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Conflict of Interest and Ethics Policy

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BUFFALO & ERIE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The B&ECPL is dependent on the trust of its community to successfully achieve its mission. Therefore, it is crucial that all Board members and employed officials conduct business on behalf of the B&ECPL with the highest level of integrity avoiding any impropriety or the appearance of impropriety.

Guiding Principles:

  • Board members and officials shall uphold the integrity of the B&ECPL Public Library and shall perform their duties impartially and diligently.
  • Board members and officials shall not engage in discrimination of any kind including that based on race, class, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or belief system.
  • Board members and officials shall protect and uphold library patrons’ right to privacy in their use of the library’s resources.
  • Board members and officials shall 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 B&ECPL.
  • Board members and officials shall avoid having interests that may reasonably bring into question their position in a fair, impartial and objective manner.
  • Board members and officials shall not knowingly act in any way that would reasonably be expected to create an impression among the public that they are engaged in conduct that violates their trust as Board members or officials.
  • Board members and officials shall not use or attempt to use their position with the B&ECPL to obtain unwarranted privileges or advantages for themselves or others.
  • Board members and officials shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public pressure, or fear of criticism.
  • Board members and officials shall not denigrate the organization or fellow Board members or officials in any public arena.
  • Board members shall 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 Board member to disqualify himself or herself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.
  • Board members shall 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 Board member shall respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.
  • Board members shall be prepared to support to the fullest, the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by special interest groups or individuals.
  • Board members who accept appointment to a library board are expected to perform all the functions of library Board members.

Therefore:

To preserve and uphold the B&ECPL's reputation as an organization of unimpeachable integrity, each Board member and Senior level employee (Director, Deputy Directors) will sign the Conflict of Interest Statement at the beginning of each calendar year (and at the commencement of his/her service) during their tenure with the B&ECPL.

Compliance:

If any Board member appears to be in conflict of the "Guiding Principles" above, he or she will be asked to meet with the Executive Committee to discuss the issue. The Executive Committee will make a recommendation to the full Board based on the findings. Senior level employees who are or appear to be in conflict with the "Guiding Principals" will be asked to meet with the Library Director and/or Executive Committee who will make a determination as to discipline or termination based on his or her findings.

Adopted September 16, 2010 per Resolution 2010-34.
Supersedes “Code of Ethics” Policy adopted in public session, March 16, 2006.