Ethics Policy For Library Trustees

Last Updated Date

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 806 of the General Municipal Law, the Board of Trustees promulgates these rules of ethical conduct for the members of the Board of Trustees of the Library. These rules shall be in addition to any prohibition of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, the Library Trustees Handbook, or any other general or special law relating to the ethical conduct of municipal officers and their employees.

  • The primary goalĀ· of a public library trustee is to ensure that the public has access to the highest quality of library service possible.
  • A Trustee must act in good faith and exercise the degree of diligence, care and skill that an ordinary prudent individual would use under similar circumstances in a like position.
  • A Trustee should not be involved in the day-to-day activities of the library.
  • A Trustee should distinguish clearly in his/her actions and statements between his/her personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the institution.
  • Trustees should express individual viewpoints but work harmoniously with the Board toward consensus. Board members should speak with 'one voice' once a decision is reached and a resolution is passed by the Board.
  • A Trustee should be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.


Maintaining public trust is an essential element to meet the library's mission.

  • Trustees owe allegiance to the Library and should keep the best interests of the Library in mind.
  • Trustees shall be governed by all policies and procedures promulgated by the library whether written or implied.
  • Trustees shall ensure that the resources of the library are dedicated to the fulfillment of its mission.
  • Trustees have a fiduciary responsibility for the assets, finances, and investments of the library.
  • Trustees have the duty to ensure that the Library complies with all applicable laws and does not engage in any unauthorized activities.
  • Trustees may not speak on behalf of the library unless that authority is specifically granted by the entire board.
  • Trustees must be aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.


  • Trustees shall not disclose confidential information acquired in the course of official duties and must maintain the confidentiality of matters discussed in the executive session. Any recordings of executive session proceedings, including but not limited to, audio, video, or written minutes are strictly prohibited.


  • A Trustee or person seeking to be elected to the position of Trustee shall disclose every campaign contribution in excess of one hundred dollars ($100.00).
  • A Trustee shall disclose information that might indicate a conflict of interest in any matter pertaining to the library.
  • A Trustee may not have an interest in any contract over which they have the power or duty to authorize, approve or audit.
  • A Trustee may not receive, or enter into any agreement, expressed or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter over which the Trustee has jurisdiction or the power to appoint.
  • A Trustee may not directly or indirectly solicit any gift, or accept or receive any gift having a value of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) or more or as set by New York State, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment or hospitality in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended or expected to influence him/her in the performance of official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his/her part.
  • It is incumbent upon any trustee to immediately disqualify himself or herself whenever a conflict or the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.



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