Trustee Duties & Code of Ethics
The Estes Valley Public Library District (Library) Board of Trustees (Board) is responsible for governance of the Library in accordance with Colorado Library Law.
A Trustee must act in the best interests of the Library as it serves our community, over and above other interest group involvement, membership on other boards or personal interests.
In accordance with Board By-Laws, a Trustee may be recommended for removal from the Board in the event of disregard of this policy.
To this end, Trustees must observe ethical standards with truth, integrity and honor and are committed to the following principles:
Duties of Trustees – Trustees will:
- Understand and be able to articulate the Library’s mission.
- Prepare for, attend and participate in all Board meetings.
- Inform appropriate persons about expected absences before meetings.
- Respect the agenda and abide by Board decisions on rules of order.
- Recognize that all authority is vested in the Board when it meets in legal session and not with individual board members.
- Determine or recommend Library policies.
- Secure adequate funding and practice responsible fiscal management of the public money.
- Plan for the future of the Library. Consider short and long term effects of decisions.
- Monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Library.
- Respect the confidential nature of Library records within the framework which allows for the monitoring of material usage and the need for public accounting.
- Promote the value of the library and advocate for the Library in the community.
- Attempt to interpret the needs of the community to the Library and interpret the action of the Library to the community.
- Represent the whole community to the Library and not a particular area or group.
- Establish and support a planned program of public relations.
- Support intellectual freedom in the selection of Library materials.
- Work to learn more about a trustee’s job and how to do it better.
- Become familiar with state library law and Open Meetings Act.
- Participate in statewide advocacy for library services.
Individual Responsibilities – Individual Board members will:
- Remain well-informed of developments that are relevant to issues that may come before the Board.
- Maintain a positive relationship with other members of the Board, library Friends and Foundation.
- Listen carefully and respect the opinion of other Board members. Refrain from criticism, in or outside of Board meetings, of fellow Board members or their opinions.
- Treat others in a courteous, dignified and fair manner.
- Encourage and respect diversity of viewpoints and skills.
- Express individual viewpoints but work harmoniously with the Board toward consensus.
- Not act on behalf of the Board unless specifically designated by the Board, which includes interaction with the public or the media.
- Call to the attention of the Board any issues that may affect the Library.
- Disclose to the Board any personal or private interest in a matter that is proposed or pending before the Board, shall not vote on the item and shall not attempt to influence the decisions of other members voting on the matter.
- Act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any organization or individual.
- Not discuss confidential proceedings of a Board’s Executive Session.
- Not promise prior to a meeting how the Trustee will vote on any issue during the meeting.
- Not use their Trustee status for private gain. Not receive a salary or other compensation for services as a Trustee, but necessary traveling and subsistence expenses actually incurred may be paid from the public library fund.
- Avoid situations where personal advantage or financial benefits may be gained at the expense of other library users.
- Not use “inside information” in personal or private business.
- Avoid using the Trustee position to obtain employment for self, family or friends.
- Withdraw from the Board if seeking employment with Library.
- Not use any part of the library for personal advantage or the personal advantage of friends or relatives.
- Not accept nor give a personal gift in excess of $50 from any individual, organization, contractor, or any other entity which does business with the Library.
- Employ a highly qualified library director to manage the day-to-day operation of the Library.
- Recognize that a Trustee’s job is to ensure that the Library is well-managed, not to manage the Library.
- Limit trusteeship role to policy governance and advocacy and refrain from individually directing the library director or the staff.
- Do not interfere with the duties of the director or undermine the director’s authority.
- Refer complaints about the Library to the proper level in the chain of command.
- Evaluate the director’s performance annually.
Board President – The Board President will:
- Assume no authority to make decisions outside Board-dictated mandate.
- Assume no authority to speak for the Board on issues not yet decided.
- Ensure that all issues that belong to Board governance are brought to the Board for consideration and all relevant material is available.
- Keep deliberation fair, open, thorough, but also efficient, timely, orderly and to the point.
Please refer to the Library Governance policy set for more information.
The Estes Valley Library Trustee Duties and Code of Ethics was adopted and approved by the Estes Valley Public Library District Board of Trustees on March 14, 2005 and revised on December 8, 2008, June 20, 2011 and April 21, 2014 and reviewed on May 15, 2017, November 16, 2020 and May 15, 2023.
Lynn Lawson, President John Krueger, Secretary