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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 there 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.)

Process:

  • 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

Pandemic Policies

Below is a list of sample templates of library policies that are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Libraries are encouraged to use these templates to create policies that may be missing or update current policies to reflect changes in their services due to the pandemic.  Please note, these policy templates are provided as examples and are meant to be customized to fit individual library needs.

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.

Governance

Records Retention: NCLS recommends using the NYS Archives Local Government Schedule (LGS-1) to help libraries appropriately manage their documents and files.

Internet Access Policies

Many North Country libraries receive federal funding through the E-Rate program, which requires compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Find more information on CIPA here:

Children's Internet Protection Act: FCC Consumer Guide

Sample Internet Safety Policy from E-Rate Central

Additional Resources

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

Guidelines for Library Policies from American Library Association