Code of Ethics


The conduct of Trustees is governed by this and complimentary policies. This policy relates to and is informed by policies not limited to those covering Library Use, Circulation, Collection Management, Governance, and Administration. Of particular concern are issues of Confidentiality, Conflict of Interest and Purchasing, and equal access to the library.

Statement of Purpose

Standards of service and commitment are broadly defined in this policy, enabling Trustees to understand the scope of their obligation to the library and community. Though the Conflict of Interest policy narrowly describes the scope of financial ethics required for public service, the Code of Ethics details areas related to public meetings, the library’s responsibilities to patrons, professional standards of the library industry and more. As custodians, representatives and governors of the library, understanding of these professional ethics underpin the library’s role in providing library services to the public.


Public library Trustees are accountable for the resources of the library as well as to see that the library provides the best possible service to its community.

Every Trustee makes a personal commitment to contribute the time and energy to faithfully carry out his/her duties and responsibilities effectively and with absolute truth, honor and integrity.

  • Trustees shall respect the opinions of their colleagues and not be critical or disrespectful when they disagree or oppose a viewpoint different than their own.
  • Trustees shall comply with all the laws, rules and regulations that apply to them and to their library.
  • Trustees, in fulfilling their responsibilities, shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public pressure or fear of criticism.
  • Trustees shall not engage in discrimination of any kind and shall uphold library patrons’ rights to privacy in the use of library resources.
  • Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the library, acknowledging and supporting the formal position of the Board even if they disagree.
  • Trustees must respect the confidential nature of library business and not disclose such information to anyone. Trustees must also be aware of and in compliance with Freedom of Information laws.
  • Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained as a result of their position or access to privileged library information, for either themselves or others.
  • A Trustee shall immediately disqualify him/herself whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.
  • Trustees shall not use their position to gain unwarranted privileges or advantages for themselves or others from the library or from those who do business with the library.
  • Trustees shall not interfere with the management responsibilities of the director or the supervision of library staff.
  • Trustees shall support the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.


Understanding this code is essential in helping Trustees manage their role in the governance and oversight of the library. The Development Committee, through orientation, ongoing training and consultation with the Library Director, is responsible for working with Trustees in applying this policy. The Library Director or a designee holds responsibility for providing documents related to the policy to concerned parties.

Approved Date: 4/13/2016


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