Conflict of Interest


The scope of this policy includes Board members and officers, committee, other volunteers and employees.

Statement of Purpose

As a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, chartered as a school district library, The Community Library depends upon a tax levied on those located in the boundaries of the Cobleskill-Richmondville School District as well as grants, governmental support and philanthropic gifts.

Maintenance of our tax-exempt status and public position depend upon the highest standards of ethical and professional practice, including compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. The community views the operations of The Community Library as a public trust. As such it is subject to scrutiny by and accountability to governmental authorities in accordance with Non Profit Corporation Law Section 715 as well as to members of the public.

Policy Statement

A conflict of interest or commitment generally arises when an individual has the opportunity to influence decisions in ways that could lead to personal benefit or improper advantage resulting in the compromise or appearance of compromise of the individual’s judgment and ability to carry out his/her professional duties objectively.

This refers to any social, professional, personal or organizational affiliation, commitment, activity or undertaking that is so substantial as to interfere or appear to interfere with the individual’s responsibility to The Community Library, including, but not limited to:

  1. Advancing a personal agenda or agenda from another organization.
  2. Having a financial or other interest in a transaction with The Community Library.
  3. Accepting favors, gifts, gratuities, or taking part in any activities or transactions that relate to, affect, or influence decisions made for, regard, or on behalf of The Community Library.
  4. Using donor or client information or relationships inappropriately or in ways that might damage donor confidentiality and/or relationships with The Community Library.
  5. Participating in any arrangements or transactions that might give the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  6. Using The Community Library’s name, endorsement, services and property for anything other than authorized Community Library activities.

Upon appointment, at the annual business meeting and as they arise, potential and/or perceived conflicts of interest or commitment are required to be disclosed in writing to the board president. The conflict shall be referred to the full Board of Trustees.Where a conflict of interest arises, additional providers of the goods or services in question will be sought out to meet the library’s needs. Documentation of these efforts will be kept with all other records related to the conflict of interest.

The individual in conflict shall absent him/herself from the room during any discussion or deliberations related to the issue, and shall refrain from participating in decision-making in connection with the matter. The individual’s presence at the meeting shall not be counted in determining whether there exists a quorum. Minutes documenting any such proceedings will reflect any absences due to conflict of interest. Minutes will also reflect the rationale for purchase of goods and services despite a conflict of interest.


Trustees, Library Director and any key employee capable of influencing significant purchasing for the library is bound by this policy. Any of the noted personnel that recognizes a potential conflict of interest is responsible for bringing the conflict to the attention of the Board President as noted in the above policy. Further, all procedures outlined in the policy are to be implemented by the concerned party and the Board of Trustees. The Library Director or a designee holds responsibility for providing documents related to the policy to concerned parties.