MLA from the mountains to the prairies

Code of Ethics

  1. Personal and Professional Integrity
    1. All staff, board members and volunteers of the Montana Library Association (MLA) act with honesty, integrity, and openness in all their dealings as representatives of MLA.
    2. MLA promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness, and integrity.
  2. Mission
    1. The mission of MLA is to develop, promote, and improve library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
    2. All of MLA’s programs support this mission and all who work for, or on behalf of, MLA understand and are loyal to that mission and purpose.
    3. The mission is responsive to the constituency and communities served by MLA and benefits the organization at large.
  3. Governance
    1. MLA’s Board of Directors is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of MLA and oversight of the finances, operations, and policies of MLA.
    2. The board and individual directors and officers shall act in accordance with the board governance policy, the conflict of interest policy, and any other policies adopted by the board related to the appropriate conduct of directors and officers.
    3. Among its duties, the governing body:
      1. Ensures that its board members have the skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all members understand and fulfill their governance duties acting for the benefit of MLA and its public purpose;
      2. Has a conflict of interest policy that ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal, or other means;
      3. Is responsible for the hiring, firing, and regular review of the performance of the executive director and Webmaster, and ensures that the compensation of the executive director and Wesbmaster is reasonable and appropriate;
      4. Ensures that the executive director, Webmaster, and appropriate independent contractors provide the governing body with timely and comprehensive information so that the governing body can effectively carry out its duties;
      5. Ensures that MLA conducts all transactions and dealings with integrity and honesty;
      6. Ensures that MLA promotes working relationships with board members, staff, volunteers, and program beneficiaries that are based on mutual respect, fairness, and openness;
      7. Ensures that MLA is fair and inclusive in its hiring and promotion policies and practices for all board, staff and volunteer positions;
      8. Ensures that board policies of MLA are in writing, clearly articulated and officially adopted;
      9. Ensures that the resources of MLA are responsibly and prudently managed; and,
      10. Ensures that MLA has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively.
  4. Legal Compliance
    1. MLA is knowledgeable of, and inn compliance with, all applicable laws, regulations, and professional standards.
  5. Responsible Stewardship
    1. MLA manages its funds responsibly and prudently. This includes the following considerations:
      1. It spends a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission;
      2. It spends an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other expenditures critical to professional management;
      3. MLA compensates staff, and any others who may receive compensation, reasonably and appropriately;
      4. To the extent MLA has endowments or grants, it prudently draws from endowment or grant funds consistent with donor/grantor intent, legal guidelines and to support the public purpose of MLA;
      5. MLA ensures that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable, and appropriate to fulfill the mission of MLA; and,
      6. All financial reports are factually accurate and complete in all material respects.
  6. Transparency and Disclosure
    1. MLA provides appropriate and timely information to the public, its members, and all stakeholders and is responsive to reasonable requests for information.
    2. All information about MLA will fully and honestly reflect the policies and practices of MLA.
    3. Basic information data about MLA, such as the annual Form 990 and any audited financial statements, will be posted on MLA’s Website or will be made otherwise available to the public in accordance with a board policy on transparency and public reporting.
    4. All solicitation materials accurately represent MLA’s policies and practices and will reflect the dignity of program beneficiaries.
    5. All financial, organizational, and program reports will be complete and accurate in all material respects.
  7. Program Evaluation
    1. MLA regularly reviews program effectiveness and has mechanisms to incorporate lessons learned into future programs.
    2. MLA is committed to improving program and organizational effectiveness and develops mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and the field. MLA is responsive to changes in its field of activity and is responsive to the needs of its constituencies.
  8. Inclusiveness and Diversity
    1. MLA promotes inclusiveness and diversity. MLA takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its hiring, retention, promotion, board recruitment, and constituencies served.
  9. Fundraising
    1. To the extent that MLA raises funds from the public or from donor institutions, MLA is truthful in its solicitation materials and will disclose important and relevant information to potential donors.
    2. MLA will respect the privacy concerns of individual donors and expend funds consistent with donor intent.
    3. To the extent it raises funds from the public, MLA will respect the rights of donors, as follows:
      1. To be informed of the mission of MLA, the way the resources will be used, and MLA’s capacity to use donations effectively for the intended purposes;
      2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on MLA’s Board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities;
      3. To have access to MLA’s most recent board approved program and financial reports;
      4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given;
      5. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition;
      6. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by the law;
      7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing MLA will be professional in nature;
      8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of MLAs or hired solicitors;
      9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists; and,
      10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.

Adopted: January 20, 2018

Montana Library Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 823, Arlee, MT 59821

2024 Montana Library Association

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