Skip to Main Content

Trustee Support Resources

Policy Dos

Have a policy that is:

  • Written in language that is clear, simple, friendly, and jargon-free.
  • Physically, as well as intellectually, accessible to members of the community served by the library.
  • Mindful of public accountability, striving for transparency.
  • In alignment with the library’s mission statement.
  • Culturally sensitive, protecting the rights of staff as well as the diverse community served by the library, treating all persons fairly and consistently.
  • A clear guide for the director and staff as they proceed to implement the board’s decisions.
  • policy, establishing overall direction for services and operations - not a procedure, which details how the policy will be implemented.
  • A framework that anticipates needs and problems.
  • In compliance with federal, state, and local laws (See Laws Affecting Libraries).
  • Consistent with other policies, avoiding contradictions.
  • Representative of current and best public library practices, including those listed in the ALA Policy Manual that are applicable to public libraries;
  • Specific regarding how complaints or suggestions may be made and describes what the review process entails;
  • Consistent and specific regarding the consequences for violating policies (e.g., suspensions or fines, etc.);
  • A tool that helps guide decision-making in sensitive situations, particularly in the area of intellectual freedom and rules of conduct.