Administrative Council Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to provide new members of the Administrative Council with an introduction to the Council, what it is and how it conducts its business.  It is also a resource to be used by current members of the Council to remind them of established practices and procedures.

Introduction, Mission, Philosophical Concepts

About the Valley Library Consortium


The mission of the Valley Library Consortium is to provide the greater Saginaw Valley community with access to shared library and information resources through quality, cost-effective automated resources for member libraries.


  • Mutual support for one another:
    • Sharing knowledge between members
    • Understanding member library situations
    • Co-operative efforts
  • Identify community needs
  • Active participation
  • Decisions that individual libraries make need to take into account what affect those decisions will have on the Valley Library Consortium.
  • Consortium decisions will attempt to be fair to all.
  • Members are responsible for maintaining a quality database.

Function of the Administrative Council

From the VLC Bylaws:

The Administrative Council will function as a Standing Committee and will consist of one authorized representative from each member institution.  The Executive Director shall serve as an ex-officio member.  The Administrative Council shall meet at least six (6) times per year.  Minutes of the Council’s meetings shall be submitted to all Board members and members of the Administrative Council.  Subcommittees or Task Forces may be created by the Administrative Council.  The Administrative Council shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Review and recommend the annual budget to the Board.
  2. Assist in the selection of Consortium personnel.
  3. Review policies and procedures of the Consortium and make recommendations to the Board for any necessary changes in policies and/or procedures.  
  4. Review membership requests and make recommendations to the Board for action.

Position:  Subcommittee of the Board.

Purpose:  Responsible for making recommendations to the Board.

Membership:  One (1) representative with one (1) vote from each member library.

Officers:  Chair, responsible for setting the agenda and conducting the meeting.  Chair-elect, serves as Chair in the absence of the Chair.

Quorum:  A majority of the membership. All decisions require a majority vote of those present.

Meeting Time:  Third (3rd) Wednesday of every month at 10am.

Meeting Schedule/Agenda

The Administrative Council is scheduled to meet on the third Wednesday of each month except in the month of July.  The Board meets immediately following the Administrative Council to consider the recommendations of the Council.  In months where there is not sufficient pressing business the meetings are cancelled.  The Bylaws require the Administrative Council to meet six (6) times per fiscal year. 

July No Meetings
August Administrative Council/Board
  Discuss Goals and Objectives for next fiscal year.
September Administrative Council/Board
  Finalize Goals and Objectives for next fiscal year.
October Administrative Council/Board
  Members notify VLC of batch deletions of borrowers & items before budget counts taken on November 1.
Begin Process of Evaluation of Executive Director.
November Administrative Council/Board
  November 1 – counts are taken that are used in determining the next year’s operating budget fees.
  Establish compensation for Exec. Director for next fiscal year.
December Administrative Council/Board
  Initial Operating Budget for next fiscal year presented.
Janruary Administrative Council/Board
February Administrative Council/Board
March Administrative Council/Board
April Administrative Council/Board
Nominating Committee Report - Board Officers, Elected Board Representatives, Administrative Council Chair-elect. 
May Administrative Council/Board
June Administrative Council/Board
  Election of Administrative Council Chair-elect.
  Election of Board Officers.
  Election of Board Representatives.


Operational Guidelines

Decision Making Process: The Council should attempt to make decisions by consensus.  If attempts to reach consensus fail, then a simple majority will rule.
  All major items that require a decision should be presented at least at two meetings.  The item should appear first as a Discussion Item, then as a Decision Item.
Quorum: Each VLC member library shall have one seat on the Administrative Council.  A simple majority of Council members constitutes a quorum.
Election of Chair: The Chair-elect of the Council will be elected at the last meeting of the fiscal year.  Two meetings prior to that meeting, a nominating committee will be appointed.
Minutes: The VLC staff will be responsible for taking minutes at the Council meetings and at the Board meetings.  A meeting packet consisting of minutes, reports, and the agenda will be mailed out at least one week before the next meeting.
Executive Dir. Report: The Executive Director will be responsible for providing a written report for each meeting.  This report shall be in a standard format and shall be distributed to the Council members as part of the meeting packet.
Reports from Meetings: Reports from committees should be mailed out ahead of time with the meeting packet.
Agenda Format: A standard agenda format will be followed for all regular meetings.  Anyone wishing to add to the agenda should contact the Executive Director at least two (2) weeks before the next meeting.  The Executive Director, in consultation with the Chair, has the responsibility of making sure that agendas do not get overcrowded.

