Rensselaer Libraries

Organization By-Laws

Posted: Jun 2, 2017



1.1 The name of the organization shall be Friends of the Folsom Library (Friends).
1.2 The Friends is a membership service organization affiliated with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


The mission of the Friends shall be to:

a. Enhance the Library’s collections, facilities and services for Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff, as well as the Capital District community at large beyond the Institute’s library budget.

b. Enhance community understanding of the functions of the Library and demonstrate its potential as a resource.

c. Sponsor and support programs and initiatives that demonstrate, promote, complement, and enrich the library as an essential strategic component in Rensselaer's objectives in research, education and innovation.

d. Encourage support for future advancement of the Library operations.


3.1 The Friends shall be governed by a Board of Directors (Board).

3.2 The Board shall be comprised of:

a. Chair

b. Chair-Elect

c. Past Chair

d. Elected or reappointed Directors – minimum of 4

e. Student(s) – minimum of 1

f. Director of the Libraries

g. Institute Archivist

h. Assistant VP for Information Services

i. VP for Information Services

j. Coordinator for the Friends

3.3 All Board members shall be voting members.

3.4 A quorum shall be a majority of Board members present.

3.5 The term for all Board members shall be four years.

3.6 Directors may be reappointed by the Chair to consecutive terms.

3.7 Whenever possible, Directors shall be selected to represent the following groups: alumni, faculty, staff, parents of students, retirees, and citizens of the local community. Nomination of candidates for Director shall be made by Board members and either (a) submitted to the Chair prior to the Board meeting or (b) submitted at a Board meeting. The Chair shall have the discretion to seek approval either at a Board meeting or via an electronic vote.

3.8 Student Director(s) may be nominated by the Grand Marshall or by the Board Chair based on suggestions from current Board member(s). Nomination(s) must be approved by the Board.

3.9 The Chair-Elect shall be approved by the Board every two years.

a. At the conclusion of the two-year term, the Chair-Elect shall succeed as Chair.

b. Should the Chair-Elect succeed the Chair for a partial term (or otherwise leave the office of Chair-Elect vacant prior to completion of his/her term), a new Chair-Elect shall be approved by the Board at its next regular meeting. The new Chair-Elect shall complete the partial term and serve an additional term as Chair-Elect.

c. Should the Chair-Elect be unable or unwilling to complete his/her term of office, a new Chair-Elect shall be nominated by the Chair and approved by the Board at its next regular meeting. The new Chair-Elect shall serve as Chair upon the completion of the Chair’s term.
3.10 The Chair shall succeed from the office of Chair-Elect.

a. The Chair shall serve a two-year term.

b. Should the Chair be unable or unwilling to complete his/her term of office, the Chair-Elect shall complete the current term on his/her behalf and shall serve one additional term as Chair.

3.11 Central administration and coordination for the Friends shall be conducted from the Folsom Library, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street Street, Troy, NY 12180.


4.1 Any individual or organization who annually donates to the Folsom Library either through outright gifts or gifts-in-kind valued at or above the minimum amount specified by the Board, shall become a Friend.

4.2 The minimum amount required for membership shall be established by formal action of the Board to become effective immediately.

4.3 Membership status shall be based on the following donation levels:

$50 - $99 Friend

$100 - $249 Sponsor

$250+ Patron

4.4 Membership in the Friends shall be for a period of one year from receipt of donation.

4.5 Individual LIFE Friends may be named by the Board at its discretion in recognition of consistent and substantial monetary or voluntary support of the Library.


5.1 The Board shall hold meetings at least twice each year, in the spring and fall.

5.2 Board meeting dates shall be set by the Chair at the start of his/her term.

5.3 Board attendance must include at least 50 per cent of Board members.


6.1 Announcements and other communications can be made to Board members via e-mail.

6.2 E-mail utilization can be informational and/or for voting purposes at the discretion of the Chair.

6.3 For e-mail voting, a majority of the Board members must approve the recommendation in order to proceed.

6.4 Board members must vote within three business days.

6.5 Status of e-mail communications and voting decisions will be included on the Agenda for the next scheduled Board meeting (Interim Actions) so that information and decisions are recorded in the minutes of the next Board meeting.


7.1 A Friends’ newsletter will be published once a year. The newsletter will be mailed and/or e-mailed to all Friends.

7.2 A Friends of the Folsom Library blog will be maintained. Members and others can access the blog at the Friends' webpage at any time and, optionally, bookmark it as a "favorite” on their computer or subscribe to it via e-mail or a blog reader. The blog will provide articles and announcements of interest to the Friends of the Folsom Library.


Committees may be created by the Chair and/or Board to address special issues, such as programming, nominating, and membership.


Under the leadership of the Board, the Friends will sponsor various events throughout each year that shall promote interest in libraries, books, authors, alumni achievements, and history.


10.1 Funds contributed specifically for the use of the Friends shall be maintained in designated Friends of the Folsom Library accounts by the Director of the Libraries for expenditures and investments.

10.2 Expenditure of funds up to $500 shall be at the discretion of the Director of the Libraries.

10.3 Expenditure of funds greater than $500 shall require approval of a majority of those Board members attending a meeting.

10.4 At each Board meeting, the Director of the Libraries shall present a report on the Friends’ budget and designated accounts.


11.1 Proposed amendments to the by-laws must be submitted to the Board at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which they are to be voted on.

11.2 Amendments to the by-laws must be approved by a majority of those Board members attending a meeting, which must include at least 50 per cent of the elected or reappointed Directors or voted on electronically in accordance with Article 6 of these By-Laws.

11.3 Amendments shall be printed in the newsletter and on the Friends’ website.

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