Plattekill Public Library
Board of Trustees
A trustee is a person to whom property is legally committed in trust. A library trustee's commitment is to both the physical property and resources of the library and the services it provides. The library board has the final responsibility to see that its library provides the best possible service to its community.
The New York State Board of Regents, the institution responsible for the chartering and oversight of educational corporations in New York, describes the duties of Trustees as those of “Care, Loyalty and Obedience.” All actions must be taken with these principles in mind.
Duty of Care
A trustee or board member must act in good faith and exercise the degree of diligence, care and skill that an ordinary prudent individual would use under similar circumstances in a like position.
Duty of Loyalty/Conflicts of Interest
Trustees/board members owe allegiance to the institution and must act in good faith with the best interest of the organization in mind. The conduct of a trustee/board member must, at all times, further the institution’s goals and not the member’s personal or business interests…A trustee/board member should avoid even the appearance of impropriety…. Acts of self-dealing constitute a breach of fiduciary responsibility that could result in personal liability and removal from the board.
Duty of Obedience
A trustee/board member has a responsibility to insure that the institution’s resources are dedicated to the fulfillment of its mission. The member also has a duty to ensure that the institution complies with all applicable laws and does not engage in any unauthorized activities.
In addition, the Regents charge the Trustee to “ensure that financial resources are being used efficiently and effectively toward meeting the institution’s goals”; and to “hire a CEO to manage the operation of the institution and evaluate his/her overall performance.”
(All excerpts from: Statement on the Governance Role of a Trustee or Board Member; New York State Board of Regents)