As with any position of responsibility and accountability, serving as a trustee calls for adherence to ethical behavior. The Board of Library Trustees endorses these ethical principles with the expectation that trustees adhere to the following:
- Trustees, in the capacity of trust placed upon them, must observe the ethical standards of absolute truth, integrity, and honor in conducting business on behalf of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
- Trustees must avoid situations in which their personal interests, activities or financial affairs are, or are likely to be perceived as being, in conflict with the best interests of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
- Trustees must remove themselves from consideration and voting on a matter if they have a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict.
- Trustees must support the decisions of the board and avoid voicing personal opposition in public. Criticism is limited to debates within board meetings.
- Trustees must respect confidential information.
- Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and its librarians to provide open access and to resist censorship of library items, programs and displays by groups and/or individuals.
- Trustees are not swayed by partisan interests, public pressure or fear of criticism.
- Trustees must protect and uphold library patrons’ right to privacy in their use of the library’s resources.
- Trustees must not use or attempt to use their positions as elected officials to obtain unwarranted privileges or advantages for themselves or others.
- Trustees refer patron/public requests for information or complaints to the Executive Director.
- Trustees refer staff grievances or problems to the Executive Director and refrain from becoming involved in controversy or conflict among staff.
- Trustees attend board meetings regularly and if unable to fulfill their responsibilities, they consider resigning their position.
These principles were adapted from the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) “Sample Ethics Policy” (2011) and from Trustee Facts File, 3rd edition, edited by Robert Doyle and Robert Knight, c2004 and used with the permission of the Illinois Library Association.