Library Trustee Code of Conduct

Fitzwilliam Town Library
Library Trustee Code of Conduct

As elected public officials, trustees of New Hampshire public libraries have an obligation to meet the highest legal, moral, and ethical standards in their conduct and decisions. The following principles are to be used as a guide to achieve this goal.

Abide by all state and federal laws that apply to New Hampshire public libraries including Right-to-Know Law (RSA91-A).

The library trustees’ fiduciary duty is a legal duty to act solely in the library’s interests, to avoid any conflicts of interest between themselves and the library, and to act without profit.

In order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, it is vital and expected that members will recuse themselves from all discussions and votes where connections or bias can be questioned because of personal and family employment, memberships or association. This recusal will be acknowledged in the minutes of any meeting where it occurs. Questions regarding conflict of interest shall be presented to and decided by the Chairperson of the Board.

Trustees shall not be paid as employees of the library during their tenure as a Trustee.

No member of a trustee’s immediate family will be employed or paid by the Library during said trustee’s term of office.

Keep confidential information confidential.

Function as a whole unit; individual trustees cannot assume sole authority of comment or actions unless delegated to do so by the Board.

Adhere to all Board established library policies, rules, and procedures.

Respect the director as the professional administrator of day-to-day operations and procedures. DO NOT undermine the authority of the director’s supervision of staff; administer annual performance reviews of the director according to library and/or Town personnel policies.

Protect the integrity and purpose of the library as a community institution; challenge proposals or actions that are illegal or contrary to the mission; challenge any Board member whose actions betray the public trust, violate the law, jeopardize the integrity of the library or cause dissension within the library.

Study all laws pertaining to libraries, prepare for board and committee meetings, and take training to maintain current knowledge in order to effectively serve the library.

Attend meetings regularly or resign so that a more active member can be appointed/elected.

Approved by Trustees April 3, 2017 Reviewed annually in April.