Agenda Format

DECISIONS: The items that appear here have usually appeared as discussion items first.  Council members should be able to discuss an important item at one meeting, have some time to think about that item and then come together again to discuss further before voting on the item.
  These items should be taken care of first at each meeting.  These items would include routine things like approval of the minutes, recommendation of budgets, recommendations for personnel, and recommendations for VLC membership.  They would also include decisions about special requests or unusual situations.  Except for approval of minutes, all decisions would be forwarded to the Board as recommendations and would appear on the Board’s agenda.
EXECUTIVE DIR. REPORT: The report from the Executive Director.
DISCUSSION: Items that members or the Executive Director would like discussed and possibly moved to decision items at the next meeting.  Recommendations from committees.
Members will be given a chance to announce events in their libraries that may be of interest to other Consortium members.  The next meeting date will be confirmed. 


Standing Committees

Database Control Committee

Position:  Subcommittee of the Administrative Council.

Purpose:  Responsible for developing, recommending, and establishing policies, priorities, and procedures for the building and maintaining of the VLC database (from the VLC Bibliographic Database Standards and Procedures Manual, online at


One (1) representative with one (1) vote from each member library.  VLC staff will serve as ex-officio members. 

Officers:  Chair, responsible for setting the agenda and conducting the meeting.  Chair-elect,   serves as Chair in the absence of the Chair.

Quorum:  Nine (9) members with all decisions requiring a majority vote of those present.

Meeting Time:  Fourth (4th) Thursday of every month at 10am.


Acquisitions, Cataloging, Interlibrary Loan.

Position: Subcommittee of the Database Control Committee.

Purpose:  To assist the Database Control Committee in reaching decisions.

Membership:  One (1) representative with one (1) vote from each member library using the software.  VLC staff will serve as ex-officio members.

Officers:  Chair, responsible for setting the agenda and conducting the meeting.  Chair selected by the Subcommittee members.  Quorum:  Five (5) members with all decisions requiring a majority vote of those present.

Meeting Time:  As needed.


Finance Committee

Position:  Subcommittee of the Administrative Council.

Purpose:  To assist in the financial planning for the VLC by analyzing the Consortium’s financial needs and making recommendations to the Council.


Administrative Council Chair-elect (1 year term)

Academic library representative (2 year term, ends in June of odd number years).  (Bay City Schools, Delta College, Mich. Molecular Institute, Mid-Mich. Comm. C., Northwood University)

Public Library representative with more than 19 seats (2 year term, ends in June of even number years).  (Bay County Library System, Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, Lapeer District Library, Public Libraries of Saginaw)

Public Library representative with less than 20 seats (2 year term, ends in June of odd number years).  (Almont, Bridgeport, Caro, Chesaning, Community Dist., Dryden, Gladwin, Harrison, Iosco-Arenac, Marlette, North Branch, Pigeon, Ruth Hughes, St. Charles, West Branch, White Pine)

Member-at-Large (2 year term, ends in June of even number years). (Any member not filling one of the other positions)

Executive Director (Ex Officio)

Officers:  Chair – the Committee will select the Chair from among its members.

Quorum:  Three (3) members with all decisions requiring a majority vote of those present.

Meeting Time:  Minimum: annually to consider budget.


Personnel Committee

Position:  Subcommittee of the Administrative Council.

Purpose:  To consult as needed on changes to the Personnel Policy and to conduct the annual evaluation of the Executive Director.


Past Administrative Council Chair

Present Administrative Council Chair

Board President

At-large Member

Officers:  Chair – the Committee will select the Chair from among its members.

Quorum:  Three (3) members with all decisions requiring a majority vote of those present.

Meeting Time:  Minimum: annually to conduct evaluation of the Executive Director.



The immediate past Chair of the VLC Administrative Council shall serve as the Chair of the Personnel Committee, which shall include the Chair of the Administrative Council, the Chair of the VLC Board and one member representative.

