Guidelines for Preserving Public Trust

Encourage all trustees to attend, perform and take part in Board activities.

Abide by the time limits of the terms of office for trustees and advise the appointing authority when those terms are up.

Keep all library Board meetings open to the public as required by law and make sure advance notice of Board meetings is given to the public.

Unless local government audits the library, require a CPA audit once a year or once every two years. An accountant who has dealt in municipal affairs should be used.

Formally adopt written rules and policies. Keep them up to date and publicize them.

Vote for proposed actions only when there is sufficient information. If a trustee abstains, be sure the minutes show the reason.

Be sure that accurate minutes of each meeting are maintained and that votes are properly recorded. Take attendance at each meeting.

Seek outside assistance on technical matters. Obtain the assistance of the city or county attorney or retain the services of a qualified attorney for legal matters. Ask the attorney to read the agenda, minutes, policies and resolutions passed by the Board on a regular basis.

Publicize trustee actions. Publish minutes, reports and financial statements in local newspapers or library newsletters to inform the public. Consider placing copies of the minutes in the public library.

Trustees should not profit from their appointment to the Board. Avoid conflicts of interest, such as a trustee acting as the Board's attorney, investment advisor, banker, insurance consultant, accountant, or a purveyor of goods and services which the library buys.