Ethics Statement for Public Library Trustees

  • Trustees in the capacity of trust upon them shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity and honor.
  • 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 disqualify himself/herself immediately whenever the appearance or a conflict of interest exists.
  • Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their 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.

Adopted by the Board of Directors of the American Library Trustee Association, July 1985.
Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association, July 1985.
Amended by the Board of Directors of the American Library Trustee Association, July 1988.
Approval of the amendment by the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association, January 1989.

Last Updated: April 1, 2010