The evaluation instrument shall be based upon the job description of the Executive Director and/or the goals and objectives of the VLC.  The Evaluation Committee will notify the membership of the evaluation process and request input on the Director’s evaluation.  A timeline will be provided for responses.

The Executive Director shall complete a report of VLC activities/accomplishments for the evaluation period. 

The Personnel Committee will meet to review the compiled evaluation forms and decide on a recommendation for the compensation package of the Executive Director for the following budget year.   The recommendation will be presented to the Administrative Council at the November meeting.  The Administrative council recommendation will be considered at the November Board meeting.

The Board will meet with the Executive Director to review the evaluation results and discuss compensation.  The Board will take action on or before the December meeting.  The Executive Director will be excused during the discussion.  All salary adjustments will take effect on July 1st.


Nominating Committee

Position:  Subcommittee of the Board.

Purpose:  To provide a slate of candidates for the position of Chair-elect for the Administrative Council, the Board Officers, and the Board positions elected by those members not already represented on the Board.


Two Consortium Board members (from the Bylaws) appointed by the Board President.

Officers:  Chair – the Board President will appoint the Chair.

Quorum:  Two (2) members with all decisions requiring a majority vote of those present.

Meeting Time:  As determined by the Chair for the selection of officers.

Procedures:  The election of the above positions will take place at the last Administrative Council and Board meetings of the fiscal year.  The slate of candidates shall be sent in writing to the Administrative Council/Board thirty (30) days prior to the election.

Member Library Agreement



The Agreement dated as of March 1, 2008, by and between VALLEY LIBRARY CONSORTIUM, a Michigan non-profit membership corporation, hereinafter called “VLC,” and Michigan library organizations that are parties to this Agreement, hereinafter called “Members,”




  1. Background.  VLC operates an integrated automated library system, consisting of a circulation control system, on-line public access catalogue system and other software modules (the “System”).  Members desire to use the System.
  2. Membership.  Members of VLC shall include Michigan library organizations that currently are VLC Members or hereafter become Members in accordance with the following provisions:


  1. Current Members.  The following Michigan library organizations are current Members of VLC:


Almont District Library

Bay City Schools

Bay County Library System

Bridgeport Public Library

Caro Area District Library

Chesaning Public Library

Community District Library

Delta College Library

Dryden Township Library

Gladwin County Library

Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, City of Midland

Harrison Community Library

Iosco-Arenac District Library

Lapeer District Library

Marlette District Library

Michigan Molecular Institute

Mid-Michigan Community College Library

North Branch Township Library

Northwood University Library

Pigeon District Library

Public Libraries of Saginaw

Ruth Hughes Memorial District Library

St. Charles District Library

West Branch Public Library

White Pine Library Cooperative


VLC and each of the above-listed current Members will execute an instrument appended to this Agreement titled “Member Library Agreement - Execution Instrument.”  Execution of such instrument by current Members constitutes their agreement to continue to abide by the provisions of VLC’s governing documents, including its Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, Standards and Procedures Manual, Mission Statement, and this Member Library Agreement, as they presently exist or as they may be amended from time to time by VLC’s Board of Directors.  Each Member will be provided thirty days advance notice of any changes in those governing documents unless emergency circumstances require a shorter notice period.


  1. New Members.  Other Michigan library organizations may become Members of VLC subject to the following conditions and procedures: Submission to VLC of a request to become a Member together with pertinent information and documentation specified by VLC’s Board of Directors.  Approval of such Membership application by VLC’s Board of Directors.  Execution by the new Member of a “Member Library Agreement - Execution Instrument” which shall be attached to and included in this Agreement.

The initial term of each new Member shall be three years commencing on the date of the Board of Directors’ approval of the new Member’s application for Membership.  During the initial three-year term, a Member will be subject to the provisions of following paragraph 7 applicable to current Members during the three-year period following the effective date of this Agreement.

Upon executing said “Member Library Agreement - Execution Instrument” a new Member will be obligated to abide by the provisions of VLC’s governing documents, including its Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, Standards and Procedures Manual, Mission Statement, and this Member Library Agreement.


  1. Liaison.  Each Member shall prepare and furnish VLC’s Board of Directors written notice of the individual designated as that Member’s contact person with VLC and to serve as the Member’s representative on the VLC Administrative Council.  At any time a Member may furnish VLC’s Board of Directors written notice of a change in the Member’s designated representative and the new notice will supersede any notice which that Member previously furnished to the Board regarding the Member’s designated representative.


