Library Trustee Code of Ethics
Library Trustee Code of Ethics/ Conflict of Interest Policy
Statement of Commitment
It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees of the Wyandanch Public Library and the individual trustees to ensure that the Wyandanch Public Library provides quality library service to the residents of the communities we serve. The Code of Ethics, which follows, represents our commitment to the ethical standards for our library. Failure to adhere to this Code of Ethics by any individual trustee may result in removal from the board.
Trustees in the capacity of trust upon them shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity, and honor. Trustees must distinguish clearly between their personal attitudes and philosophies and those of the institution, acknowledging the formal position of the board even if they personally disagree. After a policy or rule is adopted by a majority of the library board, individual trustees should publicly support those decisions. Trustees must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and incompliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information. Trustees must not divulge information learned during executive sessions of the board, or any information regarding future board plans or actions until such action is officially taken.
Negotiations of contracts are in the purview of the assigned board committee/representative.
Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues or the situation. It is incumbent upon any trustee to recuse himself or herself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interests exists. Trustees must make decisions in the best interest of residents in all parts of the Wyandanch Public Library's chartered service area. No preference will be given to any town, village, or group of people. Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals. Trustees who accept library board membership are expected to perform all the functions of library trustees. If a trustee is unable to attend meetings regularly and complete work delegated to him or her, the trustee should resign so that an active member can be appointed.
Responsibilities and Authorities of the Library Board
The Wyandanch Public Library encourages each library trustee to take advantage of training opportunities for trustees offered by the public library system or statewide agencies and organizations. Likewise, the Library encourages trustees to be active in the state library organization and its efforts to inform the governor and legislature of the benefits and needs of publiclibraries.
Duties of the Trustees
- Create and develop the mission of the library;
- Select and hire a qualified library director;
- Secure adequate funding for the library's service programs;
- Exercise fiduciary responsibility for the use of public and private funds;
- Adopt policies and rules regarding library governance and use;
- Regularly plan and evaluate the library's service programs;
compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Continuing Education Policy
The purpose of the Trustee Education Policy is to comply with New York State Education Law Section 260-D which requires members of library boards of trustees, beginning January 1, 2023, to complete a minimum of two hours of trustee education annually from a provider approved by the Commissioner of Education that addresses the financial oversight, accountability, fiduciary responsibilities and the general powers and duties of library trustees. Each member of the Library Board must demonstrate compliance with this policy by filing evidence with the Board President annually.
Each year Trustees are required to complete two hours of continuing education during their term on the System Board. According to Section 260-D, each Trustee shall demonstrate compliance with the requirements by filing with the President of the Board of Trustees evidence of completion of Trustee Education from an approved provider. Such evidence shall include one of the following:
- Maintain a facility that meets the library's and community's needs;
- Promote the library in the local community and in society in general;
- Conduct the business of the library in an open and ethical manner in
description of the format and content of the completed instruction activities, the date and time such member began and completed each instruction activity and an explanation of why a certificate of completion was not available from such approved providers.
Evidence of completion shall be submitted to the Board President by December 31 of each year. Should a Trustee fail to submit evidence of completion by the above date, the Trustee will be suspended from duty until evidence of completion is filed. Should a Trustee in suspension fail to provide evidence of completion within 90 days, they will be assumed to have resigned from the board. Compliance will be tracked through the Library’s Annual Report to the State.
At the state level, trustee education providers and activities (topics and formats) are approved by the New York State Library acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Education.
In addition to pre-approving public library systems as trustee education providers, the State Library has delegated authority to public library systems to approve additional trustee education providers and activities (topics and formats) for their member libraries.
New York State Library/Division of Library Development Public Library Systems WebJunction New York Library Association (including the Library Trustees Section and other Sections/Roundtables)
Reference and Research Library Resources Councils
Empire State Library Network (formerly New York 3Rs Association)
PULISDO (Public Library System Directors Organization)
ALA (American Library Association) including United for Libraries and other
Trustee education may be delivered online or in person. The format of this
include any of the following:
State or national library association conferences
Costs of Continuing Education
Modest and reasonable costs incurred by a Trustee in complying with the trustee
requirements may be reimbursed by the Library in accordance with the
Conference and Travel
Policy. All continuing education requesting reimbursement must be pre-approved
SELF-ASSURANCE of Trustee Education Activity Completion
Beginning January 1, 2023, each library trustee, elected or appointed, of a board of trustees is required to complete a minimum of two hours of trustee education annually. (Education Law 260-d as added by Chapter 468 of the Laws of 2021)
Please use this self-assurance form if a certificate of completion is not available from the approved education activity provider. Please submit this form to the library board president for review and signature. Trustees should retain a copy of the signed form.
I give the following assurance:
I attended the following trustee education activity:
Trustee Name: __________________________________________________
Approved Provider: ________________________________________________
Title of Activity: _____________________________________________________
Format (e.g. workshop, webinar, online course):
Date of Activity:
- certificates of completion issued by one or more approved providers; or
- a signed self-assurance of completion (included at the end of this policy).
- Such assurance shall identify the approved trustee education providers, a