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What's My Job: A Guide To Being a Library Trustee: Adopting Library Policies

Why are policies important?

Policy Development

Creating a New Policy

Things to consider:

  • What's the issue that requires a new policy?
  • How would a new policy contribute to the accomplishment of the library's goals and objectives?
  • What existing policies are related to or are affected by the new policy?  Are than any changes that need to be made to those existing policies?
  • Impact of the policy (effects of enforcing, legal ramifications, additional costs in resources, staff, facilities, etc.)


  • Director develops recommended policies
  • Board discusses, revises (if necessary) and approves policies at a public board meeting in accordance with Open Meetings Law
  • Director makes sure staff and public are aware of polices (keep in a binder at the circulation date and post on library's website)
  • Board reviews policies on a regular cycle so all policies are reviewed at least every 3 years

Covid-19 Related Polices

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many libraries have had to adjust existing or create new policies to reflect changes in library services and safety protocol.  You can find these sample templates here. 

Sample Policies

The sample policy templates on this page are available for use.  These samples are meant to serve as a guide and not to be carbon copied.  Each library is different and, therefore, their policies will vary.  You can also reach out to your library's consultant if you need assistance with drafting a policy.

Additional Resources

Helpful information for Meeting Minimum Standard #4 from NYS Division of Library Development

Guidelines for Library Policies from American Library Association