  1. Majority Rule.  Unless otherwise expressly required by provisions of VLC’s governing documents or by law, all actions and decisions which require Membership approval shall be determined by a simple majority of VLC’s Members in good standing at the time such approval is needed.  A member’s vote on matters requiring Membership approval may be cast by the Member’s designated representative at a duly convened meeting of Members.


  1. Equipment.  The cost of acquisition and maintenance of all equipment necessary for Member to participate in the System, including computer terminals, scanners, printers and light pens, shall be the responsibility of Member. Members shall be responsible for all telecommunication charges necessary for Member’s access to the System.  All internal wiring and cabling in connection with Member’s access to the System shall be sole responsibility of Member.  When the VLC contracts for telecommunication service between VLC and the Member, then the cost of all telecommunications equipment necessary to connect the remote site and the VLC shall be assessed to the Member, but will remain the property of the VLC.  The VLC will maintain this equipment and be responsible for providing temporary replacement in an emergency.  If a member should choose to withdraw, the original telecommunications equipment (or equipment of equal functionality), located within the facilities of the withdrawing agency shall be offered at first right of refusal for one dollar ($1) per piece of equipment.


  1. Fees.  Member shall pay such annual fees and other charges as are assessed by VLC to libraries participating in the System generally.  All fees are to be paid within Forty-five (45) days of the date of invoice.  Member agrees to pay a late payment fee for each day a payment is overdue, such fee to be calculated on the basis of Eighteen Percent (18%) per annum of the amount due.  The fees and charges initially applicable to Member are as follows:


Start-up Enrollment Fee:     $ 5,000


Other Initial Charges: Actual cost of telecommunication equipment, licenses, software, and other central site equipment needed for start-up.


Annual Fee: The annual fee and start-up enrollment fee will be reviewed by the Board each year in accordance with Section 8b.of this agreement.  For the method of calculating a member’s fee see Attachment I below.


  1. Term.  This Agreement shall be effective for an initial term of Three (3) years.  Thereafter, this Agreement shall remain in effect unless written notice of termination is given 18 months prior to the effective termination date.  Any Member who wishes to withdraw at the end of the initial term of the contract must give a minimum of 18 months notice of withdrawal prior to the end of the initial agreement term.


  1. Termination.  The provisions of paragraph 7 not withstanding, this Agreement may be terminated by either VLC or Member, as follows:


  1. If there is a material default by one party under the terms of this Agreement, or in complying with the provisions of the Bylaws or the Standards and Procedures Manual of VLC, as amended from time to time, and such default is not cured within Ninety (90) days after written notice thereof is given by the corresponding party.


  1. If the fees assessed to Member for Participation in the System for any fiscal year of VLC are increased by more than Ten Percent (10%) (excluding the costs incurred by the actions of an individual Member) above the fees assessed to Member in the immediately preceding fiscal year, Member may terminate this agreement effective as of July 1 of any year if written notice of such termination is given to VLC prior to April 1 of such year.


A terminated or withdrawing Member shall continue to be liable to VLC for payment of all dues and assessments owed by the Member as of the date of the Member’s termination or withdrawal.  A terminated or withdrawing member will not be entitled to receive any refund of dues and assessments previously paid by the member to VLC.


Member agrees to compensate the Consortium for any costs incurred or revenue not realized due to early withdrawal from this agreement.  Charges may include, but not be limited to, contractual telecommunication obligations, the Equipment Improvement/Replacement Fund, and any costs for items or services purchased for the member that will go unused.  


            Upon termination, either under paragraph 7 or under this paragraph 8, Member shall be responsible for cost of removing Member’s database from the System.


  1. Software License.  Member understands that the computer software utilized in connection with this System is or may be obtained under licensing arrangements with various third parties.  Member agrees to maintain the secrecy, confidentiality and integrity of any such software in accordance with the instructions of VLC and such third-party vendors, and agrees to execute such confidentiality agreements as may be reasonably required to accomplish this purpose.  Member further agrees to indemnify VLC against any liability or damage, including attorney’s fees, arising out of breach by Member of such duty of confidentiality.  Member shall not duplicate or copy any software documentation provided for the System without the written consent of VLC and the relevant software vendor.


