102. Board Code of Conduct

Originally adopted April 2016. Last review, March 2019. Next review, 2022.

The purpose of this policy is to state the conduct by which all Marshall-Lyon County Board Members are expected to abide.  All people who are involved in the governance of public service must consistently meet the highest standard of ethical behavior in order to preserve, maintain and enhance the confidence and trust of the public in the manner in which the Board governs.


This policy shall be given to each Board Member upon commencement of each new term as part of the Board Orientation packet or upon the official revision and/or adoption of the policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Library Board will:

  • Advance the mission, vision, values and strategic plans of the Library.
  • Support and promote the value and benefits of the Library.
  • Strive for transparency in all its work, including upholding Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law as laid out in Statute Chapter 13D.
  • Seek to understand the operations, services, programs and resources that the Library offers.
  • Continually seek new, creative and broad Library-based solutions to community opportunities or issues and share those with each other, the Director and staff.
  • Understand the nature, value and direction of public libraries in our society to facilitate growth and change in the Library, as well as provide support and leadership when the Library is undertaking new directions of growth and change.
  • Uphold and support the Board Bylaws and all Library Policies as adopted.
  • Determine if a Member is in breach of this Code of Conduct and report any and all decisions, actions and/or discussions in the meeting minutes.


Library Board Members will:

  • Make distinctions between personal philosophies, attitudes and biases and those positions taken officially by the Board and the Library.
  • Make every effort to disclose potential and real conflicts of interest that may exist with any issue coming before the Board, including those of personal relationships.
  • Conduct themselves in an ethical manner that precludes an impression that they may be improperly influenced in the discharge of their duties as Board Members.
  • Act in a civil manner during all Board discussions and consistently show mutual respect and understanding.
  • Work to build trust among themselves and with the Director, creating a strong and high-functioning team.
  • Refer all complaints, whether from the public or staff, to the Director.
  • Be subject to the same standards as local officials and follow all Minnesota Statutes pertaining to open meetings, conflicts of interest and receipt of gifts from interested parties.
  • Bring to the attention of the President when a Board Member is in breach of this Code of Conduct.


Library Board Members will not:

  • Make up their minds or come to conclusions before a full and impartial hearing of the issues, situations or events have been presented.
  • Participate or instigate private action outside of the Board or among a small group of the Board which will compromise the Board, its actions or decisions.
  • Represent the Board or the Library publicly in the media, unless directed officially to do so.
  • Disclose or divulge any confidential or private information which the Board Member receives or becomes aware of during the course of serving on the Board, except as required by law or expressly required in the performance of a specific responsibility. This also applies to former Board Members who received such information while serving on the Board.
  • Usurp the duties of the Director, as set forth in the Board Bylaws.


The Library Board President will:

  • Address any concerns that may arise with individual Members who may be in breach of this Code of Conduct or the Bylaws and resolve those issues.
  • Discuss any Board or Library issues or situations that may arise with the Director.
  • Bring to the attention of the City or County Administrator any ongoing issues with individual Board Members, if no resolution is reached or the individual continues to be in breach of this Code of Conduct.
  • Seek to remove the Member, working with the City Council or County Commissioners, if no resolution is possible.