Ethics Statements for Public Library Trustees

This statement was developed by the American Library Trustee Association (ALTA) and the Public Library Association (PLA) Common Concerns Committee.  It was adopted by both the ALTA and PLA Boards in July 1985, amended by ALTA in July 1988 and approved by PLA in January 1989.

Reprinted with permission from ALTA/PLA.

Library Board approved January 15, 2002.

Trustees in the capacity of trust upon them, shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity, and honor.

Trustee must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the institution.

It is incumbent upon any trustee to disqualify themselves immediately whenever the appearance of conflict of interest exists.

Trustees much distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between personal philosophies and attitudes and those of the institution, acknowledging the formal position of the board even if they personally disagree.

A trustee must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.

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 responsibilities are expected to perform all of the functions of library trustees.

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