  1. Security.  Member agrees to provide reasonable security measures to prevent unauthorized access to the member’s network(s) and the VLC network for the purpose of obtaining secure information (i.e. VLC account logins and passwords).  See Attachment II for more information on reasonable security measures.


  1. Training.  VLC will provide ongoing staff assistance and training to Member’s personnel, in accordance with the general procedures of VLC.


  1. Dispute.  In the event that any dispute arises between VLC and Member in connection with this Agreement, such dispute shall be brought before the Board of Directors of VLC for their consideration and recommendation as to resolution.  Neither party shall proceed with court action until the board of Directors of VLC has had an opportunity to mediate the dispute.


  1. Notices.  All notices under this Agreement shall be effective Two (2) days after being sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, upon personal service to the corresponding party, or upon delivery to a national courier service, addressed as follows:


If to VLC:         Valley Library Consortium

                        3210 Davenport Ave.

                        Saginaw, MI 48602


                  If to Member:  to the Member’s designated representative as provided in                                              preceding paragraph 3.


  1. Entire Agreement.  This Agreement, together with the Bylaws, Standards and Procedures Manual, Mission Statement of VLC, and Attachments I and II constitutes the entire agreement of the parties, and can be amended or modified only in writing in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, or in accordance with the terms of a document executed by both VLC and Member.  In the event of any inconsistency between the terms of this Agreement and of the Bylaws or Standards and Procedures Manual of VLC, the terms of this Agreement shall control.


  1. Assignment.  Neither party may assign its rights or obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the corresponding party.


  1. Severability.  In the event that any term or provision of this Agreement is found to be invalid or unenforceable, such determination of invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the other terms of this Agreement.


  1. Amendment.  Provisions of VLC’s governing documents, including its Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, Standards and Procedures Manual, Mission Statement and this Member Library Agreement may be revised and amended by VLC’s Board of Directors as provided in the By-Laws.



IN WITNESS WHEREOF this Agreement effective as of March 1, 2008, has been executed by and in behalf of Valley Library Consortium and its Members on the dates specified below and on the appended Execution Instruments.


Valley Library Consortium, a Michigan Non-profit Membership Corporation




Title:     Executive Director               


Signed on:                             




















Attachment I


Starting in FY 2003/04 and continuing for the remainder of the contract period the Annual Membership Fee will be $2,000.  The remainder of the annual fee will be calculated based on each member’s actual usage of the system.  The following factors will be used to calculate each member’s share of the budget: number of ports, circulation, holdings, patrons, and serial subscriptions.  The VLC membership may elect to vary the percentages.  The counts for the above calculations will take place in November of each year and will be for the previous twelve (12) month period.   New members’ fees will be calculated from information provided by the Member, the Library of Michigan and/or whatever information exists in the VLC database for that member.



Attachment II


Reasonable security measures include, but are not limited to the following:

Protecting devices on the network(s) from the type of access that would allow an individual to execute any type of program, script, etc. with the intent of obtaining secure information (i.e. passwords, etc.).

Locating telecommunication equipment in a secure area that is not accessible to the public .

Assuring that any PC or terminal, in or near a public area, is logged off when unattended (excluding  PAC accounts).

Keeping IDs and passwords, when written down, in a secure location.

Providing individual passwords and IDs for each staff member.

Promptly notifying the VLC when a staff member terminates employment.

Not sharing passwords/IDs with other staff members or family members.









The following-named Member of Valley Library Consortium:


John Doe Library

200 W. Jones St.

Anywhere, MI 48003




Hereinafter called “Member”


Hereby agrees to be a party to and to abide by provisions of the Valley Library Consortium Member Library Agreement, dated March 1, 2008, previously executed by and in behalf of Valley Library Consortium, a Michigan non-profit membership corporation.


                        Executed by and in behalf of Member on                                  , 2008.





                                                                          Printed Name:                                                









*Note:  New membership agreements signed prior to migration to new software

Policies Established by the VLC Board

1.  Any single item or service costing more than $10,000 needs to be approved by the Administrative Council.

2.  Quotes will be required for any single item or service between $10,001 and $15,000 except for items for which the ILS vendor is the sole source.

