Code of Conduct for Hennepin County Library Board Members

Hennepin County Library Board Policy


The purpose of this policy is to state the conduct that is expected of the Hennepin County Library Board members and to outline member roles and responsibilities with regard to member conduct.


As members of the Hennepin County Library Board:

  • We strive to advance Hennepin County Library's mission, vision, and Strategic Plan.
  • We uphold the integrity of the Hennepin County Library.
  • We encourage the Hennepin County Library to use its platform and programs to combat systemic racism and other injustices that perpetuate inequities within our community.
  • We set and uphold the Bylaws of the Hennepin County Library Board and Library Board Policies. 
  • We seek to develop our knowledge and understanding of library service.
  • We value transparency.
  • We embrace the principles defined in the American Library Association's Code of Ethics.
  • We act with mutual respect and understanding, seeking foremost to listen, learn, and educate ourselves about diverse viewpoints.

Roles and Responsibilities

Library Board members will:

  • Strive to attend all regular meetings of the Library Board and provide prior written or telephonic notice to the Board President of any inability to attend a meeting.
  • Promptly respond to all scheduling and other requests from the Library Board’s administrative staff.
  • Strive to attend all special meetings of the Board.
  • Volunteer to serve on one or more Board committees and attend all such committee meetings unless an excused absence is obtained in advance from the committee Chair.
  • Make the distinction between personal philosophies, attitudes, and convictions with positions adopted by the Board.
  • Strive for transparency in Board meeting discussions and disclose any potential conflict of interest that may exist with regard to any matter being discussed.
  • Conduct themselves in such a manner as to give the clear impression that they cannot be improperly influenced in the performance of their duties as a Library Board member.
  • Not receive anything of value, based upon any understanding that a vote, official action or judgment of the member would be influenced thereby.
  • Be subject to the same conduct as local officials and follow Minnesota State 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. 

The Library Board will:

  • Bring it to the attention of the President when a board member is in breach of this Code of Conduct
  • Determine whether or not a potential conflict of interest is such that it requires board members to excuse themselves from either participating in the discussion or being present for it.
  • Record the decision in the meeting minutes.

The Library Board President will:

  • Discuss any concerns that may arise with individual members who may not be in adherence to this policy and resolve any outstanding issues.
  • Advance ongoing, unresolved issues to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners who is the appointing authority of this advisory board.
  • Decide (in consultation with the Library Director regarding the Board’s budget) which Board members may attend local, state, and national library conferences or other educational events.

Associated Policies and Laws

  • American Library Association. Code of Ethics
  • Minnesota Statute 10A.07. Conflicts of Interest
  • Minnesota Statute Chapter 13D. Open Meeting Law
  • Minnesota Statute 471.895. Certain Gifts by Interested Persons Prohibited


At a minimum, this policy is reviewed every five (5) years by the Hennepin County Library Board.

Policy History

Next Review: 2028
Date Approved: June 21, 2023
Replaces: Ethics for Hennepin County Library Board Members