be an officer. Any officer may be removed from office, with or without cause, by the Board, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Trustees.

    G. Any vacancy in any office prior to the normal expiration of the term of office shall be filled by the Board.

    Board of Trustees: Committees

    A. The Board will have the following Standing Committees:

       1. Budget and Finance

       2. Fund Raising

       3. Policy and Planning

       4. Nominating

       5. Building and Grounds

    B. The President, with the approval of the Board, may create an Executive Committee and such other committees for special purposes as may be desirable.

    C. The President shall select, from among the Trustees, the members and the chair of each committee, provided that the Treasurer shall at all times be a member and serve as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and, if an Executive Committee is established, its members shall include the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

    D. No committee shall have any powers other than advisory powers unless the Board has delegated to that committee specific powers to act on its behalf.

    Board of Trustees: Indemnification

    In the event of any action, suit or proceeding against any present or former Trustee or officer (or an executor, administrator or other personal representatives of such a Trustee or officer) arising out of his or her position as Trustee or officer or his or her actions relating to such position, the Board may provide for reimbursement (or payment in advance) of the expenses in defending such action, suit or proceeding and any resulting judgment or settlement, except as such reimbursement (or payment in advance) may be prohibited or limited by law.

    Library Director

    A. The Board shall appoint a qualified library director (“Director”) for the Library. The Board shall determine the Director’s salary, which shall be reviewed annually, prior to the presentation of the budget for the following year.

    B. The Director shall be the chief administrative officer of the Library Association. The Director shall have charge of the operations, activities, and programs of the Library, including its building, grounds, books and other collections, and staff.

    C. The Director shall be responsible for putting into practice the policies adopted by the Board and for the proper performance of the Director’s duties as spelled out in the job description provided by the Board.

    D. The Director shall attend meetings of the Board, including budget meetings, and may attend Committee meetings, but excluding any executive session of the Board or any Committee concerning the salary or performance of the Director or concern­ing other matters that the Board or Committee deems it appro­priate to discuss in executive session. At each regular Board meeting, the Director will present a report on the operations of the Library and on other matters that require action by the Board or should otherwise be brought to the Board’s attention. The Director shall have the right to speak on all matters under discussion but shall not have the right to vote.

    E. The Board will perform an annual evaluation of the Director’s work.

    Parliamentary Authority

    Meetings of the members of the Library Association and of the Board shall generally be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. Those rules may be modified, or other rules of procedure substituted, by a majority vote of those present at any meeting of the Library Association, provided that a quorum, as defined in Article IV D is present, or by a majority vote of the Board.

    Endowments and Special Funds

    In addition to the general fund of the Library Associa­tion, the Board may establish endowments and other special funds, for such purposes and subject to such terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe. Once an endowment or other special fund is established, any change in its purpose or its terms and conditions shall require a resolution of the Board concurred in by at least two-thirds of the Trustees then in office. The Library Association may receive gifts, bequests, and grants, including present and future interests, for its general fund or any of its endowments and other special funds. The acceptance of any gift, bequest, or grant, including any special terms or conditions relating thereto, shall be subject to the approval of the Board. The Board shall determine the appropriate investments for the endowments and special funds and the appropriate expenditures, but may delegate to the Library Director, the Budget and Finance Committee, and/or one or more of the Trustees the power and responsibility to make specific investments and specific expenditures consistent with the Board’s directions. In the Board’s discretion, each endowment or special fund may either be invested separately or combined for investment purposes with one or more other endowments or special funds (but, if they are combined for investment purposes, a record shall be maintained for the amounts attributable to each separate endowment or special fund). In no event shall the funds of any endowment or special fund be commingled with the Library’s general fund or with any other fund except for other endowments or special funds. The Treasurer shall maintain a list of the endowments and special funds, including the purposes and the terms and conditions of each, and shall report to the Board at least annually concerning the investments of each endowment and other special funds.

    Use of the Library

    The Library shall be open, on such days and during such hours as the Board shall determine, for use by the public, subject to observance of rules and regulations adopted by the Board and carried out by the Director. The right to use the Library may be limited, suspended, or revoked in the case of any member of the public who violates such rules and regulations or who endangers the Library’s building, grounds, books, or other collections, staff, or patrons. Action to limit, suspend or ‘revoke such right may be taken in the first instance by the Director, subject to appeal to the Board at its next regular meeting. The Library may be used for meetings by organizations other than the Library Association and the Board and its Committees only in such limited circumstances and under such conditions as may be expressly authorized by the Board, either directly or under authority delegated to its officers or Director.


    These By-Laws may be repealed, amended or added to at any regular meeting of the Board by a majority vote of the Board. Trustees present and voting provided a quorum is present. Such action shall become effective only after a favorable vote at two conse­cutive regular meetings of the Board.


    I hereby certify that the foregoing By-Laws of the RuthKeeler Memorial Library, superseding any and all prior by-laws of the Library Association and/or the board, were approved by the Board at consecutive regular meetings held on October 10, 2012andNovember 14, 2012.

    Margaret Clark,
    Dated: November 14, 2012


    Deirdre L. Coughlin
    April 12, 2015

    Electronic Information Dissemination Policy

    It is the mission of the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library to be an educational and cultural center for the North Salem community, to promote the joy of reading and to offer art and cultural events in a welcoming environment.  One way that the library fulfills this mission is to inform the community through the use of email contact and a library webpage.

    It is the policy of the library to

    • Keep an ongoing list of patron email addresses or other forms of electronic communication to which library and community announcements will be periodically sent.
    • Respect the privacy of the email subscriber by not sharing email addresses and by allowing email recipients to opt-out at any time.
    • Help promote the exchange of information from other North Salem community organizations and groups whenever possible.  In this regard, the library retains the right to

    o Decide whether a community announcement is appropriate to disseminate;

    o Edit an announcement in accordance with the library’s policy.

    Community announcements should follow the library’s policies, specifically:

    • Announcements that solicit funds must be for donations, membership fees, fund-raising activities, and/or the sale of promotional, educational, and cultural material of the sponsoring North Salem organization, non-profit, community service, and/or charitable organization.
    • No business or individual announcements will be allowed.  No commercial use will be allowed.  Commercial or for-profit organizations intending to promote educational material/information must first obtain clearance from the library director.
    • The library director retains the sole right to access the library’s website.  Access may be given only to a library employee or trustee and solely at the discretion of the director for a specific purpose. The library director must approve any material added to the library’s website or included in electronic communication with patrons.

    Adopted 6/8/2011



Sign Up For Our Newsletter

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact