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North Shore Publich Library

Code of Ethics

l. Introduction:
The North Shore Public Library (the “Library”) and the Board of Trustees (the “Trustees”) recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the Staff and the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of the Library.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. This Code of Ethics sets forth the values to which the Library is committed, and identifies the ethical responsibilities of the Trustees and Staff.

2. Definitions:

a. “Staff” means any employee of the Library, excluding volunteers and Trustees.

b. “Trustee” means any member of the Board of Trustees.

c. “Interest” means a direct or indirect financial benefit gained by a Trustee, or staff
from any Transaction with the Library. A Trustee or Staff member shall be deemed to have an Interest in a Transaction between the Library and (a) a Family Member; (b) a firm, partnership, limited liability company or association of which such Trustee or Staff member, or his or her Family Member, is a partner, member, equity holder or employee; (c) a non-public or closely-held corporation of which such Trustee, Staff member, or his or her Family Member is an officer, director, shareholder or employee; and (d) a public corporation of which such Trustee, Staff member, or his or her Family Member is an officer, director, or employee at or above the managerial level, or of which more than five per cent of the shares are owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such Trustee, Staff member, or his or her Family Member.

d. “Transaction” means: (a) the sale, purchase, lease, or rental of any property or other asset of more than a nominal value; (b) employment or rendition of services, personal or otherwise, other than on a volunteer basis; (c) the award of any grant, contract, or subcontract; or(d) the investment or deposit of any funds of the Library.

e. “Family Member” means a spouse, parent, sibling, child, aunt or uncle, grandparent, niece or nephew, mother- or father-in-law, daughter- or son-in-law, sister- or brother-in-law, and first cousin, whether in whole or half blood, by marriage, adoption or natural relationship, and the spouse or domestic partner of any such person, and any person residing in the household of a Trustee or Staff member.

f. “Represent” or “appear” means communicating in any form, including, without limitation, personally, through another person, by letter, e-mail, or by telephone.

g. “Confidential Information” means information or data concerning patrons, personnel or other matters which are protected from public disclosure under the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

3. First Amendment Values:

Trustees shall embrace the principles of the First Amendment and the right of the public to pursue intellectual freedom and education.

Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of Staff in resisting censorship of Library materials by groups or individuals.

Trustees and Staff must recognize and respect intellectual property rights to the fullest extent required by law.

4. Confidential Information

Trustees and Staff may not use or disclose any Confidential Information acquired by them in the course of their duties, even after their service or employment with the Library has ended.

5. Representations and Appearances

Trustees may not represent or appear before the Board of Trustees on behalf of Staff, or any other person, in any matter that such person has before the Library or concerning the Library.

6. Political Activity or Solicitation

Trustees and Staff may not directly or indirectly ask any subordinate, patron or vendor to participate in any political activity, or to make any political contribution.

7. Gifts and Private Compensation for Performing One’s Job

Trustees and Staff may not accept any compensation in any form having any value from any person or entity, other than the Library, for performing their Library duties. Trustees and Staff may not directly or indirectly solicit or accept any gifts in any form having any value from any patron, vendor or employee, or from any person the Trustee or Staff knows, or should know, is seeking or receiving anything of value from the Library, except Staff may accept gifts no greater than $25 in value from patrons. Gifts from patrons to Staff in excess of $25 in value shall be donated to a food bank or other charity of the Library Director’s choosing.

8. Trustee Governance

Trustees shall refer all Staff, patron and vendor problems and complaints to the Library Director, and Trustees shall recognize that the Library Director is responsible for handling all such problems and complaints. However, Trustees may nonetheless act with regard to such matters at Board of Trustees meetings.

Trustees should limit their trusteeship role to policy, governance, advocacy on behalf of the Library, long term planning, budget and finance, issues respecting both the office and person of the Library Director, and such other matters as are reserved to the Board of Trustees by law.

9. Conflict of Interest. Disclosure and Recusal

Trustees and Staff must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of the Library.

If any Trustee or Staff knows that he or she has an Interest in a Transaction or proposed Transaction with the Library, he or she shall notify the Board of Trustees and the Library Director of such Interest in writing.

Trustees and Staff may not participate in any discussion of a Transaction or proposed Transaction in which he or she is interested and shall not otherwise attempt to influence the Library’s decision regarding such a Transaction or proposed Transaction. Trustees shall also not vote on a Transaction or proposed Transaction in which they have an Interest.

10. Inducement of Others

Trustees and Staff shall not induce, encourage or aid another Trustee or Staff member to violate any of the provisions of this Code of Ethics.

11. Penalties

Any Staff member who knowingly and intentionally violates any provisions of this Code of Ethics may be subject to a fine or other disciplinary action as provided under New York Civil Service Law g 75.

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