3.  Competitive bids will be required for any single item or service costing more than $15,000 except for items for which the ILS vendor is the sole source.

4.  The VLC will add a five percent (5%) handling/shipping fee to any order it processes for members.

5.  All funds in excess of budgeted expenses will be transferred to the capital account when appropriate.

6.  If the VLC members, as a group, do not wish to purchase an ILS software module, then an individual member or members may add that module with the following stipulations:

A.  The individual member or members purchase the software and pay all associated costs.

B.  The VLC Board approves the purchase.

C.  The software module becomes the property of the VLC.

D.  Other VLC members are able to purchase accounts for the module.

7.  The Equipment Improvement/Replacement Fund will be financed through the operational budget and other funds that the Board approves.  The annual goal for the Fund will be established each fiscal year as a regular part of the budgeting process.  The progress of the Fund will be closely monitored and periodic financial reports will be provided.

8.  Should a VLC member absorb another institution/building, the VLC Finance Committee will review the costs involved in adding the additional holdings to the database and make recommendations regarding the appropriate assessments.

9.   The VLC will purchase insurance to cover the telecom equipment owned by the VLC, but housed at the member libraries.  The VLC will provide surge protection to all VLC owned equipment housed at the member library.

10. An investment policy, consistent with the objectives of capital preservation and current income, is in keeping with the fiduciary responsibilities of the VLC Board.

VLC shall keep at ready access such reserves as are necessary for the efficient operation of the organization.  All funds should be deposited in financial institutions authorized to operate in this State only.  Revenue collected by VLC for services rendered shall ordinarily be placed in interest-bearing accounts, such as:

A.  Sweep Account

B.  General Checking Account

C.  Certificates of Deposit

D.  Treasury Bills

E.  Money Market Account

Since the primary objective of this investment policy is safety, excess funds should first be directed into accounts at financial institutions taking advantage of the overall FDIC insurance level of $250,000 per financial institution.  In the event the total funds in a financial institution exceed the FDIC insurance level for that institution, consideration should be given to diversifying the investment accounts among multiple financial institutions to take advantage of the FDIC insurance levels.  If excess funds are invested in other than FDIC insured accounts, those excess funds should be invested in accounts that are fully guaranteed by the United States Government or obligations of the State of Michigan.

The Finance Committee will recommend to the Board through the Administrative Council, from time to time, the depositories of VLC funds.

11.  The mileage rate paid to VLC staff will be the current Internal Revenue Service mileage rate.  Meal reimbursement will be at the following rates: Breakfast: $12, Lunch: $14, and Dinner: $24.

12.  The auditor will conduct a Review Opinion of the VLC’s financial statements every other year.

13.  VLC Policy on Third Party Products Accessing the Horizon Databases (April 16, 2008).

Any VLC member wishing to purchase software or other products that will interact with the VLC Horizon database(s) and that software or other product is not a SirsiDynix product or authorized by SirsiDynix, must submit a request to the VLC to review the software or other product.

The VLC staff will then research the product and may contact the software manufacturer, SirsiDynix, and any other necessary resources to determine if the software or other product poses any potential threat to the integrity of the Horizon databases or in any way would compromise the stability of the Consortium.

The VLC staff will then report their findings to the Administrative Council generally within four weeks. The Council will then take make a recommendation to the Board concerning the matter.

14.  Approved the establishment of a part-time janitorial/maintenance position that will remain unfilled as long as the current maintenance contractor is employed by the VLC.

15.  Members wishing to reduce their number of seat licenses must give the VLC eighteen (18) months notice of the reduction.  If the net loss of seats in the entire Consortium is five or less for the fiscal year, then the eighteen (18) month notice period shall be waived.  All seat licenses dropped by members will remain the property of the VLC.  Members will be responsible for removing the Horizon client software from the machines that no longer have a license within one week of the effective reduction date.

16.  Members will send a request to the Executive Director for additional seats.  The Exec. Dir. will grant new seats and the appropriate fees will be charged to members unless there is a problem.  If there is a problem, the Executive Director will bring the matter to the Administrative Council.

17.  If members do not complete database projects, the VLC staff is authorized to delete the records that do not meet the standards as described in the project.